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APRIL 2018




Artistic Director

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.  


Senior Dramaturg

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




Theatre transfer from Bread and Roses/Lion & Unicorn 


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)




POSTED ON APRIL FOOL'S DAY (below), THIS CAUGHT OUT A NUMBER OF PEOPLE WHO WOULD ALL HAVE LOVED IT TO BE TRUE.  Sadly, there are no pub theatres in Paris.  All other posts in theatre news are true!

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.

Posted: 1 April 2018



MARCH 2018




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




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.

The deadline is 1 May and the winner will be announced 23 July 2018.

Further information about Radius's playwriting competition can be found on our Writer's Page and here  




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.”

Atticist join Charles Court Opera as the second Associate Company for the King's Head Theatre.




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"




A gala and farewell to the Balham venue will take place in the Bedford pub on Sunday 18 February 2018 – doors open at 5pm with all invited. RSVP here







The awards have been announced for Unrestricted View first LGBT Film Festival, RAINBOW UMBRELLA, which took place at THE HEN & CHICKENS THEATRE on 12th - 14th January 2018.

Best Film-Dust

Best actress-Elliott Sailors-Dusk

Best Actor-Josh Kieser-Papercut

Best cinematography-Papercut

Best foreign film-Naughty Amelia Jane

Best Director-Judith Westerman-Celebrate Eileen

Best screenplay-Celebrate Eileen





Applications are invited to take part in this new theatre festival 2 - 7th April 2018.

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.  

All information can be found here: 

Deadline: 23:59, Friday 27th January 2018




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




West End transfer

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





BLACK BOX FESTIVAL 10th - 20th January 2018

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.

The full listing is on our What's On page, concise and easy to use.






West End transfer

La Bohème opens at Trafalgar Studios, SW1, 6 December 2017 – 6 January 2018

This new version by Adam Spreadbury-Maher and Becca Marriott presents a radically different take on Puccini's timeless classic.



Applications for Theatre 48 opens

The future of the fringe is here!

Applications for Festival 48, the King's Head Theatre's festival of brand new work, are now open. For three weeks in July 2018, they’ll be opening our doors to the UK’s most exciting, bold and ambitious emerging companies.  The deadline for applications is 6.00pm on Friday 23rd February 2018.







Announces their full cast for Charles Dickens GREAT EXPECTATIONS

After holding open auditions for Dickens’ main character in this Christmas classic, now set in contemporary London, newcomer Joshua Asaré secured the role of Pip. Asaré has just completed The National Theatre’s Playing Up course, and his recent credits include The Comedy Troll at the Northwall Arts Centre and THREE at the Arcola Theatre. He joins two award winning actresses: Maryam Grace in the  duel role of Estella and Biddy, and Sarah Thom as Jo and Miss Havisham. The double role of both Drummle and Orlick will be portrayed by Peter Wicks, Christopher Goh will be taking up the mantles of Herbet and Compeyson, and Offie nominated actor Liam Bewley will be taking on the roles of Magwycz and Jaggers.

Great Expectations will be playing at The Old Red Lion from 12 December 2017 to 6 January 2018. Read our overview in our top picks/Christmas shows here


HEN & CHICKENS (Unrestricted View)

Announce their UV Horror Film Festival Award Winners 2017

Best Web Series: You Only Die Once (Dir: Amanda B. Goodman)

Best Horror Moment: The Scottish Play (Dir: Henry Steedman)

Best Make Up/SFX: The Sandman Wakes Award – Alex Humphrey & Tom Atkinson Judging: Fractured

Best Screenplay: The Offer (Gary Smart & Neil Morris) - Read our interview with Gary Smart here

Best Foreign Short: The Servant (Dir: Farnoosh Abedi)

Best Foreign Feature: The Child Remains

Best Short: Eddie (Dir: John Lynch)

LHS Award – Chris Nials Judging: James Bushe (Director of Cannibals & Carpetfitters)

Best Director (Short): David E. Munz-Maire (Chateau Sauvignon: Terrior)

Best Actor (Short): Andrew Shire (Toll Booth)

Best Actress (Short): Alexandra Marcy (Claire & Bruno: A Story of Love & Fresh Meat)

Best Actor (Feature): Jeff Medley (Loon)

Best Actress (Feature): Jasmyn Banks (The Spiritualist)

Festival Director’s Choice: Fractured

Best Director (Feature): Jamie Pattison (Fractured)  

Best Feature: Cannibals & Carpet Fitters



Host Brexit beating VOILA! EUROPE THEATRE FESTIVAL 9 - 18 November

One of only three theatres hosting the event, it plans to bust the barriers of language,  and showcases plays from around Europe & the UK to the multi-national audiences of London.  Along with Etcetera Theatre shows will also be hosted by The Cockpit, and Applecart Arts.

Etcetera Theatre manager Pierre says they have a broad remit "from new writing by emerging artists to classics revisited by well-loved companies, Voila! Europe celebrates diversity in performing arts, multiple languages, and fearless creatives. No passports required."

The full line up is on our What's On page Visit here

Read Maud Madlyn on getting inspired by other cultures here






NewsRevue transfers to the West End

For one night only NewsRevue will appear for the first time in the heart of the West End with its critically acclaimed, total sell-out Edinburgh run direct from The Pleasance.  See them at the Arts Theatre 16th October, booking here



Katzpace, a new 50-seater theatre in the heart of London Bridge opens 22 October

Found in the basement of Katzenjammers SE1, a Bavarian Bierkeller, it gives the space a quirkier take on a pub theatre. As a young actress herself, artistic director Bebe Barry, 21, is passionate about providing a platform for those who may not have the experience, funds or team to develop and showcase their work elsewhere. In doing so, it is the aim that this work may be seen by members of the industry, where it wouldn’t normally be possible. Katzpace believe in showcasing original and exciting work, whether it be new writing or a new adaptation of an existing piece of theatre. The theatre officially opens on the 22nd October with “Pebbles”.



Seek BAME actors to attend open auditions for Christmas show

Crowley & Co. and the Heritage Arts Company are holding a day of auditions for the lead role of Pip in their upcoming production of Great Expectations at the Old Red Lion Theatre, Islington, 12th Dec 2017 – 6th January 2018.  They are specifically looking for BAME, male 18 – 26 years old actors. Great Expectations is set in a diverse, modern London and it’s crucial that this story of social mobility has a cast reflective of its message.

Great Expectations is a funny, fast-paced and moving adaptation of the novel by Charles Dickens, catapulting Pip into the 21st century. The script, adapted by Tom Crowley (Shock Treatment, The Quentin Dentin Show) fully reimagines the classic story for the modern day, while capturing Dickens’s humour, his humanity and his sense of adventure. Great Expectations remains a story about the ageless themes of unrequited love, the divide between the rich and the poor, and what it means to be a ‘good person’.

Pip is a council estate boy with no money, and no hope for the future. His mother, widow Jo Gargery, is a police officer struggling to provide for herself and her son. Before long, Pip’s life is changed forever after he meets mysterious fugitive Magwycz, the beautiful but troubled Estella and the fearsome, wounded Miss Havisham. Pip’s whirlwind adventure takes him to the heights of big city success – and into more danger than he could have ever imagined.

Audition Date: 12th October, 2017.

Location: The Old Red Lion Theatre, 418 St John St, Clerkenwell, London EC1V 4NJ.

To Apply: Please email with your/your client’s headshot and acting CV. Please keep the day of 12th October free, and state whether you’d prefer a morning or afternoon audition.



Theatre N16 are looking for a new home

The developers are moving into Bedford Pub and forcing them out.  Theatre N16 have had over 178 productions and over 28,000 audience members through the door since moving to the Bedford in 2015.

Theatre N16 was set up in 2015 to be a stomping ground for new companies and a place to try out new work, offering affordable deals on rehearsal and performance space. It has offered a ground-breaking, risk-free deal to all companies, which 95% of their guests have taken, guaranteeing that creatives do not leave the space owing the venue money. This is all under the auspices of an Equity Fringe Agreement, with Theatre N16 one of the few London venues to have signed up to the deal to guarantee pay to all creatives working for the venue.

Executive director Jamie Eastlake says: “I was sick to death of watching theatre companies get ripped off under business models that relied on funding the theatre first. Instead, we kept finding new innovative ideas to keep a space open. The fringe is the lifeblood of theatre. Having good solid fringe theatre models is what creates new work and new artists and feeds the West End.“




Winner & Runner-ups of The Bread & Roses Playwriting Award 2016/2017

The Bread & Roses Theatre announces The Black Eye Club by Phil Charles as the winner of their first Playwriting Award. The winning play will receive its premiere production at the South London based theatre this November, directed by Artistic Director Tessa Hart.

Runner-ups of the award are Little Did I Know by Doc Andersen-Bloomfield which will receive a showcase production in February 2018, and The Buzz by Lydia Rynne which will be further workshopped this December.

Grown out of their Playwriting Competition first run in 2015, the award was open for submissions last summer/autumn and called for full length plays with at least 50% material that are female, non-binary or gender neutral roles, from UK based playwrights. Over 450 submissions were judged anonymously throughout three readings rounds.

Bread and Roses win prestigious 2017 50/50 Awards  

Bread and Roses along with Royal Court Theatre receive international gender equity award '50/50 Applause'.  This is the third time Bread and Roses have won the award for staging 50 per cent or more plays by women playwrights in a year long period.

The Purple Seven study "Gender in Theatre", shows that only 28 per cent of playwrights produced from 2012 to 2015 in the UK were female.   This is an improvement on an earlier study which showed only 17% female playwrights (quoted at Sphinx theatre’s ‘Vamps, Vixens and feminists’ conference in 2009).  



Update on move to purpose built theatre

Interview with Adam Spreadbury-Maher on move to purpose built 250 seat venue Read here





Changes to management structure

The current Artistic Director, Clive Judd, will be leaving the ORL in late-October, after a terrific tenure, which includes bringing the current five star reviewed TALK RADIO, the sell out production of MRS ORWELL which transferred to Southwark Playhouse.



2017 Eddies Award winners announced

Drayton Arms searched this year's Fringe Festival for the most exciting new companies and offered them the chance to remount their Edinburgh success with an immediate London transfer. For the winners all normal hire fees / rental costs are waived and Drayton supply a technician for the Get In, as well as flyers, poster printing and distribution costs. Companies are required to remunerate their own company members and provide a SM/Operator for the full run.  

The Kensington Prize winner is Streetlights, People! Productions' Ordinary Days.  Critically acclaimed musical Ordinary Days will run for three weeks beginning November 21st.  

The Gloucester Prize winner is Half a String’s production of A Heart at Sea, an epic folktale told on miniature scale.Puppets roam a beautifully carved chest to recount the story of whales, tiny boats, and beards. A Heart at Sea will run for one week beginning November 14th.  

The Brompton Prize winner is Hot Gay Productions’ Hot Gay Time Machine, covering all the important moments of a gay man’s life. Hot Gay Time Machine will run for two nights beginning December 3rd.





King’s Head Theatre is on the move.

It’s branching out from the Islington pub to a new home in £400m development right next door.    you won’t have to go far from the original sight to see how visionary Artistic Director Adam Spreadbury Mahor, shakes up London fringe theatre.

The new theatre will have a 250-seat auditorium with a small studio and a bar. The existing theatre will provide a dining room for the pub. The venue has been the home of Opera Up Close and helped launched many careers including Alan Rickman, Sir Ben Kingsley, French and Saunders and Richard E Grant. Read more on King’s Head Theatre website here




Drayton Arms are inviting new companies at this year's Fringe Festival to apply for the chance to remount their Edinburgh success with an immediate London transfer. Succesful companies will have all normal hire fees / rental costs waived, will be supplied with a technician for their Get In, as well as flyer, poster printing and distribution costs.

Programmer Director, Audrey Thayer, says:

"I could not be more excited to be bringing the Eddies back for another year here at Drayton Arms Theatre.  To help new and emerging companies grow and have a chance here in London is a huge part of the aim. I am thrilled to be going to Edinburgh and look forward to finding some gems to bring back home."

100% of the ticket sales goes to the company.  Potential return is likely to be in excess of £3,500 for a three week run.

Being mindful of fair pay, Drayton are insisting companies who apply must be paying a fair wage to their company members and SM/Operator, for the full run.

Apply online here no later than 15 August 2017  - NOW CLOSED