• 1Dear Brutus Q & A at the Southwark Playhouse 05.12 (32)
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    Photos and podcast: Talking second chances and JM Barrie with Dear Brutus director and cast

Photos and podcast: Talking second chances and JM Barrie with Dear Brutus director and cast

Another fascinating rediscovery from Troupe Theatre. J.M. Barrie is best known, of course, for Peter Pan (and there are no shortage of revivals and spin-offs of that around Theatreland at the moment), but he also authored myriad novels and numerous other stage works, including The Admirable Crichton, Quality Street, Echoes of War, the opera […]

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    Q&A video and photos: Talking therapy & sexual misconduct at The Secondary Victim

Q&A video and photos: Talking therapy & sexual misconduct at The Secondary Victim

It was a packed house – including many therapy professionals – for last night’s performance of Matthew Campling’s new play The Secondary Victim at the Park Theatre. Which made for some very knowledgeable comments and insights at the post-show Q&A, for which I was joined by Campling, director Matthew Gould and the entire cast.

The […]

  • Dean Bone, Stephen Tompkinson & John Bowler at The Red Lion post-show Q&A on 9 November 2017. All Q&A photos © Peter Jones
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    Q&A video and photos: The Red Lion cast on Northern locker room talk

Q&A video and photos: The Red Lion cast on Northern locker room talk

A cheeky Twitter follower (yes, I’m talking about you Johnny Fox) requested that I ask the three stars of Patrick Marber’s locker room drama The Red Lion – Stephen Tompkinson, John Bowler and Dean Bone – to explain the off-side rule at the post-show Q&A I chaired at Trafalgar Studios 2 last night. I threatened […]

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    Q&A video and photos: Talking faith vs family with The Busy World is Hushed cast

Q&A video and photos: Talking faith vs family with The Busy World is Hushed cast

Can we love someone whose belief system we fundamentally disagree with? If we love someone, can we denounce what we believe just to please them? Family and faith compete in thoughtful three-hander The Busy World Is Hushed, showing both sides of a tormented mother-son relationship.

At a seminary in New York, Hannah (Kazia Pelka), a widowed Episcopalian minister […]

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    ‘A landscape of mystery’: Fishskin Trousers Q&A photos and tweets

‘A landscape of mystery’: Fishskin Trousers Q&A photos and tweets

How much can a landscape shape a person’s identity? How much can a landscape shape a play’s plot? In answer to the latter question, in the case of Elizabeth Kuti’s Fishskin Trousers, the answer is certainly quite a lot.
Inspired in part by the local folk tale of the Wild Man of Orford, found by fisherman, the […]

  • Joanne Pearce, Ameet Chana & Ian McDiarmid at What Shadows Q&A at London's Park Theatre
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    Podcast and photos: Ian McDiarmid and What Shadows cast on Enoch Powell and THAT speech

Podcast and photos: Ian McDiarmid and What Shadows cast on Enoch Powell and THAT speech

How do we talk to those that we hate? How do we speak across the anger that divides us? Those are the opening lines in Chris Hannan’s provocative new play, What Shadows – and they were also amongst the questions raised in the  Q&A I chaired with the cast after last night’s packed performance at London’s Park […]

  • Christopher Renshaw, Julian Clary and James Nelson-Joyce at Le Grand Mort Q&A
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    Photos and podcast: Remembering Stephen Clark with Julian Clary & co at Le Grand Mort

Photos and podcast: Remembering Stephen Clark with Julian Clary & co at Le Grand Mort

There was a moment I’ll never forget from the Q&A I hosted after last night’s performance of Stephen Clark’s Le Grand Mort at Trafalgar Studios. Julian Clary, who is of course best known as a much-loved comedian and cabaret artist, had commented that it wasn’t really up to him whether he did more straight […]

  • Peter Hamilton Dyer (George Orwell), Jimmy Walters (director) & Tony Cox (writer) at the Mrs Orwell Q&A. © Peter Jones
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    Mrs Orwell Q&A podcast and photos: What might George Orwell have written after 1984?

Mrs Orwell Q&A podcast and photos: What might George Orwell have written after 1984?

Sales of George Orwell’s 1984 surged by a staggering 9,500% after the election of Donald Trump to become Amazon’s biggest seller. Orwell himself died, at the age of 46, in January 1950, just seven months after 1984 was published. What might he have written after 1984, and his earlier hit novel Animal Farm (published in 1945), if he’d lived […]

  • Waiting for Godot director Peter Reid with Tim and Jane Ridley, who saw the original 1955 production at the Arts Theatre
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    Q&A video and photos: Bringing Beckett’s Waiting for Godot home after 62 years

Q&A video and photos: Bringing Beckett’s Waiting for Godot home after 62 years

I had my own Godotesque moment to start last night’s Waiting for Godot Q&A. The stage was bare. Where were the chairs? Was anyone bringing chairs? How long would we be waiting for chairs? Did such things as chairs exist? In the end, five chairs did materialise – just enough for the show’s director and […]

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    Q&A podcast and photos: What does Marlowe’s Edward II tell us about identity and gay rights?

Q&A podcast and photos: What does Marlowe’s Edward II tell us about identity and gay rights?

The plays may have been written 420-odd years apart, but I was really struck  by how many parallels there were between the discussion I hosted last week, to the European premiere of Jordan Tannahill’s Late Company at Trafalgar Studios, and the one I hosted last night, to Christopher Marlowe’s 16th-century classic Edward II.

Late Company, set […]

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    Q&A podcast and photos: Confronting bullies with the Late Company cast

Q&A podcast and photos: Confronting bullies with the Late Company cast

Having heard so many of My Theatre Mates raving about Late Company following its European premiere earlier this year at the Finborough, I was really looking forward to seeing it at Trafalgar Studios. And yet, I still came under-prepared: I didn’t bring enough tissues. It’s not giving away too many spoilers to say that, if […]

From Page to Stage Q&A podcast and photos: How is the international scene changing for new musicals?

Two years ago, I chaired the opening night discussion at the third annual From Page to Stage festival of new musicals founded by Aria Entertainment’s Katy Lipson. The central question on that occasion was “are we doing enough to nurture new musicals?” And the central answer was no. Amongst the suggestions made by the audience […]

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    Q&A podcast and photos: Is Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew inherently misogynistic?

Q&A podcast and photos: Is Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew inherently misogynistic?

Is Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew inherently misogynistic? Particularly with its treatment of spirited Kate, the Shrew of the title, who is starved and mentally tormented (gaslighting long before Patrick Hamilton, Ingrid Bergman or Donald Trump: “I say it is the moon [not the sun] that shines so bright”) into the role of […]

  • Director Anthony Biggs, stars Sandra Dickinson & Matthew Scott & author Lee Tannen with me at the I Loved Lucy Q&A
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    Q&A podcast and photos: What would Lucille Ball think of I Loved Lucy?

Q&A podcast and photos: What would Lucille Ball think of I Loved Lucy?

It’s always a real privilege to have the playwright involved when you’re chairing a post-show Q&A. But when the play is also based on the playwright’s own best-selling memoir… When the memoir recounts his relationship with a legend like Lucille Ball… Well, that’s extra special.

Add to the presence of I Loved Lucy author Lee Tannen the show’s […]

  • Kong & the audience were impressed by Sam Donnelly's nose flute skills. Was Brendan Murphy?
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    Q&A photos and video: Monkeying around with nose flutes at King Kong

Q&A photos and video: Monkeying around with nose flutes at King Kong

Before I attended King Kong, Daniel Clarkson’s bonkers stage parody of the 1933 film classic, last week at The Vaults, I never knew there was such a thing as a nose flute.

Now I will never forget! A diva nose flautist is one of the hundreds (?) of characters portrayed by King Kong’s multi-roling cast of […]

  • Discussing the creation of new British musical Superhero at post-show Q&A at Southwark Playhouse. © Anthony Kelly
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    Q&A podcast and photos: How new British one-man musical Superhero took flight

Q&A podcast and photos: How new British one-man musical Superhero took flight

How many creatives does it take to make a one-man musical? The answer can be “quite a few”. And that it is in the case of SUPERHERO, the British one-man – or rather “one-dad” – musical now receiving its world premiere at London’s Southwark Playhouse.

At a post-show Q&A I chaired after last night’s performance, I was joined […]

  • Rotterdam Q & A - Arts Theatre (1)
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    Q&A podcast and photos: The latest in Rotterdam‘s extraordinary trans journey

Q&A podcast and photos: The latest in Rotterdam‘s extraordinary trans journey

Just 11 months after I chaired my first post-show talk for Jon Brittain’s Rotterdam – then at Trafalgar Studios for its West End premiere – and so much has changed. The play went on to win an Olivier Award and transfer to New York before now returning for its second West End run, this […]

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    Q&A podcast and photos: Talking prison lessons with Held‘s writer, director and stars

Q&A podcast and photos: Talking prison lessons with Held‘s writer, director and stars

What’s the most important lesson in a prison ‘education’? HELD is a hard-hitting new British prison drama exploring the broken lives of five inmates, including two young offenders (both played by Jack Brett Anderson) incarcerated for the first time and learning fast that there’s a price to pay for everything…

Originally two interlinked one-act plays, […]

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    Q&A podcast and photos: Lessons in kindness and comedy on Fried Meat Ridge Rd.

Q&A podcast and photos: Lessons in kindness and comedy on Fried Meat Ridge Rd.

I had a hunch that this would be an especially amusing post-show Q&A and the company and audience of American hillbilly comedy Out There on Fried Meat Ridge Rd., now transferred to the West End’s Trafalgar Studios 2 for a limited season, did not disappoint.

After a sell-out performance last night, I was joined by […]

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    Q&A photos and podcast: Swinging Sixties-style with new musical Pete ‘n’ Keely

Q&A photos and podcast: Swinging Sixties-style with new musical Pete ‘n’ Keely

A string of hits, a cast of two, ‘Forever Plaid’ meets ‘I Do, I Do’. James Hindman’s 2000 Off-Broadway musical two-hander Pete ‘n’ Keely gets its European premiere at Tristan Bates Theatre, where it’s now runs to 20 May 2017. The production, directed by Matthew Gould, stars David Bardsley and Katie Kerr as the […]

  • Sophia Carr-Gomm, Natalie Simpson & assistant director Leigh Toney at The Cardinal Q&A, 2 May 2017.
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    Q&A photos and podcast: Why has James Shirley’s The Cardinal been overlooked since the 17th century?

Q&A photos and podcast: Why has James Shirley’s The Cardinal been overlooked since the 17th century?

James Shirley’s 1641 tragic masterpiece THE CARDINAL, one of the last plays staged in England before Oliver Cromwell’s ban on theatre, this month receives its first major production since the 17th century. This critically lauded rediscovery is directed by Justin Audibert for Troupe Theatre in a limited season now running at London’s Southwark Playhouse […]

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    Photos, video & podcast: Creating a musical out of wartime prejudice in Miss Nightingale

Photos, video & podcast: Creating a musical out of wartime prejudice in Miss Nightingale

What a great way to get the Bank Holiday weekend off with a swing. Last night, I hosted a post-show Q&A at MISS NIGHTINGALE. This original British musical is now in its sixth iteration – musicals, as Sondheim says, aren’t written but re-written – since starting life as a short piece in Ipswich and […]

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    Q&A photos and podcast: A return to Brechtian politics via The Caucasian Chalk Circle

Q&A photos and podcast: A return to Brechtian politics via The Caucasian Chalk Circle

What would Bertolt Brecht have made of Donald Trump? Brecht’s “epic theatre” was sparked by the rise of Nazism in 1930s Germany. Many pundits have likened the political period we’ve now entered – with Trump in the Oval Office, Brexit under way and hard-right populism on the rise across Europe – with that dark […]

  • Lizzie post-show Q&A at Greenwich Theatre, 23 February 2017
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    Lizzie Q&A podcast and photos: Why axe murderer Lizzie Borden is a feminist icon

Lizzie Q&A podcast and photos: Why axe murderer Lizzie Borden is a feminist icon

The American gothic rock musical LIZZIE, which is now receiving its UK premiere in a limited season at London’s Greenwich Theatre, opens and closes with a nursery rhyme I memorised in my own American youth about the real-life 19th century crime:
“Lizzie Borden took an axe,
And gave her mother forty whacks;
When she saw what she […]

Top Trumps podcast: What can we do next as progressives?

The best antidote to hopelessness has got to be action. That’s what I have kept reminding myself over the past few months, and what I recited almost mantra-like on Friday afternoon as I watched Donald J Trump be sworn in as the 45th US president and then deliver a dystopian, divisive inaugural speech that painted the rest of […]

  • LUV cast Nick Barber, Elsie Bennett and Charles Dorfman at the post-show Q&A
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    Q&A photos and podcast: What’s most absurd about Murray Schisgal’s LUV?

Q&A photos and podcast: What’s most absurd about Murray Schisgal’s LUV?

What’s most absurd about absurdist comedy LUV? That it’s virtually unknown in this country – despite an incredible pedigree.

Long before he wrote the screenplay for the hit 1982 film Tootsie starring Dustin Hoffman, American Murray Schisgal made a name for himself in New York with this 1964 stage play, which is a riotous celebration of the […]

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    Q&A photos and podcast: Feeling the rage with Donny Stixx‘s Philip Ridley

Q&A photos and podcast: Feeling the rage with Donny Stixx‘s Philip Ridley

What a treat to pay my first visit to London’s newest venue – The Bunker, carved out of a carpark beneath the Menier Chocolate Factory – to host this post-show Q&A for Tonight with Donny Stixx.

I’m a little in awe of playwright Philip Ridley, whose myriad plays over the years have, in addition to Tonight […]

  • Lazarus AD Ricky Dukes, Sara Reimers and Michael Peavoy at The Beggar's Opera Q&A. © Peter Jones
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    Photos and podcast: Nearly 300 years on, why does The Beggar’s Opera still resonate?

Photos and podcast: Nearly 300 years on, why does The Beggar’s Opera still resonate?

There’s something in the water with The Beggar’s Opera at the moment. Lazarus Theatre’s new, modern-dress, 80-minute version at Brockley Jack Studio Theatre is the third major London presentation of the story of womanising highwayman Macheath this year.

Dougal Irvine’s musical The Buskers Opera, set in post-Olympics London with a Boris Johnson-like mayor (premiered on the day […]

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    Photos and podcast: Sharing joy with debut playwright Theresa Ikoko and her Girls

Photos and podcast: Sharing joy with debut playwright Theresa Ikoko and her Girls

What an astonishing way to make your playwriting debut. Theresa Ikoko’s first full-length play GIRLS was a Verity Bargate finalist and winner of both the Alfred Fagon Award (for Black British playwrights) and the George Devine Award (for new writers). The premiere production – co-produced by Talawa Theatre, HighTide Festival and Soho Theatre and directed by […]

  • Berkoff double bill stars Shaun Dooley and Emily Bruni with director Nigel Harman at post-show Q&A
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    Photos and podcast: Brush up your Berkoff with Nigel Harman and co

Photos and podcast: Brush up your Berkoff with Nigel Harman and co

Two rarely seen short plays by Steven Berkoff are professionally performed together for the first time in this much-anticipated West End premiere. LUNCH and, written 20 years later, its sequel THE BOW OF ULYSSES are both set at the seaside where a couple first passionately collide and, decades later, sit reflecting on their wasted […]

  • Amanda Muggleton in The Book Club at London's King's Head Theatre
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    Photos and podcast: One-to-one with The Book Club‘s Amanda Muggleton

Photos and podcast: One-to-one with The Book Club‘s Amanda Muggleton

If you have to work on your birthday, this is just the kind of work you want. After watching the wonderful Amanda Muggleton rip through her 90-minute one-woman comedy The Book Club on Friday night, I joined her one-on-one on the onstage sofa for more hilarity.

In The Book Club, Amanda plays suburban housewife Deb, whose […]

  • Emma Hatton interviewed by Terri Paddock at Crazy Coqs, 13 October 2016
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    Photos and podcast: Coq-tales with Emma Hatton and Anna-Jane Casey

Photos and podcast: Coq-tales with Emma Hatton and Anna-Jane Casey

I’m delighted to be able to deputise for my friend and My Theatre Mates co-founder Mark Shenton for two dates of his weekly West End chat show in October. Coq-Tales and Conversations takes place each Thursday or Friday afternoon as part of the Live at Zedel season, programmed by renowned American composer Scott Alan, […]

  • The Boys in the Band cast members Greg Lockett, John Hopkins, Ben Mansfield & Mark Gatiss reacting to another gem from playwright Mart Crowley
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    Photos and podcast: Mart Crowley and The Boys in the Band cast on making history

Photos and podcast: Mart Crowley and The Boys in the Band cast on making history

UPDATED: The Boys in the Band transfers to the West End’s Vaudeville Theatre for a strictly limited season from 7 to 18 February 2017. Buy tickets here.

Mart Crowley’s seminal play, The Boys in the Band, premiered in New York in 1968, just 14 months before the Stonewall riots that ignited the gay rights movement. […]

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    Photos and podcast: Climbing metaphorical mountains with Pilgrims playwright Elinor Cook

Photos and podcast: Climbing metaphorical mountains with Pilgrims playwright Elinor Cook

Critic Matt Trueman described Elinor Cook’s Pilgrims, about a pair of young mountain climbers, as the “peak of playwriting”. I got to talk mountain climbing, metaphors and much more with this whipsmart George Devine Award-winning playwright at last night’s Q&A after the performance of Pilgrims at London’s Yard Theatre.

For the Q&A, we were also joined by […]

Podcast: Showcasing Caro Emerald and new musical That Man

That Man musical had two performances only at London’s Hippodrome Casino yesterday (20 September 2016) and, after the first one, I chaired a post-show discussion in front of an audience of industry guests to talk about the show’s journey to date and where it might go from here.

Yesterday’s presentation – though cast to the […]

  • Ralph Pezzullo & Stephen Fife. © Peter Jones
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    Photos and podcast: Discussing the ‘war on terror’ at The American Wife Q&A

Photos and podcast: Discussing the ‘war on terror’ at The American Wife Q&A

What if everything you’re ever known was thrown into question? And everything you ever trusted was subjected to doubt? When San Diego housewife Karen Ruiz’s husband is accused of being a terrorist, she endeavours to clear his name. Can she maintain her faith in her husband, her marriage and her government? Or will she […]

  • HighTide 2016: Face to Face with Alexi Kaye Campbell, Elizabeth McGovern & Ben Miles, chaired by Terri Paddock. © Peter Jones
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    #HighTide2016 photos and podcast: Alexi Kaye Campbell, Elizabeth McGovern and Ben Miles

#HighTide2016 photos and podcast: Alexi Kaye Campbell, Elizabeth McGovern and Ben Miles

I made my HighTide Festival debut this weekend and what a privilege. Over the course of the weekend at this ten-day annual event, held in the beautiful Suffolk coast town of Aldeburgh and now marking its tenth anniversary, I had the privilege of chairing three hour-long “Face to Face” talks with world-class artists.

In this […]

  • Terri with director Oli Rose, writer Zoe Lewis, Wilton's Holly Kendrick and Sadie Frost
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    Photos and podcast: Post-show Q&A with Britten in Brooklyn‘s writer, director and star Sadie Frost

Photos and podcast: Post-show Q&A with Britten in Brooklyn‘s writer, director and star Sadie Frost

A New York artistic commune in the early 1940s – occupied by British exiles Benjamin Britten, WH Auden, American novelist Carson McCullers (The Heart is a Lonely Hunter) and stripper Gypsy Rose Lee amongst many other artists – is the setting for Zoe Lewis’ new play Britten in Brooklyn, which has just premiered at […]

  • Waiting for Waiting for Godot cast James Marlowe, Laura Kirman and Simon Day at the post-show Q&A
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    Photos and podcast: Post-show Q&A at the European premiere of NYC hit Waiting for Waiting for Godot

Photos and podcast: Post-show Q&A at the European premiere of NYC hit Waiting for Waiting for Godot

Two hapless understudies on a production of Waiting for Godot occupy their time backstage, trying to understand art, life, theatre and their precarious existence within it. Dave Hanson’s hit New York comedy Waiting for Waiting for Godot receives its European premiere at London’s St James Theatre and, just before he flew back to New […]

  • The Lazarus Theatre panel debate: Ricky Dukes, Sonia Massai, Edith Hall and Timothy Sheader, chaired by Terri Paddock. All Q&A photos © Peter Jones
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    Photos and podcast: Breaking taboos at Lazarus Tis Pity debate

Photos and podcast: Breaking taboos at Lazarus Tis Pity debate

Are there any stage taboos left? John Ford’s 17th-century romantic thriller ‘TIS PITY SHE’S A WHORE, centring on an incestuous relationship between brother and sister Giovanni and Annabella, is one of the most controversial in the classical canon and was not performed in the UK for more than 200 years until the mid-twentieth century. Does […]

  • Rotterdam post-show Q&A. © Peter Jones
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    Photos and podcast: Getting to grips with gender issues at Rotterdam Q&A

Photos and podcast: Getting to grips with gender issues at Rotterdam Q&A

What a treat it was to not only see Jon Brittain’s Rotterdam again last night, but to be able to question this hugely talented young writer about his bittersweet comedy, which ranked amongst my Top Ten new plays of last year.
The play – set in the titular Dutch city, where Jon once spent months (unhappily) working in a call […]

  • The cast of Some Girl(s) with director Gary Condes at post-show Q&A, chaired by Terri Paddock at Park Theatre
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    Photos and podcast: Men, misogyny and Neil LaBute at Some Girl(s) Q&A

Photos and podcast: Men, misogyny and Neil LaBute at Some Girl(s) Q&A

I first – and last – saw Neil LaBute’s Some Girl(s) in its world premiere in the West End in 2005, in a production that starred Friends’ David Schwimmer along with “girls” including Catherine Tate and Lesley Manville. In this first major London revival, Charles Dorfman takes on the pivotal role of a writer (never addressed […]

  • The Trial of Jane Fonda post-show Q&A on 19 July 2016. All event photos © Peter Jones
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    Photos and podcast: Jane Fonda and war on trial with Anne Archer and co

Photos and podcast: Jane Fonda and war on trial with Anne Archer and co

What does The Trial of Jane Fonda, concerning the actor-activist’s controversial protests during the Vietnam War (in which the UK did not support our US allies), have to tell us about more recent conflicts in Syria and Iraq (in which we did)? Particularly in the wake of the Chilcot Report? (And was the timing of […]

  • Through The Mill Q&A. © Anthony Kelly
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    Photos and podcast: Going Through the Q&A Mill with three Judy Garlands

Photos and podcast: Going Through the Q&A Mill with three Judy Garlands

I first saw – and adored – Through the Mill when it premiered at the London Theatre Workshop (then above a pub in Fulham) last year. I was delighted when the show, which revolves around three pivotal periods in the life of Judy Garland, announced its transfer to the – much larger, more centrally […]

  • Landi Oshinowo, Nicholas Colicos and Rosanna Hyland at I'm Getting My At Together's post-show Q&A
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    Photos and podcast: I’m Getting My Act Together with Landi Oshinowo and co

Photos and podcast: I’m Getting My Act Together with Landi Oshinowo and co

Last seen in London in 1981, when its premiere production ran at the West End’s Apollo Theatre after success Off-Broadway, I’m Getting My Act Together and Taking It on the Road has returned 35 years on for a limited season at Jermyn Street Theatre, where Landi Oshinowo takes on the role of pop star […]

  • Claudio Macor and Peter Tatchell at Savage post-show Q&A
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    Photos and podcast: Peter Tatchell and the real-life Nazi war crimes behind Savage

Photos and podcast: Peter Tatchell and the real-life Nazi war crimes behind Savage

Most theatregoers will have only learned about Carl Peter Værnet from watching Claudio Macor’s new play Savage, now running upstairs at the Arts Theatre. But the Nazi doctor from Denmark has played a large role in the life of LGBTI activist Peter Tatchell for decades.

It was in the late 1980s that Tatchell first learned of Værnet, […]

PHOTOS: The new cast of Some Girl(s) show their sassiness

Character portraits aren’t just for Harry Potter. Photographer Darren Bell gained access to the new cast of Buckland Theatre’s revival of Neil LaBute’s Some Girl(s) to snap these beauties.
In the play, directed by Gary Condes, Guy (played by Charles Dorfman) is desperate to clear his conscience before he gets married. So he sets off on […]

  • Terri Paddock with Sideways author Rex Pickett and the cast at last night's post-show Q&A
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    Photos and podcast: Sideways author Rex Pickett and the wine-mad cast

Photos and podcast: Sideways author Rex Pickett and the wine-mad cast

Did you know that Sideways was an unpublished novel – rejected, like the efforts of the character Miles in the story, some 66 times – when the film rights were first picked up? In fact, the novel and film, about middle-aged buddies Miles and Jack on a pre-nuptials road trip through California wine country, were […]

  • Cast Lauren Samuels, Natasha Cottriall and Maimuna Memon at the post-show Q&A
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    Photos and podcast: Talking politics and musicals at The Buskers Opera

Photos and podcast: Talking politics and musicals at The Buskers Opera

The Buskers Opera, set during the London 2012 Olympics, is inspired by John Gay’s 1728 The Beggar’s Opera which, amongst other works, has also inspired Brecht’s 1928 piece The Threepenny Opera, revived later this month at the National Theatre.

But while the basic structure and characters are owed to Gay, the zany genius of The Buskers Opera […]

  • Two generations of female playwrights: Tanika Gupta and Anna Jordan at My Mother Said I Never Should panel discussion. © Peter Jones
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    Photos and podcast: What’s changed for female playwrights since My Mother Said I Never Should?

Photos and podcast: What’s changed for female playwrights since My Mother Said I Never Should?

How much has changed for female playwrights since 1985 when Charlotte Keatley wrote her landmark play, My Mother Said I Never Should? The play is now receiving its first major London revival in a critically acclaimed production starring Maureen Lipman and Katie Brayben at the St James Theatre, and as part of the limited […]

  • Guests at the Managed Networks theatre security seminar, 26 April 2016. © Debra Rapp
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    How secure is the theatre industry? ISIS isn’t the only threat

How secure is the theatre industry? ISIS isn’t the only threat

To my theatregoing readers: in the wake of Paris and Brussels, how secure do you feel going to the theatre?

Yesterday, I chaired an event looking at security risks currently facing Theatreland. As far as terrorism threats go, let me share some good news from our guest speaker, Rob Hoblin, a Cognitious Ltd consultant who […]

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    Photos and podcast: On Ayckbourn and comedy with How The Other Half Loves‘ cast and director

Photos and podcast: On Ayckbourn and comedy with How The Other Half Loves‘ cast and director

What’s the essence of good comedy? And what marks out an Alan Ayckbourn comedy in particular? What does the UK’s most prolific, produced playwright (80 plays and counting) demand of actors and directors? And, despite the (often onerous, occasionally near-impossible) demands, why do actors and directors relish coming back for more?

These were some the […]

  • Stephen Unwin. © Peter Jones
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    Photos and podcast: The politics of theatre at The Caucasian Chalk Circle Q&A

Photos and podcast: The politics of theatre at The Caucasian Chalk Circle Q&A

What’s the difference between political theatre and theatre about politics? Can theatre be a catalyst for real change? Do right-wing political perspectives get a fair hearing onstage or is theatre the preserve of the left-wing? And how much does modern political theatre owe to Bertolt Brecht?

These were just some of the questions that arose in a lively […]

  • Simon, Josh, Thomas and Jake
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    Photos and podcast: Barrie Keeffe discusses “unacceptable”, still timely Barbarians

Photos and podcast: Barrie Keeffe discusses “unacceptable”, still timely Barbarians

Regular readers of this blog will know that, a few weeks ago, I was blown away by Tooting Arts Club’s revival of Barbarians, Barrie Keeffe’s 1977 modern classic about disaffected London youth. So much so that I practically begged the producer Rachel Edwards to let me come back and chair a post-show discussion on the […]

  • Producer Katy Lipson introduces the From Page to Stage opening night and season © Peter Jones
    Permalink Producer Katy Lipson introduces the From Page to Stage opening night and season © Peter JonesGallery

    From Page to Stage photos and podcast: Are we doing enough to nurture new musicals?

From Page to Stage photos and podcast: Are we doing enough to nurture new musicals?

What an honour! Last night I had the privilege of helping to open the third annual From Page to Stage season of new musicals. From Page to Stage is the brainchild of Katy Lipson of Aria Entertainment, who also produced The House of Mirrors and Hearts, for which I chaired a post-show Q&A at […]

  • Audience at the Tristan Bates Theatre
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    Photos and podcast: Why we should edit classics like Hamlet and Marlowe’s Tamburlaine

Photos and podcast: Why we should edit classics like Hamlet and Marlowe’s Tamburlaine

A couple of weeks ago, as part of the ongoing Hamlet hysteria, I was amazed that such an apparent uproar was caused by director Lyndsey Turner’s experimenting with the placement of the play’s most famous soliloquy, “To be or not to be”. When I was contacted by the Independent (article link below) for comment […]

  • Producers, Jamie, Molly, Ryan and Rob
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    Photos and podcast: The making of new British musical The House of Mirrors and Hearts

Photos and podcast: The making of new British musical The House of Mirrors and Hearts

The adage – usually attributed to Sondheim – that “musicals aren’t written, they’re rewritten” was central to the post-show discussion that I hosted last night at London’s Arcola Theatre. It was the final preview performance of The House of Mirrors and Hearts, the new British chamber musical by Eamonn O’Dwyer and Robert Gilbert, which faces critics […]

  • The Father's leading man Alex Ferns wants to talk at the post-show panel on equal parenting
    Permalink The Father's leading man Alex Ferns wants to talk at the post-show panel on equal parentingGallery

    Photos and podcast: Equal parenting, Fathers4Justice and Strindberg’s The Father

Photos and podcast: Equal parenting, Fathers4Justice and Strindberg’s The Father

I’m still reeling after the thrillingly heated and thought-provoking panel discussion I hosted last night at Trafalgar Studios 2. This was the second in a series of post-show events I’ve programmed around issues and themes raised in Jagged Fence’s explosive new production of Strindberg’s The Father, starring Alex Ferns.

We set a high benchmark with last […]

  • Feminism Today panelists: Laurie Slade, Polly Toynbee, Tim Robey, Polly Neate, Natalie Collins  and Caroline Criado-Perez, with chair Terri Paddock. © Peter Jones
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    Photos and podcast: Feminism, Fifty Shades of Grey and The Father

Photos and podcast: Feminism, Fifty Shades of Grey and The Father

How far have we come with feminism since August Strindberg was writing in the 1880s? “About halfway,” said Polly Toynbee on Monday night at Trafalgar Studios, in the first of a series of post-show panel discussions I’ve programmed and am hosting around Jagged Fence’s explosive new production of Strindberg’s The Father, starring Alex Ferns and […]

  • Terri Paddock with Jonty Stephens and Ian Ashpitel at Eric and Little Ern Q&A, 18 Dec 2014. © Peter Jones
    Permalink Terri Paddock with Jonty Stephens and Ian Ashpitel at Eric and Little Ern Q&A, 18 Dec 2014. © Peter JonesGallery

    Eric and Little Ern Q&A photos + 13 things I now know about Morecambe & Wise

Eric and Little Ern Q&A photos + 13 things I now know about Morecambe & Wise

Less than 24 hours before my scheduled post-show Q&A at the St James Theatre, I had a temperature of over 103° F (39.4° C). My boyfriend tells me I was semi-delirious. He contacted the producers of Eric and Little Ern and warned them I may not be able to make it the next night.

But, […]

  • Michael Flatley with young lords of the dance Tom Cunningham, James Keegan, Morgan Comer and Matt Smith at the London Palladium
    Permalink Michael Flatley with young lords of the dance Tom Cunningham, James Keegan, Morgan Comer and Matt Smith at the London PalladiumGallery

    Photos and podcast: With the original Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley

Photos and podcast: With the original Lord of the Dance Michael Flatley

I’m excited to attend the gala opening tonight of Michael Flatley’s revamped Lord of the Dance: Dangerous Games. I got a sneak peek recently when a few extracts were performed at a preview event at the London Palladium.

In addition to the pounding Irish dancing – performed by a 40-strong company of world champions – […]

  • Benjamin Scheuer and Terri Paddock at The Lion post-show Q&A, 27 Aug 2014. © Peter Jones
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    Photos and podcast: The Lion post-show Q&A with Benjamin Scheuer

Photos and podcast: The Lion post-show Q&A with Benjamin Scheuer

As I mentioned in my Theatre Diary today, I cannot recommend Benjamin Scheuer’s The Lion highly enough. This is a beautiful one-man musical about a boy and his father and how that boy became a man and fell in love with playing music.

Last night, after being blown away by the 70-minute performance, I had […]

Photos and podcast: Therese Raquin post-show Q&A

What a turnout! After a Twitter RT frenzy with the cast of Therese Raquin yesterday, every single one of them joined me for a post-show Q&A after their sensational performance last night at the Park Theatre – including, as promised, feline star, Francois the Cat!

We were also joined by Nona Sheppard, who adapted Emile […]

  • Terri Paddock and writer/director Chris Larner
    Permalink Terri Paddock and writer/director Chris LarnerGallery

    Photos and podcast: The Frida Kahlo of Penge West post-show Q&A

Photos and podcast: The Frida Kahlo of Penge West post-show Q&A

I had a great time last night (3 July 2014) hosting the post-show Q&A at the hilarious new “two-woman comedy about putting on a one-woman show”, The Frida Kahlo of Penge West. I was joined by writer/director Chris Larner and the show’s two stars, Cecily Nash and Laura Kirman.

Amongst the topics discussed were: comedy […]