October 2015 News, Reviews & Interviews

In October 2015, the theatre scene in London and across the UK was marked by a rich variety of performances, ranging from blockbuster West End shows to innovative new plays and unique theatrical experiences. This month highlighted the creativity and diversity of British theatre, with productions that captivated audiences and pushed the boundaries of traditional storytelling.

West End Highlights

Musicals

  1. “Kinky Boots” at the Adelphi Theatre continued its successful run, delighting audiences with its heartwarming story and energetic musical numbers. The show, featuring music by Cyndi Lauper, celebrated themes of acceptance and individuality.
  2. “Matilda the Musical” at the Cambridge Theatre, based on Roald Dahl’s beloved book, remained a family favorite with its clever lyrics by Tim Minchin and imaginative staging.

Plays

  1. “Photograph 51” at the Noel Coward Theatre, starring Nicole Kidman, received critical acclaim for its portrayal of Rosalind Franklin’s role in the discovery of DNA’s structure. Kidman’s performance was particularly praised for its depth and emotional resonance.
  2. “The Father” at the Wyndham’s Theatre, starring Kenneth Cranham, provided a powerful and moving depiction of dementia. Florian Zeller’s play, translated by Christopher Hampton, offered a poignant and sometimes disorienting view of the world from the perspective of an elderly man losing his grip on reality.

Notable Productions Outside the West End

National Theatre

  1. “Jane Eyre”, an innovative adaptation of Charlotte Brontë’s classic novel, returned to the National Theatre, combining dynamic staging and live music to tell the story of the strong-willed heroine.
  2. “Waste” by Harley Granville Barker, directed by Roger Michell, revisited this political drama with a contemporary edge, exploring themes of scandal, ambition, and the intersection of personal and public lives.

Almeida Theatre

  • “Medea”, starring Kate Fleetwood, offered a raw and intense interpretation of Euripides’ tragedy, blending classical elements with modern sensibilities to explore themes of revenge and maternal anguish.

Regional Theatre Highlights

Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester

  • “Husbands & Sons”, a powerful adaptation of three D.H. Lawrence plays, provided a vivid portrayal of life in a Nottinghamshire mining community. The production was notable for its immersive staging and strong ensemble cast.

Chichester Festival Theatre

  • “A Damsel in Distress”, a new musical comedy based on the novel by P.G. Wodehouse and the classic film, charmed audiences with its witty dialogue, lively dance numbers, and memorable songs by George and Ira Gershwin.

Unique Theatrical Events

Immersive and Site-Specific Theatre

  1. Punchdrunk’s “Sleep No More”:
    • Punchdrunk continued to push the boundaries of immersive theatre with “Sleep No More”. This production, inspired by Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, allowed audiences to explore a multi-story building and experience the narrative in a non-linear fashion, interacting with the environment and characters.
  2. “The Drowned Man: A Hollywood Fable”:
    • Also by Punchdrunk, “The Drowned Man” was set in a vast warehouse space, transforming it into a 1960s Hollywood studio. Audiences roamed freely, uncovering the intertwined stories of ambition, love, and betrayal in an immersive and highly atmospheric setting.

Trends and Developments

  1. Focus on Mental Health and Social Issues:
    • Theatre continued to address important social issues, with several productions focusing on mental health. “The Father” offered a nuanced portrayal of dementia, while other plays explored themes such as addiction and recovery, reflecting a broader societal interest in these topics.
  2. Innovative Use of Technology:
    • The integration of technology in theatre remained a significant trend, with productions incorporating multimedia elements, live streaming, and interactive features to enhance the storytelling experience. This trend was evident in both traditional theatre settings and immersive productions.

Festivals and Special Events

London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT)

  • The London International Festival of Theatre (LIFT) featured a range of innovative and experimental performances. Highlights included “The Encounter” by Complicité, an immersive audio experience that took audiences on a journey through the Amazon rainforest, blending storytelling with cutting-edge sound technology.

Shakespeare’s Globe

  • “Globe to Globe Hamlet” continued its international tour, bringing Shakespeare’s play to audiences around the world. In October, the production made a stop in London, offering a unique opportunity for local audiences to experience this global theatrical journey.

In conclusion, October 2015 was a dynamic and diverse month for theatre in London and the UK. From high-profile West End productions and innovative regional performances to unique immersive experiences, the theatre scene showcased its ability to engage and inspire audiences. The focus on social issues, the use of technology, and the expansion of immersive theatre highlighted the evolving nature of British theatre, ensuring its continued relevance and vibrancy.

October 2015 News, Reviews & Interviews

Billy Elliot The Musical West End Cast Update
The Tower Theatre Company’s Farragut North – Review
Music Of The Knights – An Evening Hosted by Phillip Schofield
Stephen Mulhern in Cinderella at the Ashcroft Theatre
West End is a richer place for having The Showstoppers in it
Musical comedy Crush at Richmond Theatre
Roaring Trade at Park Theatre – Review
Volpone, or the Fox at Brockley Jack Studio Theatre
Charlie And The Chocolate Factory To Hold Open Auditions
Charity Performance Of Photograph 51
RENT at The Bridewell Theatre
The Window and Blank Pages at The Hope Theatre
Stitching at The White Bear Theatre – Review
Hurricane Michael at The White Bear Theatre
Wicked Review 2015: Superb cast in a spectacular West End show
Sir Kenneth Branagh: The new President of RADA
Kandinsky’s Dog Show at New Diorama Theatre – Review
Pam Ann: Queen of the Sky at Leicester Square Theatre – Review
The Wars of the Roses at the Rose Theatre Kingston – Review
Valhalla at Theatre503 – A beautiful piece of work – Review
5 Guys Chillin’ at The King’s Head Theatre – Review
Nobody’s Business at The King’s Head Theatre – Review
The Real Reasons We Drink – The Ranelagh – Review
Mr Foote’s Other Leg in West End Transfer – Tickets on Sale Now
Dirty Dancing – The Classic Story On Stage UK Tour 2016
The Hairy Ape at the Old Vic
Jersey Boys West End Extends Booking Period to October 2016
Motown The Musical West End cast announced
Hell + Other People and A Fistful of Hunny – Reviews
David Auburn’s Proof at The Tabard Theatre – Review
Dreamboats and Miniskirts at The Churchill Theatre Bromley
Caroline Bowditch – Falling in Love with Frida – Review
46 beacon at The Hope Theatre London – Review
Frantic Assembly’s 10th Ignition programme is underway
Thriller Live: in excess of $150million at the global box office
Cast announced for Henry Irving Double Bill: The Knight From Nowhere/The Bells
PIAF by Pam Gems at Bridewell Theatre London
The Last Tango: Richmond Theatre London – Review
LORD OF THE DANCE: DANGEROUS GAMES Principal Cast Announced
Robert Portal to play Phileas Fogg in Around The World In 80 Days
One Man, Two Guvnors by Tower Theatre Company
Consensual National Youth Theatre 2015 REP Review
Wuthering Heights National Youth Theatre 2015 REP Review
Big Time! In Concert Starring Jessica Hynes, Neil McDermott…
The Great Gatsby at Greenwich Theatre – Review
The National Youth Theatre REP Season: The Merchant of Venice
Henry V Royal Shakespeare Theatre – Stratford-upon-Avon
In The Heights musical a popular ticket in London…
Les Misérables 30th Anniversary London
Motown The Musical London West End Launch
The Man Who Found His Freedom at The Space Arts Centre
Mrs Henderson Presents in West End Transfer
New-look Thriller Live at the Lyric Theatre – Review
Les Misérables 30th Anniversary Gala Images
Disney’s The Lion King To Hold Open Auditions In London
Crunch Productions’ Broke Britannia! The Musical – Review
West End stars announced for From Page to Stage season
The Phantom of the Opera celebrates 29th Birthday – London
She Called Me Mother at Stratford Circus – Review
Scarborough at the Courtyard Theatre – Review
BalletBoyz – Young Men at Sadler’s Wells – Review
The Point At Which It Last Made Sense – Review
The Tempest by London Theatre Workshop – Review
Dark and Lovely by Selina Thompson – Review
The First Man by Eugene O’Neill – Review
BLACKOUT by Tim Cook at the Drayton Arms Theatre
MERCHANT OF VEMBLEY by Shishir Kurup – Review
I Love You Because at London Theatre Workshop
Pants on Fire presents Ovid’s Metamorphoses – Review
UK and Ireland tour of Mary Poppins launches tonight at Leicester Curve
The Doughnut Theatre’s Darkridge – Review
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory celebrates 1000th performance in West End
Romeo and Juliet at Club Verona Theatrro Technis – Review
Principal casting announced for Matthew Bourne’s Sleeping Beauty
Royal Court announces 60th anniversary season for 2016
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists at The CLF Art Cafe
Romance, Romance at the Landor Theatre – Review
Hetty Feather at the Churchill Theatre Bromley – Review
Martin Barrass to star as Mr Perks in The Railway Children – Live on Stage
West End musicals line-up for BBC Children in Need 2015
Master of the Macabre at The Vaults – Review
Benedict Barber in Master of the Macabre at The Vaults
ELF THE MUSICAL London new rehearsal images
Tower Theatre Company’s Hedda Gabler – Review
Universally Speaking at The Bread and Roses Theatre
A Wolf in Snakeskin Shoes at The Tricycle Theatre
English National Ballet’s Nutcracker at London Coliseum at Christmas
The Waiting Room at The Courtyard Theatre – Review
In The Heights is an astonishing achievement – Review
Close To You Bacharach Reimagined – Review
Green Day’s American Idiot musical set to tour in 2016
Coming Up at Watford Palace Theatre – Review
Kinky Boots Adelphi Theatre extends booking to 28th May 2016
Full casting announced for Funny Girl at Menier Chocolate Factory
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang tour cast announced
Playground at The Old Red Lion Theatre
A Christmas Carol at the Noel Coward Theatre full cast announced
Song of Riots at Battersea Arts Centre
Looking for Lansbury at St James Theatre Studio
5-star Mamma Mia! at The Novello Theatre – Review
Leader of the Pack The Ellie Greenwich Musical at the Waterloo East Theatre
Jonathan Reid Gealt: Whatever I Want It To Be
STATE OF FEAR. Responsibility to … ? at Southwark Playhouse
Disney’s The Lion King Musical celebrates 16th birthday in London
Wilton’s Music Hall has its pantomime debut with Roy Hudd’s Dick Whittington
Matilda The Musical cast images released to celebrate 4th Birthday
Mamma Mia! musical extends bookings to 22 October 2016
The Full Monty at The Churchill Theatre Bromley
Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of LES MISÉRABLES to open in Singapore
The Rat Pack Live at The Arts Theatre
The Gruffalo returns for West End Christmas season
Ubu And The Truth Commission at Print Room at the Coronet
Cast announced for Four Minutes Twelve Seconds
Almeida Theatre to present live streamed reading of The Odyssey
The Tower Theatre Company’s Edith and Margueritte
The Clockmaker’s Daughter returns to the stage for one night
National Theatre’s As You Like It at the Olivier Theatre London
BOAT at Theatre N16 – Review
TOM MCGOWAN as The Wizard in Wicked
Plaques and Tangles at the Royal Court Theatre – Review
I Have Never at The Hen and Chickens Theatre – Review
Hello Again at The Hope Theatre – Review
Corrine Priest stars in premiere recording of Heart of Winter
Alan Bennett’s Single Spies to tour UK in 2016
Private Lives National Tour ahead of West End Transfer
Bob Dylan and his band at The Royal Albert Hall – Review
Review of Romeo and Juliet at the Brockley Jack Studio Theatre
The Forbidden at The Canvas Cafe – Review
Jellyfish and Cathedral – Part of Small Story Big City 2015 – Review
Treasure by David Pinski at Finborough Theatre – Review
Clarion at the Arcola Theatre – Review
Why That And Not This? at The Hope Theatre – Review
HEY, OLD FRIENDS: An 85th Birthday Tribute to Stephen Sondheim – Review
Review of Don’t Look Now at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch
Motown The Musical Open Auditions for roles of Marvin Gaye and Young Michael Jackson
RoosevElvis at the Royal Court Theatre – Review
Barrie Keeffe’s Barbarians – Review
Tim Minchin announced in cast of first Old Vic Variety Nights
Kathy Kirby: Icon at The White Bear Theatre – Review
Review of Into the Hoods: Remixed at The Peacock Theatre
Avenue Q at Richmond Theatre – Review
Monty Python legend Terry Jones to direct Jeepers Creepers
A Trilogy of Horrors staged by TumbleDry Theatre – Review
Harry Potter and the Cursed Child are hot London Theatre Tickets!
The Homecoming Trafalgar Studios London
Vincent and Flavia The Last Tango at The Orchard Theatre
Elaine Cassidy To Play Madame De Tourvel In Les Liaisons Dangereuses
AND NOW: THE WORLD! at Hackney Showroom – Review
First Love is the Revolution at Soho Theatre – Review
Gina McKee set to reprise role in The Mother at the Tricycle Theatre
Singin’ in the Rain at the John McIntosh Arts Centre – Review
The Moderate Soprano at Hampstead Theatre – Review
CRUSHED by Tim Cook at the King’s Head Theatre – Review
Full cast announced for Royal Court’s Hangmen
A Cool Million at Brockley Jack Studio Theatre – Review
Classified at The Space Arts Centre – Review
Review of The Hairy Ape at The Old Vic
MyAnna Buring and Laura Donnelly star in The Wasp at Trafalgar Studios
Norden Farm Centre for the Arts presents One Snowy Night
Dinner With Friends at Park Theatre – Review
The Screenwriter’s Daughter at Leicester Square Theatre – Review
London Theatre Blogs – join the discussion
PIAF by Pam Gems at the Bridewell Theatre – Review

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