Terri’s Blogs: Personal

Occasionally, I have thoughts that have either have nothing to do with theatre – astonishing – or that cross other private boundaries. You can find these ramblings here.

Personal |  Theatrical

Q&A video and photos: How did Nina Simone inspire Black Is the Color of My Voice?

How much do you know about Nina Simone? Guaranteed: after you see Black Is the Color Of My Voice, the one-woman play with music written by and starring young American theatremaker Apphia Campbell, you will be inspired to learn more. The "High Priestess of Soul" Nina Simone was born Eunice Kathleen Waymon in Tryon, North Caroline in 1933, the sixth of eight children. Though she passed away, aged 70, in 2003, she lives on musically with her enduring standards including "I Put a Spell on You", "Feeling Good", "I Ain't Got…
By Terri Paddock | 3 July 2019 | , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


Tony’s Last Tape Q&A video and photos: What would Tony Benn have thought of Brexit, Corbyn & this play about him?

This past Wednesday (3 April 2019) would have been Tony Benn's 94th birthday. Great celebratory timing for the return of Tony's Last Tape, the one-man play celebrating the Labour firebrand, who died in 2014. And last night, I was delighted to return to the play myself and to chair a warm and celebratory post-show discussion. Many in the audience at Clapham's Omnibus Theatre knew and were influenced by Tony Benn and were happy to share memories and thoughts on what he would think about the play as well as today's political situation, including…
By Terri Paddock | 6 April 2019 | , , , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


Half Me, Half You Q&A video and photos: It’s not easy to talk about racism & hate crime, but it’s necessary

Did seeing fascist Tommy Robinson denouncing Muslims and immigrants on a big screen in Whitehall terrify you? What are the long-term consequences of today's political rhetoric in Trump's America and Brexit Britain? How much does it fuel hate crimes against minority groups? How worried should we be? What can we do about it?   Debut playwright Liane Grant was inspired to write Half Me, Half You, set in Trump's America today and then 16 years in the future, after watching the president praise "very fine people" taking part in white supremacist demonstrations…
By Terri Paddock | 2 April 2019 | , , , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


Counting Sheep Q&A video and photos: How do you stage a real-life revolution?

It's only a matter of days until the UK is scheduled to depart the European Union. As anyone who follows me knows, Brexit is an outcome I've been fighting, marching and campaigning against since David Cameron first announced the date for the 2016 referendum.  So to be invited to chair Counting Sheep, in a new co-production with Belarus Free Theatre, particularly at this time, in this climate, was an unbelievable honour - and, frankly, quite emotional. If, like me (to my shame), your knowledge of Ukraine and its corrupt former president Victor Yanukovych is shaky at best,…
By Terri Paddock | 8 February 2019 | , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


An Honourable Man Q&A video and photos: Has there ever been a more poisonous time in UK politics? (Insiders’ views)

Populism, patriotism, political theatre, predictions for Brexit and the fast-paced nature of life-imitating-art-imitating-life were amongst the topics covered in an incredibly good-natured discussion across a wide partisan spectrum at the post-show debate I chaired on Wednesday night at the premiere of An Honourable Man. Michael McManus' play had a sell-out, try-out week in June, which attracted praise from political commentators including Guardian columnist Polly Toynbee, Times columnist Matthew Parris, House of Cards author Michael Dobbs and Another Country playwright Julian Mitchell. It has since been revised and updated. In an imagined…
By Terri Paddock | 22 November 2018 | , , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


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: no communication, and absolutely no travel, across them is permitted. The piece, written by SBC co-founder Rosie MacPherson, was inspired by Tafadzwa Muchenje, who first came into contact with SBC after attending their last production,…
By Terri Paddock | 24 September 2018 | , , , , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


The Swallow Q&A video and photos: How do homophobia and grief translate?

Another post-show Q&A first for me. Due to a last-minute scheduling conflict, Spanish playwright Guillem Clua had to cancel his flight to London to attend last night's performance of his acclaimed two-hander THE SWALLOW at the Cervantes Theatre, but he desperately wanted to take part in the post-show discussion - so the game team at the Cervantes slung up a big screen onstage and Guillem Skyped in from Madrid. Guillem sent his apologies and told us more about his inspiration for the play. The 2016 terrorist attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando,…
By Terri Paddock | 9 May 2018 | , , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


History has its eyes on us all: My joy and sorrow at Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton

I feel incredibly privileged to have been "in the room where it happens" to see the European premiere of HAMILTON last night at the West End's Victoria Palace Theatre. There is so much to love about Lin-Manuel Miranda's blockbuster hip-hop musical about one of my homeland's founding fathers, Alexander Hamilton, not least a glorious British cast, under the assured stewardship of the show's original Broadway director Thomas Kail. But for all its considerable entertainment value, there are some vitally important messages here, about politics, society and the fragility of our institutions - messages that, 246 years after…
By Terri Paddock | 23 December 2017 | , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


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 Theatre. Ahead of the 50th anniversary of former Conservative MP Enoch Powell's infamous "Rivers of Blood" anti-immigration speech, delivered in Birmingham in April 1968, What Shadows tells the story behind the speech, bringing to life the community that inspired it and,…
By Terri Paddock | 11 October 2017 | , , , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >


Plays diary: What Shadows, Ink, The Unknown Island, Lucy Light, The Swallow

I’ve had a rich few weeks for playgoing. In addition to productions I’ve already written about elsewhere – including, of those still running, Arrows and Traps’ Frankenstein at Brockley Jack and Stephen Clark’s Le Grand Mort at Trafalgar Studios 2 – here’s a quick round-up of some other smart plays I’ve seen recently and can happily recommend. A key theme in this batch of diary entries is the reward of visiting new, new-to-me or I-haven’t-been-in-so-long-they-feel-nearly-new venues. Of the first variety, there’s Spanish Theatre Company’s purpose-built home at the Cervantes Theatre,…
By Terri Paddock | 5 October 2017 | , , , , , , | 0 comments | Read More >