Friday theatre news from the National Theatre, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and Roles We’ll Never Play
In a canny move, the National Theatre is bringing panto to its main stage as Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd’s hilarious and heartfelt version of Dick Whittington, first staged at Lyric Hammersmith in 2018 and freshly updated for 2020, will open in the socially distanced Olivier theatre on 11th December.
Directed by Ned Bennett, this wild and inventive production explores what it is like to come from a small town and arrive in a big city today, exploring the ideas of community and togetherness. Initial casting includes Dickie Beau, Amy Booth-Steel, Lawrence Hodgson-Mullings, Georgina Onuorah, and Cleve September.
They have also announced the next show to open as part of the Olivier in-the-round season in February 2021 is Larry Kramer’s The Normal Heart, in a co-production with Fictionhouse. Directed by Dominic Cooke, Kramer’s largely autobiographical play about the AIDS crisis in 1980 New York has not been performed professionally in London since its European premiere in 1986. Ben Daniels will perform the role of Ned Weeks, the co-founder of an AIDS advocacy group fighting to change the world around him, with Danny Lee Wynter as Tommy Boatwright, Daniel Monks as Mickey Marcus and Stanley Townsend as Ben Weeks. Vicki Mortimer is Set Designer and Paule Constable is Lighting Designer.
Tickets for The Normal Heart will go on sale from the end of November. Continue reading “News: Friday theatre update from the National Theatre, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie and Roles We’ll Never Play”
Kwame Kwei-Armah, Artistic Director of the Young Vic, has announced the start of the Young Vic’s 50th birthday with a year-long programme of work entitled We are the New Tide, dedicated to the theatre’s milestone birthday.
The 50th birthday year of work begins with three major commissions:
- The New Tomorrow– for the first piece of live theatre since the pandemic closed UK theatres, this weekend festival of speeches and monologues asks what the next fifty years hold. Writers and artists Jade Anouka, Marina Carr, Jasmine Lee-Jones, Ruth Madeley, Amy Ng, Stef Smith, Jack Thorne, Isobel Waller-Bridge and Steve Waters will explore the change that has come and is coming. Cast to be announced.
3 & 4 October, 4pm, Main House, free
Iris Theatre’s summer season continues with this new folk musical by Jack Miles, which numbers Jordan Castle (The Light in the Piazza), Rebecca McKinnis (Dear Evan Hansen), and Mathew Craig (The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4) in its cast.
C-o-n-t-a-c-t, outdoors in London
31st August – 10th October
C-o-n-t-a-c-t is an immersive outdoor performance with a 3D sound design which audiences will listen to on their own headphones,The play will see performances from Charles Angiama (The Exonerated; My Week with Marilyn), Louis Bernard (Radieuse Vermine), Chloe Gentles (Beautiful – The Carol King Musical), Max Gold (Endeavour; Poldark), Richard Heap (Buried Child; The Summer Before Everything), Aoife Kennan (ITV’s Victoria; For Services Rendered), Katja Quist (Earthquakes In London) and Laura White (The Play That Goes Wrong). The cast will alternate between three London locations; Tower Bridge, Greenwich and Clapham Common.
The Turbine’s summer season will feature this one-off concert with performers delving deep into their wishlists – the company includes Natalie Paris, Tom Duern, Rhianne-Louise McCaulsky, Rodney Vubya, Lauren Byrne, Bernadette Bangura, Luke Bayer, Idriss Kargbo, Courtney Bowman, Michael Mather, Matthew Croke, Kelly Agbowu, Elander Moore, Eve Norris and Pearce Barron.
Omar F Okai’s production of Jason Robert Brown’s two-hander will star Emma Kingston (Evita, In The Heights) as Cathy and Waylon Jacobs (Hamilton, Memphis) as Jamie.
A fatally muddled tone means Been So Long ends up less than the sum of its parts, despite glorious lead performances from Arinzé Kene and Michaela Coel
“People don’t want inclusivity mate, they want exclusivity. And something for the gluten-intolerant”
I really wanted to like Been So Long, and can imagine it having worked well on the stage (it played the Young Vic in 2009) but something has definitely been lost in translation with this screen adaptation here. It is mildly curious as the film is written by Ché Walker, scribe of the original play and the subsequent stage musical, but maybe this was a step too far?
One of the main problems for me is that crucial issue of tone. As a love story set in contemporary Camden, and in which Camden plays a central role, there’s a tendency towards gritty naturalism, particularly in showing the home lives of its protagonists, new ex-con Raymond (Arinzé Kene) and single mum of a disabled daughter Simone (Michaela Coel). Continue reading “Film Review: Been So Long (2018)”
Just doing my best to try and amplify some of these amazing black voices. I stand with you.
Continue reading “#StandByMeChallenge #4”
Years and Years sees Russell T Davies take on dystopian near-future sci-fi to startling effect
“We’re not stupid, we’re not poor, we’re not lacking. I’m sorry, but we’re clever. We can think of something, surely.”
What if…? What if…? What Brexit happens, what if Trump is voted in again and fires a nuclear bomb towards China, what if global warming happens today and not tomorrow, what if Lee from Steps is the most successful one…? Such is the world of Years and Years, Russell T Davies’ latest TV venture, a six-part drama that dares to ask what if it is already too late.
He uses the Lyons family as a prism to explore what the next 15 years of human history might look like, as technological advances make leaps and bounds alongside the political and social upheaval that strikes at the very heart of this sprawing middle-class Manchester-based family. It’s a daring piece of drama, full of Davies’ typically big heart and bold emotional colours and I have to say I rather loved it. Continue reading “TV Review: Years and Years”
“Ain’t no party like a Five Guys party”
A time for…
So I’ma say just book a ticket and have yourself a merry little Christmoe…
It’s the London Marathon on 23rd April but a week before, The Other Palace invites you to The Musical Marathon – a one-off charity concert bringing together a variety of West End stars in aid of male cancer charity Orchid. All Tickets are £26; £26 for 26 miles, 26 songs and an unmissable night of musical talent at 7pm on Sunday 16th April.
Organised by Paul Taylor-Mills, Artistic Director of The Other Palace and producer of shows including In The Heights and The Wild Party, the show will raise vital funds for Orchid, and their fight against male cancer. The evening will be hosted by Caroline Flack and will feature performances from Louise Dearman, Tyrone Huntley, Zizi Strallen, Oliver Savile, Liam Doyle, Nathan Amzi, Kim Criswell, Liam Tamne, Christina Modesto, Emma Kingston, Lockie Chapman, Shaun McCourt and Idriss Kargbo.
Orchid is the UK’s leading charity working on behalf of anyone affected by male cancer. Established in 1996 by testicular cancer patient, Colin Osborne MBE and the oncologist who saved his life, Professor Tim Oliver, Orchid exists to save men’s lives from male cancer through a range of support services, education and awareness campaigns and a pioneering research programme.
“That’s what we call Southern justice”
The Scottsboro Boys were nine black teenage boys who found themselves in the wrong place at the wrong time, Alabama in 1931 to be precise, and falsely accused of the rape of two white women, found themselves imprisoned in the hostile Deep South. But theirs was a case that ignited the racial debate in the USA and turned it into something of a cause célèbre, perhaps losing sight of the lives of these young men – some illiterate, all poor – that were irrevocably changed by their experiences. And ironically, that is the same fate suffered in this sharp-edged musical adaptation by Kander and Ebb, their last collaboration, and book writer David Thompson.
The show uses the minstrel form to frame the action, staging its own version of events in the vignettes of a minstrel show led by Julian Glover’s Interlocutor, a benign presence but in the way that some plantation owners were ostensibly nice. But rather than have white men wearing blackface, it is a black cast who play the white characters alongside the tribulations and many trials of the boys as they come up repeatedly against a society that is determined to deny them everything. And using an exaggeratedly vaudevillian style of performance, the truly shocking nature of what they went through is unblinkingly portrayed. Continue reading “Review: The Scottsboro Boys, Young Vic”