May 2015 News, Reviews & Interviews

In May 2015, the theatre scene in London and across the UK continued to flourish with a diverse array of productions. This month was marked by a blend of highly anticipated openings, innovative performances, and notable trends that highlighted the creativity and vibrancy of British theatre. Alongside the traditional fare, May saw unique theatrical events that added a distinctive flavor to the cultural landscape.

West End Highlights

  1. Musicals:
    • “Gypsy” at the Savoy Theatre, starring Imelda Staunton, dazzled audiences with its revival of the classic musical about the ambitious stage mother Mama Rose. Staunton’s performance received critical acclaim and drew significant attention.
    • “Memphis the Musical” at the Shaftesbury Theatre, featuring Beverley Knight, continued to captivate audiences with its energetic portrayal of the birth of rock and roll in the segregated American South.
  2. Plays:
    • “The Audience” at the Apollo Theatre, with Kristin Scott Thomas as Queen Elizabeth II, remained a standout, offering a compelling look into the private meetings between the Queen and her Prime Ministers.
    • “1984” at the Playhouse Theatre, based on George Orwell’s dystopian novel, returned to the stage with its harrowing and thought-provoking adaptation, resonating with contemporary concerns about surveillance and state control.

Notable Productions Outside the West End

  1. National Theatre:
    • “Light Shining in Buckinghamshire”, directed by Lyndsey Turner, offered a gripping portrayal of the English Civil War, exploring themes of power and social justice.
    • “The Motherfker with the Hat”**, a dark comedy by Stephen Adly Guirgis, made its UK debut, blending humor and raw emotion in a story about addiction and relationships.
  2. Young Vic:
    • “Ah, Wilderness!”, directed by Natalie Abrahami, brought Eugene O’Neill’s nostalgic coming-of-age play to life, showcasing the Young Vic’s commitment to both classic and contemporary works.

Regional Theatres

Regional theatres continued to play an essential role in the UK’s cultural fabric, offering innovative and diverse programming:

  1. Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in Stratford-upon-Avon:
    • “The Merchant of Venice”, starring Makram J. Khoury as Shylock, offered a powerful and nuanced interpretation of Shakespeare’s play, drawing acclaim for its exploration of justice and mercy.
  2. Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester:
    • “Anna Karenina”, adapted from Tolstoy’s novel, captivated audiences with its epic tale of love and betrayal, brought to life with inventive staging and powerful performances.

Unique Theatrical Events

  1. Secret Theatre:
    • Secret Theatre, known for its immersive and unconventional productions, continued to surprise audiences with “Project Mayhem”, a play inspired by the film “Fight Club.” The location and details were kept secret until the last moment, adding an element of mystery and excitement.
  2. Pop-Up Globe Theatre:
    • London welcomed the Pop-Up Globe Theatre, a full-scale temporary replica of Shakespeare’s Globe, which offered a unique and historically immersive experience of Shakespearean drama. This pop-up theatre allowed audiences to enjoy performances in an authentic Elizabethan setting.

Trends and Developments

  1. Diversity and Inclusion:
    • There was a notable push towards greater diversity and inclusion in theatre, with productions increasingly featuring stories and voices from underrepresented communities. The Bush Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East were at the forefront, championing new works by diverse playwrights.
  2. Technological Innovation:
    • The integration of technology in theatre continued to evolve, with productions incorporating multimedia elements, virtual reality, and interactive features to enhance storytelling and audience engagement. Companies like Punchdrunk led the way in creating immersive, technology-driven experiences.

Festivals and Special Events

  1. Brighton Festival:
    • The Brighton Festival, running throughout May, featured a rich program of theatre, dance, music, and visual arts. Notable theatrical highlights included “The Encounter” by Complicité, an immersive audio experience that took audiences on a journey through the Amazon rainforest.

In conclusion, May 2015 was a dynamic and exciting month for theatre in London and the UK. With a mix of blockbuster West End shows, innovative regional productions, and unique theatrical events, the theatre scene demonstrated its vitality and capacity for reinvention. The focus on diversity, technological innovation, and immersive experiences highlighted the ever-evolving nature of British theatre, ensuring that it remained a compelling and inclusive cultural force.

May 2015 News, Reviews & Interviews

Derek Jacobi joins the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company Romeo and Juliet
Review of My Children! My Africa! at Tristan Bates Theatre
Review of Face To Face at Drayton Arms Theatre
Review of As Good A Time As Any at the Print Room at the Coronet
The People vs Democracy at the Free Word Centre | Review
Review of Portia Coughlan at the Old Red Lion Theatre
Review of The Verb, To Love at the Old Red Lion Theatre
Review of Much Ado About Nothing at New Wimbledon Studio Theatre
Review of No Regrets at Leicester Square Theatre
Review of The Elvis Years at Leicester Square Theatre
Review of Cabaret of the Century at the Century Club
Review of Tony’s Last Tape at Bridge House Theatre
Mamma Mia! Cast change from 8th June 2015
Ten Years of Billy Elliot The Musical in Photographs
Matilda The Musical General Election Video
Review of Kingmaker a satirical play by Robert Khan and Tom Salinsky
Review of Cyprus Sunsets at New Wimbledon Studio Theatre
Review of Titanium at The Peacock Theatre
Review of The Candidate at Theatre Delicatessen
Review of American Buffalo at Wyndhams Theatre
The Dirty Talk by Michael Puzzo at Jermyn Street Theatre
Review of Noises Off at Mercury Theatre Colchester
Review of Carrie The Musical at Southwark Playhouse
Review of Firefly Heartbeat at The Hope Theatre
Peter Morgan updates script for The Audience
Review of Pond Wife at New Wimbledon Studio Theatre
Evelyn Hoskins showcases her incredible vocals in Carrie
Review of Product at Arcola Theatre
The Picture of Dorian Gray at The White Bear Theatre May 2015
King’s Head Theatre London Summer Season 2015
Review of Bluebird at the Tabard Theatre London
Great writing and excellent acting in EleXion at Theatre503
The Infinite Line Between Dating and Dying at Etcetera Theatre
Cast for Les Miserables Queen’s Theatre from 15th June 2015
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre announces cast for The Seagull
Alice in Wonderland by Blackshaw Theatre at Battersea Library
Let’s Hear It For The Boys at the Grove Theatre
The Flannelettes at the King’s Head Theatre
Billy Elliot The Musical booking to December 2016 + UK and Ireland Tour
UK premiere of American musical Vote for Me: A Musical Debate
Joey from War Horse and Horses from The Household Cavalry
James Woolley replaces Peter Bowles in STOP!… The Play
Death of a Salesman is truly amazing from start to finish
£15 tickets for The Elephant Man for theatregoers under 25 years old
Bloomberg Summer at The Roundhouse
Where’s Your Mama Gone? at the Hen and Chickens Theatre
BLOOD By Emteaz Hussain at Soho Theatre
The Songbook of Judy Garland Starring Lorna Luft, Louise Dearman and Ray Quinn
I And The Village at Theatre503
Opera Holland Park announce tickets for under 30s at £20 each
Gods Are Fallen And All Safety Gone presented by Greyscale
Lysistrata: A new work of musical theatre presented by up-and-coming talent
Jane Asher and daughter Katie Scarfe to star in THE GATHERED LEAVES
Happy Birthday Out Of Joint: A Fundraising Gala Arcola Theatre
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is the ultimate family musical
Skin in Flames is a gripping political thriller Park90
Spellbinding Flames at Waterloo East Theatre
Outstanding Avenue Q at Greenwich Theatre
KREUTZER SONATA and an evening of new ballets
Kristina Rihanoff and Robin Windsor star in Puttin’ on the Ritz
Powerful and moving Sense Of An Ending at Theatre503
Dan and Laura Curtis unofficial musical concept of Disney’s Ratatouille
Hurling Rubble at the Sun and Hurling Rubble at the Moon
A SINGLE ACT by Jane Bodie at Theatro Technis London
Erin Doherty wins The Stephen Sondheim Student of the Year Award 2015
The Flannelettes is thought-provoking and entertaining
LIAM MOWER and DOMINIC NORTH cast in The Car Man
Casting for 20th Anniversary production of SONGS FOR A NEW WORLD
Casting Announced for World Première Image of an Unknown Young Woman
The Great Yorkshire Fringe announces more acts
Interview with Ellie Bamber
Kerry Ellis joins FourTune Through the Eras
BAD JEWS run extended to 11th July 2015 at Arts Theatre
Matilda The Musical: it’s the children that steal the show
Beyond Bollywood manages to bring great energy to its numbers but…
Rock Paper Scissors at Brockley Jack Studio Theatre
King Lear by the Tower Theatre Company at Theatro Technis
Thick as Thieves present The Tempest at The Hope Theatre
The Commitments closing in West End but National Tour ahead
ALPHA BETA the first major London revival for more than 40 years
Strong Opening Night performances at TheatreN16
An Evening With Lucian Freud at Leicester Square Theatre
Sophia Ragavelas joins the cast of Calamity Jane as Katie Brown
National Tour of Tell Me On a Sunday starring Jodie Prenger
Review of McQueen at St James Theatre London
Review of LEAN and TO SLEEP at Theatre N16
Review of The One Day of the Year at The Finborough Theatre
The Big West End Busk June 2015
Arabian Nights at the Southbank Centre
Sunny Afternoon to perform at London Music Awards and On Blackheath Festival
Review of The Harvest at Soho Theatre London
London’s Free Open Air Theatre Season – More London Free Festival
Further Dates announced for MARY POPPINS
Review of Richard II at St Bartholomew The Great London
Review of The Taming Of The Shrew at New Wimbledon Studio
Just Jim Dale (still carrying on) Vaudeville Theatre
Review of INIGO at the Pleasance Theatre
Circus Geeks Beta Testing in the Udderbelly London circus season
Hot Stuff at The Queen’s Theatre in Hornchurch
Review of Edward II at St Bartholomew The Great London
Interview with Ellie Ann Lowe star of Dusty at Charing Cross Theatre
Review of James Freedman: Man of Steal at Trafalgar Studios
Review of The Theory of Relativity at The Drayton Arms
TINSELTOWN The 2015 London 50-Hour Improvathon
Review of Duncton Wood at Union Theatre Southwark
London Jersey Boys West End cast 2015
Interview with Charles Brunton from Love Never Dies

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