London’s Bush Theatre branches out

Madani Younis in Uxbridge Road

From March 2016, as part of artistic director Madani Younis’ aim of creating a theatre that truly reflects the community, the Bush Theatre will undergo a major redevelopment. There are plans to create a second performance space, improve backstage facilities and build a new front-of-house area, as well as making the building fully accessible and more sustainable. During the building works, the Bush Theatre’s programme will move out into the local community, embracing the buildings and people of West London. Shows will include: the European premiere of Boys Will Be Boys, about representations of women in the male-dominated world of the city; This Place We Know, the first co-production between the Bush Theatre and Headlong; The Neighbourhood Project, a community project in collaboration with Look Left Look Right and featuring residents of Shepherd’s Bush; and a revival of The Royale, based on the story of the first African-American heavyweight champion … Read more

A fairytale cast for Branagh’s Romeo and Juliet

Romeo and Juliet at the Garrick Theatre

The Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company has revealed the full cast for Romeo and Juliet, the fifth production in the inaugural Plays at the Garrick season. Joining Lily James as Juliet, Richard Madden as Romeo and Derek Jacobi as Mercutio is Meera Syal as the Nurse. Meera Syal said: “I’m so looking forward to joining such an exciting and prestigious company, and to be performing Shakespeare with them in this, his 400th anniversary year.” Lily James is an actress of stage and screen who came to international prominence in Downton Abbey as Lady Rose and who has recently won acclaim for her role in Kenneth Branagh’s 2015 production of Cinderella in which she played the title character. Reuniting the stars of his celebrated film Cinderella, Kenneth Branagh and Rob Ashford will direct Shakespeareʼs heartbreaking tale of forbidden love. Derek Jacobi’s stage credits include Heartbreak House, King Lear, two productions of Twelfth … Read more

Edinburgh hit Alan Turing play comes to the King’s Head

To Kill A Machine at Kings Head Theatre

Transferring to the King’s Head Theatre following successful runs in Wales and at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2015 is Scriptography Productions’ To Kill a Machine. Catrin Fflur Hews’ play tells the story of war-time cryptanalyst Alan Turing through the lens of a gameshow. It examines his pioneering work considering whether a machine could think, asking the questions “what is the difference between a human and a machine?” and “If a human is prevented from thinking, do they then become a machine?” At the heart of the play is a powerful love story and the importance of freedom, in relation to Turing’s own life, death and posthumous re-evaluation. It is the story of Turing the genius, Turing the victim and Turing the constant in a tumultuous world. Created in 2012, Scriptography Productions looks to support and develop writers, find new platforms for text based work to be produced and encourage cross … Read more

Legally Blonde fully cast and ready to take Leicester by storm.

Tupele Dorgu in legally Blonde at Leicester Curve

Curve’s artistic director, Nikolai Foster, has revealed the full company for his new production of the award-winning West End and Broadway smash hit musical comedy, Legally Blonde. The cast includes Tupele Dorgu who will play Paulette. Dorgu’s television credits include Kelly Crabtree in Coronation Street, Billionaire Boy, Cucumber, All at Sea,Waterloo Road and Merseybeat.  Her theatre credits include Educating Rita (Garrick Theatre), Chicago (UK Tour) and Mamma Mia (Prince of Wales Theatre). Dorgu joins Lucie Jones as Elle Woods, Ian Kelsey as Callahan, Jon Robyns as Emmett, Danny Mac as Warner, Natalie Hope as Brooke, Phoebe Street as Vivienne and Francesca Hoffman as Margot. Lucie Jones’ theatre credits include Cosette in Les Miserables (West End and O2 Arena), Meatloaf in We Will Rock You (International Tour) and The X Factor Arena Tour. Kelsey has previously played Danny in Grease (West End & Tour) as well as being in Same Next Year … Read more

Director Of Tobacco Factory Moves To Kneehigh Theatre

Ali Robertson

After eight years at Tobacco Factory Theatres, director Ali Robertson has announced his new appointment as executive producer at the acclaimed Kneehigh Theatre. Robertson said: “I have enjoyed eight fantastic years as Director of Tobacco Factory Theatres and believe it has become one of the foremost producing and presenting theatres in the country. “Under the direction of an exceptional staff and board the theatre works with a range of superb artists and has a phenomenal relationship with its many audiences. “It has played a critical part in the growth of Bristol and the south west as one of the best places to make work in the country and I look forward to continuing to see many shows here in the coming years.” During his time at Tobacco Factory Theatres, where he started in August 2007, the organisation has grown substantially and achieved numerous successes. The organisation has built itself a … Read more

The magic of The Vanishing Man at Vault Festival

Vanishing Man at Vault Festival London

David Aula and Simon Evans have teamed up to create a ground-breaking piece of theatre, The Vanishing Man, described as a “time-hopping, misdirection-abusing, mind-bending examination of what really happens when a man, in full sight of his audience, simply ceases to be”. “This is a show about magic. But not a magic show,” they said. It tells of Hugo Cedar, an Edwardian magician known as The Vanishing Man, who created the perfect trick and then disappeared forever. Hugo Cedar, on June 13th 1932, stood on London Bridge for over three hours and then, in front of dozens of onlookers, appeared to vanish before their eyes. No magician has ever been able to work out this trick, yet Aula and Evans explore it here, with their “experiment in magic” that decodes why we like to be lied to. Simon Evans said: ”I’ve been able to work out, deconstruct and rebuild every trick I’ve … Read more

Also on at The Vaults: Eggs by Florence Keith-Roach 24 February to 6 March

Eggs at the Vault Festival

Eggs is a dark comedy about female friendship, fertility and freaking out. This intimate two-hander by Florence Keith-Roach, which premiered to great acclaim at the Edinburgh Fringe 2015, looks at gender disparity and the struggle of growing up as part of Generation Y. It is about young women trying to figure out who they are in a world where the untimely death of a friend, IVF, pop-feminism, Scarlett Johansson, MDMA and Cher’s 90s comeback album all chaotically co-exist. Awarded Rising star of the London Theatre scene (The Evening Standard), Keith-Roach is an actor, writer and director. Eggs is her second play. She has written articles for Grazia, Little White Lies and The Observer and a short film, Frenching The Bully. Keith-Roach is the founder of Orphee Productions, a female- led collective dedicated to telling stories that challenge gender preconceptions. She said: “I wrote Eggs to try to examine the volatility … Read more

World Premiere of Beacons at North London’s Park Theatre

Beacons at the Park Theatre

Tessa Peake-Jones, Paul Kemp and Emily Burnett will appear in the world premiere of Tabitha Mortiboy’s Beacons at Park Theatre (PARK90), presented by Attic Theatre Company. Directed by Philip Wilson (The Three Lions, How Many Miles to Babylon?), this new play tells of love, loss and midnight ice cream sundaes under the starlit skies of the South Downs. Tessa Peake-Jones is best known for her role as Raquel in the award-winning BBC series Only Fools and Horses and can currently be seen in ITV’s Grantchester. Her theatre credits include Home and Brimstone and Treacle (Arcola Theatre), The Five Wives of MauricePinder (National Theatre), as well as The Park, Hamlet and The Comedy of Errors (RSC). 

Paul Kemp was recently in Wendy and Peter Pan (RSC), Ghost Stories (Arts Theatre, West End), To Sir With Love (Royal & Derngate/UK tour), Seven Year Twitch (Orange Tree Theatre), The Lady in the Van … Read more

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