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NATIONAL THEATRE: Platform talks confirmed for 2014

April 8, 2014 

The National Theatre has confirmed its forthcoming series of Platforms talks for 2014.

The eclectic programme of talks, discussions and interviews includes writers Alan Ayckbourn, Alan Bennett and Enda Walsh ; directors Sam Mendes, Carrie Cracknell  and Neil Bartlett ; and actors Kenneth Cranham and Michael Palin.

All Platforms begin at 6pm at the National Theatre and last for 45 minutes. Most are only £4 (£3 concessions).

Alan Ayckbourn
Thu 10 April, Olivier, 6pm (45 mins), £4/£3
The legendary playwright discusses his work.

Adam Penford on A Small Family Business
Tue 15 April, Olivier, 6pm (45 mins), £4/£3
The director talks about his new production of Ayckbourn’s play.

Poems That Make Grown Men Cry
Tue 29 April, Lyttelton BS, 6pm (45 mins), £4/£3
Melvyn Bragg, Richard Dawkins, Mike Leigh, Simon McBurney, Ian McEwan, Ben Okri, Simon Russell Beale and Simon Schama read from Amnesty International’s new book; directed by Richard Eyre.

Alan Bennett
Wed 7 May, 7pm (1hr), Olivier £4/£3
The playwright discusses his work with Nicholas Hytner.

Family Values – A Taste of Honey: Helen and Jo
Fri 9 May, 3pm (1hr) £5/£4 Lyttelton
A series of interviews with members of the acting company, discussing the plays and what they’ve discovered about the relationships at the heart of them with Lesley Sharp and Kate O’Flynn.

Craig Brown and Friends
Fri 9 May, Lyttelton, 6pm (45 mins), £4/£3
In celebration of his 25 glorious years with Private Eye, Craig Brown presents a parodic One-Stop Literary Festival – with a little help from his friends Eleanor Bron, Ian Hislop, Jan Ravens, Peter Serafinowicz and A N Wilson.

First World War Poetry
Fri 16 May, Lyttelton, 6pm (45 mins), £4/£3
Kenneth Cranham and Deborah Findlay read WWI poetry, with Josephine Hart’s potent introductions.

O’Casey: Beyond Dublin
Sat 17 May, 10.30am (90mins), Lyttelton, £5/£4
A chance to explore the later work of playwright Sean O’Casey with Abbey Theatre archivist Mairead Delaney, director Wayne Jordan, author James Moran, and readings by NT actors. Chaired by P J Mathews.

Sam Mendes on King Lear
Mon 19 May, 5.30pm, Olivier £4/£3
The film and stage director talks about his acclaimed production.

Michael Palin
Mon 2 June, Olivier BS, 6pm (45 mins), £4/£3
Michael Palin tells the story of how the famous shows and films were conceived, argued about, and brought to hilarious life in his new book, Monty Python at Work.

Rebecca Front and Michael Simkins
Fri 13 June BS, 6pm (45 mins), £4/£3
Two actors share their comedy experiences in their new books, Curious and The Rules of Acting.

Family Values – A Small Family Business: Jack and Poppy
Thu 26 June, 3pm (1hr) £5/£4 Olivier
A series of interviews with members of the acting company, discussing the plays and what they’ve discovered about the relationships at the heart of them with Nigel Lindsay and Debra Gillett.

Family Values – The Silver Tassie: Sylvester and Harry
Thu 3 July, 3pm (1hr) £5/£4 Lyttelton
A series of interviews with members of the acting company, discussing the plays and what they’ve discovered about the relationships at the heart of them with Aidan McArdle and Ronan Raftery.

Connections Writers
Mon 7 July, Lyttelton, 6pm (45 mins), £4/£3
The writers of this year’s Connections plays discuss their experience of the festival.

Kate Adie
Thu 31 July, Lyttelton BS, 6pm (45 mins), £4/£3
In Fighting on the Home Front, the distinguished journalist explores the momentous legacy of women in WWI.

Neil Bartlett
Fri 1 Aug BS, 6pm (45 mins), £4/£3
The director and writer talks about his novel, The Disappearance Boy, set in the tarnished world of 1950s variety theatres.

Medea: Ancient and Modern – Carrie Cracknell and Ben Power
Tue 12 Aug, Olivier, 6pm (45 mins), £4/£3
The director and playwright talk about their new version of Euripides’ tragedy.

Medea: Ancient and Modern – Acts of Madness
Tue 19 Aug, Olivier, 6pm (45 mins), £4/£3
Classicist Edith Hall and psychiatrist Femi Oyebode take a contemporary view of whether Medea’s behaviour is determined by ‘madness’.

Medea: Ancient and Modern – Motives and Murder
Thu 21 Aug, Olivier, 6pm (45 mins), £4/£3
Forensic psychiatrist Christopher Cordess and academic Julia Stroud look at the result of social environments on revenge killings and their psychological impact.

Medea: Ancient and Modern – Women in Ancient Greece
Mon 1 Sep, Olivier, 6pm (45 mins), £4/£3
Historian Bettany Hughes and theatre scholar Oliver Taplin discuss the place of women in religion and their depiction as dangerous and tragic figures.

Enda Walsh on Ballyturk
Fri 19 Sep, Lyttelton, 6pm (45 mins), £4/£3
The writer and director discusses his new play.

John Lahr
Mon 22 Sep, Lyttelton BS, 6pm (45 mins), £4/£3
As his definitive biography of Tennessee Williams is published, John Lahr talks to Nicholas Hytner.

Rona Munro and Laurie Sansom on The James Plays
Fri 26 Sep, Olivier, 6pm (45 mins), £4/£3
The playwright and director discuss this trilogy of plays about the kings of Scotland.

LINKS

National Theatre website

National Theatre on WestEndTheatre.com

Photos First Look: Cabaret on Broadway

April 3, 2014 

Production images released for Sam Mendes’ new production of Cabaret on Broadway.

Michelle Williams as Sally Bowles in Cabaret. Photo: Joan Marcus

Michelle Williams as Sally Bowles in Cabaret. Photo: Joan Marcus

Sam Mendes has revived his acclaimed production of Cabaret at Studio 54 theatre in New York.

Alan Cumming (The Good Wife) reprises his Tony-winning performance as the Emcee with Michelle Williams (My Week With Marilyn) as Sally Bowles.

With choreography by Rob Marshall (Chicago the movie), the show is proving to be a massive hit on Broadway.

Photos by Joan Marcus.

LINKS

Book tickets to Cabaret on Broadway at Studio 54

News: Photo mash-up of Cabaret – Behind-the-scenes

 

Cabaret | Broadway Tickets

March 20, 2014 

Alan Cumming and Michelle Williams star in Sam Mendes’ revival of Kander & Ebb’s classic musical Cabaret.

Kander & Ebb’s classic musical, immortalised on film by Liza Minelli, returns to Broadway in this major new revival by the award-winning Roundabout Theatre Company and directed by Sam Mendes (Skyfall, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).

Transforming New York’s iconic Studio 54 into a cabaret space, the audience will be immersed in the action and part of the nightly goings-on in Berlin’s Kit Kat Klub.

Cabaret stars Alan Cumming (The Good Wife), who recreates his Tony Award winning performance as the Emcee, alongside Oscar nominee Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain, My Week with Marilyn), who makes her Broadway debut as Sally Bowles. The show also stars Tony nominees Danny Burstein (Follies) and Linda Emond (Death of a Salesman).

Sam Mendes and Rob Marshall recreate their critically-acclaimed staging of a show that features a much-loved score that includes hits such as “Maybe This Time,” and “Cabaret”.

THE STORY: Aspiring American writer Cliff Bradshaw meets and falls in love with the glamorous but impulsive headliner Sally Bowles. Meanwhile, Cliff’s landlady Fraulein Schneider enjoys a late-in-life romance with Herr Schultz, a Jewish fruit vendor. But his background spells trouble as the Nazi movement gains power and the decadent nightlife world becomes a dangerous place.

Photos: Cabaret on Broadway starring Michelle Williams and Alan Cumming

March 20, 2014 

Sam Mendes’ revival of CABARET for the Roundabout Theatre Company has kicked off at Studio 54 in New York starring Alan Cumming and Michelle Williams.

Here’s a photo mash-up of the opening and rehearsals for the much-anticipated (UNDERSTATEMENT!) show.

BOOK

Book tickets to Cabaret on Broadway at Studio 54

 


CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY: New cast announced

March 10, 2014 

The new cast has been announced for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Joining the already announced Alex Jennings, who will replace Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka, the cast will include Barry James as Grandpa Joe, Josefina Gabrielle as  Mrs Teavee, and Richard Dempsey and Kirsty Malpass as Charlie’s parents Mr and Mrs Bucket.

The new cast make their first appearance on 19 May 2014.

Clive Carter (Mr Salt), Jasna Ivir (Mrs Gloop), Paul J Medford (Mr Beauregarde), Billy Boyle (Grandpa George), Roni Page (Grandma Josephine) and Myra Sands (Grandma Georgina) will all continue in the cast, and new ensemble members include Dan Cooke, Divine Cresswell, Connor Dowling, Gemma Fuller, Robert Jones, Matthew Rowland, Rebecca Seale, Gregory Sims, Paulo Teixeira and Laura Tyrer.

Earlier today Sam Mendes’ production of Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory scooped seven Olivier Award nominations including Best New Musical and Best Actor in a Musical for Douglas Hodge.

BOOK

Book tickets to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

MORE ABOUT THE NEW CAST

Barry James: Barry’s theatre credits include the role of Seymour in the West End premiere of The Little Shop of Horrors, and Thenardier on the 1988 Grammy Award-winning symphonic cast recording of Les Misérables. Other theatre credits include The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty and the Beast, Oliver!, She Loves Me (Olivier-nominated), Grand Hotel (all West End), Sweeney Todd (Olivier-nominated), The Merchant of Venice, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (all NT) and the 25th Anniversary Celebrations of The Phantom of the Opera at The Royal Albert Hall.

Josefina Gabrielle: She began her career as a soloist with the National Ballet of Portugal. Her theatre credits include: Two Into One (Menier Chocolate Factory); Puss In Boots (Hackney Empire); Merrily We Roll Along (Olivier award nomination for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical, Menier Chocolate Factory, Harold Pinter Theatre and Digital Theatre); The King and I (UK tour; MTA nomination for best actress in a visiting company); Me And My Girl (Sheffield Crucible); Sweet Charity (Menier Chocolate Factory and Theatre Royal Haymarket – Clarence Derwent Award winner and Olivier award nomination for Best Supporting Actress); Hello, Dolly! (Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre); The 39 Steps (Criterion); The Witches of Eastwick (Prince of Wales); Chicago (Adelphi and Cambridge Theatres); Oklahoma! (National and Lyceum theatres, London, and Gershwin Theatre, New York; nominated for Olivier Award and Outer Critics Circle Award for Best Actress in a Musical and Astaire Award for Outstanding Dance); Fame (Cambridge Theatre) and Carousel (National and Shaftesbury Theatres). Her screen credits include Miranda, Doctors, Ronnie Ancona & Co, Heartbeat, Totally Frank, Born and Bred, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet, Sunburn and Oklahoma!

Richard Dempsey: His theatre credits include the world tour of Propeller’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Merchant of Venice and Neil Kellerman in the UK Premiere of Dirty Dancing. Other theatre credits include A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Noel Coward Theatre), Victor/Victoria (Southwark Playhouse), Alice in Wonderland Me (Bristol Old Vic), Citizenship/Burn, Honk! (both National Theatre).

Kirsty Malpass: She has recently finished working opposite Tim Pigott-Smith at the Park Theatre. She made her West End debut in the award winning Jerry Springer the Opera and has worked extensively throughout the West End, regional theatre and in national tours, with directors such as Edward Hall, Matthew Warchus and Jeremy Sams, for whom she made her most recent musical theatre appearance playing Maria in The Sound of Music. She last performed at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane in The Lord of the Rings.

 

Photos: King Lear starring Simon Russell-Beale at the National Theatre

January 22, 2014 

Production photos of King Lear starring Simon Russell-Beale at the National Theatre.

Simon Russell-Beale and Adrian Scarborough in King Lear at the National Theatre. Photo: Mark Douet.

Simon Russell-Beale and Adrian Scarborough in King Lear at the National Theatre. Photo: Mark Douet.

Opening tomorrow night (23 January 2014) at the Olivier Theatre at the National Theatre is King Lear (until 25 March 2014).

Sam Mendes follows Charlie and the Chocolate Factory on stage and Skyfall on film by directing this new production of Shakespeare’s classic, featuring Simon Russell Beale in the title role.

He is joined by Stephen Boxer as Gloucester, Tom Brooke as Edgar, Kate Fleetwood as Goneril, Anna Maxwell Martin as Regan, Adrian Scarborough as Fool, Stanley Townsend as Kent, Sam Troughton as Edmund and Olivia Vinall as Cordelia.

Other cast include Cassie Bradley, Richard Clothier, Jonathan Dryden Taylor, Simon Manyonda,  Daniel Millar, Michael Nardone, Gary Powell, Hannah Stokely and Ross Waiton.

The production will be designed by Anthony Ward, with lighting by Paul Pyant, video design by Jon Driscoll, fight direction by Terry King and sound design by Paul Arditti.

Photos by Mark Douet.

LINKS

National Theatre

Cinema screening: King Lear starring Simon Russell Beale

December 12, 2013 

1 May 2014

King Lear

Simon Russell Beale in King Lear

The National Theatre will broadcast King Lear live to cinemas this Spring starring Simon Russell Beale.

Academy Award winner Sam Mendes directs Simon Russell Beale as King Lear in this highly anticipated production of Shakespeare’s tragedy.

LINKS

NT Live

 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Round-up of Reviews

June 25, 2013 

A round-up of reviews for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Sam Mendes directs Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka in a new musical at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane based on Roald Dahl’s classic children’s story Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Critics were largely positive about the show, which didn’t set the reviews on fire with its music, but wowed with the spectacle and visual. Douglas Hodge enjoyed solid notices for his performance as Willy Wonka. See all reviews below including the Guardian, Telegraphy and New York Times.

LINKS

Book tickets to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

FIRST LOOK: Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

May 28, 2013 

PHOTO FIRST LOOK: Douglas Hodge in character as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Brand new musical Charlie and the Chocolate Factory started previews last week at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane ahead of its 25 June 2013 opening night.

The mysterious confectioner has been revealed in this photo of Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka, the first production or character shot to be released from the show.

Roald Dahl’s classic tale is brought to be stage by Sam Mendes in this massive new production that features music and lyrics by the team that created Hairspray The Musical – Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman. Douglas Hodge is joined by a cast that includes Nigel Planer as Grandpa Joe.

Tickets are available now for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

 

LINKS

Book tickets to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane

Casting Update For World Premiere Of Roald Dahl’s Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

January 17, 2013 

Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Neal Street Productions and Kevin McCormick today announced further casting for Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which opens at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on 25th June 2013, directed by Sam Mendes.

Alongside Douglas Hodge as Willy Wonka, the cast will include Nigel Planer as Grandpa Joe, Clive Carter as Mr Salt, Jasna Ivir as Mrs Gloop, Paul J Medford as Mr Beauregarde, Iris Roberts as Mrs Teavee and Myra Sands as Grandma Georgina.

Other cast will include Joe Allen, David Birch, Michelle Bishop, Mireia Mambo Bokele, Matthew Clark, Alex Clatworthy, Jennifer Davison, Luke Fetherston, Nia Fisher, Kate Graham, Clare Halse, Mark Iles, Daniel Ioannou, Kieran Jae, Jane McMurtrie, Natalie Moore-Williams, Sherrie Pennington, Damien Poole, Paul Saunders, Jack Shalloo and Jay Webb.

Further casting to be announced.

When Charlie wins a golden ticket to the weird and wonderful Wonka Chocolate Factory, it’s the chance of a lifetime to feast on the sweets he’s always dreamed of. But beyond the gates astonishment awaits, as down the sugary corridors, and amongst the incredible edible delights, the five lucky winners discover not everything is as sweet as it seems.

ROALD DAHL’s deliciously dark tale of young Charlie Bucket and the mysterious confectioner Willy Wonka comes to life in a brand new West End musical directed by Academy Award® winner Sam Mendes.

Featuring ingenious stagecraft, the wonder of the original story that has captivated the world for almost 50 years is brought to life with music by Marc Shaiman, and lyrics by Scott Wittman and Marc Shaiman (Grammy® winners for Hairspray; Smash), a book by award-winning playwright and adaptor David Greig (The Bacchae; Tintin In Tibet), set and costume designs by Mark Thompson (Mamma Mia!; One Man, Two Guvnors) and choreography by Peter Darling (Billy Elliot; Matilda).

Douglas Hodge is a four time Olivier-nominated actor/director, who has worked at the National Theatre, the RSC, Shakespeare’s Globe and the Royal Court Theatre. On Broadway, he recently starred at the American Airlines Theatre in the title role of Cyrano de Bergerac, for the Roundabout Theatre Company. He won the Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Circle Awards for his Broadway debut in La Cage Aux Folles, having already won the Olivier Award for the same performance in London. For ten years he worked closely with Harold Pinter, and he was Associate Director at the Donmar from 2007 to 2009. He has released two albums of his own compositions ‘Cowley Road Songs’ and ‘Nightbus’, and won the Stiles and Drewe 2012 Best New Song Award for ‘Powercut’. Alongside numerous television credits, his feature films include Vanity Fair, Robin Hood, the soon to be released Serena, and Diana – in which he plays Paul Burrell, butler to Diana, Princess of Wales.

This world premiere musical is produced by Warner Bros. Theatre Ventures, Neal Street Productions and Kevin McCormick.

Book tickets to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane in London

 

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