You’re invited to join me for a ‘truly virtuosic performance… a masterclass’ (★★★★★ London Theatre 1) with Judy Garland, Patsy Cline, Edith Piaf, Billie Holiday and Maria Callas, care of the West End transfer of Songs for Nobodies.
On stage for 90 minutes accompanied by live musicians and ‘performed with astounding versatility’ (★★★★ The Reviews Hub), award-winning Australian singer and actor Bernadette Robinson‘s miraculous voice shifts from the smoky blues of Holiday to the thrilling soprano of Callas, via Garland, Cline and Piaf.
With consummate ease, Robinson breathes new life into the five legendary performers and the five ordinary women whose lives were changed by their brush with fame. The piece was written specifically for Robinson by award-winning Australian playwright Joanna Murray Smith, whose hit play Switzerland precedes Songs for Nobodies at the Ambassadors.
This ‘tour de force’ (★★★★★ Broadway World), showcasing Robinson in her critically-acclaimed one-woman performance of a lifetime, is ‘a fabulous story’ (★★★★ The Times).
Returning due to phenomenal demand, Songs For Nobodies transfers for this limited West End season following its European premiere in 2018 at Wilton’s Music Hall and international touring success.
For the Q&A after the 7.45pm performance of Songs for Nobodies on Friday 11 January 2019, I’ll be joined by Bernadette Robinson for an intimate and in-depth discussion.
How do women deal with the destruction? How has the Harvey Weinstein scandal affected the women left behind? Not just for those he raped and harassed. what about for his wife? For his daughters? Thinking about this provided inspiration for Liv Warden’s debut play ANOMALY…
It’s 6am. News has just broken that Phillip Preston, media mogul and film-industry powerhouse has been arrested for assaulting his wife. His three daughters, who lead separate lives, are left with the fallout.
As they battle the world’s press, the board members of Preston International and each other, they soon find themselves not only fighting to save the Preston dynasty but to protect everything they know to be true.
In our Kardashian soaked culture of sensationalism, victims’ testimonies are finally being taken seriously and the world is listening. But, this play is not about men like Harvey Weinstein. It’s about how the women in the lives of men like him are affected when the truth is spat out.
Livia Warden‘s ANOMALY is a war cry for the women who have been left to pick up the pieces. The premiere production is directed by Adam Small for Wild Child Productions.
For the Q&A after the 75-minute matinee of ANOMALY on Sunday 13 January 2019, I’ll be joined by the writer, director and members of the cast.
I’m starting my new year post-show Q&A schedule back at one of my very favourite venues, Trafalgar Studios 2, for this much-anticipated transfer. More than 35 years on, there will be plenty to discuss around this anniversary production of this debut play from late British dramatist Kevin Elyot…
In 2017, King’s Head artistic director Adam Spreadbury-Maher directed the 35th-anniversary production and the first London revival of Coming Clean, the first play Kevin Elyot, who became best known for AIDS era classic My Night with Reg. The play premiered at the Bush Theatre on 3 November 1982.
Coming Clean looks at the breakdown of a gay couple’s relationship and examines complex questions of fidelity and love.
The play is set in a flat in Kentish Town, north London, in 1982. Struggling writer Tony and his partner of five years, Greg, seem to have the perfect relationship. Committed and in love, they are both open to one-night stands as long as they don’t impinge on the relationship. But Tony is starting to yearn for something deeper, something more like monogamy. When he finds out that Greg has been having a full-blown affair with their cleaner, Robert, their differing attitudes towards love and commitment become clear.
Written 12 years before My Night With Reg, Coming Clean won Elyot the Samuel Beckett Award for writers showing particular promise in the field of the performing arts.
For the West End transfer, Adam Spreadbury-Maher (recent King’s Head Theatre productions include the European premiere of Tommy Murphy’s Strangers in Between, La Bohème and Trainspotting) again directs Amanda Mascarenhas as set designer and Nic Farman as lighting designer.
Coming Clean is being produced in the West End by King’s Head Theatre, Making Productions Limited and Joe C Brown.
For the post-show discussion on Wednesday 16 January 2018, I’ll be joined by director Adam Spreadbury-Maher and a panel of guest experts to be announced.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?