Saturday, February 4

Tag: COVID-19

COVID threatening diversity in theatre, forcing diversification, research suggests
NEWS

COVID threatening diversity in theatre, forcing diversification, research suggests

The team behind a major research project, looking at the impact on theatre freelancers of COVID-19, has spoken of the risks to diversity, and the emotional toll they are uncovering around the UK. Theatre-makers are seeking alternative income and considering their futures. The failure to address long-standing inequalities is also leading to increased activism among theatre freelancers. The Freelancers in the Dark project, a collaboration between East 15 Acting School, Manchester Metropolitan University and Queen’s University Belfast, is asking freelance theatre-makers, organisations and venues from across the UK to help chart the impact of COVID-19. Two surveys have been launched, to look at the effects on all aspects of UK theatre. Early responses highlight the financial impact on f...
Arcola Theatre to collaborate with researchers from Imperial College London to understand airflow and viral transmission in theatres
NEWS

Arcola Theatre to collaborate with researchers from Imperial College London to understand airflow and viral transmission in theatres

Arcola Theatre announces that their artistic team will be working with scientists from Imperial College London to explore air quality in theatres and how this affects aerosol transmission of viruses such as Covid-19. As theatres and arts venues continue to navigate audience welfare amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the project will explore how increased airflow can be used by venues and performance spaces to reduce viral transmission to increase the safety of visitors and improve arts access for immunocompromised people. The project aims to: • Explore ways in which Arcola can increase airflow in its indoor performance spaces • Use this exploration for facilitate conversations about airflow with other venues • Inform the development of Arcola’s new performance space, Arcol...
Hope Mill Theatre confirms RENT will go ahead this year and it’s set to be the hottest ticket in town!
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Hope Mill Theatre confirms RENT will go ahead this year and it’s set to be the hottest ticket in town!

Hope Mill Theatre has announced its hotly-anticipated revival of classic rock musical RENT will run to socially distanced audiences this autumn – with the 12-strong cast forming a ‘bubble’ for the duration of the show’s run in Manchester. RENT, directed by Luke Sheppard, was due to play at the venue in July, but the run was postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The venue has been working hard and keeping updated with new guidance being released regarding inside performances and after much careful consideration are excited to announce the production is scheduled to go ahead as planned. Hope Mill Theatre will be operating with strict Covid guidelines in place in line with the Government guidance for the performing arts. This will include operating at 50% capacity per show with...
Octagon Bolton announces reopening date
NEWS

Octagon Bolton announces reopening date

After two years the multi-million pounds rebuild at Bolton's Octagon is over and they reopen their doors on Friday 4th December. But theatre goers will have to wait a bit longer to sit in the new auditorium as they are only opening their spanking new Kitchen & Bar, a friendly space for casual eating, drinking and socialising. They will also be hosting some creative workshops, along with a series of festival events. The delay to the building caused by the pandemic, and the lack of a  date from the government of when it will be safe for audiences to return without social distancing, means the Octagon have taken the difficult decision to postpone their previously announced productions. Their intriguing new musical version of Charles Dickens’ festive classic A Christmas Caro...
New 2021 Dates for UK and Ireland tour of Grease
NEWS

New 2021 Dates for UK and Ireland tour of Grease

The producers of the first new production in 25 years of Jim Jacobs & Warren Casey’s iconic musical Grease, are delighted that the show will tour the UK and Ireland in 2021. The musical was due to tour in 2020 but had to be postponed due to COVID-19. The 2021 tour will begin at Theatre Royal Plymouth, running from 22nd – 30th January, and will then play Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff from 1st – 6th February, Bristol Hippodrome from 8th – 13th February, Edinburgh Festival Theatre from 16th – 20th February, Norwich Theatre Royal from 22nd – 27th February, Milton Keynes Theatre from 1st – 6th March, Bord Gais Energy Theatre, Dublin from 16th – 27th March, The Alhambra Theatre, Bradford from 29th March – 3rd April, Liverpool Empire from 5th – 10th April, Sheffield Lyceum from 12th – ...
BAFTA-nominated Ruth Madeley leads cast for new season of monologues from Bolton Octagon
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BAFTA-nominated Ruth Madeley leads cast for new season of monologues from Bolton Octagon

This summer Bolton Octagon are producing a season of 10 new audio recordings of monologues written by local writers. The monologues were penned by winners of the ‘One Night In Bolton’ writing competition inspired by the play which was due to be the opening performance at the theatre as it reopened after 2 years of construction. Due to the impact of COVID-19 the reopening of the theatre has been delayed, and instead the Octagon decided to inspire creativity in lockdown by running a creative writing competition. The monologues will be released online over the summer and a selection broadcast on BBC Radio Manchester. Bolton actor and BAFTA nominee Ruth Madeley, known for her role in the BBC’s critically acclaimed drama Years and Years, who will be performing The Queen of Bolton Bath...
Joseph and the Amazing All Star Concert – Online
REVIEWS

Joseph and the Amazing All Star Concert – Online

When we are all deep in the doldrums as our theatres stay dark, here comes a much needed breath of fresh air, bursting onto our screens, in full kaleidoscopic glory and musical majesty - Joseph and the Amazing All Star Concert – Highlights from the Technicolor Musical. With a foreword from the original touring Joseph, Jess Conrad OBE who played the role of Joseph in the 1970/80’s. This concert is true to the original artistic intent, a pure celebration and after so long without live performances, this brought more than one tear of joy to my eye! Based on the Bible story in Genesis with lyrics by Tim Rice and music by Andrew Lloyd-Webber, Joseph was originally written whilst the pair where at Magdalen College, Oxford. However, the original idea for this concert was spotted on the Joseph...
Stiles & Drewe: Best New Song Prize 2020
REVIEWS

Stiles & Drewe: Best New Song Prize 2020

In a week when the British theatre industry was despairing at the lack of support for its workers and venues, and when sectors of the country were reopening for business and the performing arts still had no light at the end of the tunnel, George Stiles and Anthony Drewe shone the spotlight on the future of musical theatre, showcasing 15 songs from new works. Stiles & Drewe, themselves known for writing Mary Poppins, Honk! and Soho Cinders among many other hits, have been hosting this competition since 2008; a competition that seeks to promote new musical theatre writing, and perhaps more importantly, encourage new writers in a landscape that must usually seem challenging, and at the moment must be pretty terrifying. Supported by five guest judges: Dan Gilespie Sells (writer of E...
Tales from the Front Line From Talawa Theatre Company
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Tales from the Front Line From Talawa Theatre Company

Talawa Theatre Company are creating an online experience featuring six brand new short pieces using verbatim interviews from Black key and frontline workers which explore the historic moment of the Covid-19 crisis and its impact on them. The pandemic has had a starkly divergent impact on communities; Black people are four times more likely to die from Covid-19, according to Public Health England’s figures in May for England and Wales. What has been learned, challenged and changed forever? What might life in the UK look like in a year’s time? Tales from the Front Line will document the contribution of Black workers at the front line of the Covid-19 crisis, creating a lasting historical record. It will explore their relationships with British society and how the pandemic has challenged t...
Wolverhampton Grand Pantomime Postponed
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Wolverhampton Grand Pantomime Postponed

Wolverhampton Grand Theatre has today announced that regrettably, and with great sadness, their 2020 pantomime CINDERELLA, has been postponed until December 2021. Cinderella is the first pantomime to be produced by the theatre in over three decades and due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the creative teams have been unable to collaborate together to deliver the first-class pantomime audiences have come to expect. The safety and welfare of the audience, artists and employees was also a key factor in the decision to postpone. Over 60,000 people attend The Grand’s annual pantomime, with a large proportion of those tickets purchased by schools and families, including young children. Adrian Jackson, CEO and Artistic Director said, “It has been an enormously difficult decision to post...