HARRY POTTER AND THE CURSED CHILD Sets Record for Highest Grossing Play in Broadway History

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

The Tony and Olivier Award-winning Best Play Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has set a new Broadway record for weekly ticket sales for a play, reporting a gross of $2,338,315 for the week ending November 25, 2018 at the fully renovated Lyric Theatre (214 West 43rd Street, New York, NY). This passes the high mark set by the two-part play for the week ending June 17, 2018 ($2,277,446).

On Thursday, November 29, 2018 at 11:00 AM ET, a further block of tickets will be made available for performances through September 29, 2019 at all price points starting from $40 per part.

On Thursday, November 29, those wishing to purchase tickets should visit the official website www.HarryPotterThePlay.com and join the ‘Virtual Waiting Room’ at any time between 10:30 AM and 11:00 AM ET. When tickets are released at 11:00 AM ET, everyone in the ‘Virtual Waiting Room’ will be randomly assigned a place in the queue for the opportunity to purchase tickets. The randomization of the queue allows the purchase of tickets to be as fair as possible and provides protection against bots. These tickets will not require an Access Code to purchase.

The most awarded new play in theatre history, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child has won 25 major US awards with six Tony Awards including Best Play. It also won 24 major theatre awards in the UK and is the most awarded play in the history of Britain’s Olivier Awards, winning a record-breaking nine awards including Best New Play.

Based on an original new story by J.K. RowlingJack Thorne and John TiffanyHarry Potter and the Cursed Child is a new play by Jack Thorne, directed by John Tiffany. The production is one play presented in two parts. Both parts are intended to be seen in order on the same day (matinee and evening) or on two consecutive evenings, or each part can be seen separately.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is the eighth story in the Harry Potter series and the first official Harry Potter story to be presented on stage. The critically acclaimed production received its world premiere in July 2016 at the Palace Theatre in London where it continues to play to sold out houses. It officially opened on Broadway at the Lyric Theatre on April 22, 2018. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child will premiere in Australia at Melbourne’s Princess Theatre in January 2019; on the US West Coast at San Francisco’s Curran in fall of 2019; and, in Germany at Hamburg’s Mehr!-Theater am Großmarkt in spring of 2020.

It was always difficult being Harry Potter and it isn’t much easier now that he is an overworked employee of the Ministry of Magic, a husband, and the father of three school-age children.

 

While Harry grapples with a past that refuses to stay where it belongs, his youngest son Albus must struggle with the weight of a family legacy he never wanted. As past and present fuse ominously, both father and son learn the uncomfortable truth: sometimes, darkness comes from unexpected places.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child features movement by Steven Hoggett, set by Christine Jones, costumes by Katrina Lindsay, music & arrangements by Imogen Heap, lighting by Neil Austin, sound by Gareth Fry, illusions & magic by Jamie Harrison, music supervision & arrangements by Martin Lowe. US Casting by Jim Carnahan, CSA. UK Casting by Julia Horan, CDG.

 Harry Potter and the Cursed Child is produced by Sonia Friedman ProductionsColin Callender and Harry Potter Theatrical Productions.

Bush Theatre announces 2019 season – The New Face of Theatre

Madani Younis
Madani Younis

Madani Younis

  •  The Bush Theatre announces seven plays and a festival as part of its 2019 season – including six collaborations, two world premieres and a UK premiere
  • This season sees the second year of Passing the Baton, a three-year programming initiative dedicated to revivals of work by writers of colour which began with Winsome Pinnock’s Leave Taking and continues with Strange Fruit by Caryl Phillips alongside a mentoring scheme to nurture the next generation of writers of colour
  • The season continues the theatre’s commitment to producing the best new playwrights and speaking up for diversity and inclusivity in all its forms

The Bush Theatre today announce their 2019 season, the last programmed under the Artistic Directorship of Madani Younis who after seven years at the theatre will become Creative Director at the Southbank Centre in January 2019.

2018 has seen the Bush celebrate a West End transfer for Arinzé Kene’s Misty, which has now been seen by almost 30,000 people and been nominated for an Evening Standard award for ‘Best Musical Performance’, an Olivier award nomination for Monica Dolan’s The B*easts and the ongoing world-wide success of its touring production of NASSIM which opens in New York in December.  Other celebrated work including Winsome Pinnock’s Leave Taking, Vinay Patel’s An Adventure and Ben Weatherill’s ground-breaking Jellyfish, re-affirm the theatre’s commitment to discover, nurture and produce the best new playwrights from the widest range of backgrounds.  The 2018 programme has seen a 40% increase in attendance on the previous year and 52% of the audience being first-time visitors to its Shepherd’s Bush home.

With their 2019 season the Bush continues to challenge the unspoken rules of who writes theatre, how they write it, and who it is made for.  From the UK premiere ofGoing Through, which tells the story of a young girl’s journey across borders while seamlessly mixing English and British Sign Language to Caryl Phillip’s Strange Fruitcontinuing the ground-breaking Passing The Baton initiative;  from BABYLON: Beyond Borders, an international collaboration between four theatres that will be simultaneously live-streamed across four different cities, to And The Rest of Me Floats, a bold exploration of gender in collaboration with LGBTQ+ company Outbox..

It also continues its commitment to showcasing both home-grown and international talent. 4 out of 7 of the 2019 productions have been written or co-written by International writers, and 3 out of 7 have been written or co-written by writers from the UK.

Madani Younis said, ‘My time at the Bush Theatre is undoubtedly one of my proudest achievements to date. The Bush invested in a vision that celebrated not just the best of theatre but the best of our country’s inherent culture.  

With its global outlook, I feel this season shows the best of who we are and stands for the values that we have attempted to build over the past seven years.  It’s a season of creatives who have inspired me, continue to inspire me and I hope will inspire our audiences. ‘

The Bush also today announced UNWRAPPED, a holiday season of cabaret, comedy and theatre including Richard Gadd, Sh!t Theatre, Harriet Kemsley and Gingzilla which runs for a two-week season this December.

2019 season

Bush Theatre presents

BABYLON FESTIVAL

WORLD PREMIERE

4 – 16 Feb

Press Night for BABYLON: Beyond Borders: 13 Feb

A tower of languages. A city of immense cultural creativity. A people’s journey.

BABYLON is a two-week festival celebrating the global influences and experiences of Black and Brown people, presented by Bush Theatre’s Tobi Kyeremateng and Ruthie Osterman.

Week one invites cultural innovators to transform the Bush Theatre with a series of takeovers under three strands: LOUD – music gigs by artists such asTouching Bass, Sam Wise and Nabihah Iqbal, SPEAKS – live podcast shows and kitchen-table discussions from The Receipts Podcastgal-dem, and more, and RESIDENTS – main space takeovers from collectives such as Skin Deep and The Cocoa Butter Club.

BABYLON: Beyond Borders is a fusion of live music, spoken word and movement, performed across London, New York, Johannesburg and Sao Paolo in a celebration of cross-border solidarity and creativity. Four extraordinary theatres, each deeply rooted in their own community, collaborate and explore their relationship to land, language and migration.

Tobi Kyeremateng is a theatre, festival and live performance producer.  She is currently Producer at Apples and Snakes.   In 2013 she assisted in producing Ovalhouse Theatre’s site-specific piece The Street and joined BAC as Junior Producer until 2016.  She was part of the Old Vic 12 2016 cohort, where she produced Joe White’s play Pagans.  Tobi is the co-founder of the Black Ticket Project, an initiative that aims to make theatre accessible to black young people.

Ruthie Osterman is a theatre director, playwright, performer and drama teacher who graduated from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London and the school of Dramatic Arts in Tel-Aviv.  Work includes multiple international collaborations and performances in London, Israel, Poland and India.  She is a member of the Lincoln Centre Director’s Lab in NYC and was recognised as a promising artist and endorsed for an Exceptionally Talented Artist Visa for the UK by the Arts Council of England in 2015.​

The first instalment of UP NEXT, a Bush Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre partnership with Artistic Directors of the Future.

The UP NEXT initiative is funded by the Arts Council England Sustained Theatre grant. BABYLON is generously supported by the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation.  The BABYLON: Beyond Borders international collaboration is made possible with support from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

Outbox Theatre in association with the Bush Theatre present

AND THE REST OF ME FLOATS 

Written and Devised by the company

Directed by Ben Buratta

Design by Rūta Irbīte

Sound Design by Dominic Kennedy

Lighting Design by Jess Bernberg

Movement Director Coral Messam

Cast includes Josh-Susan Enright, Barry Fitzgerald, Elijah W Harris, Emily Joh Miller, Tamir Amar Pettet and Yasmin Zadeh.

20 Feb– 16 Mar

Press Night 22 Feb

I was born in 1994, then came windows 95,
And I would dive online to be the true me –
A 2cm avatar with a denim mini and a high pony.
Online all the time, to avoid conversation and the frustration of being a he, she, they or me…
I felt free.

And The Rest Of Me Floats is all about the messy business of gender. Performers from across the trans, non-binary, and queer communities weave together autobiographical performance, movement, pop songs, stand-up and dress-up in this anarchic celebration of gender expression and identity.

Playful and powerful, And The Rest Of Me Floats explores how it feels to live in a society where you are regularly categorised and policed. ‘Do you see me?’ Beyond the questions, the confusion, and the anger – ‘do you really see me?’

Outbox have been making theatre queerly since 2010 in collaboration with LGBTQ+ performers, artists and communities to tell stories in bold and exciting ways.

Ben Buratta is founder and artistic director of Outbox. For Outbox he has directed Affection (The Glory), HOOKUP (Hackney Showroom, Contact), You Could Move (Arcola, Contact), Reach Out and Touch Me (Shoreditch Town Hall), and The Front Room (Drill Hall, mac) and curated and produced Outbox Snapshots (Arcola). Other credits include Rocket Girl (Minack Theatre), Quirks (Southwark Playhouse), Tasty (Arcola), and a wide range of projects and productions for communities across the UK.

Loose Tongue and HighTide in association with Bush Theatre present

THE TRICK

By Eve Leigh

Directed by Roy Alexander Weise

WORLD PREMIERE

19 Feb– 23 Mar

Prior to a national tour

Press Night – 25 Feb

‘Of course you take me away from the world, and who cares….. you’re the best reason I know to wake up.’

Mira’s husband, Jonah, died seven months ago, but that doesn’t mean that either of them are ready to let him go.

The Trick is a magic show about getting older and coming to terms with loss. Ghosts, goldfish, mediums, and sleight-of-hand collide in this unpredictable exploration of ageing and grief.

Eve Leigh is a playwright and theatre-maker. She was the recipient of the 2017 Royal Court commission for the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama; with her play,Spooky Action at a Distance, produced by the Royal Court, RWCMD, and Gate Theatre. She was the first artist-in-residence at the Experimental Stage of the National Theatre of Greece. Her plays Silent Planet and Stone Face were produced by the Finborough Theatre and published by Oberon Books. Stone Face was shortlisted for three Offies, including Best New Play. Other plays include The Curtain (Young Vic Taking Part), Plunder (Young Vic Taking Part), Red Sky at Night (Bush Theatre), Rapture (Soho Theatre), Enough (Birmingham REP Young Rep). Eve was dramaturg on How To Win Against History (Young Vic). Upcoming commissions include work for the Bush Theatre, the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Place/DanceEast, 36 МАЙМУНИ (Sofia), and DOCK11 (Berlin).

Director Roy Alexander Weise is the 19th annual winner of the James Menzies-Kitchin Award and directed his critically-acclaimed, sell-out production of The Mountaintopby Katori Hall at the Young Vic. He is shortlisted for the Evening Standard Emerging Talent Award 2018’.  Theatre credits include: Nine Night (National Theatre, Trafalgar Studios), Br’er Cotton (Theatre 503), Heretic Voices (Arcola Theatre); Jekyll and Hyde (National Youth Theatre); Dead Don’t Floss (National Theatre); The Ugly One (Park Theatre, Buckland Theatre Company); The Dark (Fuel & Ovalhouse); Zero For The Young Dudes (Young & Talented in association with NT Connections); The Mountaintop(Young Vic); Primetime (Royal Court, Jerwood Theatre); and Stone Face (Finborough Theatre). Assistant Director credits include: Hangmen (Royal Court and West End); X,Escaped AloneYou For Me For YouPrimetime 2015Violence and SonWho CaresLiberian Girl (Royal Court); AlbionWe Are Proud To Present… (Bush Theatre) and The Serpent’s Tooth (Talawa/Almeida Theatre). For Television, Roy was Trainee Director on Invisible (Red Room/Ballet Boys/Channel 4). Roy has previously worked at the Royal Court as the Trainee Director, at the Bush Theatre and Lyric Hammersmith as the BBC Theatre Fellow and at The Red Room as Associate Artist. Roy is now Associate Director at the Harts Theatre Company and Lead Acting Tutor at Young & Talented School of Stage & Screen.

Loose Tongue is a production company that finds, commissions, premieres, and showcases exceptional new writing. The company’s first production was immersive audio installation Hotel Europe, created by Isley Lynn, David Ralf and Philipp Ehmann. This was followed by the premiere of Sea Fret by Tallulah Brown, at Old Red Lion Theatre, before a performance at HighTide Festival 2017 in the play’s spiritual home of Aldeburgh. Producer David Ralf is Executive Director of The Bunker Theatre. Other productions include Devil With the Blue Dress (The Bunker), Brimstone and Treacle, The Wild Party, Steel Magnolias (The Hope Theatre). Producer Matt Maltby founded Pint-Sized. He co-created Earlsfield Stories for Tara Theatre with Jatinder Verma MBE, co-produced Fabric by Abi Zakarian at Soho Theatre and is New Work Co-Ordinator at The Bunker Theatre.

HighTide is a theatre company and charity based in East Anglia that has an unparalleled eleven-year history of successfully launching the careers of emerging British playwrights.  Through their annual festivals and national touring, HighTide have discovered, provided creative development to and/or staged new plays by Luke Barnes, Adam Brace, E V Crowe, Elinor Cook, Rob Drummond, Thomas Eccleshare, Theresa Ikoko, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, Anders Lustgarten, Joel Horwood, Ella Hickson, Harry Melling, Nessah Muthy, Vinay Patel, Nick Payne, Phil Porter, Beth Steel, Al Smith, Sam Steiner, Molly Taylor, Jack Thorne and Frances Ya-Chu Cowhig.

HighTide have staged productions with the highest quality theatres across the UK, from the Traverse in Edinburgh, to the Royal Exchange in Manchester, Theatre Royal Bath and the National Theatre in London. Recent productions and co-productions include: Heroine (HighTide/Theatr Clwyd), Kanye The First (HighTide/Paul Jellis/Marlowe Theatre), Girls (HighTide/Talawa/Soho Theatre), Harrogate (HighTide/house/Royal Court) & In Fidelity (HighTide/Traverse Theatre).

A Bush Theatre co-production with the Institut Français du Royaume Uni as part of its Cross Channel Theatre and En Scène! Programmes

GOING THROUGH

by Estelle Savasta

Translated by Kirsten Hazel Smith

Directed by Omar Elerian

UK PREMIERE

28 Mar– 27 Apr

Press Night – 3 Apr

‘It’s not always children’s stories that happen to children.’

When the men come to drive her away, Youmna cuts off Nour’s hair. And so begins one girl’s journey. By bus, by lorry, into the sound of gun-shots, through adolescence and across borders. All she can take with her is a little box and her memories of Youmna. Youmna, who told her that everything grows back – grass, desires, branches, even hair.

Going Through is the UK premiere of the critically acclaimed French play Traversée. This bilingual production seamlessly mixes English and British Sign Language and is directed by Bush Theatre Associate Director Omar Elerian (MistyNASSIM). It is translated by Kirsten Hazel Smith.Writer and director Estelle Savasta runs ‘Hippolyte a mal au cœur’, a company creating ground-breaking bilingual work based in France. Her first play Seule dans ma peau d’âne received acclaim at the 2008 Molière awards. Going Through (originally Traversée) premiering at the Bush Theatre is her second play.

Omar Elarian is an award winning Italian /Palestinian theatre director, deviser and performer who trained at Jacques Lecoq International Theatre School in Paris.  He joined the Bush in 2012 alongside Madani Younis and since then has been the resident Associate Director.  He is in charge of the Bush’s talent development, leading on the Associate Artists and Project 2036 schemes.  He is also involved in the development and delivery of the Bush’s artistic programme and led the programming of the RADAR festival between 2012 and 2015.  His directing credits for the Bush include Misty by Arinzé Kene, NASSIM by Nassim Soleimanpour, One Cold Dark Night by Nancy Harris and Islands by Caroline Horton.  As Associate Director, he has worked alongside Madani Younis on the Bush’s productions of The RoyalePerseverance Drive and Chalet Lines.  Other credits include acclaimed site-specific production The Mill – City of Dreams, Olivier Award nominated You’re Not Like The Other Girls ChrissyTesta di Rame(Italy), Les P’tites Grandes Choses (France) and L’Envers du Décor (France).

Iseult Golden and David Horan in association with The Abbey Theatre (Dublin) and Bush Theatre presents

CLASS

Written and directed by Iseult Golden & David Horan

Set & Costume Design: Maree Kearns
Lighting Design: Kevin Smith
Sound Design: Ivan Birthistle
Sound Design: Vincent Doherty
Cast includes Stephen Jones, Sarah Morris, Will O’Connell

Supported by Culture Ireland

LONDON PREMIERE

7 May – 1 June

Press Night 9 May

God. I hate classrooms. Give me the heebie jeebies. Even still.’Brian and Donna’s son is nine years old, and he’s struggling. That’s what his teacher says. Says he should see a psychologist. But Brian and Donna never liked school, never liked teachers.
So are they going to trust this one?
And should they?

CLASS is a ‘hugely entertaining’ (Irish Times) and ‘emotionally explosive’ (Mail on Sunday) confrontation over learning difficulties, love and entitlement. Side-splittingly funny and beautifully observed, with rave reviews, a sold-out run at the Abbey Theatre and a Fringe First Award from Edinburgh, CLASS is new Irish writing at its finest.

***** ‘An inspired look at society through the prism of a parent-teacher meeting’ –  Sunday Times

***** ‘Three terrific performances, two exceptional writers and directors, and one extraordinary brilliant script’ – The Arts Review

Iseult Golden and David Horan are independent theatre artists who have worked together on new adaptations and original work for over a decade. This is their seventh collaboration.

Iseult Golden is an actor, writer and director. Writing work includes: The Roy Rap for the Little Roy Series (Jam Media / CBBC), co-writer on The Importance of Being Whatever (IFTA Winner 2012) and Belonging to Laura (an adaptation of Lady Windermere’s Fan by Oscar Wilde) for Accomplice Television/TV3 (IFTA Nomination 2009). She also wrote Fireworks, a one-act play for Tall Tales Theatre Company (published as part of the collection TXTs) as well as a number of episodes for Irish soap, Fair City. Directing highlights include: Connected by Will Irvine and Karl Quinn (Fringe/Project Arts Centre), Payback by Marion O’Dwyer and Maria McDermottroe, Mangan’s Last Gasp by Gerard Lee and Buridan’s Ass by SR Plant (Bewley’s Cafe Theatre). Iseult also teaches at the Lir Academy of Dramatic Art.

David Horan is a theatre director and writer, Artistic Director of Bewley’s Café Theatre and a core Acting Tutor at the Lir National Academy. Directing highlights include: Beowulf: the Blockbuster by Bryan Burroughs, These Halcyon Daysby Deirdre Kinahan (Edinburgh Fringe First Winner), Moment by Deirdre Kinahan (Bush Theatre, London), Moll by John B Keane (Gaiety, MCD/Verdant Productions), Pineappleby Phillip McMahon (Calipo/DTF), Hue and Cry by Deirdre Kinahan (IAC New York Times Critics Pick, Bewleys), Macbethand Dancing at Lughnasaby Brian Friel (Second Age), In The Next Room by Sarah Ruhl and Three Winters by Tena Stivicic (Lir Academy)and the award-winning Tick my Box!(Inis Theatre) among others.

China Plate and Bush Theatre present

YVETTE

By Urielle Klein-Mekongo

Directed by Gbolahan Obisesan

Lighting Design by Azusa Ono

14 May – 1 June

Press Night 17 May

‘I see the way that butters-fat-lipped-troll-Patrice looks at him, now she’s the kinda lighty that finks she’s too nice.’Evie is thirteen and lives in Neasden with her Mum. She wants to tell us about something… her crush on Lewis, trying to be a woman, friends, virginity, garage remixes, hello kitty underwear… an ‘Uncle’ lurking in the corner of her story.  She wants to make us laugh, she’s pretty good at it. She wants to tell us something, but she daren’t let it out.  Based a true story, Yvette is a one-woman show with original music and spoken word about a stolen childhood and growing up with a secret. Commissioned by Bernie Grant Arts Centre in Association with Hull 2017.Winner, Young Harts Writing Fest Audience Favourite 2017, Kings Head Theatre Stella Wilkie Award 2017, The East15 Pulse Award 2017.

Urielle Klein-Mekongo is a writer, theatre maker singer/songwriter, performer and a member of Bush Theatre’s Emerging Writer’s Group.  After first entering training via the National Youth Theatre’s Playing Up course in 2013, she went on to study Acting and Contemporary Theatre at East 15 where she graduated in 2017. Yvette marks Urielle’s first professional outing as a writer/performer. Other credits include Swipe (The Arcola with NYT), Three Sisters (East 15). She was selected as one of the writers for the Lyric Fest Gala 2017.

Director Gbolahan Obisesan recently held the role of Genesis Fellow/Associate Director at the Young Vic Theatre. In 2018, Gbolahan’s adaptation of the Booker Prize-nominated novel The Fisherman will premiere at HOME, Manchester (New Perspectives Theatre). Previous directing credits include: 2017 Olivier nominated Cuttin it(Young Vic, Birmingham Rep, Sheffield Crucible, Royal Court, Yard Theatre) Off The Page, a short film for the Royal Court/Guardian’s microplays season, We are Proud to Present… (Bush Theatre), and The Web (Young Vic).

China Plate is an independent theatre studio that works with artists, venues, festivals and funders

to challenge the way performance is made, who it’s made by and who gets to experience it. The

company is currently collaborating with Caroline Horton, Chris Thorpe / Rachel Chavkin,

Contender Charlie, Dan Jones, Sarah Punshon, Rachel Bagshaw, Inspector Sands, Joan Clevillé,

David Edgar, Katie Lyons / Ella Grace and Ben Wright.

The Bush Theatre presents

STRANGE FRUIT

By Caryl Phillips

Directed by Nancy Medina

12 June – 20 July

Press Night 17 June

‘I go half way round the world and back thinking I’d made some sort of discovery and come back to find the same damn lies, the same white lies, the same black lies.’

Alvin and Errol can’t picture much of a future for themselves. They’re young, black and living in England in the 1980s, with an entire country and political system set against them. Instead they focus firmly on their past – the sunny Caribbean and heroic father they left behind when their mother brought them to England twenty years ago. But when Alvin returns home from his grandfather’s funeral in the Caribbean, a new version of their past emerges, and the two brothers are caught in a desperate struggle to unearth the truth about their existence.

Powerful and compelling, Strange Fruit by Caryl Phillips (winner of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize) is the story of a family caught between two cultures, and the un-crossable no man’s land that can come between parents and their children.

Strange Fruit is the latest edition in the Passing the Baton series, following Winsome Pinnock’s Leave Taking in 2018.

Caryl Phillips was born in St. Kitts and came to Britain at the age of four months. His plays include Strange Fruit (1980), Where There is Darkness (1982), The Shelter (1983) and The Wasted Years (1984). His dramas and documentaries for radio and television include the three-hour film of his own novel The Final Passage and the screenplay for the films Playing Away (1986) and Merchant Ivory’s adaptation of V.S.Naipaul’s The Mystic Masseur (2001).

Nancy Medina is originally from Brooklyn NY, and currently based in Bristol.  She is the 2018 RTST Sir Peter Hall Director Award winner and will be collaborating with Royal & Derngate and English Touring Theatre on a production in 2019.  In 2017 she was a Genesis Director at the Young Vic.  She is an acting tutor at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and Course Leader for a post 16 Professional Acting Diploma at Boomsatsuma.    Her directing credits include: Collective Rage: A Play in 5 Betties (Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama), When They Go Low (NT Connections/Sherman Theatre), Yellowman (Young Vic), Romeo and Juliet (GB Theatre), As You Like it (GB Theatre), Curried Goat and Fish Fingers (Bristol Old Vic), Dogtag (Theatre West), Strawberry & Chocolate (Tobacco Factory Theatres), Dutchman (Tobacco Factory Theatres) and Persistence of Memory (Rondo Theatre).

Bush Theatre and HighTide present

RUST

By Kenneth Emson

Directed by Eleanor Rhode

26 Jun – 27 July

Press Night 1 July

‘Rule number eleven: We don’t talk about them. Not here. They don’t exist here.’

Nadia and Daniel have a secret. In fact, they have quite a few. They’ve just signed on the dotted line for a studio flat. Under a pseudonym, naturally – Mr and Mrs White. After years of school pick-ups, TV takeaways, and the day to day drudgery of married life, this is their chance to wipe the slate clean. But as much as they try and redefine the rules, and themselves, the outside world is closing in.

Ultra-contemporary, sexy and funny, Rust pushes the boundaries of trust, love and lust to the limit.

Rust is the second collaboration between Bush Theatre and HighTide in 2019, following The Trick.

Kenneth Emson is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. His plays include Quadrophenia (Mercury Theatre), Parkway Dreams (Sir John Mills Theatre) Terrorism (Bush Theatre), This Must be the Place (Vault Festival – co-written with Brad Birch) and Plastic (Old Red Lion). He was co-creator, co-writer and associate producer on the BAFTA Craft, SXSW and Prix Italia nominated The Last Hours of Laura K and adapted Agatha Christie’s The Coming of Mister Quin which was nominated for a BAFTA CYMRU games award. He has written for EastEndersDoctors, BBC Radio 3 and 4 and has been shortlisted for the Bruntwood, Red Planet and Papatango Prizes as well as winning the Adrienne Benham, Off West End Adopt a Playwright and Mercury/Weinberger Playwriting awards.

Eleanor Rhode is an Associate Artist for HighTide. Her most recent work includes the critically acclaimed world premiere of Boudica by Tristan Bernays for the Globe Theatre, Tristan Bernays’ award-winning musical play Teddy at Southwark Playhouse and The Vaults, and comedy musical Thor and Loki at Edinburgh Fringe and HighTide Festivals. This Christmas, Eleanor will direct Wendy and Peter Pan at The Royal Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh.

In 2009 she co-founded Snapdragon Productions to bring neglected and unknown works to new audiences. Work for Snapdragon includes the critically acclaimed production of Toast by Richard Bean (UK Tour and New York), which was nominated for Best Touring Production at the 2016 UK Theatre Awards and the world premiere ofTeddy by Tristan Bernays and Dougal Irvine, which won Best New Musical at the 2016 Off West End Awards.

Other recent work includes: Frankenstein (Watermill Theatre and Wilton’s Music Hall), Terrorism (Bush Theatre), Beauty and the Beast (Watford Palace Theatre), When We Were Women (Orange Tree Theatre), Toast and Thark (both Park Theatre), GenerousThe Drawer Boy, and A Life (all Finborough Theatre) and the world premiere of the musical For All That for Centerstage Theater, Seattle.  Eleanor trained at Mountview and the National Theatre Studio.

Further work by the Bush Theatre

Project 2036 is a three-year programme, currently in its third year, which offers a BAMER playwright, director and producer a bursary each, generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust.  Census data suggests that within 20 years half of all young people in London will be of dual heritage.  We see that change on our streets.  We want to see that change on our stages and behind the scenes across our city.  We fear as an industry we are reacting much too slowly and in some cases hardly at all.  It is crucial that we create opportunities for a rich diversity of artists to make work on our main stages and so redefine the canon of British theatre.  Working collaboratively with their peers, each year sees three creatives develop work tied directly to our studio. This year the recipients of the bursary are director Emily Aboud, writer Bisola Elizabeth Alabi and producer Salome Wagaine. Project 2036 is generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust.

Dismantle in association with the Bush Theatre

Dismantle This Room, an immersive escape-room experience which had a sell-out run at the Bush in July 2018 as part of Project 2036, will transfer to the Royal Court in April 2019.

Performance of our Community Associate Company, The Neighbourhood Company, in January 2019. The Community Associate Companies programme sees the Bush Theatre engage with two local community groups each year in a way that is long-lasting, meaningful, creative and inspirational. This project forms part of our strategy to create and demonstrate a model of theatre that is culturally democratic and embedded in its local community. The Neighbourhood Company are a group of 25 local people, between the ages of 10 and 85, from the local community who have been working with the Bush Theatre and Lead Artist Molly Taylor as one of our Community Associate Company to create an original, devised performance which will be staged in the Auditorium at the Bush Theatre.

Bush Theatre recently announced its new youth engagement project, the Young Writers Group – a new 12-week playwriting course for young writers aged 14 – 17.  Eight young people from West London will take part in the course at the theatre which will see them explore different ways of story-telling, writing techniques, conducive ways of offering feedback, and workshopping their plays. They will also take part in an intensive four-day rehearsal period where they will gain experience in producing and directing their and their peers’ plays. Their plays will be performed in a showcase performance attended by agents and industry professionals in April 2019. A taster workshop taking place on November 13 offers young people the chance to find out more and try out some of the writing exercises.

This course will be facilitated by playwright, director and former Literary Assistant at the Bush Theatre, Sophie Paterson.

The Young Writers Group and Young People Programme is generously funded by the Noel Coward Foundation, Hammersmith United Charities, Chapman Charitable Trust, The Mercers Charitable Foundation, Teale Charitable Trust and Kirsten Scott Memorial Trust.

Applications for the Young Writers Group at the Bush Theatre are open from October – 17 December 2018 and application forms can be downloaded here:

https://www.bushtheatre.co.uk/community/young-writers-group/

Applications should be emailed to [email protected]

Offers will be made on 7 January 2019.

Harts Theatre Company and Bush Theatre presents Young Harts Writing Festival 2019

Young Harts Writing Festival is a creatively accessible youth new writing festival on 3 & 4 May which merges the gap between emerging artists and professional artists. It’s a festival that is inclusive of and accessible to talent and audiences with disabilities.

Through an online competition, five plays written by emerging young writers will be chosen. They will receive a free writing master class and one month to redraft their plays. Each young writer will be partnered with a professional writer as a mentor and compete with their mentors in a two-day festival where one writer will win the audience favourite vote each night. The twist? The audience don’t know who has written the play when they cast their vote.

YHWF 2019 will see an all-female professional writing and directing team.

NT Connections at the Bush Theatre

As part of the National Theatre’s Connections festival, the Bush Theatre will host 7 young companies from 29 April to 2 May.

Each year the NT commissions ten new plays for young people to perform, bringing together some of the UK’s most exciting writers with the theatre-makers of tomorrow.  300 youth theatre companies and over 6,000 young people from every corner of the UK are producing a Connections play this year.

Ticket prices

Count Me In: £10 (Theatre)

Adult: From £20 (Theatre) and £10 (Studio)

Unwrapped: £15 (£12.50 concessions)

Count Me In tickets are just £10 and are available for performances in the Theatre. These are unreserved tickets which will be allocated to a seat on the day of performance. Audience members might not be sitting next to the people they booked with but will be guaranteed a seat.

Concessions: Bush Locals, Senior Citizens, Disabled and Unemployed patrons, and Bush Connect (Students and U26) members will be eligible for concession prices.

Booking:

Phone                   020 8743 5050

In person             Bush Theatre, 7 Uxbridge Road, W12 8LJ

Online                  bushtheatre.co.uk

 

The Legend and the Legacy: Olivier Award-winning play The Mountaintop comes to Bristol

Gbolahan Obisesan
Gbolahan Obisesan

Gbolahan Obisesan

Bristol Old Vic presents The Mountaintop as part of its continued commitment to re-examining Bristol’s relationship with the past, highlighted through the theatre’s ongoing Year of Change.

Following a sell-out run at the Young Vic theatre in 2016, Katori Hall’s Olivier Award-winning play The Mountaintop has embarked on a 7–venue UK tour, with Bristol Old Vic’s new Weston Studio marking its penultimate stop from 21–24 Nov. The production received rave reviews and was most recently commended for being a “skilled examination of the issues of racism that still linger in today’s world; a reminder of the beliefs that spurred on the fight, and the work that must carry on.” (Broadway World, ★★★★).

Katori Hall’s The Mountaintop, premièred at Theatre503 in 2009, then transferred to the West End in 2010 and won the Olivier Award for Best New Play. Following its West End run, the play opened on Broadway in October 2011 to critical acclaim.

This Nuffield Southampton Theatres, Reading Rep and Desara Bosnja co-production is directed by JMK Award 2016 Winner Roy Alexander Weiseand offers an intimate look into the hours before Martin Luther King Jr.’s death.

After delivering his famous “I’ve been to the mountaintop” speech, Dr King goes to Room 306 at the Lorraine Motel to rest, before another long day of campaigning. With a storm raging outside, a maid, Camae, arrives to deliver his cup of coffee and his world is spun on its axis.

The Mountaintop chips away at the myth of the great man to expose his fears about his family, his country and the ever-looming threat of violent death. Set during the height of America’s Civil Rights Movement, Katori Hall’s sharp and powerful play confronts his legend and his legacy. Are we really free or do we live in a world of false liberation?

Gbolahan Obisesan played Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in the Young Vic’s original 2016 production and is now reviving the role on tour. As an actor, his theatre credits also include The Bird Woman Of Lewisham (Arcola Theatre), The Inspectors Call (Etcetera Theatre), Concrete Jungle, Piano Forte (Courtyard Theatre), Holyland (Edinburgh/Pleasance/Lyric Hammersmith), The Arbitrary Adventures Of An Accidental Terrorist (Lyric Hammersmith), A Midsummer Night’s DreamOedipus The King and A Hip-Hop Musical (Bloomsbury Theatre). Television credits include Forty-something; Watch over Me!; and short film credits include The Good Sonand Beyond the Blade. Obisesan is also a playwright and director.

Rochelle Rose plays Camae. Her theatre credits include Cinderella (Oxford Playhouse), The Winter’s Tale (The Orange Tree Theatre), Shipwrecked! The Amazing Adventures of Louis de Rougemont (The Jack Studio Theatre), One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show (Eclipse Theatre/Kiln Theatre) and Their Eyes Were Watching God. Television credits include Lawful Killing (BBC One); Hood Documentary (BBC Three/Fudge Park Productions) and short films include Pipe Up (Company of Angels) and Ghosts (Identity Filmworks).

Katori Hall is an Olivier Award-winning playwright. Her other work includes Tina Turner the Musical, the award-wining Hurt VillageHoodoo LoveRemembrance, Saturday Night/Sunday Morning and Pussy Valley, which is being adapted into a TV series for US network STARZ.

Roy Alexander Weise is the 19th annual winner of the James Menzies-Kitchin Award and an Associate Director at Harts Theatre Company. His theatre credits include Nine Night (National Theatre & West End transfer), Jekyll and Hyde (National Youth Theatre), Dead Don’t Floss (National Theatre), The Ugly One (Park Theatre), The Dark (Ovalhouse), Primetime(Royal Court Theatre), Stone Face (Finborough Theatre) and Br’er Cotton(Theatre503).

★★★★★ City A.M. ★★★★★ Auditorium Mag
★★★★ The Times ★★★★ Evening Standard ★★★★ The Guardian
★★★★ What’s On Stage ★★★★ The Stage ★★★★ Time Out

Listings information:
The Mountaintop
The Weston Studio
Wed 21 Nov – Sat 24 Nov
3pm, 8pm
From £18
Ages 14+

Mercury Theatre’s £9m redevelopment confirmed following another major funding award

Mercury Theatre Colchester

Mercury Theatre’s £9m redevelopment confirmed following another major funding award

  • £1.2million from the European Regional Development Fund has been awarded to support the theatre’s redevelopment plans
  • The project, undertaken in partnership with Colchester Borough Council, has already received funding from Arts Council England, Colchester Borough Council, Essex County Council and the South East Local Enterprise Partnership
  • Public donations and grants from other major funders include Garfield Weston Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, Fidelity Foundation, Bernard Sunley Foundation and Sport England

The Mercury Theatre can today confirms its £9m redevelopment plan, Mercury Rising, will go ahead following an exceptional award of £1.2m from the European Regional Development Fund. Mercury Rising will see the theatre’s buildings and site completely renovated, improving and extending audience, production and workshop facilities. It will ensure the entire building is fully accessible as well as introducing an all-day café, a unique incubation space to support creative talent from across the region, and a brand new home for all of the Mercury’s creative learning and community activities.

With just £500k left to raise, the total committed so far has now reached £8.5m, the minimum threshold for work on site to begin. The funds to enable this exciting development have been secured from a range of national and regional funding bodies, meaning that in excess of £7.5m will be new money invested into the Borough. These funds have been brought in by the Mercury to support the town’s ambition to improve access to cultural opportunities for local residents.

Alongside overwhelming support for the redevelopment from the local community who have already raised over £300k in charitable donations to support the changes, funds have been secured from Arts Council England’s capital funding programme, Colchester Borough Council, Essex County Council, the South East Local Enterprise Partnership, and now the European Regional Development Fund. The Fund seeks to support innovation and economic growth through the creation of jobs and the regeneration of communities. A further £500k has been pledged from major trusts and foundations including Garfield Weston Foundation, The Foyle Foundation, Fidelity Foundation, Bernard Sunley Foundation and Sport England.

Now work will start on the next stage of the project with the demolition on the site beginning later this month. The project to build the new theatre is being managed by Colchester Borough Council, and the demolition will be carried out by local company Phelan Construction. The Mercury are committed to working with local businesses and have agreed that at least £7m of the total budget will be spent locally in order to help create and sustain local employment. The building work will not affect audiences until mid-2019, at which point the theatre will take an exciting season of work out to a temporary off-site performance space so that building work can commence on the main theatre. The project is due for completion and the new facilities will open to the public in mid-2020.

Executive Director Steve Mannix said:

“The Mercury Theatre is at the centre of Colchester’s community and economy. Audiences are growing year on year as our work grows in scale and ambition, while the theatre supports more and more jobs in the local economy. This is a pivotal moment for the theatre and for the region – a moment of opportunity for us to push artistic boundaries, to better our facilities for the community, and to develop the regional economy by providing a creative hub of national standing for the East of England.”

He added

“Bringing £3.6m into the local economy annually, as well as over 100 jobs locally, the Mercury is already at the centre of the region’s creative industries, but there is so much more we can do. The existing theatre was built 45 years ago, following the founding of the Repertory Company some 35 years before that – through this project, we will ensure the theatre is a place for our community to enjoy for many generations to come.”

Councillor Tim Young, Portfolio Holder for Business and Culture and Deputy Leader of Colchester Borough Council said:

“We are delighted to be supporting a project that will rejuvenate an intrinsic part of the borough’s cultural offering. Colchester is bucking the trend in funding arts and culture initiatives which bring huge benefits and opportunities to residents.

“From its humble beginnings in 1937, the Mercury has become a theatre for Colchester and its communities. This project will cement the borough’s place as a centre for arts, and I am proud that the Council is playing a key part in helping turn the aspiration into reality.”

Hedley Swain, Area Director, South East, Arts Council England, said:

“Arts and cultural spaces are an essential part of their local community, not just for providing a source of entertainment and creativity, but also as social space where people can come together to enjoy a variety of experiences. The Mercury Theatre has always been a huge part of its local community. But Mercury Rising will elevate the venue to a new level, establishing it as a creative hub in the heart of East Anglia where artists can hone their practice and visitors can feel at home.”

Will Quince MP for Colchester said:

“The Mercury Theatre has a fantastic reputation for delivering top quality theatre, and sits at the heart of the cultural economy in our region. The theatre’s exciting redevelopment plans will be of huge benefit to our audiences and will ensure that Colchester remains at the centre of arts and culture for years to come.”

Councillor Sue Lissimore, Cabinet Member for Culture and Communities at Essex County Council said:

“This funding is great news for the Mercury Theatre and will give a great boost to the creative skills industry, hopefully inspiring future generations.”

Adam Bryan, Managing Director of South East Local Enterprise Partnership said:

“We were delighted to be able to support the Mercury Theatre with £1m of funding. The news that ERDF support has also been secured to allow the redevelopment to go ahead is very good indeed. SELEP’s role in supporting regeneration and economic development is a varied one. A thriving local arts scene is a vital component of any healthy and growing community and we wish the team behind the Mercury Rising project every success now that its future is assured.

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WEST END BARES: Top Off The Pops raises over £65,000 for Make A Difference Trust

WEST END BARES. Photo credit PBGSTUDIOS

The ever-growing annual fundraiser played two spectacular shows at the Shaftesbury Theatre on Sunday 28 October, celebrating iconic music artists and their sexiest songs.  Madonna, Prince, Oasis, Take That and many more were given the Bares treatment, accompanied by an incredible live band and sensational vocalists from many of the West End’s biggest shows.

Comedian and TV star Tom Allen presided over the evening which saw more than 125 performers from the West End and beyond dare to bare in what is now one of theatreland’s most loved annual events.

The Make A Difference Trust unites the theatre and entertainment industries to raise funds to support those affected by HIV/AIDS.  The incredible success of this year’s WEST END BARES will allow them to continue their vital education and awareness programmes in drama schools as well as life changing projects here in the U.K. and Sub-Saharan Africa.  The final figure is expected to grow as we continue counting donations in the coming weeks.

The Make A Difference Trust thank Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS for their generous grant of £20,000 ($26,000) to mark the success of not only this ninth edition of WEST END BARES, but to celebrate all those who have participated in the creation, production and performance of all nine years of this now eagerly anticipated annual event, especially as the Trust begin preparations for the 10th anniversary of WEST END BARES in 2019 – a remarkable milestone!

BAC in spring 2019 with Ridiculusmus, Chris Thorpe and Rachel Chavkin, Mark Thomas, Ad Infinitum and more

Battersea Arts Centre
Battersea Arts Centre

Battersea Arts Centre

Battersea Art Centre’s spring 2019 programme combines new work by artists tackling some of the biggest subjects being debated in the UK today, with innovative comedians and collectives exploring the boundaries of performance.

The spring season sees Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) continue working towards becoming a Relaxed Venue – a new initiative that builds on the principles of relaxed performances. 95% of all the announced performances in the spring season are relaxed, which at BAC means there is a relaxed attitude to noise and movement in the auditorium, a designated ‘chill-out space’ provided for guests who may need time away from the performance,and headphones available for those with sensory sensitivities.

  • Chris Thorpe and Rachel Chavkin explore nationality, identity and the rejection of one’s national story in Edinburgh hit Status (23 Apr – 11 May).
  • George and Nir, Co-Artistic Directors of Ad Infinitum and real-life same-sex couple, wrestle with a question many people face – should they have kids, or not – in No Kids (5 – 23 Feb).
  • Ridiculusmus present the UK premiere of Die! Die! Die! Old People Die! (8 – 25 May), the final part of their trilogy of works around contemporary mental health issues, which will be performed in full on 25 May.
  • ThisEgg’s dressed. (25 Feb – 2 Mar) sensitively and powerfully explores how a woman can find strength, resilience and beauty in friendship when recovering from a traumatic assault.
  • Mark Thomas takes a deep dive into the health of the NHS with CHECK UP: Our [email protected] (23 Apr – 4 May).
  • In a time of online echo-chambers, The Justice Syndicate (11 – 23 Feb ) by fanSHEN challenges audiences to disagree, debate and question their own preconceptions in a piece of playable theatre drawing on a jury format.
  • Sleepwalk Collective return to Battersea Arts Centre with the UK premiere of Kourtney Kardashian (27 Feb – 2 Mar), examining celebrity, high art and society’s collective grip on reality.
  • Figs In Wigs bring back Often Onstage (6-8 Feb), gleefully disrupting traditional theatrical conventions.
  • Ben Target and Tom Rosenthal present new comedy shows Splosh! (26 Feb – 2 Mar) and Manhood (28 Jan – 2 Feb).
  • Touretteshero co-founder Jess Thom curates Rest & Resistance, a ground-breaking inclusive festival of theatre, dance, art and performance for all ages showcasing the very best of the disability arts scene.
  • As the UK is planned to exit the EU, Up Next Artistic Director Saad-Eddine Said curates Homegrown Festival: Occupy, an invitation for young artists, collectives, entrepreneurs, activists and local communities to occupy BAC.
  • The OFFIES awards celebrate the excellence, innovation and ingenuity of independent theatres across London.

Tom Rosenthal: Manhood (Work In Progress)

Tom Rosenthal | 28 Jan – 2 Feb, 8pm

As seen as the drunkest guy on Drunk History (Comedy Central) and taking down Chris Ramsey on Roast Battle (Comedy Central). This year Tom Rosenthal, star of Friday Night Dinner (C4) and Plebs (ITV2), is discussing his manhood, or lack thereof. A show about reaching maturity. And dicks.

Directed by Jon Brittain

The OFFIES

3 Feb

The next OFFIES awards event will be in the reborn Grand Hall at Battersea Arts Centre, bringing together theatre lovers and the industry to celebrate the excellence, innovation and ingenuity of independent theatres across London. In what promises to be a memorable night with a champagne reception, awards ceremony and a post-awards party, The OFFIES will help raise the profile and status of independent theatres in London and rewards the new talent that these theatres nurture. Special guests from the world of theatre will present the awards and help celebrate another memorable year for OffWestEnd theatre. Information on 2018 nominations, and how to get tickets for the 2019 awards event, can be found on the new Offies website.

No Kids

Ad Infinitum | Tue 5 –Sat 23 Feb | Press night Thu 7 Feb, 7:30pm

No Kids is the latest energetic, hilarious and thought-provoking play from the multi- award-winning Bristol-based company, Ad Infinitum.

George and Nir, Co-Artistic Directors of Ad Infinitum, are a real-life same-sex couple trying to answer a question many people face – should they have kids, or not?  Every consideration – adoption, surrogacy, co-parenting, the environmental impact of childbirth, the fears and anxieties, how the past affects parenting and much, much more – brings with it a succession of ethical challenges. Together, George and Nir confront this chaos head-on through Ad Infinitum’s signature style of physical theatre, cabaret, verbatim stories – and Madonna songs.

No Kids is made possible by Arts Council England. Developed at Battersea Arts Centre and supported by Salisbury Playhouse, Tobacco Factory Theatres, Newbury Corn Exchange, Birmingham Hippodrome, Redbridge Drama Centre, The Tolmen Centre and The North Wall.

All performances are relaxed. At Battersea Arts Centre, this means that you are free to move about, make noise and come and go during the show. This does not mean that light and sound effects have been changed. For more info, visit the Access Page.

Often Onstage

Figs In Wigs | 6 – 8 Feb

Often Onstage is an offbeat facetious romp that explores the ins and outs of the stage through the medium of dance. With one step forward and two hundred steps back, this choreographic exercise in comings and goings plays with a myriad of ways to enter and exit the stage, unearthing dormant anxieties about life choices along the way.

What if the only thing keeping you going are inspirational quotes and subsidised income from your side project as a Backstreet Boys tribute act? It’s only a matter of time before we sell out, and we don’t mean tickets…

All performances are relaxed. At Battersea Arts Centre, this means that you are free to move about, make noise and come and go during the show. This does not mean that light and sound effects have been changed. For more info, visit the Access Page.

The Justice Syndicate

fanSHEN | 11 Feb – 23 Feb | Press night 12 Feb, 7pm

A top surgeon is accused of a serious crime. Conviction would mean planned operations will not go ahead – and the evidence is far from conclusive.

The Justice Syndicate, a piece of playable theatre drawing on a jury format, has its London premiere at Battersea Arts Centre in February. As an immersive story unfolds in ever increasing complexity, players will question their initial assumptions and get the opportunity to discuss and probe what they have learned.

Dealing with challenging topics such as sexual assault, The Justice Syndicate challenges audiences to debate justice and engage with each other in an era of echo-chambers, while exploring the connections between power and privilege, trust and technology, and thought and action.

The development of The Justice Syndicate was supported by LSBU, King’s Cultural Institute and Near Now.

All performances are relaxed, however due to the nature of the show and the need to hear instructions at the beginning, latecomers will not be admitted. At Battersea Arts Centre, a relaxed performance means that you are free to move about, make noise and come and go during the show. This does not mean that light and sound effects have been changed. For more info, visit the Access Page.

dressed.

ThisEgg in collaboration with Made My Wardrobe | Mon 25 Feb – Sat 2 Mar | Press night: Tue 26 Feb, 7:30pm

dressed., ThisEgg’s powerful mediation on the power of friendship after trauma, has its London premiere at Battersea Arts Centre. A costume maker, a theatre maker, a singer and a dancer, all friends since school, tell a true story. After being stripped at gun point, Lydia Higginson set out to redress herself with a new healing set of armour. Lydia now only wears clothes she has made. dressed. is about the power clothes have to define us, to liberate us, to hide us and to embellish us. It is about making something beautiful out of something dark and traumatic. It is a celebration of female performance and friendship.

dressed. is co-created by ThisEgg Artistic Director Josie Dale-Jones, Lydia Higginson, Imogen Mahdavi – who also performs original music – and Olivia Norris, who provides original choreography. Combining direct address, movement, original music, dance and live sewing, dressed. sees the cast tell Lydia’s story with extraordinary intimacy, humour and creativity.

ThisEgg were winners of the inaugural Underbelly and New Diorama Untapped Award early-mid

career theatre companies run by Underbelly and New Diorama Theatre. The company’s previous

productions include critically acclaimed family shows Me & My Bee and Goggles.

dressed. is supported by public funding through the Arts Council England and National Lottery.

Winner of underbelly and new diorama theatre untapped award 2018.

Ben Target: Splosh!

Plosive Productions | 26 Feb – 2 Mar | Press night 27 Feb, 7pm

Pool party starter and Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer nominee, Ben Target, invites you to plunge in for a paddle. Goggles on for synchronised aquatics, front crawl relays and doggy paddle lessons (for beginners). BYOL (Bring Your Own Lilo). Directed by Ben Williams

All performances are relaxed. At Battersea Arts Centre, this means that you are free to move about, make noise and come and go during the show. This does not mean that light and sound effects have been changed. For more info, visit the Access Page.

Kourtney Kardashian

Sleepwalk Collective | 27 Feb – 2 Mar | Press night 28 Feb, 8pm

Experimental theatre company Sleepwalk Collective return to Battersea Arts Centre with Kourtney Kardashian, the final part of an accidental trilogy of performances which include the ballet Kim Kardashian (2016), and stage play Khloé Kardashian (2017).

A statement on high art, celebrity and society’s increasingly tenuous grip on reality in the 21st century, Kourtney Kardashian dances playfully around the rules and conventions of classical opera, with an orchestra of laptops, a multi-speaker sound system chorus, and performers with second voices carried on their bodies. The show is a love and hate letter to outrageous luxury and artistic genius, and also the joyous, dreadful punchline to a joke that’s worn so thin that you can see right through to what’s on the other side of it…

Sleepwalk Collective is an award winning live art and experimental theatre company creating fragile, nocturnal performances between the UK and Spain.

All performances are relaxed. At Battersea Arts Centre, this means that you are free to move about, make noise and come and go during the show. This does not mean that light and sound effects have been changed. For more info, visit the Access Page.

Rest & Resistance

4-16 Mar

Battersea Arts centre hosts Rest & Resistance (4-16 Mar), a ground-breaking inclusive festival of theatre, dance, art and performance for all ages that will showcase the very best of the disability arts scene. Curated by ACE Change Maker and Touretteshero co-founder Jess Thom, this playful two week venue takeover will feature work that provokes, disrupts and inspires change. More details about Rest & Resistance to be announced soon.

Homegrown Festival: Occupy

18 Mar- 12 Apr

Saad-Eddine Said curates Homegrown Festival: Occupy, an invitation for young artists, collectives, entrepreneurs, activists and local communities to occupy BAC over the period that the UK is planned to exit the EU, and present a young perspective on our shared future post-Brexit. The month will feature interactive and gig theatre, live games, virtual experiences, opera, hip-hop, installations and new shows by Sounds Like Chaos, Conrad Murray and a BAC co-production with Contact Theatre Manchester. Other artists include BAC Phoenix Award winner Amy Leon, dancer and performer Akeim Toussaint Buck and many others. Occupy builds on BAC’s annual Homegrown Festival of young voices and emerging talent, and is produced in association with Tarek Iskander.

Saad-Eddine Said and Tarek Iskander are Artistic Directotrs at Battersea Arts Centre as part of Up next, a joint initiative by Artistic Directors of the Future, Battersea Arts Centre and Bush Theatre designed to catapult visionary culturally diverse artists into leadership roles in the UK’s theatre industry. Since July 2017 five directors have taken up artistic directorship at Battersea Arts Centre and Bush Theatre.

Status

Chris Thorpe and Rachel Chavkin | 23 Apr – 11 May | Press night Thu 25 Apr, 8pm

Status is a show about someone who doesn’t want his nationality anymore, someone running away from the national story they’ve been given, someone asking what might happen to it if they give it up. A globe-spanning journey of attempted escape, with songs along the way, Status springs from conversations about who we might be, and whether your country needs you more than you might need it.

Status is a new show written and performed by Chris Thorpe (Unlimited Theatre, Third Angel) developed with and directed by Rachel Chavkin (The TEAM, Hadestown) – the team behind Confirmation, the hugely acclaimed Confirmation, which won a Fringe First at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe before touring nationally and internationally. Taking as their starting point the Prime Minister’s assertion that ‘if you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere’, Chris and Rachel draw on globe-spanning conversations, from people who have found themselves stateless, to those for whom national identity is a defining characteristic.

Commissioned by Battersea Arts Centre, Warwick Arts Centre and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg. Supported by the British Council, Goethe-Institut London, the Collaborative Touring Network and using public funding by the national lottery through Arts Council England.

All performances are relaxed. At Battersea Arts Centre, this means that you are free to move about, make noise and come and go during the show. This does not mean that light and sound effects have been changed. For more info, visit the Access Page.

MARK THOMAS – CHECK UP: Our NHS @70

Mark Thomas | 23 Apr – 4 May | Press night 24 Apr, 7:30pm

Mark Thomas is 54, the NHS is 70, UK national average life expectancy is 84. If Mark makes it to 84 the NHS will be 100, what will they both look like? Based on a series of interviews with leading experts in and on the NHS and residencies in hospitals and surgeries, Thomas uses his own demise to explore the state we’re in. What’s going right, what’s going wrong and how does it get better?

Winner of an Edinburgh Fringe First Award 2018, directed by Nicolas Kent

Lakin McCarthy and Mark Thomas in association with Nick of Time Productions

Supported by the Wellcome Trust

All performances are relaxed. At Battersea Arts Centre, this means that you are free to move about, make noise and come and go during the show. This does not mean that light and sound effects have been changed. For more info, visit the Access Page. The performance on 1 May is BSL interpreted.

Die! Die! Die! Old People Die!

Ridiculusmus | 8 – 25 May | Press night Thu 9 May, 7.30pm

Dialogue as the Embodiment of Love trilogy

Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland, Give Me Your Love and Die! Die! Die! Old People Die!

Ridiculusmus | 25 May

Ridiculusmus has been producing seriously funny theatre for over 25 years. This May, Battersea Arts Centre presents the UK premiere of Die! Die! Die! Old People Die!, the third part of Ridiculusmus’s epic trilogy of works around contemporary mental health issues, Dialogue as the Embodiment of Love, a theatrical clarion call for social inclusion that dares to engage with our last taboos. The entire trilogy will be performed together on Saturday 25 May.

Die! Die! Die! Old People Die! is a funny and fragile study of ageing, death and grief. It’s a simple but paper-fine portrait of a timeless trio: a love triangle cursed to eternal life without eternal youth, in an age where death and the forgotten art of grieving has been medicalised out of existence. Indie theatre luminaries David Woods and Jon Haynes project into 120-year-old versions of themselves in a mordantly funny work about hanging on, dying and mourning. More of a visceral experience than a show, Die! Die! Die! Old People Die! oozes with the positivity of elderhood and good deaths.

In the first two plays in the trilogy, big pharma, psychiatry, psychology and the system collide in a pair of domestic encounters that plunge audiences into two disorders of the everyday. Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland is informed by a treatment method for psychosis which delivered incredible results whilst Give Me Your Love explores the therapeutic impact of MDMA on post-traumatic stress disorder. The non-compliant and the not-so-naive discover breakthroughs in understanding and recovery through their battle with the medical model.

All performances are relaxed. At Battersea Arts Centre, this means that you are free to move about, make noise and come and go during the show. This does not mean that light and sound effects have been changed. For more info, visit the Access Page. The performance on 16 May is BSL interpreted.

Theatre Royal announces new shows as part of line-up for 2019

The Girl On The Train

The Girl On The Train starring Samantha Womack, coming to Norwich Theatre Royal from July 1-6 as part of a new season of announcements

2019 is all set to be a dramatic year for Norwich Theatre Royal with some top quality plays on the menu, plus cutting-edge dance and family entertainment, all announced for the first half of next year. The new season’s announcements include superb drama in the form of a stage adaptation of an international best-selling book and a box office movie hit; a critically-acclaimed returning production of one of the greatest novels of of the 20th century; a timeless classic which after 66 years still has audiences on the edge of their seats; and a bittersweet comedy from one of the greatest English playwrights of the last century.

The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins sold 20 million copies worldwide and became a smash-hit movie starring Emily Blunt. The story about a train traveller who thinks she has witnessed a crime but whose memory is confused by alcohol has now been adapted for the stage and arrives at Norwich Theatre Royal from July 1-6. Starring Samantha Womack (EastEnders ‘ Ronnie Mitchell) and  Oliver Farnworth (Andy Carver in Coronation Street), expect a gripping psychological thriller which has you guessing to the final moment.

The stage version of another highly-regarded novel To Kill A Mockingbird makes a return visit to Norwich from March 4-9. Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s critically-acclaimed production, which graced the Theatre Royal stage in September 2014, tells the story of lawyer Atticus Finch and his courageous daughter, Scout, who bring hope to a divided small town community in America’s Deep South.  Harper Lee’s 1960 novel was awarded the Pulitzer Prize and was followed by a film in 1962 which won three Oscars. It is directed by Olivier Award-winning director Timothy Sheader.

A huge favourite with theatre audiences whose enthusiasm has kept it on the stage continuously since 1952, Agatha Christie’s The Mousetrap also makes a return to Norwich from July 8-13. Last on the Theatre Royal stage in 2013, this spine-tingling murder mystery is set in a country house where a group of people have been cut off by the snow only to discover there is a murderer in their midst. The Mousetrap first entered the record books on April 12, 1958, when it became the longest running show of any kind in the history of British Theatre. It went on to celebrate its Diamond Jubilee on November 25, 2012.

Two of the UK’s most accomplished actors come together in Noel Coward’s A Song at Twilight from April 8-13, a tale about a renowned author who is growing old, rude and haughty, and who meets up again with an old flame after more than 40 years. Entertaining and full of sharp and witty repartee, it stars acclaimed actor, writer and director, Simon Callow who is best-known for films such as Amadeus, Four Weddings and a Funeral, A Room With A View and Shakespeare in Love. His stage work includes previous visits to the Theatre Royal in Waiting for Godot and to Norwich Playhouse in a number of one-man plays. He is joined in this new production by stage and screen actor Jane Asher, whose film and television work includes Alfie, The Mistress and Dancing on the Edge, while on stage she has appeared in Great Expectations, An American in Paris, Pride and Prejudice and Charley’s Aunt.

 

Magical family drama is also on the menu with The Worst Witch who arrives on her broomstick from April 16-20. Mildred Hubble is an ordinary girl who finds herself in a school for witches. The Worst Witch stories have sold more than five million copies worldwide and been made into numerous films and TV series and is sure to delight.

Two other family shows are also guaranteed to please. Horrible Histories returns with two shows from May 23-25 – the Terrible Tudors and the Awful Egyptians. Using actors and ground-breaking 3D special effects, it’s an engaging and accessible way for all ages to improve their history knowledge.

And Ben & Holly are back and live on stage on June 7 & 8. From the makers of Peppa Pig, which recently delighted audiences in the city, this production brings the BAFTA award-winning television series to life.

From drama to dance and music and 10 SOLDIERS, a brand new work from the Rosie Kay Dance Company, provides a thrilling and humane portrait of army life by telling the stories of men and women serving on the front line, on stage on June 4. Following her previous critically-acclaimed piece 5 SOLDIERS, which was inspired by the time she spent with the 4th Battalion The Rifles, choreographer Rosie Kay’s new work explores how the human body with both fragility and incredible inner strength remains on the frontline of war.

English Touring Opera is all set to entertain royally with stunning music and voices with its season of Kings and Queens in a battle for love, loyalty and power, when it returns to Norwich from April 25-27. It will present Rossini’s Elizabeth 1 on April 25, Verdi’s Macbeth on April 26, and Mozart’s Idomeneo on April 27. The company will also present two children’s operas in the theatre’s Stage Two – Paradise Planet on April 26, a collection of ocean stories for children aged seven and upwards, and Waxwings on April 27, about a boy called Olly who is obsessed with birds, which is suitable for children aged 3-5.

And a change of tempo will see Thriller Live, last here in February 2017, make a return visit from May 27 to June 1. Featuring the songs of Michael Jackson and the Jackson 5, and direct from the West End where it’s in its record-breaking 10th year, this thrilling musical will have you tapping your feet in a breath-taking celebration of the music of a legend.

The music continues with the legendary 10CC who will be back by popular demand on March 3 with a string of hits such as Rubber Bullets and Dreadlock Holiday which made them one of the most innovative bands of their generation.

There will also be a chance to get immersed in the music of one of the biggest movie hits of 2017 with Sing-A-Long-A The Greatest Showman on March 19; and That’ll Be The Day, a popular favourite with Norwich audiences, returns on February 24 with music from the 50s through to the 70s.

Also already announced and bringing laughs-a-plenty to Norwich will be comedians Nish Kumar on March 21, Russell Kane on May 26 and Al Murray on June 16, while distinguished explorer Sir Ranulph Fiennes will be talking about a life spent Living Dangerously on February 19 as he regales audiences with tales of explorations to the far flung corners of the globe.

Newly lined-up is another adventurer with a big character and a huge sense of humour. An Evening with Brian Blessed on March 18 will see the actor of screen and stage regaling everyone with entertaining tales of his life, which include scaling Everest and Kilimanjaro.

And comedy of a stranger kind comes from No Such Thing As A Fish on March 22 – a show which has developed from a podcast created by the researchers behind the long-running BBC comedy quiz QI, so prepare to learn some of the most bizarre, extraordinary, and hilarious facts known to man.

Although the forthcoming festive season is not yet on us, the theatre is looking ahead with the announcement that Cinderella will be its panto in 2019/2020, running from December 17, 2019, to January 19, 2020.  For those who like to plan ahead, tickets will be on sale shortly with a special Early Bird reduction if purchased before midnight on January 31, 2019.

Judy Foster, communications officer said: “If you like drama, you’ll love our new season announcements. We have some much-anticipated new productions heading our way, such as The Girl On The Train and A Song at Twilight, and then hugely popular favourites, such as The Mousetrap and To Kill A Mockingbird, which have previously trod our boards, making a return visit.  Families, comedy & music lovers and contemporary dance fans also have some special shows to look forward to, and there are two highly entertaining adventurers, Brain Blessed and Sir Ranulph Fiennes, both offering the chance to spend an evening in their company.”

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