MORE PUB THEATRES NOW ELIGIBLE TO APPLY FOR LONDON SMALL THEATRES GRANT SCHEME
The London Small Theatres Grants Scheme is a capital fund that awards up to £5,000 to small theatres in London which are undertaking building projects. Some changes have been made to the criteria so that more theatres can apply, in particular more pub theatres are now eligible.
The scheme was set up following the London Assembly investigation led by Tom Copley AM into the challenges facing the capital’s small theatres and its July 2013 report Centre Stage: Supporting small theatres in the capital.
Priorities include projects that address urgent building repairs, improve operational viability, introduce environmental improvements and enhance physical accessibility. The scheme can also be used to help lever in other sources of investment, particularly philanthropic support. Please note that applications for technical equipment and refurbishment of soft furnishings are a low priority for the scheme.
In reviewing applications Trustees take into account a project’s urgency, other resources available to the applicant and the extent to which the grant would make a significant difference to promoting the better protection of theatres. Funds are generally awarded where they are considered to have the most impact in realising an applicant’s capital project.
Who can apply - Applicants must satisfy the following criteria:
Operate a theatre in London that is under 300-seats in Zones 1 and 2 and under 500-seats in outer London
Own or lease the building or be able to otherwise demonstrate at least 5 years of secured future theatre use.
Demonstrate that they run a regular theatre programme of professional, community and/or amateur work presenting no less than 30 performances a year
Demonstrate how the public benefit of the works will be protected or have a bona fide not-for-profit/charitable organisational structure.
How to apply:
The next round of the London Small Grants Scheme will close to applications on Monday 27 May at noon. Contact email@example.com for more information
MATTHEW PARKER TO STEP DOWN AS ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF THE HOPE THEATRE
The Hope Theatre has announced that award winning Artistic Director Matthew Parker will step down by the end of 2019. Parker became Artistic Director of The Hope Theatre in September 2014 and in the past 4 years has established it as one of the most prominent theatres on the London Fringe. The 50-seat theatre has been host to many established stage and screen actors as well as new and first time performers, writers and theatre companies.
The Hope Theatre, whose tag line is “The Little Theatre with the Big Ideas”, has presented a mix of new writing, lost gems from well-known writers, re-polished classics and innovatively staged musicals. In 2017 The Hope was nominated Fringe Theatre of the Year at the annual Stage Awards and Matthew Parker was awarded the Best Artistic Director at the Offie Awards that same year. The Hope also won Best Social Media Presence at the 2019 Offie Awards for Parker’s work in social media outreach.
Matthew Parker commented:
“I’m tremendously proud of my time at The Hope, of what we have achieved and the opportunities it has afforded me, both as a director honing my craft and of our collaborations with over 100 theatre companies, new and established, and giving voice to many first-time writers. I don’t yet know what or indeed where my next role will be but I am excited to move forward with my career as a director and artistic director and to finding a brilliant person to take The Hope forward.”
Matthew Parker’s past directing work at The Hope has included: LOVESONG OF THE ELECTRIC BEAR (2 Offie Awards and a transfer to the Arts Theatre in the West End), HER ACHING HEART (4 Offie nominations and winner of Best Play at the Spy In The Stalls Awards 2016), BRIMSTONE & TREACLE starring Hope Patron Paul Clayton (2 Offie nominations) and THE LESSON (Parker’s 5th Offie nomination as Best Director).
The next in-house production (directed by Parker) is the true crime musical THRILL ME: THE LEOPOLD & LOEB STORY opening in April. Full details of this can be found on the Hope website: http:// www.thehopetheatre.com/productions/thrill-me-the-leopold-loeb-story/
Parker’s final season at The Hope Theatre is to be announced soon.
PUB THEATRES NAMED AT OFF WEST END AWARDS WINNING CEREMONY 2019
In the ninth annual Off West End Theatre Awards, three pub theatres were named over four awards. The Awards held at Battersea Arts Centre on Sunday 3 February 2019, included the PEOPLE’S VOTE, productions for YOUNG PEOPLE, MUSICALS & OPERA, DESIGN and awards for PLAYS.
OFFIE Award Winners at pub theatres were:
PEOPLE’S VOTE for the best social media - The Hope Theatre
LIGHTING DESIGN - Zoe Spurr for “Tiny Dynamite” at the Old Red Lion Theatre
ENSEMBLE – Out of the Forest theatre company for “Bury the Hatchet” at The Hope Theatre
NEW PLAY - Tearrance Chisholm for “Br’er Cotton” at Theatre503
More details about the award can be found on Off West End website: http://www.offwestend.com/index.php/pages/the_offies
NEIL MCPHERSON, ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF FINBOROUGH THEATRE WINS SPECIAL AWARD FOR SERVICES TO THEATRE
The 'Special Award for Services to Theatre' was given to Neil McPherson at the 2018 Critic's Circle Theatre Awards. It acknowledges his pioneering work on the fringe as Artistic Director of Finborough Theatre in Earl’s Court since January 1999. The Awards held 29 January 2019 at the Prince of Wales Theatre in London’s West End, were hosted by Critics’ Circle Drama Section Chairman Mark Shenton.
Drama Section Chair Mark Shenton said:
“Where other award ceremonies prioritise celebrity winners, see the industry rewarding itself or act as a public popularity contest, the Critics’ Circle Theatre Awards alone are above the fray with their independence, judged by respected critics whose job it is to see theatre week in, week out, without fear or favour, and who have no other agenda than to celebrate excellence.”
The full list of winners can be found on the Critics Circle Theatre Awards website: www.criticscircletheatreawards.com
PROFORCA THEATRE COMPANY TO TAKE OVER RUNNING OF LION & UNICORN THEATRE
Proforca Theatre Company announces it is to take over the running of the Lion & Unicorn Theatre this Spring. The 60-seat black box studio theatre is based above the Lion & Unicorn pub in Kentish Town. The new venue will be led by Artistic Director David Brady with a Development programme led by Theatre N16 founder Jamie Eastlake, who will support the theatre as an Executive Producer. The theatre will support new writing, as well as provide opportunities for associate artists and companies who will be announced shortly.
David Brady says that the Lion & Unicorn Theatre “can be the place where you can be who you want to be”. He adds - “Taking over the theatre is going to be a fantastic adventure and we hope that everyone will come along with us for the trip of a lifetime. We can’t wait to get started!”
The theatre is currently accepting submissions for programming for it’s Spring, Summer and Camden Fringe Seasons. More information about this can be found on their website
The new website for the Lion & Unicorn is www.thelionandunicorntheatre.com
MAJOR THEATRE AWARD FOR PLAYWRIGHTS WHO WORK IN THE THEATRE INDUSTRY OPENS FOR SUBMISSIONS: ETPEP AWARD 2019 IN ASSOCIATION WITH THE FINBOROUGH THEATRE
The ETPEP Award 2019 is a playwriting prize for new UK playwrights who work in the theatre industry, run by the Experienced Theatre Practitioners Early Playwriting Trust (ETPEP) in association with the Finborough Theatre. The Award’s purpose is to find and nurture a playwright who has worked in theatre for two years or more, who is looking to further their ambitions and skill in the art and craft of playwriting.
The panel are looking for a play of substance which contributes in some way to our understanding of the human condition or experience, from a writer with potential to enhance our political and social awareness.
The winner will receive a prize of £8,000, a development relationship with the Finborough Theatre including one-to-one dramaturgy with Finborough Theatre Artistic Director and playwright Neil McPherson; a rehearsal workshop with actors and a director to develop the play; and a staged reading performance of the winning play as part of Vibrant 2019 - A Festival of Finborough Playwrights at the Finborough Theatre, London on Sunday, 30 June 2019.
The judges for the 2019 Award are playwright Winsome Pinnock; Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre and playwright Neil McPherson; Literary Manager of the Finborough Theatre and playwright Sue Healy; and Clive Webster of the Experienced Theatre Practitioners Early Playwriting Trust, which founded the award. Further judges will be announced shortly.
The deadline for scripts is midnight on Monday, 11 March 2019.
Full submission guidelines and entry details can be found on the Finborough website: www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk
ORANGE SHADE PRODUCTIONS ANNOUNCES WINNER OF LONDON LOVECRAFT FESTIVAL’S NEW WRITING CONTEST WHICH WILL DEBUT AT OLD RED LION THEATRE
The winner of the first “Writing Lovecraft” competition is James Goss, who submitted “The Collectors of Screams”. The play will be given a staged reading at the Old Red Lion on the closing night of the 2019 London Lovecraft Festival, Saturday 9 February.
Festival producer and playwright T.L. Wiswell says, “The London Lovecraft festival was created in part to provide a platform to encourage new work in the genre. Lovecraft’s own output was prodigious but he actively encouraged people to take his worldcraft and add to it, and Goss grabbed this remit by the horns. It is more than just a Lovecraft tale; it a completely new story that is highly original and definitely scary.”
James Goss is best known for his work on universe building within Doctor Who, but in addition he has written plays including “The Gentlemen of Horror” and a much-produced adaptation of Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. Goss says, “I fell head over heels for Lovecraft with The Case of Charles Dexter Ward (…) and when I discovered there was a Lovecraft writing competition I couldn’t pass it up. I’m so excited to do my bit for bringing about the end of the world.”
THE COLLECTORS OF SCREAMS staged reading produced by Orange Shade Productions is at Old Red Lion Theatre 9 February. Box Office: https://www.oldredliontheatre.co.uk/london-lovecraft-festival-playwriting-competition.html
More information about the London Lovecraft Festival, which runs 3 – 9 February, can be found on the London Lovecraft website: http://londonlovecraft.com/
KING’S HEAD THEATRE TO GIVE AWAY OVER 100 TICKETS IN CAPTION COMPETITION
King’s Head Theatre are giving away a ticket to every show in 2019 in a caption competition. Over 100 tickets worth over £1500 will be won by the entry with the funniest caption. The image features cast members for their upcoming production of Carmen.
Full entry details can be found on @KingsHeadThtr twitter using the hashtag #CarmenKHT
The deadline for the competition is Sunday 20 January at 6.00pm
CAMDEN FRINGE FESTIVAL 2019 APPLICATION PORTAL HAS OPENED
Each August, Camden Fringe offers an unrivalled chance to see edgy, experimental and brand-new theatre across a wide variety of venues. It has eclectic tastes including comedy, cabaret and drama. Applications are now open (January to March) for theatre companies who wish to bring work to the festival in 2019. The pub theatres taking part are Etcetera theatre, Hen and Chickens, Upstairs at the Gatehouse, and The Lion and Unicorn.
Full details can be found on Camden Fringe website https://camdenfringe.com/index.php?id=2
APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR KING'S HEAD THEATRE'S PLAYMILL FESTIVAL OF NEW WORK
Playmill is the King's Head Theatre’s festival of new work from companies committed to paying performers and stage managers the National Living Wage. This curated festival runs from 8 – 20 July at this prestigious venue, one of London’s top Off-West End Venues. King’s Head are looking for exciting, bold and ambitious emerging companies, whether they wish to show previews for the Edinburgh Fringe or just want to premiere a piece. They welcome applications for drama, comedy, musical theatre and everything in between, with a maximum running time of sixty minutes. The deadline for applications is the 15 February.
Details and application form can be found on King’s Head Website: http://www.kingsheadtheatre.com/playmill
OFFIES 2019: OFF WEST END AWARD FINALISTS HAVE BEEN ANNOUNCED
The Off West End Award Finalists (for shows in 2018) have been announced. Below is a list of finalists at London pub theatres. The full list of finalists is here: https://offies.london/2019-finalists-shows-in-2018/ The 2019 Awards winners will be named at a ceremony on Sunday 3 February in the newly re-opened Grand Hall at Battersea Arts Centre. Tickets are available here https://offies.london/2019-awards-event/
Finalists at London pub theatres:
LIGHTING DESIGN - Zoe Spurr for “Tiny Dynamite” at the Old Red Lion
SOUND DESIGN - Jack Elliot Barton for “Lifeboat” at the Jack Studio Theatre
ENSEMBLE -“Bury the Hatchet” presented by Out of Forest Theatre at the Hope Theatre
And “East” presented by Atticist at the King’s Head Theatre
OPERA PRODUCTION - “La Traviata” at the King’s Head Theatre
NEW PLAY - Kenneth Emson for “Plastic” at the Old Red Lion
And Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm for “Br’er Cotton” at the Theatre 503
FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A PLAY - Kate Terence in “The Sword of Alex” at the White Bear Theatre
And Kristin Milward in “A Funny Thing Happened…Oncology Unit…” at the Finborough Theatre
MALE PERFORMANCE IN A PLAY
Andrew Umerah in “Sweet Like Chocolate Boy” at the Jack Studio Theatre
And Harry McEntire in “Homos, or Everyone in America” at the Finborough Theatre
FINBOROUGH WINS CHANNEL 4 PLAYWRIGHTS’ SCHEME BURSARY FOR THE ELEVENTH TIME
Finborough Theatre is the only unsubsidised venue to have won the Channel 4 Playwrights’ Scheme bursary eleven times. Hannah Morley has just been announced as one of the six winners of the 2018 Scheme, with PETRICHOR, which debuted at the Finborough Theatre as part of Vibrant 2019. The scheme, which supports emerging writers, has been supported by Channel 4 since 2013.
The recipients of the Channel 4 Playwrights’ Scheme bursaries, formerly known as the Pearson Playwrights’ Scheme, each receive £10,000 and spend a year on attachment with the theatres listed below.
The winners are:
JOSH AZOUZ (‘Buggy Baby’) with HEADLONG THEATRE (London)
BERRI GEORGE (‘Shadow Kingdoms’) with THEATRE 503 (London)
HANNAH MORLEY (‘Petrichor’) with FINBOROUGH THEATRE (London)
ANDY BROOKS aka TESTAMENT (‘Black Men Walking’) with ROYAL EXCHANGE THEATRE (Manchester)
MEGHAN TYLER (‘Crocodile Fever’) with TRAVERSE THEATRE (Edinburgh) supported by the Peggy Ramsay Foundation
ERICA MURRAY (‘All Mod Cons’) with LYRIC THEATRE (Belfast) supported by the Peggy Ramsay Foundation
The successful writers have the opportunity to meet a variety of theatre practitioners and gain first-hand experience of a working theatre via their attachments, with the aim to produce a full-length play. Playwrights were nominated by UK theatre Artistic Directors, with the six winners selected by the scheme’s judging panel which included Film4’s Commissioning Executive, Julia Oh.
Julia Oh said: “This opportunity to help such a talented class of writers and theatres is an annual highlight for Film4 and Channel 4. If we can help fund the time, the quiet writing space, and the fellowship of advisors to support the next generation of dramatists, it’s our privilege.”
This year’s panel was chaired by Sir Richard Eyre.
Sir Richard Eyre said: “Once again I’m thrilled that six talented emerging writers will benefit from a really enlightened act of philanthropy. My thanks to Channel 4 Television and The Peggy Ramsay Foundation for making this possible.”
All writers will have the opportunity to submit their play to win the Sonia Friedman Productions Award next year.
KING’S HEAD PRODUCTION TRANSFERS TO WEST END
COMING CLEAN opens at Trafalgar Studios 2 on 9 January following a critically acclaimed, sold out run at the London’s King’s Head Theatre, the producers behind the Olivier nominated La Boheme. The play, by Kevin Elyot, writer of the landmark drama My Night With Reg, questions the nature of fidelity and the limits of love.
Full synopsis and box office here: http://www.kingsheadtheatre.com/elsewhere
OLD RED LION THEATRE INTRODUCE RELAXED PERFORMANCES
The EXTRA LIVE! PERFORMANCES provide an opportunity for people with autism spectrum conditions, learning disabilities or other sensory and communication needs to access theatre in a relaxed environment. Inspired by the brilliant Jess Thom, a theatre maker and comedian who has been diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome, Artistic Director of ORLT Katy Danbury is encouraging all of the productions at ORLT to have at least one Extra Live! performance. Danbury explains: “We're always pretty relaxed at the Old Red Lion, but we know that the theatre can feel like an intimidating place for audiences who can't always control when they move or make some noise. it's not that you're not welcome on any other day (you're ALWAYS welcome, and anyone who says otherwise frankly isn't) but on these dates we're really shouting about it (so you know you can too)”
Information about this can be found on the individual show pages.
UPCOMING EXTRA LIVE! PERFORMANCES:
ONE JEWISH BOY BY STEPHEN LAUGHTON - SUNDAY 23RD DECEMBER 2018, 3.00PM
ANOMALY BY LIV WARDEN - TUESDAY 22ND JANUARY 2019, 7.30PM
THE BREAD AND ROSES THEATRE INTRODUCE A SISTER VENUE AT KING’S CROSS
The Bread and Roses Theatre opens London's newest fringe theatre on 19th January 2019, with preview events taking place from December 2018. Run by the team behind awarding-winning The Bread & Roses Theatre in Clapham, the newly founded Chapel Playhouse is located in the basement of the re-opened café-bar. The venue is in central London, within walking distance of King's Cross St. Pancras Station, and will mainly feature theatre, comedy, and cabaret. The new theatre is currently accepting applications from companies keen to join the inaugural season.
Theatre503’s 2018 International Playwriting Award winner has been announced
The winner of Theatre 503 International Playwriting Award 2018 has been announced at a ceremony held at The Bridge Theatre (22 November 2018). The winner is DANUSIA SAMAL with her comedy drama OUT OF SORTS chosen from 2,055 scripts sent in from 49 countries. The finalists of the Award are Mathilde Dratwa, Gillian Greer, Joel MacCormack and Philana Imade Omorotionmwan.
The winner will receive £6,000 and a world premiere production at Theatre 503 in 2019. Danusia Samal follows 2014 joint winners Paul Murphy (Valhalla) and Bea Roberts (And Then Come The Nightjars) and 2016 winner Andrew Thompson (In Event of Moone Disaster, winner of Best Writer at The 2018 Stage Debut Awards). Four of the five 2016 finalists have gone on to have full-length runs produced, with three at Theatre 503 including Br’er Cotton for which Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm has been nominated for the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright at the Evening Standard Awards.
More information about the award can be found on Theatre 503 website
BR’ER COTTON AT THEATRE 503, NOMINATED FOR TWO EVENING STANDARD THEATRE AWARDS 2018
Theatre 503 are thrilled that the Evening Standard Theatre nominations include both the writer and director of Br’er Cotton (Theatre 503 March 2018). The theatre is one of UK’s major new writing venues. Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm (writer of Br'er Cotton) has been nominated for the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright (won by Natasha Gordon for Nine Night at the National Theatre). Roy Alexander Weise (director of Br'er Cotton), has been nominated for the Emerging Talent Award (won by Jamael Westman for Hamilton at Victoria Palace Theatre). He is also nominated for his direction of Nine Night at the National Theatre.
Nine Night transfers to Trafalgar Studios, SW1, 1 December 2018 to 23 February 2019
(0844 871 7615) https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/nine-night/trafalgar-studios/
The BREAD & ROSES open submissions to their Emerging Director Programme and have announced a new EMERGING PRODUCER PROGRAMME
Applications close 18 November 2018
The Bread and Roses Theatre have announced that they are accepting submissions for the third round of their Emerging Director Programme. The selected candidate will become an Associate Emerging Director at The Bread & Roses Theatre for the year 2019, which will include opportunities to gain experience in directing in house productions. In addition, they will receive marketing, rehearsal & venue support for their own 'final project', realised in collaboration with the Emerging Producer.
The Bread and Roses Theatre have also announced a new Emerging Producer Programme. The selected candidate will become an Associate Emerging Producer at The Bread & Roses Theatre for the year 2019, which will include opportunities to gain experience in producing in-house productions. In addition, they will receive marketing, rehearsal & venue support for their own small production, realised in collaboration with the Emerging Director.
Full details can be found here:
Emerging Director Programme https://www.breadandrosestheatre.co.uk/emerging-director-program.html
Emerging Producer Programme https://www.breadandrosestheatre.co.uk/emerging-producer-program.html
KING’S HEAD THEATRE welcomes Fat Rascal Theatre as Associate Company
Fat Rascal Theatre are to join, Atticist Productions and Charles Court Opera as Associate Companies at King’s Head Theatre.
Adam Spreadbury-Maher, artistic director of the King's Head Theatre, says: "We awarded Fat Rascal the Stella Wilkie Award in 2016, hosted their production of Beauty and the Beast in 2017, brought it back this November, and now see them return for Vulvarine next year. We are delighted to build on our relationship with the company in appointing them as our Associate Company, celebrating their specialism in new musical theatre.”
Fat Rascal Theatre are scheduled to perform Beauty and the Beast, a musical parody 31 October – 17 November 2018, and Vulvarine, the musical 11 June – 6 July 2019 followed by a National Tour.
VOILA, LONDON’S EUROPEAN FESTIVAL, RETURNS 6 – 18 NOVEMBER
Voila! Europe is an annual theatre rendez-vous in London, bringing together British and European theatre makers. This curated programme is a mixture of multicultural, multilingual, and multidisciplinary performance.
Performances take place across three venues in London:
London pub theatre ETCETERA in Camden, along with The Cockpit in Marylebone and Applecart Arts in Newham.
The programme for ETCETERA Theatre can be found here https://www.voilaeuropefestival.com/sales/voila-venues/etcetera-theatre
More information and full programme can be found here https://www.voilaeuropefestival.com/
NINETY-THREE YEAR OLD STAR, THELMA RUBY, RETURNS TO KING’S HEAD THEATRE IN NOVEMBER 2018
Ninety-three year old star, Thelma Ruby, returns as Golda Meir in this renowned adaptation of William Gibson’s Golda. Adapted by Thelma Ruby and Peter Frye, Momma Golda is the story of Israel’s 'Iron Lady', Golda Meir, the longest serving Prime Minister in Isreal's history.’ Performed all over the world by Ruby and Frye for eight years from 1980 to 1988, this arrives at King's Head Theatre for four nights only.
Thelma Ruby was born in Leeds, where her mother was a music hall child performer, billed as “Dainty Little Paula Ruby”. Thelma trained as an actor in New York, and was a performer with ENSA during World War II. She then moved into repertory theatre with Harry Hanson's Court Players before beginning a glittering West End career, including performing in Fiddler in the Roof alongside Topol in 1984, co-starring in Cabaret with Judy Dench in 1968 and King Lear with Michael Hordern in 1970. Thelma was married to Peter Frye in 1970, as detailed in their joint biography Double or Nothing, and first wrote and performed Momma Golda with him in 1980.
Tickets for Momma Golda can be bought at www.kingsheadtheatre.com, or on 0207 226 8561.
PENTAMETERS CONTINUES TO CELEBRATE 50 YEARS OF PUB THEATRE WITH THE FINAL THREE PRODUCTIONS OF THE YEAR
Léonie Scott-Matthews continues to celebrate her 50th anniversary as Artistic Director of Pentameters Theatre in Hampstead with the final three productions of the year. Scott-Matthews says: “I don’t like words like bums on seats or punters. It doesn’t matter whether it’s packed or there’s only one person, so long as it’s an unforgettable evening and you’re made to feel unique and special. A lot of people come because of that.”
Pentameters was launched in 1968 founded at The Freemasons Arms in Hampstead, it moved to its current venue above the Horseshoe Public House in 1971. This culturally important gem, has nurtured many artists from John Heath-Stubs to Kingsley Amis, Margaret Drabble to Ted Hughes, Laurie Lee to Edna O'Brien and Harold Pinter to the psychiatrist R.D. Laing. The Theatre has also played host to many performers early in their careers, including Russell Brand, Adrian Edmundson, Ben Elton, French and Saunders, Nigel Havers, Celia lmrie, Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer, Jenny Seagrove, Pamela Stephenson and Alexei Sayle.
The programme bringing the celebrations to a close includes:
The British premiere of an unperformed play by Bernard Shaw
A Glimpse of the Domesticity of Franklin Barnabas 12 – 21 October
A new play about Andy Warhol
Bullet Karma 26-28 October
A Tennessee Williams triple bill
Midnight in Manhatten 13 November – 2 December
For more information and to book tickets go to Pentameters website
KATZPACE CELEBRATE THEIR FIRST ANNIVERSARY 30 SEPTEMBER 2018
The newest pub theatre, Katzpace, downstairs at the German Bierkeller Katzenjammers, has had a successful first year. The theatre runs four nights a week, and has the advantage of two spaces, a black box space and a large hall with its own bar.
Full programme of events can be found on our What's On page
Now in its tenth consecutive year, the multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre presents Vibrant 2018 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, its annual showcase of new writing, running between 7-25 October 2018. As part of their ongoing commitment to ensuring diversity and opportunity, this year’s playwrights embraces all age groups, and all of the new British playwrights (except one) are over 40.
The festival includes the winner of RADIUS Playwriting Competition (2018), an award-winning new play from New Zealand, and the birth of a new British musical, in an eclectic and idiosyncratic selection of staged readings. Curated by Finborough’s Artistic Director Neil McPherson and produced by Nikki Hill, this year’s plays are written by Ayad Andrews, Rachel Anthony, Jonathan Gillis, Tim Jeal, Emma Kinane, Hannah Morley along with the new musical is by Sonum Batra and Phil Willmott.
Since the first festival in 2009, Vibrant festivals have included well over one hundred new plays, twenty-four of which have gone on to be produced in full at the Finborough Theatre. Finborough Theatre has an impressive track record of discovering new playwrights who go on to become leading voices in British theatre including Laura Wade, James Graham, Mike Bartlett, Chris Thompson, Jack Thorne, Alexandra Wood, Al Smith, Nicholas de Jongh and Anders Lustgarten.
Ram Jam Records is a historic music venue in Kingston Upon Thames formerly known as The Ram Jam Club. The 60-seat space recently welcomed its first fringe show in recent times, ‘Building Relationships’, which was met with excitement and support from an audience eager to see intimate theatre locally. In the coming months Ram Jam Records welcomes a diverse range of fringe shows kicked off by Megan Hockley’s hilarious solo show ‘Loser’, as well as the newly formed Ram Jam Theatre Company in a deliciously dark revival of Philip Ridley’s Radiant Vermin directed by Erica Miller.
The new theatre manager, Joy Bowers, said: “We had a great response to our first show ‘Building Relationships’ last year. Now I am in charge of programming theatre for an audience which is eager and interested, we have more shows coming up which I am very excited about.”
Following their sixth successful production at Jack Studio Theatre in three years, Arrows and Traps Repertory Company have been named as official Associate Company for the venue. The critically acclaimed company which has been Offie-Nominated seven times and received multiple 5-star reviews for their recent production of ‘White Rose’ (July 2018), mainly specialise in Shakespeare and new adaptations of classic novels.
Ross McGregor, Artistic Director of Arrows and Trap, was ‘absolutely thrilled’ with the news. He paid tribute to the Jack Studio Theatre: “The Brockley Jack is one of the best-run Fringe Theatre spaces in London, and the level of support and attention that every single visiting company receives from Kate Bannister (Artistic Director) and Karl Swinyard (Producer) is just phenomenal. We are humbled that Kate and Karl have trusted us with their theatre so many times and been open to new and different ideas. They work with the creatives to ensure the highest possible success for each and every show they produce. Coming back to the Jack really does feel like returning home, and we are excited to continue to build on this wonderful relationship.”
Dawn King’s FOXFINDER, which premiered at Finborough theatre in 2011, transfers to the Ambassadors Theatre. The dystopian thriller stars Game of Thrones actor Iwan Rheon and is directed by Rachel O’Riordan, Artistic Director of Sherman Theatre. The play will run from September 6 to January 5, 2019
Léonie Scott-Matthews celebrates her 50th anniversary as Artistic Director of Pentameters Theatre in Hampstead with an open evening of poetry dedicated to Danny Abse (1923-2014) & John Heath-Stubbs (1918-2006), who both helped launch Pentameters in 1968. Scott-Matthews founded Pentameters on 7 August 1968 at The Freemasons Arms and moved it to the current venue above The Horseshoe Public House in 1971. The theatre has eclectic tastes from Shakespeare, classic revivals and new plays to alternative comedy, music and poetry events.
Many other authors who performed at Pentameters include Kingsley Amis, Margaret Drabble, Ted Hughes, Laurie Lee, Roger McGough, Edna O'Brien, Harold Pinter, John Wain and the psychiatrist R.D. Laing. The Theatre has also played host to many performers at the start of their careers, including Russell Brand, Adrian Edmundson, Ben Elton, French and Saunders, Nigel Havers, Celia lmrie, Rik Mayall, Nigel Planer, Jenny Seagrove, Pamela Stephenson and Alexei Sayle.
To celebrate her commitment to the creative arts, Léonie was honoured as an Associate of the Royal Academy of Music and, as a Hampstead resident, she received a Camden Good Citizen Award in 1998 in recognition of her outstanding work for the community. Hampstead Village Voice awarded Pentameters ‘Best Theatre, 2016’ and Camden Council an ‘Asset of Community Value’ award.
Spotlight on Humanity: Radius Playwriting Competition 2018 in association with the Finborough Theatre has been won by first-time playwright Hannah Morley for her play PETRICHOR. She wins £500, and a staged reading during the Vibrant Festival 2018 – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights. The reading will take place on Sunday, 14 October 2018 at 7.30pm.
26 year old playwright Hannah Morley born in Doncaster, trained as an actor at Guildford School of Acting. Petrichor is her first play written whilst she was on the Writer’s Lab course at Soho Theatre. It was longlisted for both the Verity Bargate Award and the Bruntwood Prize.
Radius Playwriting Competition 2018 was judged by Neil McPherson and Sue Healy, Artistic Director and Literary Manager of London's Finborough Theatre. Judge Neil McPherson, Artistic Director of the Finborough Theatre, said: “Petrichor was a clear and worthy winner. The competition is judged entirely blind, and when we discovered that the winner was a new playwright and this was her first play, we were astonished. We very much look forward to working with Hannah on this play and into the future.”
Radius provides high-quality drama scripts to churches and community groups. In addition to a collection of original takes on the Christmas and Easter stories, they specialize in plays that ask searching questions about how life should be lived, avoiding offering easy answers.
The 13th Camden Fringe festival runs 30 July – 26 August. The festival which first opened in Etcetera Theatre thirteen years ago has a line-up of 300 productions in North London venues. Co-Founder Michelle Flower says: " Pub theatres have always formed the backbone of the Camden Fringe and we are excited to be back with our biggest festival yet, taking place at 22 venues, including 10 pub theatres. A new addition for this year is the Albany. We spent an awful lot a time at in the early part of the millennium watching things like Robin Ince's Book Club, so it's lovely to have that space as part of the Camden Fringe for 2018.”
Pub Theatres & comedy clubs taking part are: Etcetera Theatre (Camden), Hen & Chickens (Highbury Corner), Upstairs at the Gatehouse (Highgate Village), The Lion & Unicorn (Kentish Town), The Albany (W1), The Star of Kings (N1), The Bill Murray (Islington), Camden Comedy Club (Camden), Moors Bar (Crouch End), The Water Rats (WC1)
Essex girl Margaret Cavendish (1623-1673) wrote The Unnatural Tragedy in the decade between the Taj Mahal being completed and the Great Fire of London. It has never had any kind of performance – until now! Cavendish was an English aristocrat, philosopher, poet, scientist, fiction-writer, and playwright during the 17th century. She published her work under her own name at a time when most women writers published anonymously. Her ground-breaking writing addressed a number of topics, including gender, power, manners, scientific method, and philosophy. In an age where no woman was allowed to perform on stage she was unashamedly female-centric: “A woman write a play! Nobody will believe it. For if it be good, they will say she did not write it.” She was years ahead of her time and knew it, saying “I regard not so much the present but future ages, for which I intend all my books”. Preceding Marx by 200 years, Cavendish questions whether Biblical doctrine is (literally) man-made. If that is the case, then only Nature’s laws exist – but what is “Unnatural”?
Theatrical Rights Worldwide, the global company who represent some of the biggest musicals in the West End and Broadway, is launching a major search to discover the next generation of great British musicals to add to The British Musicals Collection. The collection currently features the award-winning The Hunting of the Snark, The Battle of Boat and Imaginary A New Musical. TRW’s current crown jewels, which they license to professional producers, amateur companies and schools worldwide include The Bodyguard the Musical, The Color Purple the Musical, Ghost the Musical, Grease, Monty Python’s Spamalot, Jersey Boys, Priscilla, Queen of the Desert, We Will Rock You, Million Dollar Quartet, Big Fish, The Addams Family, Memphis the Musical, Stiles & Drewe’s The Wind in the Willows and the recent Broadway hit On Your Feet The Story of Emilio & Gloria Estefan - due to get its UK premiere next summer at the London Coliseum.
Now its recently opened UK office is launching The British Musicals Collection to offer the same chances for new and upcoming British musicals to join their growing catalogue and get worldwide exposure both in the amateur and professional markets. Drew Baker, Vice President of TRW UK said: “I’m passionate about encouraging, nurturing and supporting new British musical theatre.”
Established in 2015, the Queer Season is a celebration of LGBTQI+ theatre being created in modern Britain, with transfers to and from some of the UK’s largest arts festivals alongside world premieres. The KHT’s Artistic Director, Adam Spreadbury-Maher, says ‘Queer work is a vital aspect of our programme; we’re committed to being a space where queer lives are explored, and queer artists have a voice. I’m delighted to host this season of fantastic theatre, which places work by celebrated playwrights and directors such as Mart Crowley, TennesseeWilliams and Rikki Beadle-Blair alongside exciting, emerging writers and to celebrate the range of contexts, experiences and stories that the queer world has to offer.’ The full line up is on our King’s Head What’s On page here
Finborough’s THEGREATWAR100 series commemorating the centenary of the First World War continues with their world premiere of Robert Graves’ BUT IT STILL GOES ON. The play has never been seen. Written in 1929 as a commission from the producers of Journey’s End and influenced by the drawing room comedies of Noël Coward and W. Somerset Maugham, it explores themes of adultery, homosexuality, lesbianism, gender politics, casual sex, and inter-generational conflict, but with a surreal dark twist. It now finally receives its world premiere at the multi-award-winning Finborough Theatre 10 July – 4 August 2018. Read our interview with cast member Claire Redcliffe here
TOR pub theatre (Cardiff) has been recognised by ICWP and join with Lyceum Theatre (Edinburgh) in being the only 2 UK Theatre’s to win a 50/50 Applause gender equality award for playwrights 2017-2018. For the last three years 2015-2017 the award has been won by Bread and Roses Theatre in Clapham. ICWP is The International Centre for Women Playwrights: a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting women playwrights globally.
Katy Danbury has been appointed Artistic Director of Old Red Lion Theatre in Islington. Danbury was formerly Theatre Manager at ORLT for six months and is also producer of London Horror Festival. She follows Clive Judd, who was in the post for ten months.
David Loumgair joins the Old Red Lion team as Senior Dramaturg to lead the Literary Department. The Literary Department was restructured when Katy Danbury took over the prestigious North London theatre. Her appointment of Loumgair as Senior Dramaturg is part of Danbury’s aim to find a new artistic and managerial model to respond to the growing challenges currently facing Fringe theatres across the UK. Increased cuts to public funding and rising business rates in recent years have taken their toll on smaller venues. Old Red Lion has been crucial in supporting the careers of many of the UK’s most esteemed artists. Kathy Burke, Stephen Daldry, Penelope Skinner and Nina Raine are amongst those who had their early work staged at the venue, and most recently the Olivier award-winning comedy The Play That Goes Wrong from Mischief Theatre.
Loumgair’s appointment seeks to support Danbury in developing more challenging work, and also to find ways that smaller Fringe theatres can survive in a quickly changing cultural landscape. Executive Director, Damien Devine, says: “There has never been a more challenging environment than now in which to run a Fringe venue, and this appointment represents a clear statement that the Old Red Lion continues its commitment to presenting original and ambitious new theatre.” Danbury adds: “I am very excited to begin work on the new Literary Department with David. He is a brilliant Dramaturg with extensive knowledge of the current theatrical climate. We have already had many interesting discussions about how we can contribute towards creating a sustainable theatre ecology, and I cannot wait to see what he delivers through the Old Red Lion.”
Unrestriced View, the production company at Hen and Chickens Theatre now has a mobile vintage cinema (at The Alwyne Castle). In addition to the bus, they have a new venue for film, Screen on the Green (in Islington), which is one of the oldest running cinemas in the UK . The venues will host their annual film festival which opens 23 - 29 April Since taking over the theatre space at Hen and Chickens in 1999, the Unrestricted View team have been giving theatre companies, writers, actors and comedians a chance to showcase their talents. In 2016 they were able to add film making to that list. They aim to feature the very best in independent film making. Programmes and tickets for their upcoming festival are on their website https://www.unrestrictedview.co.uk/unrestricted-view-film-festival-2/
Traitors, Cads and Cowards by Martin McNamara transfers to HM Prison Wandsworth for two performances. The play opened in July 2016 at Bread and Roses Theatre followed by a run at The Lion and Unicorn in October 2016. McNamara researched his play where it is set, in Wandsworth prison. As a result the prison authorities have invited him to bring it to the Prison Chapel to be performed for inmates and for one public performance. This historically accurate play about WW1, features Liam, an Irish Volunteer from the Rising, bunked in with British army deserter Alfred, veteran of the trenches of Verdun, and conscientious objector Henry. It asks the question - "Can three very different men, all 'traitors to the King', find common cause with each other?" The public performance will be Monday 14 May, 2.30pm at HM Prison Wandsworth, 17 Heathfield Rd, SW18 3HS and is part of Wandsworth Fringe Festival (Bookings)
We are pleased to announce that London Pub Theatres Magazine is expanding. We are now covering the three pub theatres in Paris. The pub theatres, Oignon et Grenouille, La Renard, and Tête Découpée du Roi have an eclectic programme of plays ranging from French classics to experimental theatre and performance reflecting the recent return to aesthetics and politics contesting reality as it is currently configured in France today. Monsieur Croque, Artistic Director of La Renard says that he is ‘over la lune to be interviewed by London Pub Theatres Magazine’. The interview will be published in next month’s edition.
Velenzia Spearpoint has been appointed as Artistic Director from April 2018. She will take over from Tessa Hart, who is moving on to work for the Astrid-Lindgren-Bühne in Berlin whilst also staying involved as a Co-Executive Director of The Bread & Roses Theatre. Spearpoint is director, producer, and actor with over ten years experience both on and off stage. She is also co-founder of all-female theatre company Get Over It Productions. She has been Associate Producer of the The Bread & Roses Theatre since 2016 and will now take on the responsibility of programming the theatre’s main seasons from December 2018. Spearpoint says “I look forward to welcoming more innovative theatre companies to The Bread & Roses and continuing to champion diversity, equality and progressive art at this incredible space I can now call home.” She will be working alongside current Managing Director Rebecca Pryle.
La bohème has been Olivier Award nominated for best new opera, the UK's most prestigous stage honours. Following its debut at King's Head Theatre (2016) La bohème transferred to Trafalgar Studios in the West End (Dec 2017-January 2018). The production director is Adam Spreadbury-Maher, the producer is Louisa Davis, the librettist and soprano is Becca Marriott, and the musical director is Panaretos Kyriatzidis. The Olivier Awards 2018 (with Mastercard) ceremony, will take place at the Royal Albert Hall on Sunday 8 April.
The Bread & Roses Playwriting Award is a competition for full length theatre plays that have not previously been produced or published and feature at least half of female, non-binary or gender neutral roles. Up to three winning plays will receive a professional production at The Bread & Roses Theatre & 10% of box office income (in 2019/2020) plus publication by The Bread & Roses Theatre & royalty from all sales. The top ten shortlisted plays that do not go on to win will receive written feedback and script analysis. Further information can be found on our Writer's Page and on Bread & Roses website.
The winning plays receives, £6,000 prize and a guaranteed production at Theatre 503.The award is made possible by the long term support of Carne Trust. Nick Hern Books are returning as Publishing Partners and Award Ceremony Sponsors for the third time.
The deadline for submissions is 31 March and the winner is announced in November 2018. Further information can be found on our Writer's Page and on Theatre 503 website https://theatre503.com/writers/award2018/
Radius provides high-quality drama scripts to churches and community groups. In addition to a collection of original takes on the Christmas and Easter stories, They specialize in plays that ask searching questions about how life should be lived, and prefer to avoid offering easy answers. The winning script is guaranteed a reading in the prestigious Vibrant Festival of new writing 2018 (at Finborough Theatre). There will be a prize of £500. Entry is free.
ATTICIST IS ANNOUNCED AS NEW ASSOCIATE COMPANY after a mega succesful run of Berkoff's East in January, in which the company sold out its entire run, had muliple 5 star reviews and received several award nominations. Bridie Bischoff, one of the two producers at Atticist, says: “It has been a pleasure working with the King’s Head Theatre team on EAST and this is an exciting opportunity for us to continue our relationship....The King’s Head Theatre strives to provide a supportive, open atmosphere in which theatre practitioners can thrive; this is something with which we are proud to be associated, both artistically and in its commitment to fair pay and diversity.”
King's Head Theatre Artistic Director Adam Spreadbury-Maher says: “We met with Atticist after hearing about their fantastic run of Life According to Saki at the Edinburgh fringe and in New York. Atticist are an incredibly exciting emerging company who share a lot of the same values as our team at the King's Head Theatre. They work incredibly hard to deliver such a high standard of work, and I can't wait to see what's next.”
Formerly the LANDOR THEATRE, the space re-opens after renovations. Housed in the Landor Pub it sits right next door to Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts in the heart of Clapham providing a black box theatre, a studio and an upstairs bar. The new management opens with a full season of shows.
Theatre N16 has a new home, in a north London warehouse from March 2018. They are delighted to announce a partnership between themselves and the Tottenham Hale based performance space and bar Styx. Already known for its live events, Theatre N16 will take over all the production and programming of theatre shows. Producer and founder of Theatre N16, Jamie Eastlake is already looking to THE future. He tweets:
“if you have a show, are a company, got rejected from other avenues, want that next step, don't wanna get ripped off by getting charged silly money for nowt, I wanna hear from you. Email firstname.lastname@example.org"
Pentire Street Productions are returning to the Barons Court Theatre this April to host a festival that celebrates all theatre disciplines, from plays to comedy, puppetry to spoken word and cabaret to opera; a different discipline will be performed each night. Pentire Street have worked with a wide range of creatives, producing both subsidised and commercial work at the Edinburgh Fringe and in London.
Following the success of UNRESTRICTED VIEW FILM FESTIVAL and UNRESTRICTED VIEW HORROR FILM FESTIVAL, Unrestricted View are delighted to announce their first LGBT Film Festival, RAINBOW UMBRELLA, which will take place at THE HEN & CHICKENS THEATRE on 12th - 14th January 2018. Programme and tickets here
Strangers In Between opens in the West End Trafalgar Studios 10 Jan 2018. It takes an unflinching look at the highs and lows of growing up gay in modern Australia, bursting with laugh-out-loud one liners, simmering sexual tension and heartfelt confessions. Tickets
For the 4th consecutive year, ETCETERA Theatre curate BLACK BOX FESTIVAL. With Comedy, Puppetry, Music, Work In Progress, Horror and more lined up. The shows have been chosen to work as pairs on the same night to offer quality related Double Bills.