Looking back at theatre in April

Just like that, another month has been and gone, and another theatre round-up is on our screens

Looking back at theatre in April

In recent weeks, climate change has become the focus of many people’s attention due to the work of the Extinction Rebellion, but how many of you have heard about the ‘Culture Declares Emergency’ campaign? Did you join in with a campaign? Do you agree with the work of the Extinction Rebellion, or do you think there are better ways to be heard?

In other news, I finally saw Emilia the other night, and I cannot recommend it enough. No matter who you are, how you identify or where you come from, this show will amaze you. It is so wonderfully staged and brilliantly acted (even though I am biased - one of my friends plays Emilia 1) and is such an important topic right now. 

The clear message for me: don’t underestimate how powerful your voice can be.

Olivier Awards 2019


Come From Away, Company and The Inheritance lead this year’s awards with four wins each.

The Inheritance won best new play, best actor in a play and best director, whilst Come From Away won best new musical and Company won best musical revival. The Special Award this year went to Matthew Bourne. The awards were presented by Jason Manford at the Royal Albert Hall on April 7th. What did you think? Did your favourite win?

Source: Official London Theatre

Actor injured on stage mid-production at Shakespeare’s Globe


This month in theatre did not start well after actor Shobna Gulati was knocked out during a performance of Richard II on 28 March. An audience member reported ‘something fell from the ceiling, hitting Gulati on the head and knocking her out. Representatives from the Globe reported that she was at home recovering well, but that three shows were cancelled following the injury. An investigation was underway as of 1 April, but any further announcements have yet to be made.

This production of Richard II in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse is the first Shakespeare play on a major UK stage to be performed entirely by a cast of black and ethnic minority women.

Source: Standard

Crowdfunding campaign for Emilia raises over £1600

b34d995a9392752a98900726cff96cbe93e7bb86.jpgA crowdfunding campaign was set up at the beginning of April to allow young women to see Emilia in the West End. As of 3 April, the campaign had raised enough money to send 60 young women to see the show, which is running at the Vaudeville Theatre in London.

The campaign was established by videographer Ben Hewis, who was inspired to help young women see the show after he saw it himself. He was amazed at how well the campaign did, acknowledging Twitter helped the campaign to spread, and he has been working with several organisations to make sure the tickets go to young women who need and can benefit from them the most.

Source: The Ticketing Business

Givenchy cause uproar after launching unpaid voice-over competition

8ce3b3120a4addd65dcbd380d3326ffb324011d7.jpgFashion house Givenchy has been accused of ‘exploiting the public’ and ‘blatant disregard’ for the voice-over industry. They started a campaign asking members of the public to send in a recording of themselves for the chance to be ‘the next voice of Givenchy’. The terms and conditions of the competition stated that participation was free and entrants couldn’t claim financial compensation in any form.

Equity condemned this competition, angry that once again a free competition was being used in place of paying a voice-over artist to do the work. Givenchy later clarified over Twitter that the competition was not commercial and there was no media buy on this project. This comes just weeks after Virgin Trains was rebuked for a similar campaign to record the voice-overs in the train toilets.

Source: The Stage

UK branch of intimacy directors international set up


An American Organisation training intimacy directors for the entertainment industry has established a UK branch and announced plans for the first UK-based training courses focused on choreographing sexual scenes both for theatre and film.

Intimacy directors are trained individuals who are brought into production during the rehearsal process to promote the best practices around intimate scenes. The aim of this is to ensure these scenes can accurately depict the storyline of the character, whilst respecting the ‘physical and psychological safety’ of the actors involved. As well as this, new intimacy guidelines have been submitted to Equity and are under review.

Source: The Stage

Shakespeare’s London home discovered


The location of Shakespeare’s London home has been revealed after new research by Geoffrey Marsh, director of the theatre and performance department at the V&A. He has found that Shakespeare’s London residency was part of a cluster of properties overlooking the churchyard of St Helen’s in Bishopsgate.

Marsh looked at parish and tax records to help him pinpoint the location. He believes individuals were listed in tax records according to their addresses so by discovering Shakespeare’s neighbours, he was able to locate the area he would have lived in.

Source: BBC

Deaf actor makes RSC history


Charlotte Arrowsmith, a deaf actor, stepped into an understudy role in The Taming of the Shrew at the RSC, making her the first to understudy a hearing role using British Sign Language. The cast and crew adjusted to the usually spoken role, with the cast making an effort to add in signs and gestures into their lines to support her.

It is possible Arrowsmith is the first in the UK to understudy for a hearing principal.

Source: RSC

Theatre with ‘306-degree panoramic set’

3080a19d6ef14bbd35d269109d792ebf09ce9aef.jpgPlans have been announced for a new 1,100 seat theatre at London’s Royal Docks for a dutch musical set during the WWII. Dutch production company NEW Productions are building the venue purposefully for Soldier of Orange - The Musical. If planning permission is granted, NEW Productions aim to start building the venue by the end of this year, ahead of its planned opening in 2020. The staging - 1,100 audience seats set on a rotating platform, surrounded by a 360-degree set on which the actors will perform - has been created especially for this production, and has not been seen before in the UK.

The show is based on the autobiography of a Dutch resistance fighter and an RAF WWII pilot and was first performed in Amsterdam in 2010. It has been adapted into English for this production.

Source: Broadway World

Theatre employee jailed for two years over £273k theft

fdb7f671e4b9474ebdf9ae3708bff558a15fff8d.jpgA former employee of the Liverpool Epstein Theatre has been sent to prison for more than two years for stealing £273,000 from the theatre, leaving it on the brink of closure. Between April 2016 and December 2017, Kevin Lloyd stole hundreds of thousands of pounds from the theatre, spending the money on Apple devices, a holiday to the US, TVs and games consoles, as well as spending a staggering £13,000 on Uber, Deliveroo and Just Eat. 

When the theatre fell into administration in December 2017, unusual payments were discovered, which Lloyd tried to blame on “spreadsheet errors”, but admitted to stealing the money when the police were called.

Source: Capital FM 

Header Image Credit: SOLT UK


Jo Nead

Jo Nead Contributor

I am a Hertfordshire based RADA graduate working in Stage Management. I like to knit, cook and travel and I can always be found in or talking about a theatre!

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