News

Maggie Macleod in Outlander, Brave the New World

Outlander is a television drama based upon author Diana Gabaldon’s historical time travel book series of the same name. Developed by Ronald D. Moore and produced by Sony Pictures and Left Bank Pictures for Starz, the show premiered on August 9, 2014. It stars Caitriona Balfe as Claire Randall, a married World War II nurse who in 1945 finds herself transported back to the Scotland of 1743, where she encounters the dashing Highland warrior Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan) and becomes embroiled in the Jacobite Risings. Brave the New World is the Season 4 of Outlander.

Robert Isaac Harker in My Dinner with Herve

Inspired by a real story, My Dinner With Hervé explores the unlikely friendship between struggling journalist Danny Tate (Jamie Dornan) and French actor Hervé Villechaize (Peter Dinklage), as it unfolds over one wild night in L.A. — an encounter that will have life-changing consequences for both.

 

Katie Lawrence in This Is The Greatest Show on a Nationwide Autumn Tour

Inspired by the imagination of PT Barnum, This Is The Greatest Show will tour the UK from 18th September to 4th November 2018 celebrating songs from some of the most loved musicals and movies of all time. A full list of tour dates follows below.

The live Greatest Show Band will take to the stage together with a cast of West End performers to evoke the passion and true spirit of the live Spectacular, with brilliant vocals, stunning costumes and a dazzling light show. Featuring songs from musical classics including The Greatest Showman, Moulin Rouge, Smash, The Music Man and Barnum, enjoy a memorable night out listening to tracks that stir the soul and fire the imagination.

Presented by Michael Courtney and Chris Moreno for Story Book Productions (Mad About The Musicals, Buddy and Hello Dolly), sit back and relax or stand up and dance to favourites including This Is Me, Never Enough, The Show Must Go On, Your Song, The Greatest Show and many more! As PT Barnum himself said “The Noblest Art is that of Making Others Happy”, so get ready to be ecstatic!

For more information: www.thisisthegreatestshow.com

Ivanhoe Norona in Ay, Carmela! by José Sanchis Sinisterra

Carmela and Paulino, a couple of travelling entertainers, mistakenly cross the border that separates the two opposing sides of the Spanish Civil War. Unexpectedly, they end up in “Belchite” – a square that the National Army has recently liberated. Both actors will be forced to improvise a theatrical evening to celebrate the defeat of the enemy. What begins as an entertaining tribute to the victors ends as a tragic comedy.

Freddie Cambanakis in The Muddy Choir

Nominated for Best Play for Young Audiences, Writers Guild of Great Britain Awards 2015

It is November 1917 and the Third Battle of Ypres is lurching towards its bloody conclusion. Young soldiers Will, Robbie and Jumbo are thrust into a landscape starkly different to the playing fields and estates of their Sunderland home.

United by their childhood oath “nee killing, anly singing”, Robbie dreams their music will be a ticket away from the front, but attracting the attention of their commanding officers may prove more dangerous than bullets and gas.

The Muddy Choir tells the story of three soldiers serving with the Durham Light Infantry. Including traditional wartime songs, the play is about childhood friends growing up in unbearable circumstances and the humanising power of music.

Stephanie Crome in Macbeth

Our talented Stephanie Crome on tour in Europe with Macbeth with TNT Theatre.

Our talented actor Nick Rizzini in the Colgate Commercial

Liam Burton in Spellz

Liam Burton having an amazing time touring  with the Talent Artistic Group in the ‘Spellz’.

Gilly Daniels in Michael McIntyre’s Big Show

Lovely Gilly in an amazing comic performance at Michael McIntyre’s Big Show.

Gilly Daniels & Joanna Kate Rodgers in The House of Bernarda Alba

The House of Bernarda Alba is part of Spanish playwright Federico Garcia Lorca’s Rural Trilogy, all of which rebelled against the norms of contemporary Spanish society.

The play is set in a small village in Spain, in the house of Bernarda Alba (if you hadn’t guessed), where she lives with her five daughters, maid Poncia, and several other servants.

The patriarch of the house is deceased, and all Bernarda’s daughters are unmarried; the oldest, Angustias, is 39, where the youngest, Adela, is 20. Their every action is monitored and restricted, their mother’s concern being that they conduct themselves as women of their class are expected to, regardless of their personal feelings or desires. When a potential suitor enters the lives of the daughters, everything rapidly disintegrates; and it wasn’t that great to begin with.

This is the first time I’ve seen Lorca’s work staged, and I couldn’t have asked for a better introduction. The Spanish Theatre Company’s aim is to present dramatised readings of all Lorca’s work; Bernarda is the last play he completed before he was assassinated in 1936.

The play is being performed in both Spanish and English (I went on an English night but brought a Spanish speaker with me. Just in case). I cannot fault any of the performers, the ensemble excelled. For me, the standout performance was that of Pia Laborde’s Amelia, one of Bernarda’s daughters, who delivered such a superbly natural performance as to be the scene-stealer, even when positioned at the rear of a group.

Gilly Daniels and Joanna Kate Rodgers was amazing in it.

‘Review

A right hook of a play held up on the shoulders of a clutch of powerful performers who give their all. – Everything Theatre’

Matthew Christmas in Jane Eyre – tour

Our amazing talented Matthew Christmas on tour in China, after a successful run of shows from Beijing to Nanjing to Suzhou… with Chapter house Theatre Company.

Ross Ali in Graeme of Thrones

Straight from its world tour success, critically acclaimed comedy parody Graeme of Thrones will transfer to London’s West End at the Charing Cross Theatre this autumn.

In this theatrical journey through the Seven Kingdoms, avid ‘Thrones’ fan Graeme just wants to recreate his favorite fantasy saga on stage. He doesn’t quite have the same budget as the TV show, or as many cast members, or the performance skills required, but he’s sure George RR Martin would approve – and that’s what matters. But when news reaches him that an influential theatrical producer is in the building, Graeme decides that this could be his big break – as long as nothing goes wrong…
After huge success in Chicago, Toronto, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney. Londoners can now discover a show which Time Out described as ‘a must for any Game Of Thrones fan’, and caused a woman in Norwich to vomit into her handbag, and was even banned from performing in Malaysia.
Created by a team of some of the UK’s top comedy writers, Graeme Of Thrones is an original and un-authorized parody on the international phenomenon that is Game Of Thrones. A treat for fans and an introduction for the unenlightened.
See it before the inevitable lawsuit!
“Funny, with spot-on gags and lo-fi props… These are writers and performers who live on the more inventive edge of the comedy scene … they deserve to be cherished.” ★★★★
The Times
“Stupidly enjoyable … their comic timing is superb”
The Stage
“A roller coaster ride of beheadings, incest and war”
The West Australian
“Obsessed with Game Of Thrones? This my… Jon-Snow-loving friends, is the show for you”
Cambridge Evening News
“A must-see for die-hard Game of Thrones fans as well as those who have yet to watch it.”
Love London Love Culture
“Even if you’ve never seen the TV show, the comedy still keeps you entertained” ★★★★★
Netmums
“There’s plenty to make a Throner titter here”
Metro
“Graeme of Thrones shows that it can be pretty funny if you’re Game” ★★★★
KCW Today

Gledys Ibarra & Gilly Daniels in Darwin’s Tortoise

Harriet claims to have been born in the early 1800s. That would make her 200 years old. Can you believe it? And who is she?

Like classic farce, this play, translated from the Spanish by David Johnston, asks you to accept an element of impossibility in an otherwise totally logical story. In this case you have to take on board the idea that “exponential mutation and extraordinary stimulation” would make it possible for a single individual of another species to catch up with Homo sapiens in its development.

There are other components of farce here too: an eavesdropping wife and the way the characters’ fear of discovery and attempts to hide what they are up to. Director Paula Paz doesn’t exploit them but concentrates on the entertainment provided by the lively text and its satirical questioning of what we take as history and the attitudes of scientists and historians.

Harriet turns out to be Charles Darwin’s tortoise, collected in the Galapagos in 1835 by the author of On the Origin of Species when she was still a youngster (though she claims she got aboard the Beagle to explore unaided and failed to get off before it sailed). The real one is probably in the Natural History Museum, deposited dead by Darwin in 1837, though one that died in Queensland Zoo in 2006 was long claimed to have been Darwin’s pet.

It isn’t her longevity that is amazing, though she’s lived through 11 popes, 35 American presidents, two world wars and seen both the October Revolution and Perestroika; it’s that she seems to have been present in key situations and that she developed the ability to walk on two legs, speak and pass as human when it suited, tucking her old lady’s clothing under her shell when she looked too Jewish for her safety, though she admits that Hitler’s rallies had her shouting ”Heil!” and burning books (including Charlie’s).

She turns up to put an historian right on what he’s got wrong. She corrects him on Dreyfus, tells him Stalin took against Trotsky because he didn’t understand his jokes, that Lenin’s last words were a warning against “the Seminarian”, remembers a pair of brothers close to Lenin, airbrushed from history by Stalin. She met Marx in London, in 1916 was in the trenches, knew the mud and slaughter, was turned into an artwork by Salvador Dali, saw the bombing of Guernica. Now she just wants to go home to the Galapagos. She’ll pass on her knowledge in return for helping her get there.

Gilly Daniels is an amazing Harriet. Her face takes on the appearance of a wizened, snub-nose tortoise, her bulging carapace is hidden beneath a shawl, a knitted cap reshapes her head. Malena Arcussi’s design is an aid to accomplished acting; even the way Gilly Daniels holds her hands becomes reptilian. One of the liveliest old ladies you’ve ever encountered, she can drop asleep in an instant she can suddenly go into suspended animation—it’s a reptilian characteristic. Miss Daniels has comparable talents: two minutes after curtain call she’s quite different and seems 170 years younger!

Philip Nightingale is the history professor, kindly but obsessed by his work. Becky Black plays the PhD student who became his wife, now getting fed up with a marriage in which work comes first. She sees Harriet’s commercial potential while Patrick McHugh’s medical doctor with a dubious reputation sees Harriet as an object for research that could put her life in danger.

These are well-matched performances that bring a light touch to a play that is intellectually intriguing and very entertaining. Quiz freaks will have the added enjoyment of ticking off their recognition of every situation Harriet refers to.

Juan Mayorga is a Spanish dramatist, little known in Britain though in 2002 his Way to Heaven about a Theresienstadt-like concentration camp was staged at the Royal Court.

The Spanish Theatre Company presents this production in English and in Spanish.

Stephanie Crome in Santa’s Little Helper

It’s nearly Christmas, and as the snow falls softly outside, young Albert Tuttle hops into bed. But he’s far too excited to sleep. Santa will be here in just a few hours!

As the clock strikes midnight, Albert is in for a very big surprise. For stuck up the chimney is a jolly old fellow with a fluffy white beard and big, round belly.

It’s Santa – and he needs Albert’s help!

Golem, Young Vic

This satirical swipe at the IPad generation is a witty collision of antiquated aesthetics, cultural influences and modern-day sensibilities, says Dominic Cavendish.

In October 1949, Aldous Huxley wrote a letter to George Orwell respectfully suggesting that his 1931 novel Brave New World better represented the future mankind had to fear than Nineteen Eighty-Four, which had been published that June. “Within the next generation,” he argued, “I believe that … the lust for power can be just as completely satisfied by suggesting people into loving their servitude as by flogging and kicking them into obedience.” He added: “The change will be brought about as a result of a felt need for increased efficiency.”

As much as I’m an admirer of Orwell, and North Korea serves as grim evidence that a wholly brutalising model of totalitarianism of the sort he described can persist, Huxley’s predictions are proving eerily attuned to our technological age. That line about “increased efficiency” could hardly better sum up the thrust of this visually astonishing, intellectually invigorating show from theatre company 1927, which taps our anxiety about being manipulated by shadowy corporations and agencies under the veil of progress and distils that into a delicious nectar.

Pioneers in a field of theatre that makes much of the competition look old-hat – integrating live performance with intricately crafted animation – Suzanne Andrade (director, writer) and Paul Barritt (film, animation, design) draw loosely here on the Golem myth. This is the Jewish folklore that suggested it was possible, using the right incantations, to turn a mound of clay into an animate slave-man.

In most “accounts”, the creature breaks free of his control and turns monstrous. The stroke of inspiration in this case is that instead of getting bigger and scarier, the Golem goes from singular oddity to mass-produced entity and experiences progressive stages of miniaturisation, speeding up and taking on ever more functionality, leaving his nominal owners vacuous husks of their former selves.

A witty collision of knowingly antiquated aesthetics, wide-ranging cultural influences and modern-day sensibilities, the 90-minute show takes a direct satirical swipe at the iPad generation but it always feels as though you’re being tickled into looking at the world anew rather than having your knuckles rapped.

he story has a child’s picture-book simplicity. It centres on a dweeby geek called Robert Robertson whose dreary days in the “Binary Back-Up Department”, where he and his co-workers ludicrously write down ones and zeroes in pencil, come to an end when an inventor pal sells him “a man made of clay who can only obey”.

The golem – initially a large, lovable, naked lunk – appears only in projected form. The human protagonists are played by the company of five (Esme Appleton, Rose Robinson, Shamira Turner, Will Close and Lillian Henley, the last two somehow also nipping in and out of the action to play drums and piano). Such is the finesse of the operation, though, that it’s as if flesh-and-blood characters are part and parcel of a two-dimensional urban landscape, while the animations are so detailed and tightly synchronised, they could be pushing out of the screen.

In my favourite passing touch, when Robert’s Granny thumps the table in annoyance a moth that’s flitting around the living room speeds off in panic. That’s just one of hundreds of moments that explain why it has taken four years to bring this show to fruition since The Animals and Children Took to the Streets.

1927 was the year of Fritz Lang’s dystopian masterpiece Metropolis, shades of which can be detected here. I don’t think it’s festive hyperbole to claim that at times this feels every bit as ground-breaking an achievement, or for that matter that it’s suitable for anyone of an age capable of being enslaved by a gadget.

Secret Cinema’s take on Moulin Rouge

Secret Cinema’s immersive shows, which brings a film set to life for an audience before offering them the chance to sit down and watch the show.
NKM are proud to have sourced a smashing role in this production.