November 2015 News, Reviews & Interviews

In November 2015, the theatre scene in London was vibrant and eclectic, offering an exciting mix of classic revivals, new productions, and unique theatrical experiences. This month highlighted the creative dynamism of British theatre, with performances that captivated audiences and pushed artistic boundaries.

West End Highlights

Musicals

  1. “Kinky Boots” at the Adelphi Theatre continued to be a crowd-pleaser, celebrating themes of acceptance and individuality through its infectious music and heartwarming story.
  2. “The Phantom of the Opera” at Her Majesty’s Theatre maintained its enduring appeal, with its hauntingly beautiful score and grand staging drawing audiences night after night.

Plays

  1. “Photograph 51” at the Noel Coward Theatre, featuring Nicole Kidman, continued to receive critical acclaim. Kidman’s portrayal of scientist Rosalind Franklin was praised for its depth and emotional impact.
  2. “Farinelli and the King” at the Duke of York’s Theatre starred Mark Rylance as King Philippe V of Spain, blending historical drama with live baroque music to create a unique theatrical experience.

Notable Productions Outside the West End

National Theatre

  1. “Husbands & Sons” by D.H. Lawrence, adapted by Ben Power, brought together three of Lawrence’s plays to create a powerful depiction of life in a Nottinghamshire mining community. The production was notable for its immersive staging and strong ensemble cast.
  2. “wonder.land”, a new musical inspired by Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland”, with music by Damon Albarn and book and lyrics by Moira Buffini, premiered at the National Theatre. This contemporary reimagining explored themes of identity and technology in a visually stunning production.

Donmar Warehouse

  • “Les Liaisons Dangereuses”, starring Janet McTeer and Dominic West, was a highlight at the Donmar Warehouse. This adaptation of Choderlos de Laclos’ novel captivated audiences with its intricate plot of seduction and betrayal, brought to life through compelling performances.

Regional Theatre Highlights

Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in Stratford-upon-Avon

  • “Henry V”, directed by Gregory Doran and starring Alex Hassell, offered a fresh take on Shakespeare’s history play. The production was praised for its dynamic staging and Hassell’s charismatic performance as the titular king.

Chichester Festival Theatre

  • “Guys and Dolls” opened to rave reviews, with its energetic performances and classic songs by Frank Loesser. The production was set to transfer to London’s Savoy Theatre, demonstrating the high quality and appeal of regional theatre.

Unique Theatrical Events

Immersive Theatre

  1. “You Me Bum Bum Train”:
    • Returning to London, “You Me Bum Bum Train” provided a one-on-one immersive experience where audience members became the stars of their own show, navigating a series of surprising and surreal scenarios. This unique format created a deeply personal and unforgettable theatrical journey.
  2. “Alice’s Adventures Underground”:
    • Held in the Vaults beneath Waterloo Station, “Alice’s Adventures Underground” offered an interactive and immersive journey through Lewis Carroll’s Wonderland. Audiences chose their paths and encountered characters in a fantastical setting, blending theatre with adventure and exploration.

Trends and Developments

  1. Focus on Technology and Innovation:
    • The integration of digital technology in theatre continued to evolve, with productions incorporating multimedia elements and interactive features to enhance the audience experience. This trend was evident in productions like “wonder.land”, which used cutting-edge visuals and sound to create an immersive world.
  2. Emphasis on Mental Health and Social Issues:
    • Theatre continued to address important social issues, with a particular focus on mental health. Productions such as “People, Places & Things” at the Wyndham’s Theatre, starring Denise Gough, offered a raw and realistic portrayal of addiction and recovery, sparking important conversations about mental health.

Festivals and Special Events

London Horror Festival

  • The London Horror Festival brought a spooky twist to the theatre scene in November, showcasing a variety of horror-themed performances, from classic tales of terror to contemporary psychological thrillers. Highlights included “The Uncanny Valley”, a play exploring the eerie implications of artificial intelligence, and “The Woman in Black”, a long-running ghost story at the Fortune Theatre that continued to scare and delight audiences.

Shakespeare’s Globe

  • “The Winter’s Tale”, part of the Globe’s winter season, offered a powerful and emotional interpretation of Shakespeare’s play, blending tragedy and comedy in a compelling production that explored themes of jealousy, redemption, and forgiveness.

In conclusion, November 2015 was a dynamic and diverse month for theatre in London. From high-profile West End productions and innovative regional performances to unique immersive experiences and thematic festivals, the theatre scene showcased its ability to engage, challenge, and entertain audiences. The emphasis on technology, mental health, and social issues highlighted the evolving nature of British theatre, ensuring its continued relevance and impact.

November 2015 News, Reviews & Interviews

The Distance at Orange Tree Theatre

Gigi by Colette and Anita Loos – Review
Let’s All Dance – The Magic Word at Chelsea Theatre – Review
London Evening Standard announces shortlist for 61st Theatre Awards
The State vs John Hayes at The King’s Head Theatre – Review
Xanadu at the Southwark Playhouse – Review
Wicked Sixth Year of Wicked Young Writers Award
New video footage and images for ELF The Musical London
The Importance of Being Earnest broadcast to US cinemas for 120th anniversary
2016 Spring Dates Announced for UK Tour of King Charles III
The Hairy Ape at The Old Vic – Review
Rotterdam: funny, warm and honest at Theatre 503 – Review
Review of United We Stand at CLF Theatre Peckham
Gatsby at the Arts Theatre London – Review
Review of A Prayer at The Hen and Chickens Theatre
The Smallest Story Ever Told at The King’s Head Theatre
World Toilet Day It’s No Joke! WaterAid Comedy Gig 18th November
The Picture of Dorian Gray at Trafalgar Studios
Rambert: Love, art and rock n roll at Sadler’s Wells – Review
White Feathers at the Bread and Roses Theatre – Review
Anita and Me at Theatre Royal Stratford East – Review
From Page To Stage’s The Stationmaster – Review
Robin Hood panto at Theatre Royal Stratford East
Helen Sheals, Belinda Wollaston, Lucy Penrose as Judy Garland
The Killing of Sister George at London Theatre Workshop
The Devil Is An Ass at The Rose Playhouse – Review
War of the Worlds to open in West End in 2016
Review of DRY LAND by Ruby Rae Spiegel at Jermyn Street Theatre
Intermission Youth Theatre’s Rise and Fall – Review
Lovesong of the Electric Bear at The Arts Theatre London – Review
Cecilia by Zoe Hunter-Gordon at The King’s Head Theatre – Review
Stunning CATS back for Christmas at the London Palladium – Review
Goblin Baby Theatre presents The Princess Monologues
The Notebook by Forced Entertainment at Battersea Arts Centre – Review
Sheringham Little Theatre to stage panto by Kinky Boots star Killian Donnelly
Harlequinade and All On Her Own at the Garrick Theatre – Review
Richmond Shakespeare Society’s King Lear…
All On Her Own – Harlequinade at the Garrick Theatre Review
Verity Rushworth to star as Holly Golightly in Breakfast At Tiffany’s
Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre announces 2016 season
Medea at The Gate Theatre Notting Hill – Review
Ian McKellen And Julian Clary at A Source Of Life – 25 Years Of The Ian Charleson Day Centre
Lord Of The Dance: Dangerous Games offers free weekly dance workshops
Bully Boy by Sandi Toksvig at The Mercury Theatre – Review
Pam Gems’ PIAF to transfer to Charing Cross Theatre
Close To You: Bacharach Reimagined extends run at Criterion Theatre
5-star Annie Review – Book Tickets While You Can! – Review
Tartuffe at the Canal Cafe Theatre – Review
Cast announced for World Premiere of No Villain by Arthur Miller
Black Coffee Theatre’s ONE LAST WALTZ – Review
Pilot Theatre’s Outsiders – Review
In My Head at The Proud Archivist – Review
Vampire Hospital Waiting Room at the Arts Theatre – Review
Sasha Waltz and Guests Sacre – Review
Fiona Evans’ Scarborough to be performed at Cockpit Theatre
Staying Alive by Kat Roberts at The Pleasance – Review
The Sawyer Studies at the Etcetera Theatre
The War of The Worlds London
THE RAILWAY CHILDREN extends run to April 2016
New Moon Festival at The White Bear Theatre – Review
Young Vic announces casting and extension for Bull
Theatre Royal Bath Ustinov Studio Spring and Summer Seasons 2016
Dawn French: 30 Million Minutes – Review
Four Minutes Twelve Seconds at Trafalgar Studios – Review
The Session at Soho Theatre – Review
SPARKS at The Old Red Lion Theatre – Review
La Soirée at La Soirée’s Spiegeltent Southbank – Review
A Doll’s House at Barons Court Theatre – Review
Grotto at The HoHo Theatre London
David Burt and David Hunter to star in A Christmas Carol
Miniaturists 54 our 10th Birthday Bash at the Arcola Theatre
Euan Garrett and Matthew Seadon-Young join cast of Billy Elliot The Musical
Christian Rizzo perform d’après une histoire vraie at Sadler’s Wells – Review
Chicago 2016 UK Tour with John Partridge, Hayley Tamaddon and Sam Bailey
Jackie The Musical UK Tour starring Janet Dibley
The Forest by Frozen Light at Stratford Circus Arts Centre – Review
The Illusionists at Shaftesbury Theatre London – Review
Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax at The Old Vic rehearsal images
Park Theatre Gala Raises £215,000 to support Community Work
Review of Elf The Musical at the Dominion Theatre
Casting announced for Hand to God at Vaudeville Theatre
Review of Dude Looks Like a Lady at the Etcetera Theatre
Miss Saigon to open on Broadway in 2017 with Eva Noblezada and Jon Jon Briones
Maureen Nolan joins the cast of Footloose The Musical
Full casting announced for The Master Builder at the Old Vic Theatre
Review of Jason Hewitt’s Claustrophobia at the Hope Theatre
Review of The Princess Monologues with Eleanor Dillon-Reams
Review of Living Between the Lies at the King’s Head Theatre
Review of The Mercurious Misadventures of Hatter and Hare
Full Cast announced for London premiere of Disney’s Aladdin
Nathan Amzi returns to In The Heights
CD Review: Heart of Winter
61st Evening Standard Theatre Awards
La bohème at Clapham Opera Festival – Review
Harold Pinter’s The Homecoming at Trafalgar Studios – Review
Sutton Theatres announce spring season 2016
Handbagged at Richmond Theatre – Review
He Gave Me Heroin by James Aden at the King’s Head Theatre – Review
Interview with Owen Guerin – The Gruffalo
Full cast announced to join Les Miserables star Mandy Holliday in The Tinderbox
Ben Hur at The Tricycle Theatre – Review
Imogen Stubbs and Michael Brandon star in The Long Road South
I Love You Because at The London Theatre Workshop – Review
THE TIGER WHO CAME TO TEA Live on Stage!
Henry Irving Double Bill: The Knight From Nowhere and The Bells
Darren Day to star as Tick in national tour of Priscilla Queen of the Desert
Review of Shaun Kitchener’s Christmas Farce at Rosemary Branch
You Never Forget Your First Time
Review of The Drunken City by Adam Bock
World premiere of NotMoses by Gary Sinyor at the Arts Theatre
Royal Shakespeare Company Henry V at The Barbican – Review
The Winter’s Tale tops £1.1m at UK Cinema Box Offices
A new musical based on Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure – Review
Howard Barker Double Bill at Arcola Theatre – Review
The Snowman: an absolute triumph, festive family fun at its finest – Review
Review of Beauty and The Beast at The Polka Theatre Wimbledon
Cinderella and the Beanstalk at Theatre503 – Review

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