Follow Us on Twitter

Camden People's Theatre - Autumn 2014

Season preview

EARLIER this month, Camden People’s Theatre joined Arts Council England’s National Portfolio of funded organisations – the only theatre venue in London to receive new NPO status in this funding round.

Now, CPT has announced its autumn 2014 season, which includes the return of its smash-hit festival of innovative feminist theatre, Calm Down, Dear; new work in its twentieth-anniversary CPT@20 strand; world premieres of new work developed on CPT’s unique Starting Blocks programme; and some of the most exciting, unconventional touring work in the UK.

Highlights of the season include the premiere of a new show, the CPT-developed Fox Symphony, by one of the most popular and idiosyncratic new acts in UK theatre, Foxy & Husk; a new collaboration with the National Student Drama Festival, which brings Barrel Organ’s critically acclaimed Nothing to CPT for its first major London run; and a major run of award-winning Sh!t Theatre’s Woman’s Hour, created for and scratched at last year’s Calm Down, Dear festival of feminism – now developed into a full show.

Alongside these, there’s electrifying new work from Snuff Box, Selina Thompson, James Oakley and Susan Kempster & Adam Foster, commissioned as part of their ongoing CPT@20 birthday strand; another instalment of world-beating Improbable Theatre’s ongoing improv experiment with non-theatre professionals, The Still; and new festivals 20:20 Vision and Festival of Gifts.

CPT Artistic Director Brian Logan said: “We’re really excited to announce a season that sums up what CPT is all about: brand new theatre, presented in unexpected ways, by the best new artists in Britain. Lots of it has been developed right here at CPT, where our artistic development work has just been recognised by new NPO status in the Arts Council’s latest funding round.

“That represents a significant step-change for CPT, and a great present for our twentieth birthday. With this new support, we aim to support more fledgling careers and enable even more innovative, engaged work from the country’s most creative theatre-makers – several electrifying examples of which you can see at CPT between now and the end of 2014.”

FULL SCHEDULE

Mass (work-in-progress), presented by Amy Mason – September 17 at 7.30pm. Tickets: £10 (£8 concessions.)

When the bus Amy Mason was travelling on ran two people over, she found herself praying for the first time in years. The experience led her to think about life, faith, and the way we deal with tragedy in an increasingly secular society.

Told using the structure of a Roman Catholic mass, Amy explores her own Catholic upbringing, her rejection of faith, and asks questions about religious experience and the value of religious ritual.

Mass is described as a funny, moving autobiographical solo show for those of us who aren’t quite sure how we feel about God.

20:20 Vision, presented by CPT – September 18 to September 20 at 7.30pm. Tickets: £12 (£10 concessions.)

Part of Camden People’s Theatre’s CPT@20 twentieth anniversary season, this is a weekend of new commissioned work (selected via open call for submission) exploring how the world has changed since CPT’s foundation in 1994, and how it might change in the two decades to come. Each evening will feature a mixed bill of works-in-progress by some of the country’s most exciting new theatre-makers responding to the theme.

Calm Down, Dear: a festival of feminism – September 24 to October 12 at 7.30pm and 9pm. Tickets: £12 (£10 concessions.)

In October 2013, CPT launched the inaugural Calm Down, Dear festival of feminism, featuring (among many shows) the London premiere of Bridget Christie’s award-winning A Bic for Her and Louise Orwin’s extraordinary exploration of teenage girls and the internet, Pretty Ugly. This three-week festival of theatre and performance, cabaret, comedy, short films and lively discussion about feminism was a huge hit, and CPT is proud and excited to bring it back for a second instalment.

This year’s event – full schedule to be announced in August – features the world premiere of the award-winning Sh!t Theatre’s Woman’s Hour (first created as a scratch for last year’s festival), alongside new work from Hannah Silva, Louise Orwin, Kathryn Beaumont and more, and a weekend’s residency by Fuel Theatre with their Phenomenal People live performance garden.

Passing the Baton 3 – October 22 at 7.30pm. Tickets: £12 (£10 concessions.)

As part of their CPT@20 anniversary strand, Camden People’s Theatre is running Passing the Baton­ – by which ten great artists from CPT’s past select ten new-to-CPT emerging artists for a unique seed commission opportunity. The projects developed are being showcased throughout the year. This third instalment features a double-bill of new work from James Oakley (selected and introduced by ex-CPT artistic director Chris Goode) and Susan Kempster and Adam Foster (selected and introduced by artistic director of Analogue, Liam Jarvis).

The Still from Improbable Theatre – October 23 to October 25 at 7.30pm. Tickets: £12 (£10 concessions.)

In recent years, world-renowned theatre improvisers Improbable have been collaborating at CPT with a series of unique and diverse practitioners. This ongoing experiment invites an expert in their chosen field – they range from scientists to therapists, from astrologers to economists – to spend one week with Improbable inside their theatrical still. The fermented brew is then offered up in the form of a trio of improvised performances.

Sommer 14 - A Dance of Death - Finborough Theatre

Sommer 14. Photo credit: Scott Rylander.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

COMMISSIONED by the Finborough Theatre from Cerberus Theatre, the UK premiere and the English world premiere of controversial German playwright Rolf Hochhuth’s Sommer 14 – A Dance of Death runs at the Earl’s Court venue from Tuesday, August 5 Saturday, August 30, 2014.

This new translation by Gwynne Edwards from a literal translation by Jennifer Bakst commemorates the centenary of the start of the First World War.

Wars do not break out, they are not brokered or declared as is always written. They are brought about by those who desire them.

In June 1914, Europe was enjoying unprecedented peace and prosperity. Little over a month later, the world was at war – and only a handful of people knew it was happening.

Inspired by the medieval mystery plays, Sommer 14 – A Dance of Death is an epic telling from a German and European perspective of the world’s descent into war. Employing the character of Death as a guide, the play uses the classic Danse Macabre structure of a series of searing vignettes to illuminate the people and the events that led up to the outbreak of the First World War.

The dead are amongst us, they are inside us. They demand of us that we answer for our crimes.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Germany was the cultural and economic envy of the continent – until Kaiser Wilhelm II and Admiral Tirpitz massively expanded the German Navy and sparked an arms race with Great Britain.

At the same time, leaders in Vienna and Berlin were convinced that a quick pre-emptive war was the safest way to deal with the military might of Russia and France.

Christopher Loscher directs a cast that includes Dean Bray, Sarah-Jayne Butler, Peter Cadden, Nick Danan, Edmund Dehn, Reginald Edwards, Tim Faulkner, Andrea Hart, Kirby Hughes, David Meyer, Stephen Omer and Henry Proffit.

With additional material by Mhairi Grealis, Sommer 14 – A Dance of Death is designed by Mike Lees and has music composed by Ermo Frankevyle.

For more information or to book, call the box office on 0844 847 1652 or visit www.finboroughtheatre.co.uk/.

Also at the Finborough Theatre: Rutland Boughton’s record-breaking ‘music-drama’ The Immortal Hour (August 10, 11, 12, 17, 18, 19, 24, 25 and 26, 2014).

Between - King's Head Theatre

Nicholas Campbell and Oskar Brown

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING sold out runs in Edinburgh, Brighton and Cape Town, Between comes to London for the first time – to the King’s Head Theatre, where it runs from August 5 to August 23, 2014.

Described as an edgy, fast paced and visceral exploration of male sexuality, Between follows three intertwining story lines: an acting instructor as he coaches a young student through the delivery of Shakespearian Sonnets, childhood friends discovering sex and sexuality, and a couple who have grown apart sexually.

Between is directed by Geoffrey Hyland and performed by Nicholas Campbell and Oskar Brown (pictured).

Between was nominated for Best Writing and Best Acting at the Dublin Gay Theatre Festival 2012.

Tickets: £15 – £20; preview (August 5) all seats £10. To book, call the box office on 020 7226 4443 or visit www.kingsheadtheatre.com/.

Time: Tuesday to Saturday at 9.30pm.

Also at the King’s Head Theatre: Ruby in the Dust’s production of the Oscar Wilde classic, Lady Windermere’s Fan (August 5 to August 23, 2014).

West End stars unite for The Philippine Dream

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

SUMMER Strallen (The Sound of Music, Top Hat), Anton du Beke (Strictly Come Dancing), Dianne Pilkington (Mamma Mia!, Wicked) and cast members from Miss Saigon will head a glittering line-up of West End stars in The Philippine Dream.

The one-off Gala at the Leicester Square Theatre on Sunday, August 17, 2014, will raise money for the Tuloy Foundation, which cares for abandoned and abused orphans in Manila. A special guest host for the evening will be announced shortly.

Completing the line up are Hugh Maynard (Miss Saigon), Rachelle Ann Go (Miss Saigon and well-known Filipino popstar), Daniel Buckley (The Book of Mormon, Loserville), Charlotte Riby (Billy Elliot, Hairspray), Alicia Beck (Cats, Zurich Ballet), Tyrone Huntley (The Book of Mormon, Memphis), Harry Francis (A Chorus Line, Edward Scissorhands), Lady Imelda (Glam Jam) and vintage trio The Dolly Girls.

All proceeds raised on the night will go directly towards the building of a brand new Arts Centre at the Tuloy Foundation, with the potential for a small theatre to be built, allowing young children the opportunity to perform and showcase their talents. The Orphanage is keen for performing to be a part of their schooling as it has such a positive effect on many of the young people, bringing confidence, self discovery, pride and joy into their daily lives.

The Philippine Dream is produced by West End performer Katy Osborne, in association with Harry Francis of Francis Hume Productions. Katy is currently appearing in Mamma Mia! at the Novello Theatre and in February 2014 spent two weeks volunteering at an orphanage in Manila, teaching workshops to enrich and nourish the children, aged between 8-18, through musical theatre.

Katy personally raised an astonishing £5000 for the charity, and was delighted when producer Cameron Mackintosh donated a further £1000 to the Foundation.

Last week, Katy organised the first West End Sports Day, where nine musicals, including Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Bodyguard, The Lion King, Les Miserables and The Phantom of the Opera competed. This, combined with a donation from Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Really Useful Group and bucket collections at Wicked and Miss Saigon, brings the fundraising total to over £8000. But there is still more to be done.

When Katy met with Jon Jon Briones, who is currently playing ‘The Engineer’ in Miss Saigon at the Prince Edward Theatre, his own experience growing up in the slums of Manila touched her heart:

“I was born in one of the many slum areas of of Manila. Growing up, there was not much for us to do. No place to go after school that would keep us occupied and out of trouble. But I was one of the lucky ones. Because I could sing, I received a scholarship to an exclusive school. It allowed me to hone my vocal skills, meet musical directors and people who introduced me to musical theatre. The rest is history.

“What Katy is doing is so important. There are not enough places like this in The Philippines and most you have to pay a lot to go to. I’ve seen videos of Katy’s kids performing and you can see the joy in their faces. They are hungry for this. Let’s help Katy help these kids continue to grow.”

Founder of the Tuloy Foundation, Fr. Rocky said: “The performing arts school is not a whimsical wish, but a very deliberate decision on my part, knowing fully well that it will require a large investment. God willing, it will be done for the poorest of the poor children. I have seen it with my own eyes how easily it is for the children to express themselves in their movements during dance.

“This year, an angel dropped out of the blue, an import straight from London. Katy Osborne, not knowing a word of our dialect, communicated to them through dance and acting. The children responded with super spontaneity, excitement, enthusiasm and love. I asked myself, how can I not heed the compelling need to start a performing arts school.”

Katy Osborne added: “I have never seen such an incredible transformation in a child through the art form of musical theatre. Some of these children went from not being able to make proper eye contact or speaking louder than a whisper, to desperately wanting to do solo singing auditions! I could see with my own eyes the confidence and excitement they had about the possibilities that performing gave them. I was moved every single day with their bravery and courage. I’m in awe and utterly proud of them. This needs to be part of their education. It’s integral.”

To book tickets visit leicestersquaretheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/.

For more information on the Tuloy Foundation, visit www.tuloyfoundation.org/.

Some Girl I Used to Know - Arts Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING a UK tour earlier this year, the one-woman show Some Girl I Used to Know co-written by and starring Denise Van Outen, is transferring to the Arts Theatre, where it runs from August 22 to September 13, 2014.

Stephanie Canworth has it all. She’s beautiful, has a successful career, a supportive husband and she’s a media darling; life is great. But it takes just one Facebook poke from a blast-from-the-past and all the old memories start flooding back – candy floss, kisses, first loves and broken hearts – and with the old memories come the old temptations.

Some Girl I Used to Know is described as an hilarious and touching one-woman musical play about life and love, featuring a party mix tape of songs from the 80s and 90s including Culture Club and Soft Cell.

Denise Van Outen‘s musical theatre credits include Tell Me On A Sunday, Chicago, Legally Blonde, Rent and Les Miserables. She has also appeared on stage in Stop The World I Want to Get Off, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and The Play What I Wrote.

As well as presenting television programmes such as The Big Breakfast, Something for the Weekend, Who Dares Sings, Grease: Summer School Musical, The Friday Night Project and The 5 O’Clock Show, Van Outen also hosted Grease Is The Word for NBC in the USA and appeared as a panallist on the BBC’s I’d Do Anything and Any Dream Will Do. And last year (2013) she took part in Strictly Come Dancing.

As an actress, she has appeared on screen in Hotel Babylon, The Empress’ New Clothes, Where the Heart Is and Murder in Mind (TV); One Careful Owner, Are You Ready for Love, Manilla Envelopes and Love, Honour and Obey (film).

Co-written by Terry Ronald, Some Girl I Used to Know is directed by Michael Howcroft and has musical supervision by Steve Anderson.

Also at the Arts Theatre: Jeremy Dyson and Andy Nyman’s Ghost Stories (run extended to Sunday, January 18, 2015).

Fred & Madge - Hope Theatre

Fred & Madge

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

JOE Orton’s first play, Fred & Madge, will receive its world premiere at Islington’s Hope Theatre, where it runs from September 15 to October 11, 2014.

Fred and Madge are a normal couple. Or so we think until a director and an audience member start interrupting and reworking this play within a play.

Exhilaratingly subversive, the play includes the destruction of the Festival Hall (a potent symbol of middle-class complacency in ‘50s Britain), professional insulters intent on purging society with laughter and a dystopian England overgrown with marigolds.

Full of biting satire and sardonic wit, the play mingles astutely observed social realism with myth: Fred’s job is to push boulders up a hill, and Madge’s is to sieve water. In it we see Orton at the outset of his phenomenal career.

Joe Orton came from a working-class family in Leicester. He won a scholarship to RADA where he met his lover and lifelong companion Kenneth Halliwell with whom he lived until 1967 when Halliwell murdered him and then killed himself. His work includes Entertaining Mr Sloane, Loot and What The Butler Saw.

In the last 10 years, the early novels (Between Us Girls, Lord Cucumber and The Boy Hairdresser) written by Orton/Orton and Halliwell were published. In October 2014, his first play will be performed for the first time at The Hope Theatre, 47 years after his death.

Presented by Rough Haired Pointer and Adam Spreadbury-Maher, Fred & Madge is directed by Mary Franklin and designed by Christopher Hone, with lighting by Seth Rook-Williams. Casting has yet to be announced.

Fred & Madge is the final production at the Hope Theatre under founding Artistic Director Adam Spreadbury-Maher ahead of Matthew Parker taking over the venue in October.

Tickets: £12 – £14; previews (September 15, 16 and 17) all seats £10. To book, call the box office on 020 7226 4443 or visit www.kingsheadtheatre.com/hope-theatre.

Times: Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm; matinee (October 11) at 2.30pm.

Also at the Hope Theatre: The HopeFull Rep Season (August 1 to August 30, 2014).

Winter 2014/15 by Candlelight - Sam Wanamaker Playhouse

Season preview

SHAKESPEARE’S Globe has announced its Winter 2014-15 season of candlelit concerts and events in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

The season features Ian Bostridge, Charlotte Rampling, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, Avi Avital, Mahan Esfahani, Jean-Guihen Queyras and the Chilingirian Quartet.

The season kicks off on Sunday, October 19 with the internationally renowned Brodsky Quartet, once again joined by singer Jacqui Dankworth, for an evening of beautiful jazz music by candlelight.

On Monday, October 27, recently appointed Master of the Queen’s Music Judith Weir – the first woman to hold the position – celebrates her own music as well as works by six previous Masters. Weir was Artistic Director of the Spitalfields Festival from 1995 to 2000 and has won the Lincoln Center’s Stoeger Prize and the Queen’s Medal for Music. In 2005 she was appointed CBE for services to music.

On Monday, November 3 and Sunday, November 9, the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment will present musical highlights from Molière’s comedy ballet Le Malade Imaginaire, a colourful confection of dance, instrumental and song with score and choreography by Baroque composer Marc-Antoine Charpentier. The Orchestra then returns on January 25 and 26, 2015 for a Jacobean programme centred around Matthew Locke’s seminal score for The Tempest.

East meets West in Mediterranean Music Through the Centuries on Monday, November 10, when virtuoso cellist Jean-Guihen Queyras explores the spellbinding music of his native Algeria and the Mediterranean with the Chemirani Brothers – masters of the Persian zarb drum. The eclectic programme of traditional, contemporary and improvised music explores the acrobatic and percussive rhythms of the Chemirani brothers alongside Queyras’ improvisation on Mediterranean melodies remembered from his youth.

For the first time, Shakespeare’s Globe will take part in the EFG London Jazz Festival, with two very special concerts. On Sunday, November 16, saxophonist Andy Sheppard presents Shakespeare Songs with Guillaume de Chassy and Christophe Marguet. A musical journey through Shakespeare’s world, this new Anglo-French project combines the talents of three leading contemporary jazz voices as they weave a rich musical tapestry of characters from Shakespeare’s plays and poems.

Then on Monday, November 17, the worlds of flamenco and jazz collide in a fascinating new collaboration, initiated by renowned producer Fernando Trueba for his label Calle 54. Pianist Chano Domínguez and guitarist Niño Josele – two of the great original voices in Spanish music today – explore the dynamic interplay between their respective musical genres with flair and passion. This concert will be in celebration of the duo’s CD launch.

On Sunday, November 23 and Monday, November 24, award-winning poet and playwright Simon Armitage takes to the Playhouse stage to perform his own acclaimed translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. At once a ghost story, a thriller, a romance, an adventure story and a morality tale, this Middle English work by an unknown poet has captivated the British imagination for centuries. Armitage’s vigorous, spirited translation brings it to life for a modern audience.

On Sunday, November 30, celebrated tenor Ian Bostridge partners with Xuefei Yang, internationally renowned as one of the world’s finest classical guitarists, to present Songs From Our Ancestors, an eclectic programme of English and Chinese classical and folk music.

On Monday, December 1, the Chilingirian Quartet and guests will perform pieces by Vaughan Williams and Elgar that reflect and explore the composers’ personal experiences of the dawn and the aftermath of the First World War. Vaughan Williams’ Phantasy Quintet, a rarely-performed masterpiece, blends the forms of Elizabethan consort music with his own exquisite contemplative style. The Elgar chamber pieces, amongst the composer’s last great works, subtly capture the past horrors of war and the burgeoning hope of summer.

The Chilingirian Quartet returns on Sunday, January 11, 2015 with the award-winning choir the Tenebrae Consort. This unique programme will offer a rare chance to hear alternating movements between Haydn’s and Gesualdo’s settings of The Seven Last Words. The concert ranges across two centuries to create a theatrical sequence around the events of Maundy Thursday and Good Friday in the life of Jesus Christ.

On December 7, Israeli mandolinist Avi Avital and Iranian harpsichordist Mahan Esfahani describe their meeting through the music of Bach in this, their first London concert together. Born in Tehran in 1984, Mahan Esfahani was the first harpsichordist to be named a BBC New Generation Artist and has been shortlisted for Gramophone Artist of the Year Award 2014. Born in Be’er Sheva in 1978, Grammy-nominated Avi Avital is deeply committed to building a fresh legacy for the mandolin. From very different backgrounds, both musicians are passionate advocates for the contemporary resonance of their respective instruments.

The Night Dances, featuring actress Charlotte Rampling and renowned cellist Sonia Wieder-Atherton comes to the Playhouse on Monday, December 15. The words of Sylvia Plath and Benjamin Britten’s suites for solo cello are brought together in a unique evening of haunting poetry and music.

Across Christmas and New Year, the candlelit theatre will host a series of Winter Tales – classic stories by some of the greatest writers of the twentieth century, performed by actors with evocative live musical accompaniment. The series will feature James Joyce’s The Dead, Daphne du Maurier’s The Birds and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Curious Case of Benjamin Button.

More concerts and events for the February to May 2015 period will be announced soon.

For more information or to book, visit www.shakespearesglobe.com/.

Summer by Candlelight continues in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse until October.

The Royal Duchess Superstore - Half Moon Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

LOUD Talkin’ is presenting The Royal Duchess Superstore, Mile End born-and-bred writer Jonny O’Neill’s debut play, at the Half Moon Theatre in Limehouse – from September 9 to September 21, 2014.

Described as bracing and honest, The Royal Duchess Superstore tells the story of Terry, recently returned to East London following a long stretch in prison.

The play highlights the changes that have taken place in his local area and Terry’s struggles to cope with his new environment, typified by the fate of his favourite pub, the Royal Duchess, which has become a corner shop.

In this tale of old East End wide boys and new school Bangla boy hustlers, Terry will be played by Mark Wingett, known for his roles in Quadrophenia, EastEnders and The Bill, where he played PC Jim Carver for 11 years.

Wingett will be joined by Avin Shah, whose work has included performances with the Royal Shakespeare Company and National Theatre; Wendy Morgan whose acting career has spanned 38 years including five years with Peter Hall’s company, where she received Olivier and Evening Standard Award nominations; and Jude Monk McGowen, recently seen in Punchdrunk’s The Drowned Man.

Prior to the Half Moon Theatre dates, The Royal Duchess Superstore will open at The Broadway in Barking (September 4 to September 6).

Jonny O’Neill’s script for The Royal Duchess Superstore was developed from the Broadway Barking’s new writing programme and developed into a full production under the direction of Artistic Director Karena Johnson. The show marks the first time the theatre has staged a full length play from its popular Script This evenings, where audience members vote on their favourite extract.

The Royal Duchess Superstore was a hit with audiences including Sadie Frost, who praised the scratch performance in a column for Harper’s Bazaar. A graduate of the University of East London’s MA in writing, O’Neill has since been invited to write for EastEnders, and his first storylines will air in September.

O’Neill said: “I wanted to write a play where the impact of the vast cultural changes in East London were forced upon somebody who’s incapacity to change and grow would cement his displacement from a place he once called home.

“For a man in his 50’s, whose very existence centred on his violent reputation and what East London was before he went to prison, returning home to find your local pub is now a convenience shop run by a new kind of East London gangster, and your reputation counts for nothing, is the ultimate wakeup call and encapsulates one of the murkier strands in the changing landscape of modern day East London.

“I’d like the audience to be challenged by Terry and his very existence in a world which has left him behind. As a product of East London I have witnessed the evolution of the area and as a result have encountered people, much like Terry, who have been left behind.”

The Royal Duchess Superstore is directed by Karena Johnson, Artistic Director of The Broadway in Barking since 2009, the only black woman in the country to run a theatre and founder of production company Loud Talkin’. Design is by Susannah Henry.

The Royal Duchess Superstore is suitable for ages 18+.

Tickets: £14, £12 concessions – available from the box office on 020 7709 8900 or online at www.halfmoon.org.uk/.

Times: 8pm (not Mondays), 5pm Sundays.

Running Time: 75 minutes.

Half Moon Theatre, 43 White Horse Road, London, E1 0ND

The Liberation of Colette Simple - Jacksons Lane Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

SPATFEATHER Theatre is presenting The Liberation of Colette Simple at Jacksons Lane Theatre – from September 16 to to October 4, 2014.

Eight lyricists collaborate with French composer Vincent Guibert on this musical adaptation of Tennessee Williams’ The Case of the Crushed Petunias.

Colette Simple lives a contented life in her gossipy little town, taking care of her humble store and faithful (if somewhat snide) canary.

But when she wakes one day to find her precious wall of petunias has been deliberately trampled, the young perpetrator leads her towards an epiphany that frees her from her dreary life in a mix of musical theatre, absurd comedy and live music.

The eight lyricists include playwrights Robert Holman, whose Jonah and Otto will be at the Park Theatre this autumn and whose credits stretch back to the early 70s, including the Royal Court, the Bush and the RSC, and Amy Rosenthal (The Man Who Came to Brunch, Bush Theatre 2011, On The Rocks, shortlisted for the international Susan Smith Blackburn Prize at Hampstead Theatre 2008).

Other lyricists include Adam Meggido, co-creator of Showstopper! The Improvised Musical, cabaret king Desmond O’Connor, co-creator of Scott Mills the Musical for BBC Radio 1, spoken word artist Charlie Dupré, director Matt Peover, and actors Adam Byron and Honeysuckle Weeks (Sam Stewart in Foyle’s War).

Vincent Guibert is a French musician, composer, musical director, and music producer based in Paris. He has performed for various soul, jazz and pop bands, Parisian orchestras and various projects in and outside of France. He has featured on many live Radio and TV broadcasts, as well as concerts and tours for numerous artists, in France’s most prestigious venues. He has just completed a national tour with France’s most renowned, multi-platinum hip hop band, Sexion D’Assaut.

Director Matt Peover’s work includes Powder Monkey, which he directed at the Royal Exchange in Manchester, development and direction of Jitterbug Blitz at the Lyric Hammersmith with Amy Rosenthal, Mathilde and children’s opera The Musician with writer/composer Conor Mitchell, development of Are We There Yet? at the National Theatre Studio, Patching Havoc at Theatre 503, and If You Were Mine with Northern Stage.

Peover is currently developing a production of Hamlet for New York in 2015, and will be at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with Mr Swallow the Musical, produced by the Invisible Dot.

Set design for The Liberation of Colette Simple is by Linbury Prize for Stage Design winner James Cotterill, whose credits include Shakespeare’s Globe, Manchester Royal Exchange, the Bush Theatre, Sheffield Crucible Studio, the Criterion, the New Vic, the Finborough Theatre and the Royal Court Upstairs.

The cast includes Nathalie Carrington as Miss Colette Simple. The roles of Canary/Policeman/Young Man/Mrs Bland have yet to be confirmed.

Tickets: £14.95, £12.95 concessions – available from the box office on 020 8341 4421 or online at www.jacksonslane.org.uk/.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 8pm, Saturday matinees at 2pm.

Jacksons Lane Theatre, 269a Archway Road, London, N6 5AA

Source - London Tour

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

Presented by The Circulate Consortium, Cirque Bijou and Nutkhut’s Source is an extraordinary story that brings to life an underground world of six forgotten rivers of London, performed outdoors on streets across the capital by circus, dance, theatre and cabaret artists.

As London faces up to significant population growth and the need to update the aging sewer system created by Sir Joseph Bazalgette, this tale of underground artists rediscovers the summer of 1858, the year of the ‘Big Stink’, when London’s rivers filled with sewage, forcing the House of Commons to stop sitting because of the smell.

Using S.O.U.R.C.E, the Scientific Orienteering Universal River Charting Engine, six performers representing six waterways in outer London boroughs tell stories and historic moments connecting Victorian London to pioneering philanthropists, social reformers, artists, inventors and engineers from a diverse social spectrum.

The company and vehicle will be in residency at each of the six venues for five days to engage with the community, rehearse, and run workshops, culminating in a final outdoor performance of circus, street theatre and live music from the Summer into the Autumn of 2014.

The company will work with members of the local community, drama students, and young people at each of the venues, introducing participants to a variety of outdoor performance techniques ready to take part in a bespoke performance on the final day of residency. Each show will contain six lead characters, one to represent each area, and will be led in each location by the character representing the area.

Gangs of tunnellers buried with the rivers have been living underground for over a hundred years, living off stories and music that have seeped and dripped through the earth. As cracks appear in the ground, rivers start to explode into the overground world carrying away the carefully collected stories and music of London’s past and present. The ancient tunnellers are forced to travel into the light to enlist the help of the overgrounders to plug the leaks of music and story.

Source has been commissioned by Circulate Consortium, a partnership of six arts centres based in outer London boroughs. As part of the London 2012 cultural programme, the six venues produced seasons of live performance outdoors for the first time.

They are now working together with the Mayor of London and the Audience Agency for three years to create a legacy from London 2012 and to increase cultural provision on high streets around London (funded by Arts Council England). Their first year featured Spin Cycle, a musical on the move, created by Emergency Exit Arts.

Cirque Bijou create and produce bold, visually arresting, highly physical circus. They launched the London 2012 Sailing events at Weymouth with the UK’s largest Cultural Olympiad project, Battle for the Winds, and have created performance for stadium tours with Muse and Take That and TV appearances on The X Factor and MTV Europe Music Awards.

They have presented shows at the National Theatre, Glastonbury Festival, Bestival, Goodwood Festival of Speed and Royal Albert Hall, and launched some of the UK’s largest retail developments. They have also developed programmes to support young and emerging artists, and last year launched Extraordinary Bodies with partners Diverse City – the UK’s only professional integrated circus company, Extraordinary Bodies.

Nutkhut was formed in 2003 by leading British Asian artists Simmy Gupta and Ajay Chhabra. They create work mixing performance, dance, film, participation and a distinctly British comedic sensibility and eccentricity.

S.O.U.R.C.E, the water divining machine around which the show is based, was originally designed and built as a Wind Gathering Vessel representing the West of England in the South West’s largest Cultural Olympiad project, Battle for the Winds.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “The Circulate Consortium is bringing another series of exciting cultural events to the outer boroughs this summer, enlivening high streets and town centres around London. This latest production promises an evocative exploration of London’s lost and hidden rivers and a fascinating insight into some of our city’s great inventors and pioneers, which I hope will attract and entertain local people as well as visitors to the capital.”

Source is directed by Billy Alwen (Cirque Bijou) and Ajay Chhabra (Nutkhut).

Tour venues and dates

Henry Prince Estate, St John’s Drive, London, SW18 4US – August 16 at 7pm (in residency from August 12). In association with Tara Arts, Wandsworth (tara-arts.com).

Harrow Town Centre, Middlesex, HA1 – August 23 at 4pm (in residency from August 19). In association with Harrow Arts Centre (www.harrowarts.com/).

Artsdepot, Barnet, 5 Nether Street, London, N12 0GA – August 30 at 3pm (in residency from August 26). www.artsdepot.co.uk/.

Bell Square, Hounslow High Street, London, TW3 3HH – September 27 at 2pm (in residency from September 23). In association with Watermans, Hounslow (www.watermans.org.uk/).

Market Square, Deptford, London, SE8 4AG – October 5 at 3pm (in residency from October 1). In association with The Albany, Deptford (www.thealbany.org.uk/).

The tour has already visited Pymmes Park, Victoria Road, Edmonton.

NB: All performances are unticketed, free outdoor performances.

Running Time: 45 minutes.

Source is suitable for all ages.