September 2015 News, Reviews & Interviews

In September 2015, the theatre scene in London and across the UK was buzzing with fresh new productions, classic revivals, and innovative performances that pushed the boundaries of traditional theatre. This month was marked by a mix of high-profile West End shows, exciting regional theatre, and unique theatrical events that offered audiences something a bit different.

West End Highlights

Musicals

  1. “Kinky Boots” at the Adelphi Theatre continued to captivate audiences with its inspiring story and catchy music by Cyndi Lauper. The show celebrated themes of acceptance and individuality, becoming a fast favorite in the West End.
  2. “Beautiful: The Carole King Musical” at the Aldwych Theatre offered a nostalgic journey through the life and music of Carole King, drawing fans of her timeless hits and providing an uplifting theatrical experience.

Plays

  1. “Photograph 51” at the Noel Coward Theatre starred Nicole Kidman as scientist Rosalind Franklin, earning critical acclaim for its portrayal of the often-overlooked role Franklin played in the discovery of DNA’s structure. Kidman’s return to the London stage was a significant draw.
  2. “Farinelli and the King” at the Duke of York’s Theatre featured Mark Rylance as King Philippe V of Spain. This historical drama with live baroque music provided a captivating and unique theatrical experience, blending history and music seamlessly.

Notable Productions Outside the West End

  1. National Theatre:
    • “Our Country’s Good”, directed by Nadia Fall, revisited Timberlake Wertenbaker’s powerful play about a group of convicts staging a play in 18th-century Australia. This production highlighted themes of redemption and the transformative power of theatre.
    • “People, Places & Things” by Duncan Macmillan, starring Denise Gough, was a standout, delivering a raw and realistic portrayal of addiction and recovery. Gough’s performance was particularly lauded for its intensity and authenticity.
  2. Almeida Theatre:
    • The Almeida continued to push the envelope with “Bakkhai”, a bold reimagining of Euripides’ tragedy, starring Ben Whishaw and Bertie Carvel. The production combined classical text with contemporary staging, creating a visceral and engaging experience.

Regional Theatre Highlights

Chichester Festival Theatre

  • “Gypsy”, starring Imelda Staunton, continued its successful run before transferring to the West End. Staunton’s powerful performance as Mama Rose received widespread acclaim, and the production was celebrated for its vibrant and dynamic staging.

Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester

  • “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller, directed by Caroline Steinbeis, offered a gripping and intense interpretation of the classic play about the Salem witch trials. The production’s modern elements and strong performances brought renewed relevance to Miller’s work.

Unique Theatrical Events

Immersive Theatre

  1. Punchdrunk’s “Sleep No More”:
    • Punchdrunk, known for its immersive theatre experiences, continued to engage audiences with “Sleep No More”. This production, loosely based on Shakespeare’s “Macbeth”, invited audiences to wander through a multi-story building, exploring various scenes and interacting with the environment, creating a deeply personal and unique experience for each attendee.
  2. “Alice’s Adventures Underground”:
    • Held in the Vaults beneath Waterloo Station, “Alice’s Adventures Underground” provided 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 Mental Health:
    • Theatre in September 2015 continued to address important social issues, with a notable focus on mental health. Productions like “People, Places & Things” highlighted the struggles of addiction and recovery, aiming to destigmatize mental health issues through powerful storytelling.
  2. Diversity and Inclusion:
    • There was an ongoing effort to increase diversity and inclusion in theatre, both in terms of casting and the stories being told. The Bush Theatre and Theatre Royal Stratford East were among the venues championing new works by diverse playwrights, reflecting a broader range of experiences and perspectives.

Festivals and Special Events

  1. Totally Thames Festival:
    • The Totally Thames Festival featured a variety of performances along the River Thames, including site-specific theatre, live music, and art installations. This festival celebrated the cultural significance of the river and provided unique, often free, theatrical experiences to the public.

In conclusion, September 2015 was a vibrant and dynamic month for theatre in London and the UK. The blend of high-profile West End productions, innovative regional theatre, and unique immersive experiences showcased the diversity and creativity of the British theatre scene. With a focus on social issues, inclusivity, and interactive performances, the theatre in September 2015 continued to push boundaries and engage audiences in new and exciting ways.

September 2015 News, Reviews & Interviews

Wyrd Sisters Much Ado About Nothing at Drayton Arms Theatre
Love Me Tender at The Churchill Theatre – Review
West End Stars Endorse and Open New Performing Arts School in Birmingham
Cordial Productions present Macbeth at the Lion and Unicorn Theatre
USHERS: The Front of House Musical transferring to the Arts Theatre
Flare Path at Richmond Theatre London – Review
The Ever Hopefull Season of Plays at Frederick’s Place London
Hatched ‘n’ Dispatched at Park Theatre – Review
ABSENT at Shoreditch Town Hall – Review
Charlie and The Chocolate Factory Tickets
We Just Keep Going at The Hen and Chickens Theatre – Review
CLOSE TO YOU Bacharach Reimagined at the Criterion Theatre
Cassidy Janson and Diane Keen join cast Beautiful The Carole King Musical
1938 Hitler Takes Vienna at the Brockley Jack Studio Theatre
Full casting announced for Sheffield Theatre’s SHOW BOAT
Review of PARADE at London Theatre Workshop
VOLTA International Festival at The Arcola Theatre – Review
The Man Who Had All The Luck at The King’s Head Theatre – Review
The Late Henry Moss at Southwark Playhouse – Review
National Youth Dance Company’s Apex Rising
The Promise at The White Bear Theatre – Review
Oresteia: one of the greatest theatrical productions of the year
New cast members in roles of Michael and Debbie
Tooting Arts Club revive Barbarians by Barrie Keeffe
FABULISM Ovalhouse’s Autumn Season
McQueen at the Theatre Royal Haymarket – Review
Dusty at The Charing Cross Theatre – Review
The King’s Head Theatre present their October season
Benedict Cumberbatch stars in Hamlet at The Barbican
AIDA ON SYDNEY HARBOUR – Review
European Premiere of Harvey Fierstein’s CASA VALENTINA
5 Star Avenue Q at The Churchill Theatre Bromley
Avenue Q: one of the best and funniest nights at a theatre…
Tonight I’m Gonna Be The New Me at Soho Theatre
Reckless by Rebecca Rogers at The Rose Playhouse
Never Ending Night: post-apocalyptic immersive theatre experience
Review of And Then Come The Nightjars at Theatre503
English National Ballet’s Lest We Forget at Sadler’s Wells
Nick Moran and Michael McKell to star in ROARING TRADE at Park Theatre
The Christians at the Gate Theatre – Review
Beautiful The Carole King Musical is packed full of familiar tunes
Matilda The Musical Review | Cambridge Theatre London
Clint Dyer and Carolina Main named as cast of Valhalla at Theatre 503
CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG full cast announced…
Cast images from Lord of the Flies ahead of UK Tour
London Horror Festival 2015 in collaboration with the Etcetera Theatre
Salome by Oscar Wilde at The Space
Goodnight Mr Tom at Duke of York’s Theatre and Tour
TRASH By Arthur Jolly at Rosemary Branch Theatre
Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company Announces Live Cinema Broadcasts
Full cast and further tour dates for Matthew Bourne’s SLEEPING BEAUTY
Lela & Co by Cordelia Lynn at The Royal Court Theatre
only forever at The Hope Theatre – an amazing piece of theatre
Metta Theatre’s 5 star MOUTHFUL at Trafalgar Studios
Side by Side by Sondheim at Brockley Jack Studio Theatre
Lisa O’Hare releases charity single written by composers Daniel and Laura Curtis
Review of A BRIMFUL OF ASHA at The Tricycle Theatre
A Midsummer Night’s Dream at The Tea House Theatre
OOMPA-LOOMPAS on the loose to celebrate ROALD DAHL DAY
The Bread and Roses Theatre Company present Bloodletting
Review of See What I Wanna See at Jermyn Street Theatre
Ward of The Manor St James Theatre Festival of Ukrainian Culture
The Divided Laing or The Two Ronnies by Patrick Marmion at Arcola Theatre
New cast of Sunny Afternoon start on 5th October 2015
DOGFIGHT in CONCERT starring Jamie Muscato and Laura Jane Matthewson
5 star Ushers The Front of House Musical at the Arts Theatre
Glenn McCrory’s West End debut in Conor McPherson’s THE BIRDS
Kinky Boots walks the West End boards in spectacular style
Prepare to fall head over heels with 5 star Kinky Boots
Get Your Sh*t Together at the Landor Theatre – Review
David Hunter, Rebecca Trehearn and Stephen Rahman-Hughes in workshop of MIDNIGHT
The Etienne Sisters at the Theatre Royal Stratford
Review of Future Conditional at The Old Vic Theatre
McQueen a tortured genius – Theatre Royal Haymarket
Puttin’ On The Ritz at the Churchill Theatre Bromley
Review of Marius von Mayenburg’s Martyr at the Unicorn Theatre
Jamie Lloyd to direct The Homecoming by Harold Pinter
Full casting announced for GUYS AND DOLLS at the Savoy Theatre
Review of Reckless at The Rose Playhouse
War Horse UK Tour Tickets 2017-2019
The Little Bulb Theatre Company’s Orpheus – Review
Different Class at Etcetera Theatre – Review
Casa Valentina at Southwark Playhouse
In a world of pure imagination… with Charlie and The Chocolate Factory
Absorbing from start to finish – Hangmen at The Royal Court
My Mocking Happiness and Life’s Little Nothings
The White Feather at the Union Theatre
Review of Doughnut Productions’ The Right Path
Review of Theatre N16’s Bottleneck and Private Peaceful
Interview with Scott Maslen starring as Abanazar in Aladdin
Panto Launch Time for Aladdin at Bromley’s Churchill Theatre
Frances Mayhew to step down as artistic director – Wilton’s Music Hall
Christopher Biggins West End Heroes 2015 photocall…
The Bread and Roses Theatre announces Autumn Season 2015
Glenn Close stars as Norma Desmond in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Sunset Boulevard
Steel Magnolias at Queen’s Theatre Hornchurch – Review
Mr Foote’s Other Leg at Hampstead Theatre – Review
Review of OCTAGON at The Arcola Theatre
The Rat Pack Live returns To The Arts Theatre
Cast announced for GIGI by Colette and Anita Loos
TITUS ANDRONICUS at New Wimbledon Theatre
Leslie Bricusse writing Sammy Davis Jr musical SAMMY for London premiere
Full cast announced for JACK AND THE BEANSTALK
Cream Pie at Camden People’s Theatre
Dinner with Saddam at The Menier Chocolate Factory – Review
Les Miserables 30th Anniversary Gala Performance
Phoenix Rising D H Lawrence Son & Lover – Review
The Sweethearts at Finborough Theatre – Review
Billy Elliot The Musical UK and Ireland Tour Dates Announced
Crex Theatre’s production of The Kitchen Sink – Review
Absorbing production of Macbeth at The Lion and Unicorn Theatre
Arms and the Man in the Judi Dench Playhouse Questors Theatre
Moving and genuine EVENTIDE at Arcola Theatre – Review
Never Ending Night at The Vaults – Review
The Birds at The Lounge Leicester Square Theatre
The Misbegotten Hope of the Dirty Bird at the Courtyard Theatre
Sandra Dickinson and Christopher Tester in workshop…
Wild Card Botis Seva’s InNoForm at Sadler’s Wells – Review
Broadway stars recording new songs by Daniel and Laura Curtis
Ionesco’s The Lesson at The Drayton Arms Theatre
The Wintershall Nativity at the Wintershall Estate in Surrey
Q and A with Ellie Piercy from the cast of Eventide
Empty Vessels at Rosemary Branch Theatre – Review
Genesis 生长 at Sadler’s Wells – Review
New musical Ireland’s Call in 2016 UK Tour
PIXIE LOTT as Holly Golightly – Breakfast at Tiffany’s
PURE IMAGINATION: The Songs of Leslie Bricusse – Review
London debut for A PRAYER at The Hen & Chickens Theatre Bar
5-star Showstopper! The Improvised Musical – Review
Review of Break Point Theatre’s Flush at the Etcetera Theatre
Review of Hecuba at RSC Swan Theatre
Remarkable Showstopper! The Improvised Musical
New Production Images for LES MISÉRABLES

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