Archive for March, 2012


Greenwich and Docklands Festival – Seriously Spectacular Theatre

Friday, 30 March, 2012

21 – 30 June 2012

Greenwich and Docklands Festival this year is promising some seriously spectacular theatre.

Feel the earth move and the sky explode in Prometheus Awakes; experience the true reality of nature and existence in Ted Hughes’ mythic Crow poems brought to life by the world renowned Handspring Puppet Company and follow Motor Show‘s wild and fragile dance spectacle of young love.

Greenwich Fair is part of the Festival

There is a packed programme of free outdoor arts too at Greenwich Fair and Dancing City.

Tower Hamlets and Woolwich will host beautiful and surprising night-time spectaculars promising unforgettable audience experiences.

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Late night thoughts: The Lonely One at the Little Angel

Friday, 30 March, 2012

Dotted Line Theatre’s production is based on an excerpt from a novel by Ray Bradbury. Its plot is grounded in small town America, but in a more innocent era perhaps, although the events around this small town, where murders are being committed by a shadowy figure known as ‘The Lonely One’ certainly do something to replace innocence with an atmosphere that is at times close to surreal.

On the surface, everything is fine. Below is a seething morass of issues. Does Lavinia’s delight in the warm air brushing her thighs denote some sexual undercurrent? She is after all, an old maid at 36, unmarried and perhaps, despite all her self-assurance, lacking some aspect of adventure. Are the men somehow complicit in the brutality? Is the man in the drugstore who reveals Lavinia’s address to a stranger really innocent?

So, it’s no surprise that Lavinia and her friend drive themselves to the brink of hysteria as they go out to the cinema and then return, after dark.

This production is all about stagecraft. The set features some small cardboard houses, lit within and cleverly brought into relief, so that they look almost three-dimensional while actually being nearly flat. The houses open at various times to reveal something of what is going on within – drinks on a verandah, a man in a rocking chair, a smoker.

That is part of the stagecraft. The other aspect is the way that the actors add dimensions to their playing using small props and above all hand-held lights. Fireflies swarm in the air, a lifeless arm is lit to denote a body, and most cleverly of all, a hand flickering in front of a lantern conjures the atmosphere of the cinema where a Charlie Chaplin film is playing.

The effects are often surprising; sometimes they are beautiful. The plot itself will appeal to anyone who likes suspense and surprises too, which abound. And what is most surprising is the way that the plot can manipulate our feelings, even after a seemingly endless diet of horror films and plays. Perhaps that shows how suggestion often overpowers the blunt instrument of the obvious.

This one-hour production is both elegant and entertaining. Cleverness, wit and charm are its hallmarks.

Reviewed at the Little Angel Theatre, 29 March 2012

Cast: Jennie Fox – Francine; Katie Pattinson – Lavinia; Sophie Steel – Elizabeth; Charlie Tighe – Men

Director – Rachel Warr; Designers – Tom Crame and Rachel Warr; Sound – Ben Oliver; Costume – Lexie Lambert; Lighting support – Dan Saggars; Stage management – Zoe Sofair; Trainee producer – Alex Green

(c) michael spring


Anastasia returns to Pushkin House

Thursday, 29 March, 2012

Anastasia, a fantasy about the Romanovs and their fate following the Russian revolution, returns to Pushkin House from Mon 26th March to Sat 21st April 2012. Read our review of the original Pushkin House production here:


Highlights of the Pleasance Spring Season

Wednesday, 28 March, 2012

The Pleasance in Islington has announced its Spring Season. These are some of the shows.

21st March – 8th April
A twisted celebration of what it means to be an American citizen, Assassins brings to life the men and women who have attempted or succeeded in assassinating American Presidents, from Lincoln to Ronald Reagan, and asks what made them believe that murder might be the only option to settle a variety of obscure motives.

Humphrey Ker’s Family Variety Half-Hour
30th March & 19th April
A brand new show of sketch, song and character comedy, from Fosters Comedy Award Best Newcomer: Humphrey Ker and special guests.

Matilda, Mike & Dan
3rd April – 7th April
A dark new comedy from Professional Help Productions that explores friendship, love, sex and power, and what happens when the rules of the games we play, change. Written by Rebecca Windsor and Directed by Antony Law, ‘Matilda, Mike & Dan’ follows the relationship of two men and the effects a woman and a take away can have in just one night.

The Overcoat
17th April – 28th April
After finding himself in financial dire straits, a sympathetic but inconspicuous bank clerk, believes his happiness lies in a brand new overcoat. This fateful decision sparks a journey through the jungle of modern work life and global economy meeting larger-than-life characters along the way; eventually questioning his own existence.

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Call for Entries – 20th Raindance Film Festival

Wednesday, 28 March, 2012

London, 26 September – 7 October 2012

The Raindance Film Festival is listed by Variety as one of the world’s top 50 ‘unmissable film festivals’.

Raindance aims to nurture, support and promote independent films and filmmakers from the UK and around the world.

Submit your film to the 20th Raindance Film Festival (26 September-7 October 2012).  You have until 24th June 2012 to submit. Rules and Information at the Raindance web site:


Brighton Fringe: brochure published

Tuesday, 27 March, 2012

2012 brochure highlights 681 events, 193 venues

In May, one of Britain’s favourite seaside cities hosts a huge variety of cultural events, from theatre to visual art, from dance to comedy, and from music to film. Brighton Fringe 2012 runs 5 May – 27 May, with headline sponsors Citroen involved for a second year.

More of everything seems to be the message: more international involvement, more venues, more industry events. Site specific events include a production of Noel Coward’s Private Lives at the Grand Hotel, and The Racecourse Project in which companies and writers respond to Brighton racecourse, taking audiences through turnstile, tipster and tote. Fringe City, Brighton’s free outdoor showcase also returns in the New Road area.

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Fierce Festival begins in Birmingham

Monday, 26 March, 2012

An invitation to re-imagine the city

Fierce Festival, Birmingham’s international festival of live art returns began last week and runs through Easter, with a promised cocktail of interventions, theatre, parties, gigs, installations, talks, workshops and feasting.

‘Getting involved’ is at the heart of this festival. Mehmet Sander’s IMPACT, Ron Athey’s Gifts of The Spirit and Mette Edvardsen’s Time Has Fallen Asleep in the Afternoon Sunshine involve volunteer non-professional performers collaborating with international artists to create shows.

On the 31st March 2012 the Dachshund UN will take place for the first time in the UK; sausage dogs from the West Midlands and beyond will represent the delegates of each country in the United Nations General Assembly.

There are artists from the US, Norway, Ireland, Turkey, Spain and South Africa and some fantastic new sites for works including the legendary Q-Club (a converted cathedral) for the closing weekend party and Ann Liv Young’s Mermaid Show.

Since 2009, Laura McDermott and Harun Morrison have been joint artistic directors of Fierce Festival. The duo have introduced a new ‘slow burn’ programming model centred around a core group of artists called the Fierce Festival Caravan of Artists. Fierce Festival was founded in 1998 by Mark Ball.

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