Jan
30
Wed
2019
RECORD-BREAKING MUSICAL IMPROVISATION Showstopper!: Post-show Q&A with the improv masters @ The Other Palace
Jan 30 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Showstopper! runs at London's The Other Palace from 22 January to 16 March 2019

Showstopper! runs at London’s The Other Palace from 22 January to 16 March 2019

The Showstoppers are legends. I first came across them, well, a long time ago at Edinburgh and then at the King’s Head Theatre in London. They even created WhatsOnStage: The Musical for me for a special event. In the new year, they celebrate another milestone – their 1000th performance – with a new eight-week season at The Other Palace. I can’t wait to reunite with them to discuss their incredible journey to date…

The company of SHOWSTOPPER! The Improvised Musical will deliver eight brand-new, completely spontaneous musicals every week at The Other Palace, alongside their regular monthly performances in the West End’s Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue. During the run, the company will mark their 1000th unique, one-of-a-kind performance.

With eleven years as an Edinburgh Festival must-see phenomenon, a critically acclaimed West End run and the Olivier Award for Best Entertainment and Family Show to their name, The Showstoppers – founded by Dylan Emery and Adam Meggido – have blazed a trail in world-class improvised musical comedy and delighted audiences across the globe.

Transforming audience suggestions – for setting, musical styles, show title and more – into all-singing, all-dancing productions with hilarious results, The Showstoppers guarantee audiences an entirely different show every single night as each performance is a brand-new musical West End hit waiting to happen.

For the Q&A after the 7.30pm performance of Showstopper! on Wednesday 30 January 2019, I’ll be joined by Dylan Emery, Adam Meggido and other members of the Showstoppers company.

 

Buy tickets to SHOWSTOPPER!

 


London Is Open… and so are The Showstoppers

In a vast library of videos over the past 11 years, here’s a Showstopper! sample that still tickles me: a Brexit-soothing ditty for the Mayor London’s post-2016 referendum London Is Open campaign.

Jan
31
Thu
2019
1940s-STYLE MUSICAL SATIRE The Ministry of Biscuits: Post-show Q&A with writer Philip Reeve and the company @ Barons Court Theatre
Jan 31 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
The Ministry of Biscuits runs at London's Barons Court Theatre 29 January-10 February 2019

The Ministry of Biscuits runs at London’s Barons Court Theatre 29 January-10 February 2019

Stop! Think before you eat that biscuit! Is it in any way fancy? If so, then you are a criminal!

In post-war London, The Ministry of Biscuits casts its sinister shadow over every tea-time and elevenses in the land. Established to “control biscuits, and to control the idea of biscuits,” it prohibits decadent sweetmeats, such as the Gypsy Cream. But when Cedric Hobson, a junior designer, falls in love and designs a biscuit to “shake confectionery to its very foundations,” his world – and the ministry – are turned upside down.

The Ministry of Biscuits is inspired by 1940s British Light Music, George Orwell’s 1984 and The Ealing Comedies. This satirical musical fantasy is a unique collaboration between the hugely popular novelist Philip Reeve and playwright and composer Brian Mitchell.

Philip Reeve is winner of The Carnegie Medal, the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Award, whose best-selling novel Mortal Engines is now a major motion picture produced by The Lord of The Rings director Peter Jackson. Brian Mitchell‘s credits include Those Magnificent Men and Big Daddy Vs. Giant Haystacks.

“The freshest comedy in years… Absolutely hilarious, this is satire at its best” – Edinburgh Evening News

“What an absolutely ripping wheeze…a top-hole musical comedy without a trace of Lloyd Webber anywhere… A highly entertaining, clever show, packed with neat one-liners” – The Stage

“A wonderful cast… Terrific fun and a very entertaining evening” – Brighton Argus

“Wonderfully done, delightful and one of the best family shows on the Fringe” – The List

The Ministry of Biscuits comes to London following a sell-out 35-date national tour. Mitchell is joined in the cast by BBC Radio 4 regular David Mounfield (Geoffrey in Count Arthur Strong’s Radio Show), Amy Mount and Murray Simon in this highly entertaining and unique show – original, hilarious, and infectiously tuneful entertainment for audiences of all ages.


For the post-show Q&A after the 7.30pm performance on Thursday 31 January 2019, I’ll be joined by writers Philip Reeve and Brian Mitchell and other members of The Ministry of Biscuits cast. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!

Feb
5
Tue
2019
NEGLECTED JEAN ANOUILH CLASSIC The Orchestra: Post-show Q&A with director & cast @ Omnibus Theatre
Feb 5 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
The Orchestra runs from 29 January to 17 February 2019 at London's Omnibus Theatre

The Orchestra runs from 29 January to 17 February 2019 at London’s Omnibus Theatre

After Q&A events in 2018 for The Pit and the Pendulum, Blood Wedding, The Yellow Wallpaper and The Soul of Wittgenstein, I’ll return to the Omnibus Theatre in 2019 for a rarely seen French modern classic…

“BANG, BANG, BANG. That’s love for you…”

Fizzing comedy and catastrophe collide in multi-award-winning director Kristine Landon-Smith’s revival of The Orchestra, the neglected 1960 play by celebrated French dramatist Jean Anouilh, whose other often-absurdist classics include Antigone, Eurydice, The Lark and Becket.

A third-rate orchestra in a French spa town play time-worn musical arrangements to an indifferent audience. In between the musical interludes, idle chit-chat reveals the power struggles that lurk behind the ensemble’s shiny veneer.

As the overture descends into an intoxicating symphony of piercing jealousy, bizarre gossip and thwarted emotions, the musicians reach an unexpected finale – but the music goes jauntily on…

For the Q&A after the 7.30pm performance of The Orchestra on Tuesday 5 February 2019, I’ll be joined by director Kristine Landon-Smith and members of the company.

 

Buy tickets to THE ORCHESTRA

 

Feb
6
Wed
2019
VAULT FESTIVAL HEADLINER Counting Sheep: Post-show Q&A with the Ukrainian revolutionaries & show creators @ The Vaults
Feb 6 @ 7:00 pm – 9:15 pm
Counting Sheep runs at VAULT Festival 23 January-17 March 2019.

Counting Sheep runs at VAULT Festival 23 January-17 March 2019.

Will you be a protestor or an observer? Join me to stage a revolution at VAULT Festival’s 2019 headline production Counting Sheep, the award-winning immersive Ukrainian folk opera turned Edinburgh Fringe and international sensation, and to hear first-hand from its freedom-fighter creators.

Counting Sheep is a deeply personal retelling of the revolution in Ukraine, where creators Mark and Marichka Marczyk met and fell in love on the barricades of Maidan Square during the 2014 Kiev Uprising.

You are invited to become part of the revolution itself. Lose yourself in the events that changed the course of Ukrainian history forever. Sing, march, protest, dance, eat, help, recoil, fight, laugh, cry. With folk singing, found footage and revolutionary staging this ‘Guerrilla Folk Opera’ is an electrifying exploration of human resilience.

The show was a critically acclaimed sell-out hit at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2016, and has since toured the world. This year, Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin of the Belarus Free Theatre direct this new version, incorporating new English-language monologues telling the story of the Marczyks’ love affair – where the political becomes personal and vice versa.

Mark and Marichka Marczyk

Mark and Marichka Marczyk

Counting Sheep is a unique artistic collaboration between Mark and Marichka Marczyk, whose lives changed forever while fighting for freedom and love in Maidan Square, and Natalia Kaliada and Nicolai Khalezin, whose struggles with the repressive dictatorship in Belarus are well documented. This joint theatrical statement from people who went through real life and death situations makes for an explosive stage experience.

Natalia Kaliada, Co-Artistic Director of the Belarus Free Theatre said:

“Given what is happening in the UK with Brexit, especially in these last few months, it is important to remind all of us that, in Ukraine, people were being jailed and killed for their dreams of being part of the European family, just as they did in Belarus, where we protested under European Union flags at great personal risk.

“Counting Sheep gives one-thousand-year-old songs a contemporary twist, intersperses them with incredible storytelling, and puts it all together in a theatrical framework that reminds us not to take our freedoms for granted. Counting Sheep is urgent, essential theatre.”

Mark Marczyk said: “The Revolution was the catalyst that changed the way we see ourselves, our country, our music, our contribution to Ukrainian culture on the global scene. We understood that to be is to be political – every breath we take, every note we sing or don’t sing, every word we speak is one that can have an effect on the balance of war and peace in the world.”

For the Q&A on Wednesday 6 February 2019 at VAULT Festival, I’ll be joined after the 7pm performance by Counting Sheep creators Mark and Marichka Marczyk. CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!


 

Feb
7
Thu
2019
NEW KNOCKABOUT COMEDY My Dad’s Gap Year: Post-show Q&A writer author Tom Wright, director Rikki Beadle-Blair and cast @ Park Theatre
Feb 7 @ 7:45 pm – 10:00 pm
My Dad’s Gap Year runs from 30 January to 23 February 2019 at London’s Park Theatre

My Dad’s Gap Year runs from 30 January to 23 February 2019 at London’s Park Theatre

After my December event at Dialektikon, I’m already looking forward to returning to the Park Theatre’s upstairs Park90 in the new year as part of a programme of events for the world premiere of Tom Wright’s My Dad’s Gap Year

“Seriously, William, you’re eighteen and you’re gay, for Christ’s sake. You’re meant to swim against the tide. A proper gap year is all about travelling. Seeing the world. Popping your cherry. This is our chance to start living. Me and you.”

This is the story of Dave; a dad in mid-life freefall who takes his repressed, gay, teenage son William on a wild adventure to Thailand to lose his virginity. Written by Tom Wright and directed by Rikki Beadle-Blair (MBE), My Dad’s Gap Year is a wickedly funny and heartfelt story based on true events.

Michelle Collins (Eastenders, Coronation Street) stars as William’s mother Cath – a woman on her own journey of self-discovery – alongside Adam Lannon, Alex Britt, Victoria Gigante and Max Percy.

Gay love, straight love, trans love, buddy-love, drinking games and beer bellies. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s gonna be a mad one!

For the Q&A after the performance of My Dad’s Gap Year on Thursday 7 February 2019, I’ll be joined by playwright Tom Wright, director Rikki Beadle-Blair and the company to discuss the play, production and creative process. Producers have also planned a series of issues-led talks throughout the run.

 

Buy tickets to My Dad’s Gap Year

 

Feb
8
Fri
2019
BRAM STOKER IN THE BOOKSHELVES: Post-show Q&A for Dracula staged at the London Library @ The London Library
Feb 8 @ 7:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Creation Theatre's Dracula transfers to The London Library from 2 February to 2 March 2019

Creation Theatre’s Dracula transfers to The London Library from 2 February to 2 March 2019


I had a fantastic time talking to Creation Theatre about their thrilling, sonic-immersive, one-woman adaptation of Edgar Allan Poe’s The Pit and the Pendulum. I’m really looking forward to seeing what they do with their hit two-hander version of another literary classic, Bram Stoker’s Dracula – my first-ever visit (certainly for a show) to The London Library…

“There is a poison in my blood, in my soul, which may destroy me”

Bram Stoker‘s 1892 Gothic horror novel tells the story of Count Dracula’s attempt to move from Transylvania to England so that he may find new blood and spread the vampires’ undead curse.

Creation Theatre Company’s new adaptation of Dracula, written by Kate Kerrow and directed by Helen Tennison, is performed by just two actors and uses innovative audio-visual design to conjure up the phantom count. It had a sell-out run in March 2018 in the basement of Blackwell’s Bookshop in Oxford.

It now transfers for a strictly limited season at the historic London Library, dubbed by Stephen Fry as a “gym of the mind”. For nearly two hundred years, The London Library has played a central role in the intellectual and cultural life of the nation. It holds a remarkable collection of over one million books and periodicals – around 8000 new volumes are added annually – including some astonishing rarities and a uniquely eclectic mix of titles.

Based in Banbury, Creation Theatre have been producing site-specific productions across Oxfordshire for 22 years, bringing anarchic adaptations of classic stories to unusual venues.

“Creation’s new production of Dracula uses innovative techniques & staging to tell the story, while simultaneously taking it back to its roots. Sexuality, identity & the boundary between good & evil are questioned throughout, held up to close scrutiny, and found to be fragile & fragmenting. The horror aspects of the story are brought to the forefront, and there are many moments that are genuinely frightening” – Daily Info

“It is sensuous, unsettling, humorous in parts & technically brilliant with expert stagecraft. It is absorbing to the point of hypnotic. There is a little gore; most of the frights are unseen. This is a very grown-up Dracula for our times with a strong female lead. A hugely enjoyable show & a towering achievement for Creation” – ★★★★★ The Oxford Times

For the Q&A after the 7.30pm performance of Dracula on Friday 8 February 2019, I’ll be joined by members of the cast and creative team.

 

Buy tickets to DRACULA

 

Feb
12
Tue
2019
SHAKESPEARE RE-IMAGINED The Tempest: Lazarus Theatre post-show panel debate @ Greenwich Theatre
Feb 12 @ 7:30 pm – 9:30 pm
Lazarus' The Tempest runs 5-16 February 2019 at London's Greenwich Theatre

Lazarus’ The Tempest runs 5-16 February 2019 at London’s Greenwich Theatre

After events for Edward II, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, The Taming of the Shrew, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, The Beggar’s Opera and Tamburlaine, I’m delighted to reunite with Lazarus Theatre to chair a series of post-show debates with the company and its guests at Greenwich Theatre: Shakespeare’s The Tempest, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and Oscar Wilde’s Salome.

“O brave new world, that has such people in it.”

A storm, violent and destructive, reveals an enchanted island ruled by Prospero. In creating this fierce and ferocious tempest, she wrecks a passing ship and washes her enemies upon the shore.

When they wake they find themselves lost on a fantastical island where nothing is as it seems. A story of magic, love, revenge and forgiveness.

Shakespeare’s legendary The Tempest hits the stage in this epic new ensemble production, adapted and directed by Lazarus artistic director Ricky Dukes, and features as the first offering in the company’s second year-long residency at The Greenwich Theatre.

For the Q&A after the 7.30pm performance of The Tempest on Tuesday 12 February 2019, I’ll be joined by Ricky Dukes and a panel of expert guests.

 

Buy tickets to THE TEMPEST

 

Feb
17
Sun
2019
TRUE-LIFE TRANSITION TALE Call Me Vicky: Post-show Q&A with sister co-writers & co-stars @ Pleasance Theatre
Feb 17 @ 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Call Me Vicky runs from 19 February to 9 March 2019 at London's Pleasance Theatre.

Call Me Vicky runs from 19 February to 9 March 2019 at London’s Pleasance Theatre.

These true-life sisters truly are doing it for themselves – and for their godmother who played such an important part of their lives. I already feel inspired by Nicola and Stacey Bland and the story they tell.

“For the last time, it’s not Martin… It’s Vicky!” 

It’s 1980 in Elephant and Castle. Martin and best friend Debbie are getting ready for another night out at Martin’s favourite night spot, The Golden Girl, one of Soho’s premier drag clubs. However, tonight is not a regular night out. Tonight is the night that will change Martin’s life forever.

Call Me Vicky is an honest, frank and revealing insight into an important struggle that has been relevant for generations. Having grown up on a council estate in south London and worked in the back streets of Soho, drinking, drugs and violence were commonplace when Vicky was overcoming all the adversity and ostracism that surrounded her transitioning.

Will the love of Vicky’s friends, family and drag queens be enough to get her through the toughest of times? Call Me Vicky charts Vicky’s journey to become the person she knows herself to truly be.

Call Me Vicky is the debut play by sisters Nicola and Stacey Bland, who also feature in the cast alongside Wendi Peters and Matt Greenwood (as Vicky). This hard-hitting, comic production charts Vicky’s transition from male to female in a time that was far less understanding than the world we live in today.

Stacey and Nicola comment:

Call Me Vicky is very personal to us, and we are thrilled that this incredible true story is being told. We like to think it has something for everyone. It will make you laugh, cry and gasp in disbelief. In the 1980s, it was almost unheard of for someone to transition. Yet Vicky’s story is still so relevant, and we feel it is important to see how her struggles paved the way for the 21st-century trans community.”

After the 6pm performance on Sunday 24 February 2019, I’ll be joined for a post-show discussion by Call Me Vicky co-writers Nicola and Stacey Bland and their fellow company members.

Mar
26
Tue
2019
MIXED-GENDER REVIVAL OF Lord of the Flies: Lazarus Theatre post-show panel debate @ Greenwich Theatre
Mar 26 @ 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm
Lord of the Flies returns to Greenwich Theatre from 20 to 30 March 2019

Lord of the Flies returns to Greenwich Theatre from 20 to 30 March 2019

After events for Edward II, The Caucasian Chalk Circle, The Taming of the Shrew, ‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, The Beggar’s Opera and Tamburlaine, I’m delighted to reunite with Lazarus Theatre to chair a series of post-show debates with the company and its guests at Greenwich Theatre: Shakespeare’s The Tempest, William Golding’s Lord of the Flies and Oscar Wilde’s Salome.

“What are we? Humans? Animals? Or savages?”

William Golding’s explosive 20th-century classic returns to the London stage after a smash hit run in 2018.

Eleven children, one island… an incredible adventure turns into a fight for survival.

Lord of the Flies is the second production in Lazarus Theatre’s second year-long season at the Greenwich Theatre after the company’s critically acclaimed, sell-out run in 2018.

★★★★ “A strong & stirring production, making a classic story feel as if it was written yesterday – the performances are excellent” – Mind the Blog

★★★★ “A visceral & irresistible production” – Broadway Baby

Awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1983, Golding’s writing continues to touch every country in the world and is today read in more than 35 languages. Lord of the Flies, published in 1954, was named in the Modern Library 100 Best Novels.

Golding was knighted by the Queen in 1988. In addition to Lord of the Flies, he wrote 11 other novels, as well as stage plays, essays and short stories.

For the Q&A after the 7.30pm performance of Lord of the Flies on Tuesday 21 March 2019, I’ll be joined by Lazarus artistic director Ricky Dukes and a panel of expert guests.

 

Buy tickets to LORD OF THE FLIES

 

Apr
1
Mon
2019
LIFE AS A MINORITY IN TRUMP’S AMERICA: Half Me, Half You post-show debate @ Tristan Bates Theatre
Apr 1 @ 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm
Half Me, Half You runs at London's Tristan Bates Theatre from 26 March to 6 April 2019

Half Me, Half You runs at London’s Tristan Bates Theatre from 26 March to 6 April 2019

Anyone who follows me on Twitter (and particularly my @TerriOnPolitics account) will know just how concerned I am by the accelerating authoritarianism on display in my native United States. Playwright Liane Grant does follow me and so knew that the opportunity to chair a post-show discussion on her new play would be one I couldn’t turn down…

What if you were black, gay and a woman in America right now?

In Half Me, Half You, Jess and Meredith are a married, interracial, gay couple living in New York in 2017 – the era of Trump – weathering a new wave of intolerance, discrimination and oppression, which is sweeping the nation and seeping into their home.

16 years later, Maya, a biracial British teen is forced into American life, braving the aftermath of a second civil war, and changing Meredith’s life irrevocably.

Returning after its highly praised 2018 run in New York and London, in her remarkable writing debut, Liane Grant’s Half Me, Half You confronts the reality of the current global climate and explores the consequences for future generations, while reminding us that we are all simply people searching for love and acceptance.

After the 6pm performance of Half Me, Half You on Monday 1 April 2019, I’ll be joined by Liane Grant and special guests to discuss issues explored in the play. How are they manifesting in society, nationally and internationally? How is the arts industry addressing them? What can we practically do as individuals to resist?

 

Buy tickets to HALF ME, HALF YOU