105 posts categorized "Coming soon" Feed

From scratch to full production, a fringe play to look out for in London next year

 

Lipstick Production Shot_Credit Flavia Fraser-Cannon
Lipstick: A fairy tale of Iran. Photo: Flavia Fraser-Cannon
[Lipstick: A fairy tale of modern Iran] is a colourful, vibrant piece with darker edges utilising various genres from boylesque, drag, Vaudeville and storytelling.

I was invited to a scratch performance of Sarah Chew's Lipstick: A fairy tale of modern Iran back in March and loved it. I wrote then that I wanted to see a fully fleshed out production and now I'll get the chance.

It's returning to the Omnibus Theatre in Clapham from Feb 26 to Mar 24 as part of the 96 Festival which is a celebration of queerness and theatre. 

The play is based on Sarah Chew's own experiences while on a theatre residency in Iran in 2010 just as riots were breaking out over a contested election and I can highly recommend it.

Related reading:

Thoughts on the scratch performance.

Interview with Sarah Chew

 


3 London theatre stories that caught my attention this week - and an actor encounter

SWEAT Donmar Warehouse Picture Spencer Platt  Getty Images1. Exciting casting announcement at the Donmar 

One of my favourite films growing up in the 80s was The Goonies so imagine my excitement when learning that Martha 'Stef' Plimpton is going to be starring in the Donmar Warehouse's production of Sweat (previews from Dec 7).

The Pulitzer Prize-winning play was written after playwright Lynn Nottage starting spending time in Reading, Pennsylvania - one the poorest cities in America.

2. Trevor Nunn returns to the Jermyn Street Theatre

The Jermyn Street Theatre announced its Spring/Summer 2019 season which sees the return of Trevor Nunn who is directing Agnes Colander, Harley Granville Barker’s play exploring love, sexual attraction and independence.

The play was written in 1900 but was only discovered at the British Library 100 years later and is described as a 'hidden gem'.

It's a revival of a production that ran at the Ustinov Studio at Theatre Royal, Bath earlier this year. Jermyn Street Theatre 12 Feb - 16 Mar.

 

 

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3 London theatre stories that caught my attention this week - and some belated actor spots

Twilight-zone-ctt-480wx280h-15389888801. The Twilight Zone to get a West End run

I described the Almeida's Twilight Zone as 'sinister and silly fun' when I saw it in December last year and now it's getting a stint in the West End. It will run from 4 March to 1 June at the Ambassadors Theatre and even if you haven't seen the TV series (I hadn't) it's worth seeing if you want something a little surreal, silly and occasionally thought-provoking.

2. Joe McGann and Josie Lawrence star in US play

The Print Room in Notting Hill will host the first UK production of American literary icon Don DeLillo’s Love-Lies-Bleeding, starring Joe McGann Josie Lawrence.  Described as a perceptive and witty story, it's about a family trying to take death into their own hands and I admit that it had me at 'jet-black humour'. It runs from 9 November to 8 December, find details on the Print Room website.

 

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Rehearsal photos: Clifford Samuel and Douglas Booth, A Guide For the Homesick, Trafalgar Studios

This month sees the European premiere of American playwright Ken Urban’s acclaimed A Guide for the Homesick, starring Douglas Booth and Clifford Samuel and directed by Jonathan O’Boyle.

L-R Clifford Samuel (Teddy) & Douglas Booth (Jeremy) in Rehearsals for A Guide For The Homesick - (c) Helen Maybanks_25
L-R Clifford Samuel (Teddy) & Douglas Booth (Jeremy) in Rehearsals for A Guide For The Homesick. Photo: Helen Maybanks


Described as a tender and bittersweet play about conscience and connection, Samuel plays Teddy who is searching for a friend for the night while Booth plays Jeremy who is searching for a beer.

L-R Douglas Booth (Jeremy) & Clifford Samuel (Teddy) in Rehearsals for A Guide For The Homesick - (c) Helen Maybanks_38
L-R Douglas Booth (Jeremy) & Clifford Samuel (Teddy) in Rehearsals for A Guide For The Homesick. Photo: Helen Maybanks

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All about the must see plays of 2019: All My Sons and All About Eve

Tickets went on sale this week for what must surely count as two of London's must-see plays of 2019: All My Sons, Old Vic and All About Eve, Noel Coward Theatre. 

All-About-Eve-Gillian-Anderson-and-Lily-James-c-Perou
All About Eve: Gillian Anderson and Lily James. Photo: Perou

The new production of Arthur Miller's All My Son's has big Hollywood star casting with Sally Field and Bill Pullman and British favourites Colin Morgan and Jenna Coleman joining them.

Let's just pause for a moment and think about that casting, I mean Sally 'life is like a box of chocolates' Field alone.

Headlong is co-producing with Jeremy Herrin directing and we all know how impressive and eclectic his CV is.

Genius writing

Arthur Miller's writing is genius, the way he slowly strips away the narrative layers to reveal something raw underneath.

The last production of All My Son's I saw was in 2010 and starred Zoe Wanamaker, David Suchet, Stephen Campbell Moore and Jemima Rooper and was one of my favourite plays of that year.

But as if all that wasn't quite enough we have Ivo Van Hove directing Gillian Anderson and Lily James in All About Eve at the Noel Coward Theatre.

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Round up: That was April in London theatre - Monster casting and A-list actor spots

MTNEW* I'm excited and nervous about the forthcoming stage adaptation of Patrick Ness’s novel A Monster Calls (the book is a favourite) but I couldn’t think of a better actor than Matthew Tennyson to take on the lead Conor. The production will have a run at the Bristol Old Vic from May 31 and the Old Vic from July 7.

* David Haig’s play Pressure (in which he also stars) is transferring from Park Theatre to the Ambassadors following a successful run at the Finsbury venue. Malcolm Sinclair and Laura Rogers co-star.

* Stan-fav Adam Gillen has been cast in Killer Joe, Trafalgar Studios, which stars Orlando Bloom and I'm really looking forward to seeing him in something very different to Amadeus. You can see photos of the cast in rehearsal over at What's On Stage and previews start on May 18.

* Kilburn's Tricycle Theatre has been renamed the Kiln Theatre post refurbishment with a new season that includes the UK premiere of Florian Zeller’s The Son.

* In a new twist on role swapping (recent role swaps: Mary Stuart, Almeida; RSC's Doctor Faustus and NT's Frankenstein to name just three) Hayley Atwell and Jack Lowden are to alternate playing Isabella and Angelo in Measure For Measure at the Donmar Warehouse.

* There is part of me that is excited and really curious and part of me that thinks: 'Gimmick to get repeated visits'. There is one version I'd particularly like to see but no way of knowing, having booked at ticket whether I'll get it. Previews start September 28.

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January theatre round up: Big (big) name castings, highs, lows and lots of actor spots.

The Inheritance Young Vic
Vanessa Redgrave joins the cast of The Inheritance, Young Vic

Theatre gets me through the dark days of January, here are my highlights from the new play and casting announcements, favourite things I saw (and the low moment).  And, thanks to the Julius Caesar press night, there was a bumper crop of actor, director and writer spots too...

* Forbes Mason, who will forever be known as the Lucifer in pants, thanks to Jamie Lloyd's Doctor Faustus, has been cast in the Almeida's Summer and Smoke which opens later this month. Did I mention how much I'm looking forward to seeing Patsy Ferran, who also stars, in that?

* Josie Rourke announced she is stepping down as artistic director at the Donmar Warehouse next year after eight years in the role. My highlights of her tenure, if you were to ask me for the first things that spring to mind, would be the Tom Hiddleston Coriolanus (incidentally my review of that is my most popular post and has been viewed nearly 15,000 times), the all women Shakespeare series and James Graham's Privacy. There are plenty of others but those are what stick most in my mind.

* Vanessa Redgrave (yes Vanessa Redgrave!) has been cast in The Inheritance at the Young Vic which opens next month. I could listen to her voice for hours. Also announced in the cast are Stan-fav's Kyle Soller, Michael Marcus and Luke Thallon plus a whole bunch of new names I’m looking forward to getting to know over a double play day.

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10 plays I'm really looking forward to seeing in London 2018

Julius Caesar, Bridge TheatrePrompted by the Daily Telegraph's rather uninspiring and quite frankly lazy list of upcoming theatre treats - three plays which have already opened? Oh come on - here's my list of what I'm already really excited about seeing in the first half of 2018*.

1. My Mum's A Twat, Royal Court Theatre - Patsy Ferran, I love Patsy Ferran and this is the first of two plays she's doing in 2018 and it's a solo piece *insert big smile here*

2. Julius Caesar, Bridge Theatre - Ben Whishaw playing Brutus alongside David Morrissey and Michelle Fairley and the chance to mingle with the Roman mob? Already booked to see it twice.

3. The Brothers Size, Young Vic - Written by Tarell Alvin McCraney who also penned Oscar best picture winner Moonlight (which I loved) and starring Sope Dirisu who was brilliant in One Night In Miami at the Donmar and the RSC's Coriolanus.

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Coming soon: My picks from London's fringe theatre

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Pop Up Opera: Il Matrimonio Segreto

Miller revival After a critically acclaimed sell-out run at the Finborough Theatre, Phil Willmott’s new production of Arthur Miller’s Incident at Vichy transfers to the King’s Head Theatre. In this forgotten masterpiece about Jewish registration in Nazi-occupied France, Miller’s play seems closer than ever to today’s world of “Extreme Vetting” and religious persecution. King’s Head Theatre, Islington, 7-25 June, 2.15pm/7pm 85 minutes.

Crime and punishment Death row in America. Men sit in isolated dungeons awaiting execution. An investigator works tirelessly to save them. She will not let men go to their deaths without a fight. The Enchanted highlights issues around capital punishment, child abuse, and the self-perpetuating cycle of violence corrupting the US penitentiary. Bunker Theatre, Borough, 6-17 June, 3/7.30pm, 90 minutes

Comedy adaptation Jekyll and Hyde meets Blackadder via Monty Python, with just a hint of Spike Milligan. Let Them Call It Mischief's comedy is set against the backdrop of Victorian London complete with Cholera and everything. Jekyll and Hyde, Pleasance Theatre, Islington, 22 May – 03 Jun, 5pm/7.30pm.

Fringe opera The Pop Up opera team is taking the rarely-seen opera from the late eighteenth century, Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto (The Secret Marriage) on the road this summer around their usual eclectic mix of venues. It tells the tale of a rich Italian businessman as he attempts to marry off one of his daughters to a mad English toff with disastrous results. Various venues in London and beyond from 18 May to 30 July. For full tour dates: https://popupopera.co.uk/ (If you’ve not seen an opera before or are unsure whether it is for you, then Pop Up Opera is a great introduction.)

Noir thriller Chummy explores the mind of a serial killer in the moments before his first murder. Desperate to control himself, the mysterious psychopath 'Chummy' pleads with private investigator Jackie Straker to stop him killing in a new stage play by BAFTA winner John Foster. White Bear Theatre, Kennington, 23 May - 10 June, 3pm/4pm/7.30pm


Coming soon: My picks from London's fringe theatre

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The Magic Flute, King's Head Theatre

Generation rent - When four friends decide to save money for a deposit by living in a one bedroom flat together for a year which will they sacrifice first – the friendship, the relationship or the dream of buying their own property? Deposit by Matt Hartley is at Hampstead Theatre Downstairs, 11 May - 10 June, 2.45/3.15/7.45pm.

Love and sex - You want me to have full penetrative sex with your son, right? I just wanted to, you know, check. Punts is a new play by Sarah Page about a young man's sexual awakening and its effect on those who orchestrated it. Theatre503, Battersea 31 May - 24 June, 3pm/7.45pm, 80 minutes.

Incoming Festival - A Younger Theatre and New Diorama Theatre will be showcasing the best young theatre producers from around the country - 20 shows over 10 days, June 2-11. All tickets £5 and details are on the New Diorama’s website.

Social satire The Ugly One explores the dangers of living in a society with oppressive beauty standards. It tells the story of Lette, a talented engineer who is labelled as ugly and goes to extreme lengths to change his appearance. PARK90, Park Theatre, Finsbury Park, 1-24 June, 3.15/7.45pm

Comedy - Fourteen years ago, during break, Elizabeth lost her mother. She was sixteen. Two days later, she started her period. Ouch. Today, a celebrated Egyptologist, Professor Niccoll is Guest of Honour at her old school Alumni event. She has decided to use the platform to promote her new book: MUMMY or the Art of Saying Goodbye. She knows everything about death. She thinks.  MUMMY, The Crazy Coqs, Soho, May 23-25, 7.15pm, 60 mins

Pub opera Transposed to the South American Jungle, Charles Court Opera’s production of The Magic Flute is full puppetry, magic and witty surprises. King’s Head Theatre, Islington, 4 May - 3 June, 3/7pm, suitable for all ages.