Review: Safe

Alexis Gregory’s Safe puts the stories of homeless and at-risk LGBTQ+ young people front and centre

“It’s a…phase”

A digital verbatim theatre piece on 

Taking its starting point as the startling statistic that 25% of homeless and at risk young people identify as LGBTQ+, Alexis Gregory’s Safe is a piece of verbatim theatre that allows those very young people to have their stories heard. It’s an arresting and sometimes challenging piece to be sure but a beautiful thread of hope runs throughout, leading us to a place that is uplifting but pragmatically so. 

Safe weaves together the stories of four homeless and at-risk LGBTQ+ young people that Gregory met through akt. From stories of self-realisation to cautionary coming-out tales, families who throw you out to families who close ranks to try and keep secrets, there’s a skilful mix of experiences that whilst are full of commonalities, reminds us of how intensely personal one’s own journey is. Continue reading “Review: Safe”

News: get some Pride at the Palace in June

For one night only (7th June), a host of Queer stars from the West End and beyond come together to celebrate their Pride in a spectacular concert.

Pride at the Palace celebrates our wonderful LGBTQIA+ community in all it’s glory with a set list that includes multiple Queer anthems, as well as songs you simply won’t be able to resist getting up and dancing to! Continue reading “News: get some Pride at the Palace in June”

News, such theatre news!

It’s so exciting to have an inbox full of theatre announcements – here’s a recap of some of the ones that are most piquing my interest at the moment

The Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield and The Dukes, Lancaster announce the full cast of their digital co-production of The Importance of Being Earnest by Yasmeen Khan.

The full cast is Gurjeet Singh (Ackley Bridge, Wuthering Heights), Tom Dixon (Twelfth Night, Romeo & Juliet), Mina Anwar (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, The Thin Blue Line), Nikki Patel (Trojan HorseCoronation Street), Zoe Iqbal (Finding Fatimah, Ackley Bridge) and Melanie Marshall (Jane Eyre); with appearances from finalist of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Divina De Campo, star of stage and screen Paul Chahidi, award-winning actor, comedian and writer Hugh Dennis, actress Harriet Thorpe (Absolutely Fabulous) and  comedian Sindhu Vee. Continue reading “News, such theatre news!”

News: New version of Eurobeat – The Pride of Europe to stream

Fourth Wall Live have announced the world premiere of a new online version of the cult West End Musical Eurobeat – The Pride of Europe. This irreverent, hilarious homage and celebration of the world’s best-loved song contest will be filmed at The Clapham Grand and streamed globally from 30 April – 10 May 2021 on Stream.Theatre. Viewers will be asked to vote online after watching the show (Your vote really counts!) and The Results Show will be streamed from 14 – 18 May 2021. 

Eurobeat will be hosted by David O’Reilly’s “Orla Board” as Marlene Cabana the glamorous mistress of ceremonies, with a cast led by Joanne Clifton (BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, The Rocky Horror Show, Flashdance), Tia Kofi (BBC Three’s RuPaul’s Drag Race UK Series 2), Harriet Thorpe (BBC’s The Brittas Empire, Cabaret) and Tom Read Wilson (C4’s Celebs Go Dating, BBC’s Celebrity Best Home Cook), the show will also star West End and musical theatre stars Christine Allado (Hamilton, The Prince of Egypt), Matt Croke (ITV’s The Voice, Disney’s Aladdin), Scott Garnham (Les Miserables, Billy Elliot, The Barricade Boys), Aisha Jawando (Tina in Tina, The Tina Turner Musical), Scott Paige (Cinderella, Nativity!), Claudia Kariuki, (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, School of Rock), David Ribi (Milkshake, Channel 5), comedian Sooz Kempner, Annell Odartey (WhatsonStage Awards), George Olney (Saturday Night Fever, Fiddler on the Roof), Alexzandra Sarmiento (Hamilton, Strictly Ballroom) and Jaime Tait (Motown, Beautiful). Continue reading “News: New version of Eurobeat – The Pride of Europe to stream”

Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray

Alfred Enoch and Russell Tovey enliven a digital take on Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray

“People say there’s no dark side to social media”

What A Carve Up! proved a highlight of the theatre industry’s pivot to online work over the last year, the creative team really probing into what could be done differently, more effectively, through the digital medium. So it is little surprise to see them reunite to tackle Oscar Wilde’s The Picture of Dorian Gray.

A co-production by the Barn Theatre, Lawrence Batley Theatre, New Wolsey Theatre, Oxford Playhouse and Theatr Clwyd, directed by Tamara Harvey and written by Henry Filloux-Bennett, Wilde’s tale is lifted wholesale into the 21st century and immersed in the world of social media. For what is a modern-day equivalent of a portrait if not one’s Instagram profile… Continue reading “Review: The Picture of Dorian Gray”

Review: Crips Without Constraints Part 2

Graeae’s Crips Without Constraints Part 2 shows off UK Deaf and disabled artists firing brilliantly on all creative cylinders

“I think this could be the biggest challenge of my career”

Graeae’s Crips Without Constraints Part 2 feels like a great shot in the arm for those who might be tiring of the Zoom format that characterises so much of what new theatre we’re able to get at this moment in time. All five short plays in this collection have been written by alumni from Graeae’Write to Play programme and are directed by upcoming disabled directors. truly celebrating celebrating the best talent and creativity of UK Deaf and disabled artists.

What is particularly impressive is the way in which that talent matches up to the more established names taking part here. Just look at how Mandy Colleran squares up to Harriet Walter’s condescending actor in Kellan Frankland’s How Do You Make A Cup of Tea?, skewering the lie about who gets the opportunity to portray disability onstage or onscreen. Or the way Saida Ahmed’s incredible performance equals the magnificent Sharon D Clarke’s for emotional intensity in The Gift by Leanna Benjamin, as a mother and daughter attempt to deal with some hard-hitting truths. Continue reading “Review: Crips Without Constraints Part 2”

Review: The Regina Monologues

Before Six, there was The Regina Monologues! Maltings Theatre’s streaming debut offers an interesting set of monologues

“He doesn’t want me any more”

I’ve an affection for the Maltings Theatre, their Shakespearean double bill marked the first live theatre I saw after the first lockdown last summer and if the weather didn’t necessarily hold out for us, the beautiful surroundings of the open air Roman Theatre of Verulamium in St Albans more than made up for it. Now as we find ourselves in the throes of a different lockdown, they’ve made the move online, streaming a Spring programme of three plays.

First up is The Regina Monologues, written by Rebecca Russell and Jenny Wafer for this very theatre back in 2004, long before Marlow and Moss came up with the historemix. Their innovation was to take the six wives of Henry VIII and transplant them into the modern day, asking what might draw six women to all marry the same man – unseen throughout – and wondering whether contemporary women have it that much better than their Tudor counterparts. Continue reading “Review: The Regina Monologues”

Teaser images from The Picture of Dorian Gray

First look images of the upcoming digital adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray have been released today.

The contemporary take on the Oscar Wilde classic brings the Faustian tale kicking and screaming into a world of Instagram, Facebook and dating apps and stars Fionn Whitehead (DunkirkBlack Mirror: Bandersnatch) in the title role of Dorian Gray. Continue reading “Teaser images from The Picture of Dorian Gray”

A round-up of February theatre news

Ros is looking for romance. Richard needs a new companion. They’re a match! But the year is 2020, and dating isn’t simple. From glitchy Zoom introductions, to their socially distanced first date in an actual restaurant, Adventurous follows the twists and turns of Ros and Richard’s relationship as they negotiate technology, treachery…and tortoises.

Filmed in lockdown, this is the premiere of actor Ian Hallard’s debut play. Both comic and touching, Adventurous tells the unexpected story of two single souls with an unstable connection. It reunites Hallard with Olivier Award-winner Sara Crowe following their many double-acts in Jermyn’s Street Theatre’s 2018 production of Noel Coward’s Tonight at 8.30. This online production is a heartwarming and hilarious treat. Continue reading “A round-up of February theatre news”

Review: The Color Purple – at home, Curve Leicester

Curve Leicester’s The Color Purple – at home sounds like a dream with an excellent cast but I’m not sure it truly benefits from being filmed

“She got them heebies and jeebies”

It is a bit of a shame that The Color Purple – at home, has to follow Curve Leicester’s exceptionally good production of Sunset Boulevard as they reimagine their planned autumn/winter season in concert form. For where the already cinematic Sunset blossomed in the marriage of theatre and film, The Color Purple doesn’t reap anywhere near the same level of benefit from this treatment. 

Part of the problem lies in the essential nature of the shows. Sunset is full of distance and estrangement which is perfect with there’s a 2m social distancing rules in place but The Color Purple is about intimacy and connection at its heart, and that is sadly – but necessarily – missing here. Continue reading “Review: The Color Purple – at home, Curve Leicester”