For amateur theatre... in-print, online, community
Into the Woods

Into the Woods

With music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and the book by James Lapine, ‘Into The Woods’ premiered on Broadway in 1987 and has received 10 Tony Awards and 6 Olivier Awards. The 2014 film of the same name is an adaptation for screen from the original book by James Lapine and featuring the music of Stephen Sondheim.

Northern Ireland Opera are delighted to be bringing one of Stephen Sondheim’s most loved musicals to Belfast. ‘Into the Woods’ promises to be a real highlight for audiences in 2022: a wonderfully intriguing show that brings together and intertwines some of the beloved Brothers Grimm fairy tales, such as Little Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, Jack and the Bean Stalk and Rapunzel, to ask what might have happened before “Once upon a time” and after “Happily ever after”.

This locally built and created musical will be presented at the Lyric Theatre, featuring some of Northern Ireland’s greatest musical and creative talent. We are thrilled to be able to introduce Belfast to some wonderful new local talent while at the same time to be able to showcase some of the West End’s finest performers, some originally from NI and making their debut performances back home.’

‘Into The Woods’ follows three highly successful productions each February by Northern Ireland Opera at the Lyric: ‘The Threepenny Opera’ in 2018, ‘Sweeney Todd’ in 2019 and ‘Kiss Me, Kate’ in 2020. We look forward to welcoming audiences old and new to this latest production, opening on 9th February 2022.

A final note from the Director, Cameron Menzies about the legendary composer and lyricist of ‘Into The Woods’, Stephen Sondheim, whose recent loss is an incalculable one to music and to theatre: “We will endeavour to create a wonderful tribute to one of the greatest musical theatre composer/lyricists of all time. There is truly now a…Giant in the Sky.’’

Hex

Hex

The true story of the bad fairy.

Deep in the wood, a lonely fairy longs for someone to bless.

When she is summoned to the palace to help the princess sleep, her dream turns into a nightmare and her blessing becomes a curse.

Soon, she is plunged into a frantic, hundred-year quest to somehow make everything right.

Rosalie Craig plays the fairy in this vividly original retelling of Sleeping Beauty: a mythic, big-hearted new musical that goes beyond the waking kiss.

Rufus Norris directs with music by Jim Fortune, book by Tanya Ronder, designs by Katrina Lindsay and choreography by Jade Hackett.

Recommended for ages 8+

Swan Song

Swan Song

Following its critically acclaimed sell-out at Liverpool Theatre Festival and Northern tour, Swan Song, a revised comedy by acclaimed playwright Jonathan Harvey, is heading to London this month for one week only.

Swan Song, a one-man play starring acclaimed stage and screen star Andrew Lancel, directed by BAFTA award-winning director Noreen Kershaw and produced by Bill Elms.

The play will open at London’s Turbine Theatre for seven performances from Monday 29 November to Saturday 4 December.

The show also performs pre-London dates at The Coro in Ulverston on Friday 19 – Saturday 20 November, a perfect venue due to The Lakes playing an important part within the play.

Swan Song was first staged at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1997, before transferring to Hampstead Theatre with award-winning comedy actress Rebecca Front in the lead role. Jonathan Harvey adapted the 70-minute play specially for Andrew Lancel at Liverpool Theatre Festival to play the solo role of Dave Titswell.

Producer and the artistic director of Liverpool Theatre Festival, Bill Elms said: “Swan Song is a funny, clever and inspiring production which opened the inaugural Liverpool Theatre Festival.  Andrew Lancel, Jonathan Harvey, and Noreen Kershaw are an incredible blend of creative talent, and the play went down a storm in Liverpool and on its Northern tour. People are excited for the return of live theatre – and I am excited to see the show in front of London audiences.”

Swan Song is a bittersweet comedy written by Jonathan Harvey. Set in Liverpool, it is 1997, the world is changing and in the staff room, gay forty-something, English teacher Dave Titswell finds that not all change is welcome. He has a crush, but life, love, and work are never straight forward for Dave. Will a school trip to The Lakes change things for the better, or make things decidedly worse? Swan Song will make audiences laugh, but equally pull at the heartstrings.

Andrew Lancel is well established on the national theatre scene, he is also widely known for his television roles as DI Neil Manson in The Bill and super-villain Frank Foster in Coronation Street. He was three times nominated for a national TV award and won a British Soap Award in 2012 for Coronation Street. He has twice played Beatles’ manager Brian Epstein on stage to great critical acclaim, first in Epstein – The Man Who Made The Beatles (also produced by Bill Elms) which premiered in Liverpool and went on to play London’s West End, as well as playing Epstein in the national tour of Cilla The Musical, Bill Kenwright’s stage adaptation of the TV series written by Jeff Pope. He recently appeared in the Royal Variety Show and Casualty for BBC and has just finished filming The Thief, His Wife And The Canoe for ITV.

Andrew Lancel commented: “I’m thrilled to be finally taking this wonderful play to London. We are a small team but this play just keeps growing and it’s a constant buzz to do. It’s funny, moving and strangely (and sadly) topical. I can’t wait to see London’s reaction to Dave Titswell.”

Award-winning Jonathan Harvey’s credits include Gimme Gimme Gimme; Murder Most Horrid; Coronation Street; Call The Midwife; and Tracey Ullman’s Show. His plays include Beautiful Thing, Corrie, Canary, Hushabye Mountain, Babies, Boom Bang A Bang’ and Rupert Street Lonely Hearts Club. He also wrote the 2001 stage musical Closer to Heaven with the Pet Shop Boys and its sequel Muzik. He has won the John Whiting Award, the George Devine Award, two Manchester Evening News Awards, an Evening Standard Award, two British Soap Awards and a Writers Guild of Great Britain Award.

Jonathan added: “Swan Song is a comedy about a teacher who’s trying to hold onto his dignity while the education system crumbles around him – and I’m thrilled Andrew is playing Dave. I’m delighted to also be working with Noreen again, she directed many of my Corrie scripts and Call The Midwife. As the original Shirley Valentine, Noreen definitely knows a thing or two about one person shows.”

Noreen Kershaw’s directing credits include Our Girl, Moving On, Scott & Bailey, Emmerdale, Shameless, Heartbeat and Coronation Street. She is also known for acting in Life On Mars, Brookside, and Watching. Noreen also originated the title role of Willy Russell’s Shirley Valentine at Liverpool’s Everyman Theatre.

Matilda the Musical

Matilda the Musical

Pic: Imogen Cole as Matilda in the RSC’s Matilda The Musical. All photos: Manuel-Harlan


As part of the 10th birthday celebrations for the Royal Shakespeare Company’s Matilda The Musical at the Cambridge Theatre, the show has released new production photography of the London cast. There will also be a special performance as part of this year’s Royal Variety Performance to mark 10 years since the London opening, which will air this December on ITV.

This iconic British musical has won 99 international awards including 24 for Best Musical and has been seen by more than 10 million people across more than 90 cities worldwide. The production is now booking through to 29 May 2022 for individuals, and through to 16 December 2022 for groups and schools. For further information visit www.matildathemusical.com.

A tonic for audiences of all ages, this anarchic production about a strong and determined heroine with a vivid imagination has welcomed almost 4 million audience members in London. Adapted from the much-loved Roald Dahl book and commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, the musical premiered at the RSC’s Stratford-upon-Avon home in 2010, before transferring to the West End in October 2011, where it opened to rave reviews.

Matilda The Musical swept the board at the 2012 Olivier Awards, with a record-breaking seven awards, and won four Tony Awards and a Tony Honor for Excellence in the Theater for the four girls sharing the title role on Broadway. It has since toured North America, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and Ireland, South Africa and China and played its first non-English language production in Seoul, South Korea in 2018/19.  Matilda The Musical will also play the Netherlands for the first time, translated into Dutch for a run at the Oude Luxor Theater Rotterdam. Tickets are now on sale for Matilda De Musical in Rotterdam at matilda-demusical.nl

Matilda The Musical is the story of an extraordinary little girl who, armed with a vivid imagination and a sharp mind, dares to take a stand, and change her own destiny.

Written by Dennis Kelly, with music and lyrics by Tim Minchin and developed and directed by Matthew Warchus, the theatre production is designed by Rob Howell, with choreography by Peter Darling, orchestrations, additional music and musical supervision by Christopher Nightingale, lighting by Hugh Vanstone, sound by Simon Baker and the special effects and illusions are by Paul Kieve.

With the upcoming film adaptation from the same core creative team as the theatre production (direction by Matthew Warchus, adapted for the screen by Dennis Kelly, with the music and lyrics of Tim Minchin), Roald Dahl’s themes of bravery and standing up for what you believe in will continue to inspire young audiences all over the world. Produced by Tim Bevan and Eric Fellner of Working Title, Jon Finn, and Luke Kelly of The Roald Dahl Story Company. Sony Pictures U.K. and Tristar Pictures will release Matilda across the U.K. and Ireland exclusively in cinemas on 2nd December 2022 for Christmas. Netflix will release the film in the rest of the world in December 2022.

Matilda The Musical is produced by Executive Producers Denise Wood and Griselda Yorke for the Royal Shakespeare Company.  The production was developed with the support of Jeanie O’Hare and the RSC Literary Department.

André Ptaszynski had worked as one of the Executive Producers of the production from 2011 until his untimely death in 2020.  He is much missed by all his colleagues.


https://uk.matildathemusical.com/www.matildathemusical.com

Twitter: @MatildaMusical
Facebook: @MatildaTheMusical
Instagram: @MatildaTheMusical

-