• I chaired a post-show Q&A with Stand & Be Counted Theatre at their performance of Where We Began at HighTide Festival in Walthamstow on 23 Sep 2018. © Peter Jones
    Permalink Gallery

    Where We Began Q&A video and photos: Should where we’re born define where we end up?

Where We Began Q&A video and photos: Should where we’re born define where we end up?

Should country of birth define your identity or determine where you end up? 
Set in the near-future, Stand and Be Counted Theatre’s highly political new play Where We Began imagines a world where a new universal law mandates that everyone must return to where they were born and stay there. Borders are built everywhere and strictly enforced: […]

  • David Haig with Philip Cairns & Malcolm Sinclair at the Pressure post-show Q&A at the Ambassadors Theatre on 2 July 2018. © Peter Jones
    Permalink Gallery

    Pressure Q&A video and photos: How did David Haig come to write and star in a play about unsung Scottish hero and weatherman James Stagg?

Pressure Q&A video and photos: How did David Haig come to write and star in a play about unsung Scottish hero and weatherman James Stagg?

If you’d never heard of the James Stagg before David Haig’s latest play Pressure, don’t feel bad: neither had he. Haig was approached by director John Dove and Edinburgh’s Royal Lyceum Theatre who wanted to create a play about an unsung Scottish hero. They drew up a list of possible candidates and Stagg caught […]

  • Ewan McGregor & Jonny Lee Miller in the 1996 film of Trainspotting
    Permalink Gallery

    How did Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting become a cultural phenomenon? I’m finally ready to immerse myself

How did Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting become a cultural phenomenon? I’m finally ready to immerse myself

I’ve always been squeamish about needles. And I’m not much better with graphic drug-taking by any other method either. I first saw Harry Gibson’s stage adaptation of Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting in the 1990s when I was a recently-arrived-from-America twenty-something in London. My memory of the experience involves nausea and confusion (I wasn’t able to understand much of what the […]

  • The full military monty:  The entire Soldier On company took part in the post-show Q&A at the Playground Theatre. © Peter Jones
    Permalink Gallery

    Q&A photos and podcast: How has theatre helped Soldier On‘s veterans recover?

Q&A photos and podcast: How has theatre helped Soldier On‘s veterans recover?

I’m pretty certain that my event last night at SOLDIER ON was my largest-ever panel for a post-show Q&A: in total, there were 19 of us, including me. Thank goodness the Playground Theatre had plenty of chairs and just enough room to arrange them in arc across the stage (I chose to stand and rove!).

Such enthusiasm for the piece […]

Plays diary: Heisenberg, 31 Hours, All the Little Lights

I can’t get out of my mind the idea of touring two new, one-act plays I’ve seen recently – Jane Upton’s All The Little Lights and Kieran Knowles’ 31 Hours – as a double bill. It’s something that would absolutely warrant generous funding for tackling important and urgent social issues, and you could map out the tour […]

  • London's many festivals this August
    Permalink Gallery

    Is London the real festival city in August? InMotion & other capital offerings

Is London the real festival city in August? InMotion & other capital offerings

I’m in the slightly odd position this month of working on an Edinburgh show while not being in Edinburgh at all. (Mind you, I have seen the show, in China in May, so can knowledgeably recommend it – so, if you’re in Edinburgh, by all means, do! It’s China Goes Pop!, a great East […]

  • Jeffrey Holland with Corinna Marlowe in Waiting for God. © Geraint Lewis
    Permalink Gallery

    My Waiting for God interview series: Leading man Jeffrey Holland

My Waiting for God interview series: Leading man Jeffrey Holland

I was recently hired by the producer of Waiting for God to interview the show’s stars and writer as it embarks on a major UK tour. Here’s the first in a three-part series. Waiting for God continues touring until 8 July 2017. Visit the show website for full dates and tickets.

Jeffrey Holland stars in the new stage […]

  • Nichola McAuliffe in Waiting for God. © Geraint Lewis
    Permalink Gallery

    My Waiting for God interview series: Leading lady Nichola McAuliffe

My Waiting for God interview series: Leading lady Nichola McAuliffe

I was recently hired by the producer of Waiting for God to interview the show’s stars and writer as it embarks on a major UK tour. Here’s the first in a three-part series. Waiting for God continues touring until 8 July 2017. Visit the show website for full dates and tickets.

Nichola McAuliffe stars in the new stage […]

  • Waitingforgoda5brochure-roadsign_0
    Permalink Gallery

    My Waiting for God interview series: Writer and creator Michael Aitkens

My Waiting for God interview series: Writer and creator Michael Aitkens

I was recently hired by the producer of Waiting for God to interview the show’s stars and writer as it embarks on a major UK tour. Here’s the first in a three-part series. Waiting for God continues touring until 8 July 2017. Visit the show website for full dates and tickets.

Michael Aitkens conceived and created the […]

  • The Boys in the Band cast members Greg Lockett, John Hopkins, Ben Mansfield & Mark Gatiss reacting to another gem from playwright Mart Crowley
    Permalink Gallery

    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. […]

  • 160926pilgrims10
    Permalink Gallery

    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 […]

  • Florian Zeller family plays: Kenneth Cranham in The Father, Gina McKee in The Mother
    Permalink Gallery

    A Florian Zeller hat trick: The Father, The Mother and The Truth

A Florian Zeller hat trick: The Father, The Mother and The Truth

Is Florian Zeller the new Yasmina Reza?

Certainly, he’s the most successful French playwright to hit English shores since Reza, whose 1990s hits – Life x 3, The Unexpected Man and, of course, the long-running (eight years in the West End), starry cast-rotating Art – were followed more recently by 2006’s God of Carnage in […]

  • Clive Rowe reprised his "Sit Down, You're Rocking the Boat" for the National Theatre's 50th anniversary celebrations in 2013
    Permalink Gallery

    Why Nicely Nicely Johnson is no longer ruined for me (though Clive Rowe remains a giant)

Why Nicely Nicely Johnson is no longer ruined for me (though Clive Rowe remains a giant)

For years Guys and Dolls has been all but ruined for me: that’s what happens when you are lucky enough to see a definitive production and performance. I speak, of course, of Richard Eyre’s legendary National Theatre revival of this 1950 roadway classic. And, what’s more, I didn’t even see the original. (Much referenced by other […]

Press pass: Everything you need to know about Guys & Dolls

The 2016 West End season got off to a rollicking start this week with Wednesday’s opening of Guys and Dolls, the latest Chichester Festival transfer to the Savoy Theatre, which follows fast on the heels of the last CFT transfer of another Broadway musical revival, Gypsy. It was a surprisingly star-studded, red carpet affair for […]

Why are strong women – and witches – so scary?

Tonight should have been the night that Rebecca Lenkiewicz’s new Out of Joint play Jane Wenham: The Witch of Walkern, inspired by the last woman in England to be charged with witchcraft in the 18th century, visited the Ipswich High School for Girls as part of its rural touring in East Anglia and Essex.

Unfortunately, […]

  • Barney Norris in rehearsals for Eventide
    Permalink Gallery

    INTERVIEW (pt2): Barney Norris on Peter Gill, Van Gogh writing and theatres as ’empathy engines’

INTERVIEW (pt2): Barney Norris on Peter Gill, Van Gogh writing and theatres as ’empathy engines’

Playwright Barney Norris has followed his award-winning debut Visitors with Eventide, which is now running at London’s Arcola Theatre before touring until 15 November 2015, care of Up in Arms, the theatre company he co-founded with director Alice Hamilton.

I’m a huge fan of Barney, both as a great writer and a great thinker. In this second […]

  • Barney Norris with Eventide cast member Ellie Piercy in rehearsals
    Permalink Barney Norris with Eventide cast member Ellie Piercy in rehearsalsGallery

    INTERVIEW (pt1): Eventide‘s Barney Norris on monoculture, Thomas Hardy and Salisbury dreams

INTERVIEW (pt1): Eventide‘s Barney Norris on monoculture, Thomas Hardy and Salisbury dreams

I’ve been looking forward to Barney Norris’ new play ever since I caught his acclaimed four-hander Visitors at the Bush Theatre last year. The play, which centred on an elderly couple dealing with the devastating consequences of dementia, affected me deeply. Partly, that was because of my own family’s experience with my father’s recent post-operative delirium, but […]