Reading Week returns with 8 new plays at the Pleasance Theatre London

Reading Week connects playwrights and audiences, giving writers the opportunity to hear their scripts brought to life in a rehearsed reading and gain valuable feedback from audience and industry specialists.

Please join the theatre team at Pleasance Islington for this festival of new plays powered by Pleasance Futures, with a double bill of bold, exciting and innovative new writing each evening. Audience feedback and conversation is a key element of these events.

Set against the backdrop of major moments in Sydney’s gay rights movement, Ryan Watson’s The Fountain is an epic, intimate play set over three time periods in one apartment. Behind the brick walls and double glazed windows, the far reach of the conservative views of a misogynistic country can be felt. A funny, sometimes dramatic look at who we are and how we got here.

In 1957, Little Rock, Arkansas, became the focus of the Civil Rights movement when a group of African American students attempted to desegregate a local high school.Decades later, Alice Charles’s play follows Elizabeth Eckford, one of these Little Rock Nine, as she is thrust back into the limelight.

Bristish Youth Music Theatre Summer Courses

This summer BYMT offers specialist training led by top musical theatre professionals from the West End and Beyond. As the leading musical theatre company for young people, British Youth Music Theatre offers intense, creative training courses led by top professionals in the industry!

Summer Courses are open-access summer activity holidays for anyone aged 11-21 looking to  explore their potential and develop their singing, acting and dancing abilities. BYMT is dedicated to giving every young person an inspiring experience, thanks to a creative team who truly make sure that young performers take home the best holiday memories!  

This summer BYMT presents 8 different MUSICAL THEATRE SUMMER CAMPS across the UK. During each Summer Camp participants will have the opportunity to devise a unique piece of musical theatre and understand the creative process that goes into producing a new show, while having the best time making friends and meeting like-minded people! All participants will be accredited with a Grade 6 certificate from Trinity College London.

BYMT’s brand new course for WRITERS & COMPOSERS is a week-long residential programme for those wishing discover and develop the craft of writing for musical theatre, and unlock their creative inspiration. Led by Writer/Director Carl Miller and Composer/Musical Director Christopher Ash, this course will give participants the opportunity to experience learning from the industry’s best. Explore writing music, lyrics and script with practical group sessions, individual tutorials and masterclasses led by highly experienced professionals in their field.

Part of the Main Production Theatre Company Workshops

Part of the Main Productions is a theatre company that offers affordable & practical workshops designed to give students the chance to enhance their producing, tech, and design skills for theatre. These workshops will give students a crash-course in taking a show to the Fringe and how to effectively run a venue.

With over 4,000 shows over 3 weeks each August, taking a show to the Edinburgh Fringe can be a rewarding but overwhelming experience. If you’ve ever been curious about what it takes to produce a show at the Edinburgh Fringe, or are taking one there yourself this August, don’t miss this workshop led by seasoned Fringe producer Tanya Agarwal. In this 4-hour workshop, Tanya will cover: Securing a venue, funding your show, marketing your show, bringing in reviewers, taking care of yourself at the Fringe and more!

Ever wanted to run a theatre? Thought you might try your hand at managing a venue? Join Artistic Director of the Drayton Arms Theatre, Audrey Thayer, for a full day workshop covering the following and more : Types of venues, building a programme, marketing and PR, assembling a team, funding, budgeting, and hire structures, health and safety..

Relaxed Performances in London Theatres

A relaxed performance is a specially adapted show, modified for adults and children who might benefit from a more relaxed environment. Typically, they are for people who have autism or have sensory communication disorders or learning difficulties and some theatres also occasionally run them for people with dementia. A standard performance of a show can be unsettling for people with the above conditions. This could be because of the darkness of the auditorium, the loud music and sudden noises on stage, not to mention the expectation that a child must sit still and quiet for a relatively long period of time.

Relaxed performances differ from theatre to theatre, so you should always check with each venue first. But generally, at a relaxed performance it is a more informal atmosphere; the house lights don't go down as much as they normally would and in some cases are kept on entirely. Strobe lighting is avoided and if there is music then it tends to be played more quietly with no loud or sudden sound effects.

Often venues will also provide a "chill-out" zone for you to take your children to if they become distressed and quite often the theatre staff and the cast will have been briefed on how to help children with special needs.

Perhaps most importantly there is an acceptance that if your children chatter, shout out, make noises or fidget, it's absolutely fine! Tutting is most definitely not tolerated so that you can also relax without worrying that his behaviour is disrupting other patrons.

So many amazing and reputable theatre venues and companies now schedule in a relaxed performance of their productions just as they would a signed or audio-described performance, so always check with the box office to see if such an option is available. If your local venue doesn't offer relaxed performances why not write to the artistic director or general manager asking them to consider doing one in the future?

New Theatre Directing Diploma Course in Berlin

The New International Performing Arts Institute (NIPAI) provides special educational programs, equipping current and future directors, movement directors, actors coaches, choreographers, arts managers and creative leaders with special knowledge and skills necessary to bring positive results in their careers and in modern Performing Arts industry.

NIPAI gives an opportunity to learn directing through a variety of options, through dynamic blend of InClass sessions, distant learning, workshops, and immediate application of gained knowledge. Students work with actors from the first day of their classes and will learn and explore the numerous visual, dramatic, and technical challenges that face directors. In addition to writing, analyzing plays, directing, and working with performers, students assist other members of their crews in the roles of choreographers, performers, and in NIPAI Diploma Programs students should make their graduation performances with theatre organization or group. Ultimately, through intensive hands-on guidance and immediate application, our goal is to empower students to make their work on performances interesting, to make actors and crew work on performances interesting and make audience enjoy the show!

Another wonderful aspect of NIPAI programs is the multiculturality of our students. The NIPAI draws an incredibly diverse, international groups of students who share a passion for telling, creating and sharing stories. Recent programs included students from the USA, Canada, France, Italy, UK, Switzerland, Portugal, Spain, Australia, Singapore, Mexico, Brazil, India, Israel, Japan, China, Lebanon, Taiwan, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia and Russia.

Act, dance and sing under the guidance of industry pros

As the leading musical theatre company for young people, British Youth Music Theatre offers intense, creative training courses led by top theatre professionals from the West End and beyond. Their Summer Courses are open-access summer activity holidays for anyone looking to explore their potential and develop their singing, acting and dancing abilities.

At BYMT’s Summer Camp, you will take part in creating an exciting, brand new show, whilst building your confidence, advancing your performing skills and meeting other like-minded performers. This summer BYMT is delivering 8 fantastic Musical Theatre Summer Camps across the UK for anyone aged 11-17.​ ​All participants will train with well-known industry practitioners and will receive a Grade 6 Certificate from Trinity College London. The course can also contribute to a young person’s Arts Award or Duke of Edinburgh Award.

BYMT is excited to announce a brand new course for Young Writers and Composers aged 16-25!  Discover the secrets behind writing music, lyrics and script in this mind-expanding, week-long residential retreat for those wishing to develop skills and unlock their creative inspiration!


Great London Stand Up Comedy in March

Three piece comedy outfit Pappy’s bring another recording of their podcast Pappy’s Flatshare Slamdown to the Pleasance Theatre with special guests Iain Stirling and Amelia Dimoldenberg. In this flatsharing-themed show, they’ll solve any beef you might have with a housemate, and proudly play the longest 'quickfire round jingle' ever composed. If you don’t like puns, you’re in the wrong place.

Suzi Ruffell is at the Soho Theatre. Have you looked outside lately? There’s a lot to be worried about and Suzi Ruffell is losing sleep over it. From homophobic trolls to human rights around the world to her cat’s quality of life, she’s tackling them all with the same energy.  In her words: “If you don’t have anxiety, I don’t think you’re concentrating.”

Also at the Soho Theatre is Henry Paker. Mixing stand-up and illustration, computer animator-turned-comedian Henry Paker uses cartoons to tell a story about a lonely man who lives in a forest house full of clocks. Man Alive, a show about expectation meeting reality somewhere between a graphic novel and a stand-up show, was a hit at the last Edinburgh Fringe.

Modern Times at the Union Theatre London by W&M Productions

After successful sell out runs of their last five shows (Shorts @ The Canal 1 & 2, The Twilight Hour 1 & 2 and Love Shots) at venues which include the Canal Cafe Theatre (Little Venice), the Union Theatre (Southwark) and the Etcetera Theatre (Camden), W&M Productions would like to let you know about their next show: 
"Modern Times" taking place at the Union Theatre from 9 to 13 April 2019: a series of brand new one-act plays by some outstanding new generation playwrights. Each play offers a unique insight into being a woman today, and brings a new perspective to the way we live now: always exciting, mostly extraordinary and with sometimes terrifying immediacy. 
Their aim is to give an outlet to all emerging writers, directors and actors. The 6 short plays of "Modern Times" were selected from over 1000 submissions. Lots of recent graduates/3rd year students have been involved from various drama schools in the past, including those from RADA, Central, Mountview, East 15, KADA, ArtsEd and others.

London Playwright Blog and Workshops: A Resource For Emerging Playwrights

London Playwrights’ Blog was started in 2013 as a resource for emerging playwrights.  They aim to bring together the latest opportunities, best resources, and good advice in one place.​ ​In 2015, the team formed London Playwrights’ Workshop Ltd as a non-profit company to help expand this support for writers through workshops, events, and expanded online resources.
​​Are you interested in using lyrics in your plays or even writing for musical theatre? Learn how to channel your playwriting skills in a new direction to open new doors. Coming up in November a half-day intensive encourages participants to open their imaginations and work with language in a new way as they explore the intricacies of lyric writing.

Playwrights generally have a good instinct for compelling turns of phrase, but turning these into songs requires a different skillset. Powerful dialogue, or even beautiful poetry, do not necessarily translate into effective song lyrics.​ ​Whether you want to write for a band or a West End stage, there are certain patterns and tricks that songwriters use to make their lyrics compelling and exciting.

This workshop will cover​ ​inspiration – finding and nurturing song ideas​, ​structure – finding the right frame for your idea​, r​hyme – when to use it, when not to, and the wisdom to know the difference​, f​eel & ​f​low – how to judge the ‘singability’ of your lyrics​, t​he basic ‘rules’ of lyric writing – and also how and when to break them. Where to go next – ideas for continuing to develop your skills as a songwriter

This workshop is primarily targeted at people who want to write songs for characters (building on their skills as playwrights), but that doesn’t mean you need to be interested in writing for musical theatre.​ ​Each participant will complete a series of writing exercises during the workshop, that will see them leave with lyric ideas and a clear plan for how to take these forward and continue to develop them into complete songs.

New Production By Russian Theatre Company Xameleon in London

Xameleon Theatre is a London-based theatre company founded by actress and producer Vlada Lemeshevska in 2015. Over last couple of years Xameleon Theatre presented various shows based on Russian and international classics, including A Dog’s Heart by Bulgakov, The Little Prince by Saint-Exupéry, Ibsen's A Doll's House and Love in a Nutshell based on Anton Chekhov’s short stories.

Working with professional actors and directors from Russian speaking countries, Xameleon Theatre promotes Russian theatre in the UK. Performing in Russian with English subtitles, their work is appealing to both Russian and English speakers interested in Russian theatre and culture.

They are currently working on various projects and will be presenting their next show Diaries of a Mad Man based on Nikolai Gogol’s novel and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s diaries in February 2019. Director Konstantin Kamenski combined the stories of two civil servants, and together with the designer Irina Gluzman, explored the relationship between genius and madness, hopelessness and the desire to escape into the imaginary world.

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