Tuesday, May 31, 2011

review "The People in the Picture"

The People in the Picture” a tour de force for Donna Murphy as Jewish actor in wartime Poland

By Lucy Komisar

It was 1935 Warsaw, and a small traveling troop of Jewish actors were playing the “shtetl circuit,” as they half affectionately, half mockingly called it. They did vaudeville, they did Shakespeare, they did the Bible. Raisel (Donna Murphy) as Moses’ wife: “You’re going to do what? You can’t even part your hair!” The times are dark and the troop reaches for answers in absurdity: “A pogrom is not an easy act to follow.”


Donna Murphy as Raisel, and Christopher Innvar as Chaim Bradovsky, photo Joan Marcus.


In Iris Rainer Dart’s elegant, moving, powerful play, with fine, subtle direction by Leonard Foglia, the actors use satire and burlesque to cover up and challenge the horror around them, to bring a few moments of forgetting to the audiences at hidden stages in basements in the Nazi-terrorized city. The actors, among them Joyce Van Patten, are memorable.



Even in the war years, the troop is experimenting with motion pictures and has done a reel. Just as things are closing in on Jews in Poland, Raisel’s lover, Chaim Bradovsky (Christopher Innvar) is invited to Hollywood. But Raisel refuses to leave the others.



We see the violence that decimates the company. Only some will survive, Raisel among them. But she will know the sorrow of a lost love and an almost lost child. Her daughter will be a flotsam on the shoals of the war.


Christopher Innvar as a vision of Chaim Bradovsky, Donna Murphy as- Bubbie and Rachel Resheff as Jenny, photo Joan Marcus.



Years later in New York, Raisel wants to tell her granddaughter (Rachel Resheff) about her life in Warsaw. And about the man who was her lover, still a shadowy presence in her life. She relives it as she tells it, carrying us back to Poland and to numbers sung and danced by the excellent ensemble cast. The fine music – Klezmer, vaudeville, sometimes carnival sounds — is by Mike Stoller and Artie Butler.



Moving back and forth between the war years and 1977 in New York City, the play is a tour de force for Murphy, who turns young and old and young again with just the change of a wig and a shift of facial expression and body language.


Rachel Resheff as Jenny, daughter of Nicole Parker as Red, photo Joan Marcus.



There’s a secret to be uncovered that involves the three generations of women. Raisel’s own daughter, Red, (Nicole Parker) is still angry and resentful about the past. Sometimes the story gets a little schmaltzy, but that is acceptable, given the circumstances. It’s an unforgettable tale and a graceful production.



“The People in the Picture.” Book & Lyrics by Iris Rainer Dart. Music by Mike Stoller & Artie Butler; directed by Leonard Foglia. Opened April 28, 2011; closes June 19, 2011. Roundabout Theatre Company at Studio 54 254 West 54th St., New York, NY. 212-719-1300;   Opened April 28, 2011; closes June 19, 2011.



Friday, May 27, 2011

Bloomsbury and Faber announce Drama Online

NEWS RELEASE: Bloomsbury and Faber announce Drama Online – a new partnership to provide online access to the world's finest drama from the last two and half thousand years.


Bloomsbury Publishing Plc and Faber and Faber Limited are pleased to announce a new partnership to develop a digital content platform for libraries, educators, students and researchers to be sold via subscription and perpetual access to academic institutions.


Drama Online, launching in October 2012, is the ultimate online resource for plays, critical analysis and performance.  Featuring the pre-eminent drama lists from Methuen Drama, Arden Shakespeare and Faber and Faber, Drama Online will offer a complete digital library of the most studied, performed and critically acclaimed plays from the last two and a half thousand years.  


From the works of Aeschylus in 5th Century BC to the present day, Drama Online will provide unique access to the finest drama literature. Titles will include the most highly regarded scholarly editions of Shakespeare - the Arden Shakespeare Series; realist works from Ibsen and Chekhov; foreign works in translation; comic masterpieces from Oscar Wilde and Noël Coward; modern classics by leading writers Caryl Churchill, Simon Stephens, Edward Bond, Alan Ayckbourn, Christopher Hampton, Brian Friel, John Osborne, David Greig, David Harrower, April De Angelis, David Hare, Anthony Neilson, Shelagh Stephenson and David Eldridge among many others; the very latest contemporary writers including Polly Stenham, Katori Hall and Lucy Prebble and the works of theatre companies such as Complicite and Filter. The collection will be continually updated with the very latest writing from new and established writers.


In addition Drama Online will offer expert guidance in the form of scholarly notes, annotated texts, critical analysis and contextual information. A regularly-expanding portfolio of performance and practitioner texts from theory to backstage and acting guides coupled with images, video and audio material will make this an essential study tool meeting the full range of drama teaching needs.


Drama Online presents unique functionality not found in any other platform. Users will be able to search full text and across genres, periods, authors and themes; analyse lines per character; view a rehearsal grid for each play; find monologues; print lines for a character; export extracts with citations in place; save and share materials.


Drama Online is an advanced study tool for students and scholars developed in full consultation with academics, researchers and librarians.


Key features and benefits:


  • Integrated access to hundreds of plays and reference works
  • Regularly updated with contemporary plays and study materials
  • Expert guidance with annotated texts, scholarly editions and critical material
  • Powerful full text searching and advanced search options
  • Filtered browsing across authors, periods, genres and themes
  • Personalisation features: annotate, save, share, extract, citation options
  • Simple navigation and intuitive user interface, easily accessible from VLEs
  • View cast size and the number of lines per character
  • Rehearsal grids illustrate when characters appear in scenes
  • Quick access to `part books': lines for individual characters
  • Option to turn textual notes on or off
  • Detailed monologues and audition speech search
  • View parallel texts on screen
  • Simple navigation and intuitive user interface, easily accessible from VLEs
  • Comfortable on screen reading experience complete with pagination, stage directions and lineation in place
  • Cross referencing via DOI (Digital Object Identifiers) and OpenURLs
  • Industry standard access: unlimited concurrent access via IP recognition, ATHENS/Shibboleth, library cards, and username and password for remote users.
  • COUNTER-compliant usage statistics and library branding
  • Extensive online help and excellent customer and technical support
  • Building on functionality from Bloomsbury's award-winning Berg Fashion Library www.bergfashionlibrary.com


Nigel Newton, Chairman and Chief Executive of Bloomsbury Publishing described the resource as a "Very exciting and truly unique way of providing access to the finest drama literature. Many iconic works in this collection have never been made available digitally before and we are delighted to be working in partnership with Faber. "


Stephen Page, Chief Executive and Publisher of Faber and Faber noted: "This partnership between two independent publishers will make available a unique and extraordinary resource for the study of drama and we are delighted to be working closely with Bloomsbury to develop it over the coming years."


For more information visit www.dramaonlinelibrary.com







You better believe it, on Tuesday May 31 the cast of SHREK THE MUSICAL®, including Amanda Holden as Princess Fiona, will perform live on ITV's Britain's Got Talent.

In a Britain's Got Talent first, judge Amanda Holden will swap the safety of the judging panel for the stage, joining her SHREK THE MUSICAL® co-stars for a live performance of classic hit, I'm a Believer.

Amanda said: "I think one of the most important things when you're on a show like Britain's Got Talent and judging other people, is to be willing to stand on the stage and put your own self up for judgment. Next Tuesday, the audience along with my TV colleagues Simon, Michael and the Hoff will be sitting in judgment of me.  I'm just praying they don't use their buzzers!"

SHREK THE MUSICAL® is currently previewing at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane and officially opens on June 14, 2011. A Royal Gala performance ofSHREK THE MUSICAL® will be held June 8, 2011 in aid of The Prince's Foundation for Children & the Arts.

Produced by DreamWorks Theatricals and Neal Street Productions, SHREK THE MUSICAL® is based on the story and characters from William Steig's book Shrek! and the Oscar®-winning original DreamWorks Animation feature film Shrek, the first chapter in the series of irreverent fairy tales.

Tickets for the new stage musical are on sale for performances until February 19, 2012.

Owing to the live performance on Britain's Got Talent, the 7.30pmperformance of SHREK THE MUSICAL® on Monday June 6 will be cancelled.



Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, London, WC2B 5JF

May 6, 2011 – February 19, 2012

Press Night: June 14, 2011

Box Office: 0844 871 8810

To book online visit: www.shrekthemusical.co.uk

Performance Times:

Monday, Wednesday – Saturday 7.30pm

Thursday & Saturday 3pm

Sunday 3pm


Ticket Prices:

Stalls £65, £55, £25

Grand Circle £65

Upper Circle £55, £45, £20

Balcony £25, £20


Reduced price preview tickets available.


Owing to her commitment to ITV's Britain's Got Talent Amanda Holden will not appear in performances between Sunday 29 May and Sunday 5 Juneinclusive.


Group Rates:

6+ Group Rate £45 (excludes Saturday Performances)

12+ Group Rate £39.50 (excludes Saturday Performances)

Group Bookings: 0844 412 4650

Education Rates:

12+ School Group Rate £22.50 & Free Teacher Place (valid Monday- Thursday)

Education Bookings: 0844 412 4649




review of "A Minister's Wife"

“A Minister’s Wife” a charming chamber music version of Shaw’s “Candida”

By Lucy Komisar


Michael Halberstam’s chamber music version of Shaw’s “Candida” is a charming and exhilarating production about male-female relations in earlier days of the battle for women’s sexual freedom. The story is adapted by Austin Pendleton from Shaw’s 1898 version of the play, which he revised in 1930, when post-flapper era so much in society had changed. At the turn of the century, women were even more psychologically and materially dependent on their husbands.


Kate Fry as Candida, Marc Kudisch as Rev.Morrell, photo Paul Kolnik.


Halberstam and Pendleton show us a woman who takes charge of her own emotional life. Candida Morrell (the excellent soprano, Kate Fry) is a smart woman married to what might appear to be a progressive man. Rev. James Morrell (the always fine baritone Marc Kudisch) is a Christian Socialist minister who preaches to a broad audience. When his secretary tells him the Hoxton Freedom Group wants him to address them, he declares, “Just like Anarchists not to know they can’t have a parson on Sunday morning.”


He is desperate to see Candida, who has been out of town: “My Candida’s coming home today!” he sings. And when she arrives, she vocalizes, “Oh the enchantment, the joys of home, the joys of wife and motherhood.”


A perfect marriage, right? But Morrell is still a man who thinks his importance trumps the desires and yearnings of those around him. He is oblivious, for example, that his secretary Miss Proserpine Garnett (the very strong Liz Baltes) has a crush on him and is jealous of his wife.


Kate Fry as Candida, Bobby Steggert as Marchbanks, photo Paul Kolnik.


The privileged Candida seems just a bit bored. Perhaps that is why she doesn’t immediately squash the verbal advances of the infatuated young poet Eugene Marchbanks (an appealing Bobby Steggert), who Morrell had found sleeping on an embankment and who, in his early 20s, is 15 years her junior. Steggert seems a bit younger than I’m used to seeing as the Marchbanks in Shaw’s play, too young to be considered seriously as a rival to Morrell. There’s never a moment when you take such a liaison seriously.


Bobby Steggert as Marchbanks, Marc Kudisch as Rev. Morrell, photo Paul Kolnik.


Candida says all the right feminist things. As the Reverend expresses concern about the personal developments, she recalls it was her father “who taught me to think for myself.” And, “Don’t put your trust in my goodness.” Marchbanks also gets into the debate. And when Morell orders her to choose between him and the poet, she declares, “I am up for auction it seems. What do you bid, James?”


Since this is Shaw, there are of course other moral challenges. Candida’s father made money from sweatshops.


The plot, in fact, is a little silly, but what makes this production pulsate is the modern music by Joshua Schmidt, (who people may remember as the brilliant composer of the “The Adding Machine,” based on the 1923 Edgar Rice play), the recitative by Jan Levy Tranen and the voices of the ensemble, especially Fry, Kudisch and Baltes. In all, quite an elegant Lincoln Center event.


“A Minister’s Wife.” Based on the 1898 version of “Candida” by George Bernard Shaw; adapted by Austin Pendleton. Conceived & directed by Michael Halberstam. Lyrics by Jan Levy Tranen; music by Joshua Schmidt. Lincoln Center at Mitzi Newhouse Theater, 150 West 65th Street, New York, NY. 212-239-6200. Opened May 8, 2011; closes June 12, 2011.



Thursday, May 26, 2011

Danny Bhoy at the Kings Theatre Glasgow


King’s Theatre, Glasgow



Phil McIntyre Entertainments in association with Lisa Thomas Management







KING’S THEATRE Sunday 26th June @ 8pm



Scotland’s Danny Bhoy embarks on a limited 10-date city tour of the UK on the back of his spectacular British TV debut in Live at the Apollo. He is one of the most popular and well-travelled comedians working today and until now British audiences have only had rare opportunities to see him.

Since his first solo show in a modest 60-seater venue at the Edinburgh Fringe back in 2001, Danny Bhoy’s unique brand of anecdotal humour has made him one of Scotland’s most successful worldwide Comedy exports with a huge international following.

Danny has built up a massive following everywhere he has been and has continually smashed box office records in Australia and New Zealand, as well as in his home country of Scotland. As probably the most travelled comedian working in the World today, Danny’s inimitable story-telling skills, mixed with a razor sharp wit, have been described as “effortlessly funny” by one critic, and “the stand up equivalent of Bill Bryson” by another.

On the other side of the Atlantic, his recent appearances at the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival created a stir among audiences and critics alike, with the Montreal Gazette describing him as “the stand out hit of the festival”. He was also nominated for a Gemini Award for Best Individual Comedy Performance. In 2008 he had the honour of appearing on the prestigious All Star Gala, usually reserved for veteran comics of the festival.


There are currently two live DVDs of Danny’s work available: Live at The Opera House and the recently released, Live at The Athenaeum.


Danny Bhoy’s worldwide fanbase continues to grow at a staggering pace with 2011 already proving to be another hugely successful year for this brilliant young Scot.


For more info log on to: www.dannybhoy.com




Montreal Gazette


The Age, AustraliA


Wednesday, May 25, 2011

"Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo" is a fierce political statement against war

“Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo” is a fierce political statement against war

By Lucy Komisar


Surreal, sometimes funny, often cruel, Rajiv Joseph’s play in a stunning production by Moisés Kaufman looks at killing, in war, and among beasts, and wonders if it is a primordial instinct, something that somehow infects people who think they “don’t do that.” It is a powerful production, not your typical war story, as the murder victims come back as ghosts.



Robin Williams as the Tiger, photo Carol Rosegg.


The place is Baghdad in 2003. Two U.S. marines are guarding the zoo. Behind them is a tiger (Robin Williams) who was caught 12 years before and is trapped inside the metal bars of a cage. The tiger – Williams – is barrel-chested, perhaps like our best vision of macho soldiers. He has plans of killing, like the soldiers. Williams is acerbically funny as a carnivore.


One of his counterparts is Kev (the excellent Brad Fleicher), a crude, hostile, violent, obnoxious soldier, so dumb he has trouble putting his gear on. The other is Kev’s partner Tom (Glenn Davis), who is compassionate and tries to feed the tiger, who promptly bites his hand off. Kev shoots the beast. A metaphor for the interaction between Americans and Iraqis?



Robin Williams as the Tiger, Brad Freischer as Kev, Glenn Davis as Tom, photo by Carol Rosegg.


The tiger comes back as ghost. Kev sees him, though nobody else does. People see the ghosts of the people they killed. Another metaphor.


So how do the killers rationalize? The tiger declares that, “Basic primordial instinct isn’t cruel; it’s lunch. I’m guilty. That’s why I’m stuck here.” (He needs to attack) “And I caused untold misery to the parents of those children. But what could I do? I’m a tiger.”


Then he reconsiders: “A basic primordial impulse isn’t cruel! But, Holy fuck! What if it is? What if my every meal has been an act of cruelty? What if my very nature is in direct conflict with the moral code of the universe? That would make me a fairly damned individual. After all, lunch usually consists of the weak, the small, the stupid, the crippled. Because they’re easier to kill.”



Arian Moayed as Musa, Hrach Titizian as Uday, photo by Carol Rosegg.


So, the tiger is our moral conscience, and the play is about war and repression exercised by the strong against the weak.


Saddam Hussein’s sons Udey (a malevolent Hrach Iitizian) and Cosey are examples of the predators. Udey is a ghost; Cosey is just a head in a bag. Joseph shows us their egregious violence. Musa (the very good Arian Moayed) is a frightened gardener, who makes topiary – a giant elephant, giraffe, horse, and eagle — in Udey’s palace garden. (The set is by Derek McLane.)



Arian Moayed as Musa, Sheila Vand as Hadia, photo by Carol Rosegg.


His sister Hadia (Sheila Vand) persuades him to show her the garden. Unfortunately for Hadia, the nasty Udey happens on the scene. “I am Iraq,” he declares.


He means that the terror is everywhere. Williams lumbers on, growling, telling everyone, “This place is lousy with ghosts.” The ghosts of the murdered. “They’re walking around, wide eyed… What happened to me? Where am I? You’re dead and you’re in Baghdad. Shut up.” Expressing the cross-over horror, Kev prays in Arabic.


Joseph wonders how much the killer instinct has infected everyone. Musa gets into a fight over Udey’s gold pistol. Someone dies. Musa says, “It wasn’t supposed to happen. I didn’t want to kill him.” Uday replies, “I know what you mean. Accidents like that are happening to Uday all the time.” And Musa: “I’m not like you are…I am not the kind of person who does this. It is not who I am.” But war is turning ordinary people into killers.


Is this a revelation of the human character? The tiger proclaims that “All the great mysteries of creation could be revealed at the zoo. Come see the God exhibit! Come watch the beast play! And we, the lousy dead, would finally have our Holy Land…God in a cage in a burning city. Ohhh…. What a glorious sight!”



The Topiary in Uday's garden, photo by Carol Rosegg.


Director Kaufman makes the bizarre happenings seem real, as fantasy becomes figurative truth. In an oblique way, it’s a straightforward and important commentary on the war in Iraq and an aesthetically elegant and moving play.


“Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo.” Written by Rajiv Joseph; directed by Moises Kaufman. 226 West 46th Street, New York, NY. Opened March 31, 2011. 212-307-4100; http://www.bengaltigeronbroadway.com/.





The creative team at West Yorkshire Playhouse is expanding. The recent Action Research development award has enabled the theatre to put into motion plans to augment its artistic team. Artistic Director Ian Brown and General Director Sheena Wrigley have invited a number of new voices to join the creative conversations which inform the theatre's programming and vision. Ian Brown says of the new partnerships…


Broadening the artistic team within the Playhouse brings a host of new and diverse ideas to the theatre. It gives us the opportunity to draw on the knowledge of a number of different people who bring with them their distinct cultural insight and a wealth of artistic experience. These new voices will provide an external challenge to our existing artistic team; it enables us to open out creative conversations and to achieve the greatest artistic impact West Yorkshire Playhouse is able to deliver.


Sarah Esdaile and Nikolai Foster join the Playhouse as Associate Directors at the invitation of Ian Brown. Both directors have made a significant contribution to the work of the theatre, developing and presenting critically acclaimed work such as Esdaile's THE DEEP BLUE SEA and DEATH OF A SALESMAN and Foster's A CHRISTMAS CAROL and ANIMAL FARM. They will be an integral part of the artistic dialogue of West Yorkshire Playhouse bringing with them new artistic projects and programming ideas. Also joining the conversation is new associate producer Amy Letman who is currently developing the Playhouse's new season of work TRANSFORM. Working closely with curators Alan Lane and Kully Thiarai, she is exploring new ways to make and present work at the Playhouse.


Making a move into the building is Unlimited Theatre who will be taking up residence at the Playhouse. Alongside access to office and rehearsal space they will be invited to contribute to the Playhouse's creative dialogue. Cementing ongoing relationships with artists from Slung Low West Yorkshire Playhouse will work closely with the Leeds-based company to explore ways in which emerging and developing artists can be supported by drawing on the facilities and expertise of both companies. Sheena Wrigley comments…


This is an exciting and challenging time for the Playhouse, we are committed to opening up our theatre, our expertise, our resources and exploring new ways to make and create work. An essential part of this is to invite new voices into our creative process to challenge and inspire. We recognise that sometimes we achieve the greatest impact by working in partnership and we are fortunate to have a wealth of very good partners on board.


These artists join a creative team which alongside the Artistic Director, General Director, Producer and Communications Director includes Gail McIntyre (Associate Director Young People) whose work for the Playhouse includes the magical Christmas shows ALADDIN, CINDERELLA, THE SNOW QUEEN and BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, developed with playwright Mike Kenny. THE WORM COLLECTOR and FIRST CUT, created with local writers, were developed for schools and toured both primary and secondary schools across Leeds. Tony Award winning sound designer Mic Pool is the Playhouse's Associate Director of Creative Technology, over the past 21 years he has designed the sound for more than 250 Playhouse productions. Mic also works as a video designer.  Alex Chisholm (Associate Director Literary) works closely with Ian Brown on the commissioning and development of new writing for the Playhouse. She has also developed platforms for emerging writers such as NORTHERN EXPOSURE and SO YOU WANT TO BE A WRITER which have helped to launch the careers of writers such as Mark Catley (series consultant on the BBC's BAFTA award winning series CASUALTY) and television writer Alice Nutter.



Sarah Esdaile

Sarah has directed THE DEEP BLUE SEA, CRASH, DEATH OF A SALESMAN and THE GROUCH all at the West Yorkshire Playhouse.  She also co-directed Philip Pullman's HIS DARK MATERIALS with Rachel Kavanaugh (West Yorkshire Playhouse, Birmingham Rep and on Tour).  A selection of other work includes THE LADY IN THE VAN (Hull Truck Theatre and Number One Tour), CLING TO ME LIKE IVY (Birmingham Rep and Tour), LIFE X 3 (The Watermill), THE HORSE MARINES (Drum Theatre, Plymouth), DROWNING ON DRY LAND (Salisbury Playhouse),  KAFKA'S DICK (Watford Palace), JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH (Octagon, Bolton), M.E.N Award Best Family Show 2007, CROCODILE SEEKING REFUGE (Tour),  LYSISTRATA (Arcola Theatre), PICTURES OF CLAY (Royal Exchange Manchester), Young People's TAMING OF THE SHREW (RSC), COMPACT FAILURE (Clean Break, Arcola Theatre and Tour), COYOTE ON A FENCE (Royal Exchange Manchester/ Duchess Theatre, West End), M.E.N Award Best Fringe Production 2004, THE MAIDENS PRAYER (Bush Theatre). Sarah was also an Associate Director at the RSC on Michael Boyd's Olivier-Award winning productions of HENRY VI PARTS I, II and III and RICHARD III.


Nikolai Foster

Nikolai Foster most recently directed the critically acclaimed A CHRISTMAS CAROL for West Yorkshire Playhouse, other credits for the Playhouse include ANIMAL FARM, SALONIKA and BOLLYWOOD JANE. A selection of other work includes MACBETH (Singapore Repertory Theatre, Singapore); GREAT EXPECTATIONS by Tanika Gupta (Palace Theatre Watford / ETT / National Tour); FLASHDANCE (Shaftesbury Theatre, London), HAY FEVER (Chichester Festival Theatre) A SONG AT TWILIGHT (Mercury Theatre, Colchester, Theatre Royal Windsor and National Tour); ABSENT FRIENDS (Oldham Coliseum / Harrogate Theatre), KES, (Liverpool Playhouse & UK Tour); ALL THE FUN OF THE FAIR (UK tour); THE WITCHES OF EASTWICK (UK tour); LONDON ASSURANCE (Watermill Theatre, Newbury & UK Tour); AMADEUS, (Sheffield's Crucible), ASPECTS OF LOVE (UK National Tour & Nelson Mandela Theatre, South Africa); DEAD FUNNY (Oldham Coliseum & National Tour – Manchester Evening News Award Nomination – Best Visiting Production 2007); He has been director on attachment at the Sheffield Crucible, the Royal Court Theatre and Royal National Theatre Studio.


Amy Letman

Amy studied Drama & Theatre Arts at Goldsmiths College and trained with Fuel Theatre, London Artists Projects and HERE Arts Centre in New York City. She founded and produced the 'Short Nights' festivals at Southwark Playhouse, was a producer for the 24 Hour Plays: Old Vic New Voices, and worked as producer for the site-specific company 19;29. She is now the Associate Producer at WYP, producing the Transform season and developing work with emerging and mid career theatre makers.


Slung Low

Slung Low is the award winning company based in Leeds, West Yorkshire. Creating site specific and theatre installations Slung Low have created work with and for a variety of renowned theatre building and festivals including; The Almeida Theatre, The Barbican, The Liverpool Everyman, The Cultural Olympiad, The Lowry, The Gate Theatre, The Imperial War Museum (North) and Liverpool 08 European Capital of Culture. In 2008 they were awarded the Oxford Samuel Beckett Theatre Trust Award and in 2011 voted the Liverpool Echo Production of the Year with Anthology. The company is based in 5 railway arches that have been converted into office and rehearsal space called The Holbeck Underground Ballroom. Slung Low is currently developing; 5 new pieces for a conglomerate of North Yorkshire Festivals for performance throughout 2012; the closing ceremony for the Everyman Theatre, Liverpool to be performed in July 2011 and a musical set on a bus.


Unlimited Theatre

Based in Leeds since 1997 Unlimited is what happens when the artists Clare Duffy, Jon Spooner and Chris Thorpe make new work together. This work is always co-created with equal partnership in the creative process. It is always for live performance most often happening in theatres. Increasingly the work is made with a 'cross-platform curiosity' – that is, with a desire to distribute the work in other places e.g. for broadcast and on the internet. As well as regularly presenting work at the Playhouse since 2004, Clare (2004-05) and Chris (2006-07) have both worked as Playwrights in Residence. As a student in the mid 90's Jon worked behind the bar.


West Yorkshire Playhouse 
West Yorkshire Playhouse has a reputation both nationally and internationally as one of the UK's largest producing theatres. 2011 marks the theatre's 21stBirthday and as part of the celebrations the Playhouse presented Terence Rattigan's THE DEEP BLUE SEA, a new adaptation of Lorca's YERMA, John Ford's hard-hitting 'TIS PITY SHE'S A WHORE  and a new season of work titled Transform. This autumn Ian Brown directs the wonderful Tim Pigott-Smith in KING LEAR. Past productions have included the 50th anniversary production of BILLY LIAR; Ian Brown's celebrated staging of AS YOU LIKE IT, the world premiere of William Nicholson's CRASH and the TMA award winning HAY FEVER with Maggie Steed.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Byre Theatre venue to celebrate its tenth anniversary


Celebrating ten productive and rewarding years of the Byre Theatre's new lottery building, the Byre is hosting a special community partnership openmorning on Saturday 11th June.  A tribute to the hard work and support of the local community, the open morning is a chance to look back over the theatre's many achievements since the new build theatre opened its doors in 2001, none of which would have been possible without the talent, creativity and dedication of all of the people involved.   


Over 750,000 people have visited The Byre Theatre in the past ten years, and it continues to be one of Scotland's most beautiful theatres, playing a leading role in supporting the performing arts as well as arts participation across Fife- in 2011 it remains Scotland's only 5 star arts venue.  The acclaimed lottery building has been a vital resource in the growth and development of the Byre, enabling the theatre to showcase the most exciting and contemporary performances, as well as to support and encourage new artists, directors and writers alike.  Over the last decade, the Byre has also emerged as an important events maker, running a variety of thriving festivals, music and dance shows and exhibitions. 


 "The Byre Theatre is Scotland's only 5 star arts venue. It presents a year round performing arts programme of the highest calibre to entertain, inspire and challenge the widest audience. In recent years The Byre also has become a vibrant home for festivals, home grown and international and is a growing festival and event producer across Fife.  The theatre actively supports and nurtures new and emerging artists and performance companies to bring their work to the Scottish stage and we proudly support community based theatre and performance companies to develop and showcase their own work."

Dr Frank Quinault, The Byre Theatre Chairman


The Byre Theatre is the arts hub of Fife, providing a dynamic space for members of the local and wider community to come together and enjoy the brilliant facilities offered by the venue.  The Byre is most proud of its work with the community through its Education and Outreach programme, which promotes learning and teaching through the creative arts, offering a variety of artistic educational experiences for any age from 1 to 100.  


The Byre has a dynamic and far-reaching education and outreach programme that serves the widest communities in Fife, working with vulnerable groups, partnering education providers and pioneering creative partnerships, regional, national and international. The Byre strives to be more than a theatre and is proud to be at the heart of a Fife wide community. We are delighted to be able to host this tenth birthday celebration and look forward to sharing our stories of the past ten years and also our aspirations for The Byre for the next ten years with our local community. "

Jacqueline McKay, Artistic Director/Chief Executive, The Byre Theatre


The Byre Theatre will throw open its doors on Saturday 11th June to welcome everyone in joining the tenth anniversary celebrations.  The day will start off with some light refreshments, before a talk from the Byre Theatre Chairman Dr Frank Quinault, followed by performances from the Byre's Haydays Choir and the Byre Youth Theatre group.  Chief Executive of the Byre, Jacqueline McKay will continue with a discussion of the Byre's role in the Fife Community before the morning finishes off with a celebratory raffle and the all-important eating of the birthday cake. 


The open morning will take place from 10 until 12 at the Byre Theatre and refreshments will be provided. 



The community partnership open morning will take place from 10 am until around 12 on Saturday 11th June at the Byre Theatre, St Andrews. 

              This is a free event and does not require tickets to be booked in advance.