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Angela Carter’s Wise Children adapted by Emma Rice at the Old Vic Theatre London

‘Let’s have all the skeletons out of the closet, today, of all days!’

It’s 23 April, Shakespeare’s birthday. In Brixton, Nora and Dora Chance – twin chorus girls born and bred south of the river – are celebrating their 70th birthday. Over the river in Chelsea, their father and greatest actor of his generation Melchior Hazard turns 100 on the same day. As does his twin brother Peregrine. If, in fact, he’s still alive. And if, in truth, Melchior is their real father after all…

A big, bawdy tangle of theatrical joy and heartbreak, Wise Children is a celebration of show business, family, forgiveness and hope. Expect show girls and Shakespeare, sex and scandal, music, mischief and mistaken identity – and butterflies by the thousand.

Emma Rice (Romantics AnonymousTristan & Yseult, The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk and Brief Encounter) brings her unique, exuberantly impish vision to Angela Carter’s great last novel, Wise Children, launching her new theatre company of the same name and its London residency at The Old Vic.

The Market Theatre Johannesburg is back in the UK!

The Suitcase brings together a unique partnership of venues in the North of England and the Market Theatre Johannesburg, marking the internationally renowned theatre company’s return to the UK after a five year absence. This partnership, the first of its kind, enables international work to be performed across five northern cities, sharing programming and strengthening audience development. The tour has been made possible through National Lottery Funding from Arts Council England’s Strategic Touring programme.

It’s a story never more relevant to our time, exploring issues of identity, migration, exile and celebration of the human spirit. The show will have its UK premiere at Hull Truck Theatre (31 August–9 September) as part of Hull UK City of Culture 2017’s Freedom season before touring to Newcastle (14-16 September), Derby (20-23 September), Lancaster (27-29 September) and Liverpool (4-7 October).

The Market Theatre, founded in Johannesburg in 1976 by Mannie Manim and the late Barney Simon, was constructed out of Johannesburg’s Indian Fruit Market – built in 1913. The theatre went on to become internationally renowned as South Africa’s “Theatre of the Struggle”. The Market Theatre challenged the apartheid regime, armed with little more than the conviction that culture can change society. The strength and truth of that conviction was acknowledged in 1995 when the theatre received the American Jujamcyn Award. In providing a voice to the voiceless, The Market Theatre did not forego artistic excellence, but, rather, made a point of it. Its twenty-one international and over three hundred South African theatre awards bears eloquent testimony to the courage and artistic quality of its work.

During the past four decades, The Market Theatre has evolved into a cultural complex for theatre, music, dance and the allied arts. Today, The Market Theatre remains at the forefront of South African theatre, actively encouraging new works that continue to reach international stages. The Market Theatre is renowned world-wide for brilliant anti-apartheid plays that have included Woza Albert, Asinamali, Bopha, Sophiatown, You Strike the Woman You Strike a Rock, Born in the RSA, Black Dog – Inj’emnyama, as well as the premieres of many of Athol Fugard’s award-winning dramas. The Market Theatre’s history is intertwined with the cultural, social and political struggle for freedom in South Africa.

The Market Theatre is celebrating the past, but it is also confidently looking forward to playing a major cultural role in the 21st century for South Africa, and the African continent. To achieve this, The Market’s artistic policy for a post-apartheid South Africa centres on encouraging new dramatic writing. These new works will offer ways to help South Africans understand, interpret and thrive in the second decade of the country’s new democratic life. The Market must continue to be a theatre that is engaged, challenging and entertaining. The staff remains committed to maintaining the highest possible artistic standards as it searches out exemplary new writing, and the best new, young directors, designers and lighting designers to achieve this mission. The Market Theatre is determined to build on its reputation, even as it faces the new challenges of the 21st Century.

 

 

 

Michelle Terry New Artistic Director of Shakespeare's Globe

An Olivier Award-winning actor and writer, Michelle is well-known to the Globe’s stage, having starred as Rosalind in As You Like It (2015), as Titania/Hippolyta in A Midsummer Night's Dream (2013) and as the Princess of France in Love's Labour's Lost (2007). She also directed Richard III, King John and As You Like It for The Complete Walk (2016), a series of short films created as part of the Globe’s celebration of the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

Michelle Terry says: ‘The work of Shakespeare is for me timeless, mythic, mysterious, vital, profoundly human and unapologetically theatrical. There are no other theatres more perfectly suited to house these plays than the pure and uniquely democratic spaces of The Globe and the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse. I am so proud and excited that I will be in the privileged position where I can offer artists the opportunity to come together to reclaim and rediscover not only Shakespeare, but the work of his contemporaries, alongside new work from our current writers. For us to then share those stories with an audience that demands an unparalleled honesty, clarity and bravery, is all a dream come true.’

Michelle most recently starred as the eponymous king in Henry V at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, and as Grace in Katie Mitchell’s production of Cleansed for the National Theatre. Her other stage credits include Much Ado About Nothing, The Crucible and Love’s Labour’s Lost (Royal Shakespeare Company), All’s Well That Ends Well (National Theatre), Privacy (Donmar Warehouse) and In The Republic of Happiness (Royal Court). She won an Olivier Award for her performance in Tribes at the Royal Court in 2010 and she is an Associate Artist for the Royal Shakespeare Company.

Michelle also wrote and starred in the Sky One series The Café with Ralf Little; with Rob Hastie she created My Mark, the Donmar’s ten-year project to chart the political growth of the next voting generation; most recently she co-wrote and performed Becoming: part one with Rosalie Craig at The Donmar Warehouse. Michelle trained at RADA.

 

Musical about Kids Company Donmar Theatre London

A new musical about troubled charity Kids Company will head up the Donmar Warehouse’s new season. Artistic director Josie Rourke has collaborated with actor Hadley Fraser and composer Tom Deering to craft the show, based on transcripts of the public select committee hearings which saw the charity’s executives grilled over its management.

The musical will be titled The Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee Takes Oral Evidence on Whitehall’s Relationship with Kids Company. Adam Penford, recently named artistic director of Nottingham Playhouse, will direct the show, which runs at the Donmar from June 24 to August 12. A press night will be held on July 3.

Rourke said the season was designed to “step up to what’s happening” around the world. She explained: “Here is a new musical concerned with truth and accountability; democracy and demagoguery; passion, despair and the rebirth of hope". “Throughout this season, characters fight for, rise to and exercise their power. In creating the Power Season, we’re trusting that theatre will deploy its power to speak with swift and urgent clarity into the present.”

She also confirmed the Donmar’s free ticketing scheme for under 25s will continue, with free tickets available at every performance in the theatre’s spring season.

 

Festival VOILA Europe 2017 Cockpit Theatre London

The Cockpit theatre is excited to announce the OPEN CALL for this year's festival. Calling all multilingual troubadours, travelling minstrels, intercultural creatives, linguistic explorers, juggling polyglots, translated artists, cross-nation activists, and European theatre companies!

For its 5th years VOILA! Festival becomes VOILA! Europe and will be bigger and bolder than ever. VOILA! Europe is a non Brexit-fearing festival whose mission is to bust the barriers of language and showcase plays from around Europe & the UK to the multi-national audiences of London. 

From new writing from emerging artists to classics revisited by well-loved companies, VOILA! celebrates diversity in performing arts, multiple languages and fearless creatives. No passport required. Broadening out from being a francophone festival to include more languages spoken on the European continent, and spending from one theatre to other venues in the city, VOILA! will program more work and provide additional platforms for exchange in the arts.

They are looking for shows in multiple languages, or translated/adapted from plays originally in a European language, as well as new writing with cast and creatives from the European continent. They accept all genres of shows (music, theatre, performance art, dance), provided they are less than 60 minutes long. 

VOILA! Europe will take place in London 8-18 November 2017 at the Cockpit, Etcetera Theatre Camden and more venues to be announced. The festival will provide 2 or 3 performance slots in one of the festival venues with production and technical assistance, printed brochures, a professional PR and online marketing in exchange for a 50% box office split and a £70 admin fee.

http://www.thecockpit.org.uk/taxonomy/term/26

 

Kully Thiarai and the National Theatre of Wales

National Theatre of Wales is the English language national theatre company of Wales, founded by a community of theatre makers and practitioners in May 2009 with the launch of an online community social network website. The company proposed a national theatre with no permanent theatre building, but instead based on an accumulated body of practice, commissioning a series of new works, each initially located within a different site.

the company focuses on the production of work in the English language, rooted in Wales, with an international reach, and aims to build strong relationships with theatre makers, creative talents, participants and audiences in and beyond Wales.

in 2016, Kully Thiarai was announced the new artistic director of the national theatre of Wales. Earlier this month, her first season was unveiled. It will set out to reflex the experiences of the millions of ordinary people whose lives have been touched by the NHS. NHS 70, an ambitious seven-trend, multi-platform celebration will take place across Wales and online in 2018.

More immediately, Thiarai is preparing We're Still Here, a piece created with Common Wealth Theatre company about the Tata Steel works and the future of those who work there. The show will find NWT returning to Port Talbot, the site of one of its greatest hits, The Passion, which starred Michael Sheen, and played out across the streets of the town in Easter 2011, a year after the company was formed. 

For all information and booking https://nationaltheatrewales.org

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.

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.