Terri’s Blogs: Theatrical

My theatre blogs are usually in response to something in the news or to something I’ve seen or read. For my “Terri’s Top Picks” click on the Recommendations tag. Other regular tags that I use including Inspiring People and Inspiring Projects. For the very latest news, gossip and all-round theatre buzz, check out my Tweets page or follow me on Twitter @TerriPaddock.

Personal |  Theatrical

Hey, Ms Producer! Sonia Friedman leads the growing ranks of female producers

Maybe it’s because I’m considering trying my own hand at producing and the universe is sending me encouragement, but everywhere I look at the moment, I see female producers. On Sunday night, the powerhouse that is Sonia Friedman takes another shot at Tony Awards glory in New York, where her transfers of the Shakespeare’s Globe productions of Twelfth Night and Richard III have chalked up eight nominations across five different awards categories. The Tonys follow her total domination of this year’s Olivier Awards, where she made history by winning the…
By Terri Paddock | 5 June 2014 | , | 1 comments | Read More >

Never mind Titus: The West End is awash with blood

There’s been a lot of media attention around the Globe’s Titus Andronicus. Once again, Lucy Bailey’s production – which starred Douglas Hodge in its first 2006 outing and now has William Houston in the title role – has got audiences fainting on Bankside. Titus, with the strapline "brutality of the highest order", is an extreme example of butchery, but blood-letting is fairly commonplace in Shakespeare and Jacobean tragedy. I imagine the Globe, RSC and National budget pretty generously year-round for stage blood. What’s struck me recently, however, is how much blood…
By Terri Paddock | 30 May 2014 | , | 1 comments | Read More >

Don’t ride the Tube with blood on your face… Urinetown‘s company manager explains

David Curl, company manager of Urinetown at St James Theatre, recalls the challenges of working with so much stage blood. The show is now aiming for a West End transfer, venue still to be announced. I first had to use a large amount of blood onstage in a tour of Matthew Bourne's Highland Fling in 2005. There were quite a few brands of blood available, but the recommended one was a brand called Nick Dudman Blood made by a company called Pigs Might Fly. It's extremely realistic being very dark…
By Terri Paddock | 30 May 2014 | , | 0 comments | Read More >

In the Heights at Southwark Playhouse until 7 June

From famine to feast: My ever-growing theatre to-see list

Between my father’s illness, coursework and a month in Mallorca (sigh), I was out of show-going circulation for six weeks. Social media monitoring is fine for staying in the openings, closings and castings loop, but I was missing ACTUAL theatre. So, when I arrived back in London, I had a very very long wish list. I hit the ground running last Saturday afternoon and have so far crossed five shows off my list. One advantage to catching up, rather than chasing the opening nights diary, is a high – I’m talking 100%…
By Terri Paddock | 30 May 2014 | , | 0 comments | Read More >

Who owns Shakespeare? Phyllida Lloyd and Harriet Walter lay claim for women

“Julius Caesar rocked my world,” says Donmar artistic director Josie Rourke. She isn’t talking about the play alone, but rather Phyllida Lloyd’s acclaimed all-female production, which Rourke programmed at the Donmar Warehouse in late 2012-early 2013 before transferring it to New York for a run at St Ann’s Warehouse. Now director Lloyd is reuniting with star Harriet Walter in another “women’s Shakespeare”, Walter taking the titular role in Henry IV (a distillation of parts 1 and 2 in a single evening). Like Julius Caesar, the action is set in a women’s…
By Terri Paddock | 27 May 2014 | , | 1 comments | Read More >

Noel Coward in three events: Blithe Spirit, Relative Values and Tonight at 8.30

You only have three more weeks to catch Blithe Spirit at the Gielgud Theatre. Michael Blakemore’s production – and, more specifically, Angela Lansbury’s performance in it as dotty clairvoyant Madame Arcati – is undoubtedly one of the theatre events of the year. The "eventfulness" of the occasion has little to do with the play. The 1941 comic confection is one of Coward’s most performed. Even casting big in the comparatively small role of Arcati is de rigueur. From Margaret Rutherford, who originated the role on stage and screen, to -…
By Terri Paddock | 15 May 2014 | , | 0 comments | Read More >

Tony trivia: Twelfth Night is officially a history play

Twelfth Night is generally classified as one of Shakespeare’s comedies, but last week it officially became a history play as well, after its phenomenal haul in this year’s Tony Awards nominations. Mark Rylance is already something of a Tony legend. He has won Best Actor twice for two other London transfers –1960s farce Boeing-Boeing in 2008 and Jez Butterworth’s Jerusalem in 2011 – and delivered notoriously puzzling acceptance speeches on both occasions (words care of poet Louis Jenkins). This year, his Tony reputation skyrockets further with two more nominations for the…
By Terri Paddock | 8 May 2014 | , | 0 comments | Read More >

What I learned today: Help! SOS doesn’t mean anything

With all the blood and gore – and fantastically poetic staging care of director John Tiffany and choreographer Steven Hoggett – Morse code may not be the first thing you associate with the National Theatre of Scotland’s production of vampire Let the Right One, now playing at the West End’s Apollo Theatre. But it nevertheless plays a key role in the love story between lonely lad Oskar and his mysteriously pale paramour Eli, whose bedroom in the neighbouring house adjoins his. Oskar’s father educated him in Morse Code, and Oskar…
By Terri Paddock | 29 April 2014 | , , , | 0 comments | Read More >

Did critics lose the plot with I Can’t Sing! raves?

Having tweeted copiously about the sudden closure announcement of I Can't Sing! over the weekend, as I started to write this blog this morning, a link to the much-faster Mark Shenton’s blog on the same subject popped up on my screen. I clicked through to him not just echoing my thoughts about factors in the X Factor musical’s demise, but straight-out stealing some of my lines! So to save any repetition, I’ll encourage you to read Mark’s blog on The Stage’s website for more detail, and only comment briefly here. Without…
By Terri Paddock | 28 April 2014 | , | 3 comments | Read More >

Musicals to make you laugh: Dirty Rotten Scoundrels and Urinetown

The Book of Mormon now has two major contenders for the title of funniest musical in London. But why just coronate one?! Let’s go ahead and give them all crowns (or tiaras, if they prefer). In any case, rest assured, if you enjoyed the South Park creators’ naughty humour, you will love these two as well. Like The Book of Mormon, these new arrivals also come via New York, but in their UK premiere productions, cast locally, they feel decidedly British in the humour stakes. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels Opened last…
By Terri Paddock | 7 April 2014 | , | 4 comments | Read More >