Displace Yourself Theatre UK

Displace Yourself Theatre is a company that combines precise physicality, an engaging and highly accessible performance style and a developed political consciousness. This ambitious young devising performers use the power of movement to shine light on the shadows of society. The socio-political work is reflected in Displace Yourself's distinctive form using projection, live performers, minimal props and precise energetic scores that disobey tradition theatre conventions.

At the heart of their productions lies a throughout and intimate process of devising, working closely with the people their productions are about, providing a platform for under-represented communities using theatre as a way to have their voice heard. Including the audience at all stages of the show's development through live events, discussions and workshops is as important to Displace Yourself as the show itself.

Creative together is a monthly training for adults to try out and develop new skills in a range of creative and art activities. The sessions are open to everyone and suitable for people who have never taken part in arts and drama before as well as those with more experience. Creating together provides the opportunity to meet new people in your community, to improve communication and learn how to express yourself through body and voice and to release inner tensions and anxiety. 


Playwright Screenwriter and Film Director Martin McDonagh

Martin McDonagh is a playwright, screenwriter and film director born and brought up in London to Irish parents. He has been described as one of the most influential living playwrights in Ireland.

Separated into two trilogies, McDonagh first six plays are located in and around the county of Galway, where he spent his holidays as a child. McDonagh first non-Irish play The Pillowman is set in a fictitious totalitarian state and premiered at the Royal National Theatre in London in 2003.

A Behanding in Spokane is his first play set the United States and it premiered on Broadway in March 2010. Lead actor Christopher Walken was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actor in a Play for his performance as a killer looking for the hand he lost in his youth.

McDonagh also penned two prize-winning radio plays, one of which is The Tale of the Woolf and the Woodcutter. In February 2010, an announcement revealed that McDonagh was working on a new stage musical with composer Tom Waits and director Robert Wilson.

Mc Donagh has stated that he prefers writing films to plays. In 2006, McDonagh won an Academy Award for his short film Six Shooters (2005), which is the playwright's first film. Six Shooters is a black comedy that features Brendan Gleeson, Ruaidhri Conroy, David Wilmot and Aisling O'Sullivan, and was shot on location in Wicklow, Waterford and Rosslare. In the short film, Gleeson's character encounters a strange and possibly psychotic young man during a homeward train journey following the death of his wife.

McDonagh then went on directing In Bruges, a feature-length film based on his own screenplay, in which two irish hit men hide in the Flemish town of Bruges after a problematic job. Released in the USA in 2008, the film features Colin Farrell, Brendan Gleeson and Ralph Fiennes. In 2012, Seven psychopaths was released in North America.



Young Actors Theatre in North London

Young Actors Theatre is a community theatre in Islington, combining a drama school and a professional agency. They offer "drama for drama's sake" to the 3-24 years old with 650+ members, high quality low cost classes and performances. 

Young Actors Theatre believes that the arts can benefit everyone, and that money should not be a barrier to participation and training. The charity is supported by like-minded individuals and organisations to keep its classes at the cheapest level possible. Young Actors theatre gives children the opportunity to experience high quality affordable drama, singing and dance classes, workshops and productions that help build confidence and life skills, learn performance skills, encourage exploration and creativity, nurture talent and help develop careers in the performing arts.

Acting classes are the main activity at the Young Actors Theatre. The charity also offers a professional acting foundation course that enable students to develop an essential performance vocabulary through training in acting, movement and voice. The program offers an individual support for audition preparation and enjoys links with London Drama Schools such as Guidhall School of Music and Drama and Montview Academy. The foundation course gives the opportunity to work with respected professionals included ex-LAMDA teacher Yvonne Morley, Steve Brownie from RADA and Andrew Harries.


What's on at the National Theatre London in Spring?

The Royal National Theatre in London is one of the United Kingdom's three most prominent publicly founded performing art venues, along side the Royal Shakespeare Company and the Royal Opera House. The theatre presents a varied programme, including Shakespeare and other international classic drama and new plays by contemporary playwrights.

Coming up in Spring at the National Theatre is a new play by Yaël Farber, Salomé. The story has been told before, but never like this. This charged retelling turns the infamous biblical tale on its head, placing the girl we call Salomé at the centre of a revolution. Internationally acclaimed director Yaël Farber (Les Blancs) draws on multiple accounts to create her urgent, hypnotic production on the Olivier stage from 2 May.

On 30 May, two new plays openings with Common by DC Moore and Barber Shop Chronicles by Inua Ellams. The latter is a dynamic work that takes the audience from a barber shop in London to Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos and Accra. These are places where the banter can be barbed and the truth always telling. Starring Anne-Marie Duff and Trevor Fox, Common, set during the industrial revolution is a dark and funny new play, an epic tale of unsavoury action and England's lost land.

Also worth noting, the National Theatre offers a free Backstage App, a gateway to a vast library of content about theatre, exploring what's on the stage and much more.


Moscow's Acclaimed Sovremennik Theatre

Russia's oldest theatre company Sovremennik Theatre makes a welcome come back to London this May, following a successful season at the Noël Award Theatre in 2011, with a triple bill of plays at the Piccadilly Theatre. Three Comrades, Two for the Sea-Saw and the Three Sisters will be performed in Russian with English subtitles and directed by the Sovremennik's artistic director Galina Volchek, one of the founding members of the company and regarded as one of Russia's greatest theatre practitioners. 

The Sovremennik is one of Russia's most respected theatre companies, recognised around the world for its tradition of staging intense psychological dramas and bold productions of contemporary plays, Russian classics and international works. The London season will feature a cast and crew of over 100 including acclaimed Russian film, theatre and television actress and humanitarian Chulpan Kahmatova.

The season begins on 3 May with Three Comrades, based on the 1936 novel by acclaimed German author Erich Maria Remarque. Set in Germany at the height of depression, it tells the story of Robert Lohkamp, a disillusioned figure whose outlook on life is marred by his horrifying experiences in the trenches during the First World War. He shares his memories with his friends with who he struggles to make a living as  a mechanic. But when Robert meets a mysterious young woman, his nihilistic perspective starts to shift..

This is followed on 8 May by a Russian twist on the poignant and compelling American drama Two for the Sea-Saw by William Gibson. The season concludes with the return of the Sovremennik 'revelatory' production of Anton Chekov's The Three Sisters. Critically acclaimed around the world, this production is regarded as one of the seminal versions of Chekov's classic tale.

Run-through, Cue to Cue and Dressed Rehearsal

The dress rehearsal is a full-scale rehearsal where the actors and musicians perform every detail of the performance. For a theatrical performance, actors wear their costumes. The cast members may use props and backdrops; they do not use scripts, though the stage manager and director might. AN 'open-dress' is a dress rehearsal to which specific individuals have been invited to attend as audience members. 

In theatre a performing arts ensemble rehearses a work in preparation for performance before an audience. Rehearsals that occur early in the production process are sometimes referred to as 'run-throughs'. Typically a run-through doesn't contain many of the technical aspects of a performance, and is primarily used to assist performers in learning dialogues and to solidify aspects of blocking and stage movement.

A Q-2-Q or 'cue to cue' is a type of technical rehearsal and is intended primarily for the lighting and audio technicians involved in a performance, although they are of great value to the entire ensemble. It is intended to allow the technicians and stage manager to rehearse the technical aspects of a performance - when lights have to be turned on, sound effects triggered, and items rolled on and off the stage - and identify and resolve any glitches that may arises. Performers typically do not rehearse entire scenes during a Q-2-Q, but instead only perform dialogues or actions that are used by the stage manager as a marker for when to initiate technical sequences of cues. 

Riotous Company Theatre of Stories

Riotous Company is a crossover theatre of stories, music, pictures, poetry and dance founded by artistic director Mia Theil Have in close collaboration with patron Kathryn Hunter, composer Nikola Kodjabashia, designer Luis F. Carvalho comprising a collective of artists and associates.

Riotious Company is committed to and experienced in giving workshops for young people and professional practitioners internationally as part of rehearsal periods and touring activities. Riotious invites young associates to become part of the company and learn through apprenticeship. 

Step by Step by Step is an entertaining in-depth work demonstration performance on actor's training and dramaturgy. it gives a look behind the scenes, into the early formation of the actor and the laborious journey to the stage performances. 

Riotous is an associate company of Third Theatre Network through Manchester Metropolitan University. Their Have features as a practitioner in publications by professor Adam Ledger, as well as new research by professors Jane Turner and Patrick Campbell.

Yellow Earth British East Asian Theatre

Yellow Earth inspires, creates, produces, nurtures and champions the best of British East Asian Theatre. They aim to make the invisible visible by bringing unheard voices and stories to audiences worldwide, by taking timeless classics and approaching them with fresh eyes. They seek out and nurture east asian artistic talents, and create opportunities for these actors, writers and directors to make bold, imaginative and thought provoking theatre.

Hello Earth theatre was formed in 1995 by five British East Asian actors, Kwong Loke, Kumiko Mendl, Veronica Needa, David KS Tse and Tom Wu. The company sought to develop work that would widen the choice and type of roles being offered to East Asian actors at that time and to create work that brought together their physical skills and western drama school training to present plays that explored their cultural heritage.

Over its 21 years history, Yellow Earth has worked with many of the best East Asian actors, writers, directors, designers to create a wide range of award winning work from new writing to bold adaptations of classics; from family friendly shows to participatory and site responsive work. Yellow Earth also provides professional development for East Asian artists while inspiring the next generation to get involve in the arts.

The company is named after the seminal Chinese film, Yellow Earth directed by Chen Kaige, with cinematography by Zhang Yimou. The film was part of the 5th generation of "new wave" mainland Chinese film makers to come out of the 80's and its combination of poetic lyricism and dark drama inspired by many artists and audiences around the world.

Best Theatre Podcasts (2)

The Producer's Perspective
Ken Davenport is a broadway producer. His work includes Godspell, Kinky Boots and Deaf West Theatre's Spring Awakening. He's also the creator of a blog on the role of the broadway producer. His guests include playwrights, directors, composers and of course a few fellow producers. It gives a great perspective on American theatre and it's interesting to think about the similarities as well as the differences with British theatre. His recent interview with The Stage regular Howard Sherman covered subscription theatre, theatre building and their (lack) of comfort, the secondary ticket market and the relationship Broadway has with off-Broadway and theatre across the US.

Guildhall School of Music and Drama
For those applying to drama school, Guildhall's podcast is a must. the podcast has a series of 'in conversation' with the cast, crew and creative team of their public productions. along with its discussions of productions, there are also some insightful podcast with staff, such as voice coach Patsy Rodenburg, on their technical theatre exhibition. The podcast gives a great insight into the work happening in a conservatoire.

Inside Acting
Inside Acting comes from LA. The episodes range from interviews to listeners questions to roundtable discussions. They cover topics such as trusting your guts, treating acting as a sales job, avoiding scams and finding a good theatre group. the podcast offers an insight into what life is like being an actor in LA.

Off Book
Off Book is the Young Vic's podcast. it features interviews with some of the artists who have visited the Young Vic. Conversations bring to light people's first experiences  with the arts and theatre, how their backgrounds have informed the work they produce today and how they have developed throughout their careers. 

Working in Theatre: Stage Management

Stage management is the practise of organising and coordinating a theatrical production. It encompasses a variety of activities, including organising the production and coordinating communication between various people such as director and backstage crew, or actors and production management.

Stage management is a sub-discipline of stage craft. A stage manager is one who has overall responsibility for stage management and the smooth execution of a production. Stage management may be perform by one individual in small productions, while larger productions typically employ a stage management team consisting of a head stage manager and one or more assistants.

The responsibilities and duties vary depending on the setting of a production (rehearsal or performance) and the type of production (theatre, dance, music). Most broadly, it is the stage manager responsibility to ensure that the director's artistic choices are realised in actual performance.

As the lighting, sound and set change, cues are developed and the stage manager records the timing of each as it relates to the script. He or she maintains a prompt book which contains all cues, technical notes, blocking and other information pertinent to the show.

During rehearsals, the stage manager serves as an adjunct to the director by recording the blocking and ensuring that cast members stay on script, have the requisite props, and follow the blocking. Stage manager are also responsible for helping establish a show's rehearsal schedule and ensuring that rehearsals run on time. He or she documents each rehearsal in a rehearsal report.