The world of art has predicted, realised and moved through generations of dystopias, and we continue to create and dissect them now. We revel creatively in the pain and frustration, the chilling detail in our collective terror about the future. And why not…
I have a love-hate relationship with user reviews.
Like most people I will use Google to avoid disappointment when choosing a restaurant, Airbnb, hairdryer or hand drill BUT I do it reluctantly and would still rather a friend tell me what a great meal they had at this or that trendy new cafe.
Not many companies can boast of a residency at The Natural History Museum. But as of 2017 improvised comedy group Do Not Adjust Your Stage have been able to do exactly that. On top of this they can also boast (but they don’t!) of two other residencies running at The Free Association and The Nursery Theatre and all this only a few years after a group of students from Sheffield University decided to form a fledgling improv troupe. I got in contact with Helen O’Donnell, one of the current ensemble of eight, and asked what it is that draws the group to improvisation:
The festival, now in its second year, aims to present the works of bold and intrepid theatre companies whilst also providing a platform for local artists. At the helm is Anna Arthur, director of the festival with twenty five years’ worth of experience within the industry.
As we all well know, regardless of which sides of the many fences you may sit on, 2016 was a year of great social, political and cultural upheaval. As a result the world of theatre has been galvanised, producing a myriad of works to reflect and open the debate on issues such as gender equality, racial discrimination, political elitism and the current refugee crisis.
On their website, Old Sole Theatre Company refer to something they call the ‘theatrical spectrum’. This is something that most are aware of but still like to pretend does not exist; theatre’s overwhelming tendency to categorise and pigeonhole. This is a musical. This is a ‘straight’ play. This is mainstream. This is fringe. Looking to see a comedy? Will that be satirical, political, restoration, bedroom, surrealist, deadpan, farcical, physical or improvisational? There are frankly more genres in theatre than there are celebrity castings.
By Lara Levet, Partnerships Coordinator @ Stagedoor
Emma Rice became the Globe’s Artistic Director in April 2016, following Mark Rylance and Dominic Dromgoole. Yet, a few days ago, the theatre’s Board decided that Emma’s work didn’t correspond to their conception of the Globe’s mission. Her recent productions and their use of a brand new lighting rig and amp sound system were deemed to distract the Globe from its purpose:
“You’re a good dog, yes you are…yes you are…yes, shall we go and find those smelly refugees?” says the actor to the other actor; the one who’s jumping up and down wagging his imaginary tail and barking with delight.
Conceived, designed, created, passed from hand to hand, rebuilt, attacked, rebuilt, renamed, reimagined, redefined over 200 incredible years, The Old Vic still stands on The Cut; a pillar in London’s rich theatrical history.
By Evi Triantafyllides, Head of Community & Social
Mid-nineties. A duo whose passion and craze for the theatre kept them going through thick and thin, no matter what. Your typical, charming, pub theatre in the heart of Camden, where the nights were always filled with excitement and dare. And then, of course, the annual long trips away from home, all the way to the Edinburgh Fringe, for a much anticipated month of theatre extravaganza.
The British Arts Council have had over £100m slashed from their budget. The BBC are spending £800m less per year and restricting budgets for new drama. An increase in online streaming has put pressure on the film and TV industries and people are struggling to afford theatre and cinema tickets. Meanwhile, drama schools are spitting out thousands of hopeful graduates, year after year, into a crowded industry, hoping for success in what has forever been described as ‘not a proper career.’
By Evi Triantafyllides, Head of Community & Social
I still (and probably will always) remember my first proper fringe experience.
“Let’s try to find something different,” my dad had said.
“Let’s try to find a fringe performance.”
“But is it going to be good?” I recall wondering.
“No harm in trying” he encouraged.
Tis the season to be jolly… and tis the season to go watch a Christmas theatre performance with your family.
The Christmas tree is set up, the lights are lit up, the shopping is done, and now what’s left to do, is to find that special event that will bring you closer to your friends and family and will add an extra sparkle to your holiday season.
De-risking experimentation and the future of Discovery in theatre.
Currently, a fraction of new productions might get listed or reviewed online or in print, but when it comes to theatre, space is at a premium. With over 2000 performances every year, good shows still get missed.