Follow Us on Twitter

Devised WWI piece Last Man Standing headlines Aftershock, Theatre N16's Military Season

Last Man Standing

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

In November 2017, Theatre N16 is presenting an entire season of military themed plays in remembrance of wars past, discussion of current conflicts and warning of those which may yet come to pass.

Three core plays deal with a different side of what it means to go to war and how it changes us in the process, alongside many other short plays, one night runs and other pieces. Tickets will be available to all core shows in a £30 season pass.

The first core piece in the festival will be Martin Mcnamara’s I.E.D. (November 6 – 11), which confronts the treatment of women in the military, and is set during the recent conflict in Afghanistan. Captain Agnes Bennett is an army notification officer, informing the family back home when a soldier dies in the field. A raw young Private, Iain Maginnis, joins Agnes as she sets out to visit the parents of one of his platoon mates, killed in an I.E.D. attack.

Mcnamara’s piece Your Ever Loving, which dramatized the treatment of Irish prisoner Paul Hill, was first produced at Theatre N16, and the same production transferred to the Edinburgh Fringe 2017.

The second core piece, Last Man Standing (November 12 – 18), was devised, written and directed by GCSE students, and is now staged in a kinetic production by Theatre N16 deputy artistic director Courtney Larkin.

The heart is torn from a sleepy English village by the tragic events of the first day of the Somme. This play explores the fine line which divides loyalty and duty; love and obsession. It is a haunting tale which asks the question: could you make the ultimate sacrifice for a brother in arms?

Last Man Standing was originally devised, written and directed by students on a field trip to Derbyshire. Scenes were improvised outside in ‘trenches’, and the relationships between the friends reflect the real friendships of those who participated. As such, this piece rings very true, as many of those who entered the war were of the students’ age.

Now, Theatre N16’s Courtney Larkin will be using this script to create a physical and dynamic production, focusing on the universal stories of friendship, enmity, courage, cowardice, guilt, innocence, love and hate, all against the backdrop of the first day in the Battle of the Somme.

This production is part of Theatre N16’s First Credit scheme, giving a company of fresh graduates a first paid stage credit.

Finally, Tree in the Sky (November 21 – 25) tackles post-traumatic stress and the threat of nuclear war. As a pilot in the US air squadron which dropped the A-Bomb on Hiroshima, Claude Eatherly is consumed by guilt. Accomplished and decorated for bombing missions over Tokyo, he seeks to destroy any heroic perception of himself upon returning to America.

Everybody's Talking About Jamie wins two UK Theatre Awards

Theatre news

WITH the first performance at the Apollo Theatre on Monday, November 6, 2017, Sheffield Theatres’ production of Everybody’s Talking About Jamie has won two UK Theatre Awards – Best Musical Production and Best Performance in a Musical for John McCrea.

The shortlist for Best Musical Production included Caroline, or Change, a Chichester Festival Theatre production and Sweet Charity, a Royal Exchange Theatre production.

And for Best Performance in a Musical, nominees included Kaisa Hammarlund for Sweet Charity at the Royal Exchange Theatre; Louis Maskell for The Grinning Man at Bristol Old Vic; and Sharon D Clarke for Caroline, or Change at Chichester Festival Theatre.

The Awards were presented at London’s historic Guildhall on Sunday, October 15, 2017.

On Thursday, October 12, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie also won the Attitude Magazine Culture Award, following last year’s winner director John Tiffany for Harry Potter and Cursed Child and The Glass Menagerie.

And on Sunday, September 10 at the Stage Debut Awards, Dan Gillespie Sells won Best Composer for his catchy score.

Producer Nica Burns said:

“It is fantastic that this new, exciting British Theatre musical team of Dan Gillespie Sells, Tom MacRae and Jonathan Butterell – are being recognised, as is leading performer, John McCrea. John is an incredible discovery hailed by musical theatre star Michael Ball as “exceptional “. This musical is a heartwarming story of a real life mother and son who together were able to realise their dreams. This is truly a musical for today and for everyone.”

Read more about Everybody’s Talking About Jamie.

Image: The writing team and director with leading man John McCrea winning the Best Musical Production Award. Photo by Pamela Raith.

Adult casting announced for the UK and Ireland tour of Matilda The Musical

Casting news

THE Royal Shakespeare Company has announced the adult casting for the first five venues of the Matilda The Musical 2018/19 UK and Ireland Tour.

Craige Els will reprise the role of Miss Trunchbull, having played her in the West End for three years between 2014 and 2017. He will be joined by Carly Thoms as Miss Honey and Sebastien Torkia as Mr Wormwood as well as former West End cast-mate Rebecca Thornhill as Mrs Wormwood.

Craige Els has previously appeared on stage in Timon of Athens, Antigone and The Cherry Orchard (National Theatre), Victoria Wood’s That Day We Sang (Royal Exchange, Manchester), Mamma Mia! (Novello Theatre), Oklahoma! (Chichester Festival Theatre), The New Yorkers (Sadler’s Wells), Never Forget (West End and tour) and Spamalot (West End).

His screen work includes Ripper Street, The Bletchley Circle and Call The Midwife (TV); The Imitation Game, Joe Wright’s Anna Karenina and Simon Connelly’s Hamlet (film).

Carly Thoms most recently starred as Natella/Ludvica in The Caucasian Chalk Circle at Greenwich Theatre. Her other stage roles include LV in The Rise and Fall of Little Voice (Union Theatre), Miss Dorothy in Thoroughly Modern Millie (Adelphi Theatre), the title role in Cinderella (Hackney Empire and De Montfort Hall), Lucy in Ushers (Charing Cross Theatre) and Liesl in The Sound of Music (UK Tour).

Rebecca Thornhill is an Olivier Award-nominated actress with an illustrious musical theatre background. Her previous stage credits include lead roles in From Here To Eternity (Shaftesbury Theatre), Mary Poppins (Prince Edward Theatre/USA tour), Chicago (Adelphi Theatre), Ragtime (Piccadilly Theatre), The Witches of Eastwick (Prince of Wales Theatre/UK tour), South Pacific (UK tour), Beauty and the Beast (Dominion Theatre) and Les Misérables (Palace Theatre/Denmark).

Thornhill also appeared at the National Theatre in Singin’ in the Rain (for which she was nominated for an Olivier Award) and played Gertie in Trevor Nunn’s production of Oklahoma! opposite Hugh Jackman and Maureen Lipman.

Sebastien Torkia’s numerous theatre credits include the original West End casts of La Cage Aux Folles, Guys and Dolls, Saturday Night Fever, Martin Guerre and Grease.

His other theatre work includes Sweeney Todd (West Yorkshire Playhouse/Royal Exchange, Manchester), Ed in The Lion King (Lyceum Theatre), A Streetcar Named Desire (Bolton Octogan), Women Beware Women (National Theatre), Eddie Ryan in Funny Girl (Chichester Festival Theatre), Greg Gardner in A Chorus Line (Sheffield Crucible), Maugrim/Giant Rumblebuffin in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (West Yorkshire Playhouse), Steve in Singin’ in the Rain (national tour), and Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella in Japan.

The cast will also include Joe Atkinson, Peter Bindloss, Oliver Bingham, Emily Bull, Matthew Caputo, Samara Casteallo, Matt Gillett, Michelle Chantelle Hopewell, Sam Lathwood, Steffan Lloyd-Evans, Charlie Martin, Anu Ogunmefun, Taylor Walker, Adam Vaughan and Dawn Williams. The children’s cast will be announced in due course.

Read more about the Matilda The Musical 2018/19 UK and Ireland Tour.

Theatre Lab Company premiere Jamaica Inn at the Tabard Theatre

Jamaica Inn

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THEATRE Lab Company’s production of Daphne du Maurier’s Jamaica Inn premieres at the Tabard Theatre, where it runs from November 10 (previews from November 8) to December 2, 2017.

Nobody goes to Jamaica Inn, a dark and lonely place on the bleak Cornish moors; a place full of secrets, violence, and rum that fuels nightmares of ghosts that howl with the wind. So when young and innocent Mary comes to stay, it’s only a matter of time before she becomes entangled in its mysteries.

Adapted by Lisa Evans and directed by Anastasia Revi, Jamaica Inn is a dark and disturbing gothic tale where nothing is quite what it seems.

The cast includes Kimberley Jarvis, Toby Wynn-Davies, Helen Bang, Samuel Lawrence, Peter Rae, Mark Moore, Matthew Wade and Phoebe Hyder.

Daphne du Maurier is known for her dark and gothic novels and short stories, particularly Rebecca and The Birds, adapted for the screen by Alfred Hitchcock, My Cousin Rachel starring Rachel Weisz, and Jamaica Inn, adapted for television by the BBC.

Lisa Evans is an award-winning author and playwright. In addition to Jamaica Inn, her many plays include The Day the Waters Came and Rise Up, both of which she has won awards for. She also writes for television, radio and film.

Anastasia Revi is an award-winning director, winner of the 2016 Theatre Award of Best Director of the Year for Shakespeare’s Macbeth at the National Theatre of Northern Greece and the Women’s Award for Theatre in Athens also in 2016. She was also nominated for Greece’s Woman of the Year Award in the Director’s Category.

Theatre Lab Company is an award-winning company renowned for striking visuals and imagery, devised experimental staging, visual storytelling and classical texts. Recent productions include their enormously successful ancient Greek classics, Antigone, The Oresteia, Lysistrata and Medea at Riverside Studios, Dancing with the Devil: A Play about Rudolf Nureyev at Lilian Baylis Sadler’s Wells and their acclaimed Salome which returned to Hoxton Hall earlier this year following a European tour.

Jamaica Inn is designed by Maira Vazeou and has music by Jonathan Bratoëff.

Jamaica Inn is suitable for ages 15+.

Tickets: £20, £16 concession – to book, call the box office on 0208 995 6035 or visit tabardtheatre.co.uk/.

Times: 7.30pm, with 2.30pm matinees on Saturdays and Wednesday, November 29. Sundays at 1.30pm.

Running Time: 2 hours (including interval).

The thriller Tryst, starring Natasha J Barnes and Fred Perry, continues at the Tabard Theatre until November 5, 2017.

Whither Would You Go? - further casting announced

Whither Would You Go?

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FURTHER casting has been announced for the fundraising gala Whither Would You Go?, which takes place at the Harold Pinter Theatre on October 22, 2017.

Joining previously announced Jay Abdo, Bertie Carvel, Lee Evans, Martin Freeman, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Wunmi Mosaku, James Norton, Jack Whitehall, Olivia Williams are Roger Allam, Kevin Bishop, Zoe Boyle, Celia Imrie and Eleanor Matsuura.

Previously Posted: On October 22, 2017, at the Harold Pinter Theatre, a host of stars will gather to perform scenes from Shakespeare’s plays in response to modern-day refugee video stories.

Whither Would You Go? will be directed by Jamie Lloyd and all profits will go to the UN Refugee Agency, UNHCR.

Bertie Carvel, Lee Evans, Martin Freeman, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Wunmi Mosaku, James Norton, Jack Whitehall, Olivia Williams and many more will join together to create a one-night-only, never-to-be-repeated gala event in support of the millions of forcibly displaced people around the world.

The evening includes a special guest performance by actor Jay Abdo, himself a refugee of his native Syria.

Inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘refugee’ speech from The Book of Sir Thomas More, written as a plea for tolerance during the London riots of May 1517 (500 years ago this year), Whither Would You Go? pairs scenes from Shakespeare, read by stars of stage and screen with genuine refugee stories from around the world.

Jamie Lloyd said: “Whither Would You Go? uses the words of William Shakespeare to highlight our shared humanity. When we focus on what we all have in common, we can start a conversation. With more than 65m forcibly displaced people in the world – the highest levels ever recorded – we should be talking and we should be acting.”

Stephen Fry, who participated in the inaugural event in LA said: “Shakespeare has always been a friend to the marginalised. Who better to champion the needs of refugees worldwide?”

Olivia Williams, LA event alumni and London cast member said: “Contributing to Whither Would You Go? is the answer to the question, ‘what can I do to help?’”

Whither Would You Go? is the creation of Ella Smith and Emma West, both actors and producers who wanted to harness the power of storytelling to bring tangible help to refugees. Their inaugural production took place in Los Angeles in March and sold out. Further productions are now planned for New York and Sydney.

We are now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. An unprecedented 65.6 million people around the world have been forced from home. Among them are nearly 22.5 million refugees, over half of whom are under the age of 18.

Often the first on the ground to help those forcibly displaced by conflict or persecution, UNHCR is funded almost entirely by voluntary contributions. All profits from Whither Would You Go?’ will go directly to UNHCR – the UN Refugee Agency.

Tickets: £50 to £200 – available by phone on 0844 871 7622 (calls cost 7p per minute, plus your phone company’s access charge) or online at www.atgtickets.com/shows/whither-would-you-go/harold-pinter-theatre/.

Time: 7:30pm.

Twistov - a theatrical adventure through the streets and back-alleys of Shoreditch

Twistov

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FROM October 30 to November 18, 2017, Teatro Vivo in association with Dash Arts are presenting Twistov, a theatrical adventure through the streets and back-alleys of Shoreditch.

A young migrant, Twistov, has gone missing in London.

Written by Michael Wagg and inspired by Charles Dickens’ Oliver Twist and the experience of migrant communities currently living in UK cities, Twistov explores identity and home and who we become if both are taken away from us.

After exploring the Arms Trade in London squares, staging Shakespeare in supermarkets, Mother Courage in an old weapons factory and The Odyssey on the streets, tattoo parlours and pubs of Deptford, the acclaimed Teatro Vivo are staging their own brand of “theatre where you least expect it” around the streets of Shoreditch as part of Dash Arts Revolution17 series.

Twistov will start at Rich Mix and be staged in Shoreditch, the heart of Dickens’ East End, where faint traces of the past remain visible.

During the performance, Twistov will take the audience on a journey that asks us to see beyond the new buildings and trendy shops, to look down side streets and in doorways and meet another London. Here we will face our own sense of home and identity: what would we do and where would we run, if these were our stories?

After attending a talk by a disgraced lecturer, the audience will be taken in small groups on a man-hunt, a bird-watch, and a game of cat-and-mouse in search of the elusive Twistov. As they journey, the audience will experience stories from the hidden lives of east London’s migrant population.

Real life testimony has been woven with Dickens’ Oliver Twist to guide you through the capital’s underbelly to places you won’t have seen before: discover hidden bars and dark secrets, tales of life’s absurdity and the realities and struggles faced by those who seek sanctuary on our shores.

Twistov will be directed by Sophie Austin, who specialises in large scale, outdoor and site specific work. She has worked for Rosa Productions, The Royal Court, the Young Vic, The Roundhouse and The Barbican. She is artistic director of Teatro Vivo and creative associate of Dash Arts.

The cast includes Kas Darley, Charlie Folorunsho, Malcolm Freeman, Noemi Gunea, Zed Joseph, Vlada Lemeshevska, Natasha Magigi, David Papava and Miguel H Torres Umba.

NB: Twistov is not suitable for under 12s.

Tickets: £18.50, £12 concessions, £15 Previews, £10 Tower Hamlets Residents, £5 students. To book, call the Rich Mix box office on 020 7613 7498 or visit www.richmix.org.uk/.

Time: Monday to Saturday at 7.30pm.

Hayley Tamaddon to star in Throroughly Modern Millie at Richmond Theatre and on tour

Hayley Tamaddon as Millie

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

FOLLOWING a hugely successful tour in Spring 2017, award-winning musical Thoroughly Modern Millie is set to tour the UK again in 2018 opening at Richmond Theatre on Tuesday, March 27 with actress Hayley Tamaddon taking on the title role of Millie Dilmount, a Kansas girl determined to make it big in New York City.

Hayley Tamaddon is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Del Dingle in Emmerdale and Andrea Beckett in Coronation Street and for winning the fifth series of Dancing on Ice. Her other television credits include Accused, Shameless, Waterloo Road, Where the Heart Is and The Royal.

Her musical theatre roles include Roxie Hart in Chicago (UK Tour), The Lady of the Lake in Spamalot (UK tour), Janet in The Rocky Horror Show (UK Tour), Frenchie in Grease (UK Tour), Diana Morales in A Chorus Line (Sheffield Theatres), Trish in Boogie Nights (UK Tour), Carmen in Fame (UK Tour), Laura in Boyband (West End) and Lisa in Mamma Mia! (West End).

Tamaddon has also starred in the UK tour of The Vagina Monologues and in John Godber’s play Muddy Cows (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough).

Winner of six Tony Awards including Best Musical, Thoroughly Modern Millie is based on the 1967 Academy Award-winning film and takes audiences back to the height of the Jazz Age in 1920s New York City, when ‘moderns’ including a flapper named Millie Dillmount, were bobbing their hair, raising their hemlines, entering the workforce and rewriting the rules of love.

From explosive tap numbers to a ‘Fred and Ginger’ dance routine on a window ledge, and featuring hit songs including Gimme Gimme and Not for the Life of Me, Thoroughly Modern Millie is a brilliantly funny and entertaining show for all the family.

Thoroughly Modern Millie has a book by Richard Morris and Dick Scanlan, new music by Jeanine Tesori
 and new lyrics by Dick Scanlan.

Presented by arrangement with Music Theatre International (Europe) Limited, Thoroughly Modern Millie is directed and choreographed by Racky Plews and has musical direction by Rob Wicks. Further casting will be announced in due course.

Following the Richmond dates (March 27 – 31), the production will tour to Eastbourne, Sunderland, Oxford, Torquay, Poole, Stoke on Trent, Dublin, Bradford, Darlington, Southend, Wolverhampton, Ipswich and Jersey, with more dates to be announced.

Tryst - production images released of Natasha J Barnes and Fred Perry

Natasha J Barnes. Photo by Joseph Lynn.

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

PRODUCTION images have been released of Natasha J Barnes (as Adelaide) and Fred Perry as (George) in the thriller Tryst. To view them, click here.

Previously Posted: Natasha J Barnes, who famously took over from Sheridan Smith in Funny Girl in the West End to rave reviews gets her first starring role in a new production of the thriller Tryst.

Written by Karoline Leach and directed by Phoebe Barran, it runs at the Tabard Theatre from October 17 (previews from October 12) to November 5, 2017.

Based on a true story, this tense drama tells of serial fraudster, George Love, who encounters a naïve and vulnerable shop-girl, Adelaide Pinchin. Seduced by his charm and elaborate stories of a life she’s never known, Adelaide agrees to run away with him in a secret tryst. What ensues shocks them both as their plans begin to unravel in frightening and unpredictable ways.

The story begins as a romantic drama but soon evolves into a riveting thriller with a startling climax. A tense, passion fuelled thriller, it will stay with you long after the curtain comes down.

Tryst premiered in the West End in 1997, starring Paul Nicholas and Susan Penhaligon, before opening on Broadway in 2006.

Natasha J Barnes said: “I read, or devoured, Tryst in one sitting and knew straight away I wanted to be a part of it. After learning so much taking over the lead in Funny Girl at The Savoy, I knew I would want my next project to be something really challenging. I’m not frightened of making myself vulnerable and I feel a straight play with such a small cast will be so different to what I’ve been doing recently and so exciting. I am a massive advocate for seeing the work of more female directors and I can’t wait to see what Phoebe will bring to the piece.”

Following her performance in the West End production of Funny Girl, Natasha J Barnes played the title role in the Palladium’s all-star Cinderella at Christmas. She has since completed a major UK and Ireland tour of Funny Girl reprising the role of Fanny Brice. Her debut single, Supermodel, will be released in the Autumn.

The cast also features Fred Perry, whose theatre credits include: Love and Understanding, Japes, Long Live the Mad Parade, Truth Lies Diana, Sweeney Todd, The Lover, Black Comedy, The Real Inspector Hound, Comedy of Arias, Peaches, Oleanna, Black Soap, Who’s Buttling Anyway and The Beaux Stratagem. On screen, he has appeared in The Honourable Woman, New Tricks, Spooks, Hotel Babylon, The Amazing Mrs Pritchard, EastEnders, Scott and Bailey and Pillow Talk.

Karoline Leach is a British playwright and author, best known for her book In the Shadow of the Dreamchild.

Tryst has set and costume design by Max Dorey, lighting by Matt Drury and sound by Dave McSeveny.

Tryst will be the first show at the Tabard Theatre since it was taken over by new management and given a full refurbishment.

Tryst is recommended for ages 15+.

Image: Natasha J Barnes. Photo by Joseph Lynn.

Tickets: £19.50, £16.50 concessions. To book, call the box office on 0208 995 6035 or visit tabardtheatre.co.uk/.

Times: Tuesday to Saturday at 7.30pm; Thursday matinees at 2.30pm; Saturday at 4pm and Sunday at 3pm.

Running time: 1 hour and 30 minutes.

Lady Windermere's Fan - The Vaults

Lady Windermere's Fan

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

ADAPTED by Venetia Twigg and directed by Pamela Schermann, Oscar Wilde’s Lady Windermere’s Fan comes to The Vaults on Monday, November 6 and Monday, November 13, 2017.

​When a mysterious new beauty enters high society, the in-crowd are sent scattering outwards, bent utterly backwards and flattened low to find out exactly who they are dealing with. Dismayed to discover her own husband is caught up in the rumours, can young Lady Windermere keep him in line, or will she end up fanning the very fires she is trying so hard to put out?

Oscar Wilde’s raucous social comedy pulls apart the intricacies of etiquette and flips expectation rump-over-head in this scathingly funny satire.

Exploiting themes of stereotype, superficiality and personal sacrifice, this high-speed adaptation is touring the Regions and London this autumn, using characteristic touches of Commedia Dell’Arte and Stylised Movement.​

Lady Windermere’s Fan is presented by Theatrical Niche, a company known for its exciting, multi-disciplinary, educational and, above all, relevant productions. This will be their twelfth and largest tour to date.

Tickets: £​​13, £11 concessions. To book, visit www.thevaults.london/lady-windemeres-fan.

Time: 7:30pm.

Blue Elephant Theatre - Winter 2017

Blue Elephant Theatre logo

Season preview

THE Blue Elephant Theatre has announced its Winter 2017 programme and continues to offer a wealth of exciting performances by emerging artists across the arts. New writing, family shows and physical theatre feature strongly, tackling topics from immigration and aging to consent and mental health.

LISTINGS

The Man, The Myths, The Legends – October 19 and 20.

Following the successes of Female Intuition and Tit for Tat, Original Impact returns to the Blue Elephant to showcase more works of new writing, this time from a male perspective.

Rat King by Bram Davidovich tells the story of Kelly and Jacko, whose worlds collide on the streets of East London.

Delicacy by Mark Jones charts the aftermath of an unusual dinner party as a family discover their neighbour is a serial killer who has fed them human flesh.

Cubicle Confessions by Darrel Draper places pressure on toilet attendant Samarge to reach out and support a stranger contemplating suicide.

In The Rental by Mark Harvey Levine, Sonya receives an extraordinary birthday present – a rented boyfriend. He’s the perfect man for her – but he’s only there for a day.

Croydon Ho Yo Yo Yo by David Zaman is best described by character Lizzi as “a torrid tale of sisterly deceit, a will to power, and what happens when messed up Esta and me screwed with the wrong President in the wrong time, wrong place”.

In The Red Telephone by Alasdair Melrose, a man sits alone at a table. A telephone sits in front of him. This is an antique red rotary telephone made by Siemens, engraved with an eagle, a swastika, and a name…

Directors are Sean Hollands, Stephen Bailey, Dan Burman, Joshua Jewkes, Kris Witham and Dinos Psychogios; and the casts include Stanley Eldridge, Victoria Hitchin, Jessica Kearney, Katie Turner, Alasdair Melrose, Will Anderson, Katie Capello, Katie Spencer- Blake, Darrel Draper, Dan Burman, Georgina Bennett, Kris Witham, James Morley, Joshua Jewkes and Zac Wancke.

The Actualisation Show – October 26 to October 28.

The Actualisation Show is the first fully realised production of Ephemeral Ensemble, an international physical theatre company founded by Ramon Ayres and Eygló Belafonte. They co-direct following Belafonte’s recent return from performing in Theatre Re’s sell-out The Nature of Forgetting at the Edinburgh Fringe. Combining skilled physicality, playful stage craft and vibrant music, Ephemeral Ensemble strives to create original, sincere and ambitious work that is inspired by human stories.

The Dance Hall by Eve Niker – November 1 and 2. Presented as a work-in-progress production.

Caught between the past and the present, The Dance Hall touches on themes of immigration, loss, loneliness, family and, most importantly, (in)dependence.

When Annie dies far too young, Jimmy struggles with getting older and losing his independence. His family ‘try to visit’ when their lives allow, with his daughter and granddaughter supporting him as best they can.

An intimate story about an Irish family living in England, The Dance Hall delves into Jimmy’s journey from Ireland, how he met his beloved Annie in the dance hall and the loneliness of his life without her.

The Conversation, written and performed by Lauren Burch – November 8. For ages 15+.

In The Conversation, Lauren Burch considers the language of consent and how we talk about it. Or – how we do not talk about it.

Don’t worry, she’s not looking to shock you and she’s definitely not angry at you. She just wants to impress you.

Lauren attempts to create a safe space where you feel relaxed and invited to enjoy yourself with the help of her hosting. All of this is for you, and she won’t let you forget it. She’s pulling out all the stops on this special night. She’s setting herself high expectations, and she may fail to meet them. You may feel the urge to leave, and you are welcome to, whenever you want. Not that she wants you to go, of course…

Shakespearience from Debbie Hicks Productions – November 10.

Join Shakespeare’s Men as they fly through the Bard’s Macbeth, Romeo & Juliet and Twelfth Night in a whirlwind hour of mischievous storytelling. With tons of audience interaction, more than a dash of mayhem and a star turn from one lucky adult (shhh don’t tell!), Shakespearience is the perfect treat for all the family.

How to Cope with Embarrassment/Two Pale Ladies, an irreverent showcase of what makes us tick, blush, cringe and silently scream – November 15 to November 18.

The Two Pale Ladies, and their new pale mate, explore what it is to be embarrassed and how it happens, in hopes of finding a way of coping with it – so that we can reduce the number of times a day we wish that the ground would open up and lose us within its burning furnace; so that we may sleep better, with a clearer conscience; so that we may be less embarrassed.

How to Cope with Embarrassment is part forum theatre, live art, cabaret, wanna-be comedy and a little bit of karaoke. Deliberately adopting a disloyal frame, it stomps between genres and styles as a reaction to the fickle and capricious nature of Embarrassment, with a focus on failure and error.

The Tricycle from Bright South Theatre – November 21 to November 25.

Apal and Climando have to pay for the tricycle they hired but they don’t have the money. How far will they go to survive in a world where all hope of a future is lost?

Three teenagers and an old man try to survive in a hostile, unintelligible and alienating world. They’re just four marginal characters looking for their place in a system which forgot them.

The Tricycle was the first play by renowned Spanish playwright Fernando Arrabal. Written in 1952, it is a strangely light-hearted tale of poverty and murder. In this perfect example of Absurd Theatre, the writer questions the limits of freedom and the relationship between our acts and their consequences in a rotten society where children commit sinister acts to survive.

The Invisible – November 30 to December 1.

A storyteller stands alone on the stage, sharing a story about an invisible character.

She waits for airplanes to cross the sky. She wants to see the outside world. She folds paper planes. She takes a flight. She leaves home. She arrives in a foreign country. She feels invisible. She asks why.

What happens when East Asian culture lands at Heathrow Airport? How much do you know about the invisible? How little do you know? The Invisible is a one-woman show by Yuyu Wang, drawing on real experiences of living in a foreign country, incorporating story-telling, music and movement. It aims to explore the vulnerability, homesickness and otherness of Asian communities overseas, offering a new perspective on current contemporary discussions around immigration, alienation and home.

Little Red Riding Hood from Moon on a Stick – December 7 to December 9.

Moon on a Stick combine enchanting puppetry and imaginative storytelling with traditional pantomime elements to create a fun and engaging show designed especially for tiny audience members.

Featuring live music, dance and audience interaction, Little Red Riding Hood will have everyone singing and laughing along but most importantly helping Little Red on her big adventure through the forest.

Packed full of silliness, a sassy heroine and sparkles, this is the perfect introduction to panto for children aged 3+ and their families.

Both performances on Saturday, December 9 will be relaxed performances.

Once Upon a Christmas Song from The Dot Collective – December 13.

Framed around popular Christmas themes, familiar music and memories, Once Upon a Christmas Song is an alternative Christmas show, guaranteed nonetheless to make you feel festive.

Once Upon a Christmas Song is new play by Alexander Moschos, written following The Dot Collective’s storytelling workshops with people living with dementia which were held at dementia friendly cafes, day care centres and activity groups for the elderly.

Characters, places and poetry were created. Memories, music and thoughts were shared between the service users and the artistic team. These one-hour workshops revealed many magical stories springing from the dynamic minds of the clients, regardless of age, disability or dementia. Moschos has responded to the memories and ideas around Christmas shared to write Once Upon a Christmas Song.

For more information or to book tickets, call the box office on 020 7701 0100 or visit www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk/.