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Juliet and Romeo

Juliet and Romeo

Intermission Youth Theatre presents one of the most famous love stories ever written in this unique re-imagining which premieres next month in London with the support of Sir Mark Rylance and a host of Hollywood heavyweights. This tale of feuding families and doomed romance transposes the star-crossed lovers’ lines – in a Shakespeare first – giving audiences a fresh lens in which to view this iconic tragedy.

Set in present-day London where the streets are tense with the global pandemic and the BLM movement, Juliet & Romeo interweaves 400-year-old verse with urban dialogue to give new relevance to the Shakespeare cannon. This new production follows on from the renowned theatre company’s previous critically acclaimed Shakespeare re-imaginings (Excluded, 2019) and (Othello: Remixed, 2018) and their collaborations with Shakespeare’s Globe (Shakespeare’s Walks and Shakespeare within the Abbey, 2018).

Intermission Youth’s Artistic Director Darren Raymond says: “Transposing all of Juliet’s lines with Romeo’s and vice versa does something really interesting to this ancient text and brings fresh insight into this story with its themes of love, revenge, relationships and what it means to be a woman in this world.”

Mark Rylance, Intermission Youth’s trustee comments: “There is so much dissection and political pressure around Shakespeare these days, I find it hard sometimes to connect with my old love for the plays themselves. But when I listen to the sincere vital playing of the young actors of Intermission Youth my love is reborn and I feel that old bard magic – that wonderful connection with the emotions and imagination of the genius of Shakespeare.”

On this production, he adds: “The gender change is a revelation and works beautifully. Only young people can do justice to Romeo and Juliet. Prepare to be moved to laughter and tears. This is authentic stuff.”

Rylance and a host of Hollywood stars including Whoopi Goldberg, Daniel Kaluuya, Andrew Garfield and David Oyelowo held masterclasses with Intermission’s cohort of young actors who have been cast in Juliet & Romeo. The 10-month drama programme uses theatre and Shakespeare to engage young people lacking in opportunity from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds.  The exclusive online sessions with the stars were held during the pandemic and gave the young actors invaluable insights, hope and advice on how best to navigate the industry as young artists from diverse backgrounds.

Juliet & Romeo will have a 4 week run from 10 November to 4 December. This will be the first Intermission Youth Theatre show staged in two years and The Chelsea Theatre’s inaugural long-run production since its major renovation and relaunch in early 2020.

Intermission Youth Theatre has been creating reimagined Shakespeare plays since 2008, exploring the Bard’s work through the eyes of a diverse company. This renowned organisation has a long-standing association with the RSC and Shakespeare’s Globe. Since inception, IYT has engaged with well over 6,000 young people across the UK through its programmes in schools, pupil referral units, young offender institutions and prisons. IYT Patrons also include Naomie Harris. Intermission Youth Theatre alumni include EastEnders regular Stevie Basaula, Dr Who’s Tosin Cole who is currently filming a series on the US.



Rehearsals start for Moira Buffini’s new play Manor at the National Theatre with Shaun Evans (Vigil, Endeavour) and Nancy Carroll (The Crown, Father Brown), directed by Fiona Buffini

Rehearsals have begun today for Manor, a timely new play by Moira Buffini (The Dig), that will open in the Lyttelton for previews on 16 November.

In this darkly comic play, a violent storm is brewing and Diana, played by Nancy Carroll (The Crown) is struggling to keep the roof on her rundown manor house. As the storm sweeps the coast, an explosive mix of people unexpectedly arrive in search of shelter including Ted Farrier, played by Shaun Evans (Vigil), a charismatic leader of a far-right organisation. Stranded together, this group of strangers must survive the weather – and each other.

Directed by Fiona Buffini (Dinner), the cast also includes Michele Austin as Judith Ripley, a nurse; Shaniqua Okwok as Dora Ripley, her daughter; Owen McDonnell as Pete Stuckley, Diana’s husband; Liadán Dunlea as Isis, Diana and Pete’s daughter; Amy Forrest as Ruth, Ted’s fiancé; David Hargreaves as Reverend Fiske; Peter Bray as Anton, Ted’s aide; and Edward Judge as Perry, a local.

The cast also includes Effie Ansah, Helen Barford, Chris Barritt, Mat Betteridge, Sophie Bradley, Sophie Cartman, Gillian Dean and Lewis Griffin.

Set and costume design by Lez Brotherston, lighting design by Jon Clark, composition and sound design by Jon Nicholls, video design by Nina Dunn, fight direction by Kate Waters. With associate set design by Louie Whitemore, assistant costume design by Diane Williams, associate sound design by Beth Duke and the staff director is Sepy Baghaei.

The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage

The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage

Casting is announced for Nicholas Hytner’s production of Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage to run at The Bridge in a new stage adaptation by Bryony Lavery.   Taking place twelve years before Pullman’s epic His Dark Materials trilogy, performances are from 2 December 2021 – 19 February 2022 with opening night on 14 December 2021.

The cast comprises Julie Atherton, Holly Atkins, Wendy Mae Brown, Pip Carter, Samuel Creasey, Ella Dacres, Ayesha Dharker, Heather Forster, Naomi Frederick, Richard James-Neale, John Light, Dearbhla Molloy, Tomi Ogbaro, Sid Sagar, Nick Sampson and Sky Yang. 

Co-Directors are Emily Burns and James Cousins with designs by Bob Crowley, puppetry by Barnaby Dixon, lighting design by Jon Clark, sound by Paul Arditti, video designs are by Luke Halls and Zakk Hein and music by Grant OldingJames Cousins is also movement director, Kate Waters is fight director and illusions are by Filipe Carvalho.

Two young people and their dæmons, with everything at stake, find themselves at the centre of a terrifying manhunt. In their care is a tiny child called Lyra Belacqua, and in that child lies the fate of the future. And as the waters rise around them, powerful adversaries conspire for mastery of Dust: salvation to some, the source of infinite corruption to others.

Julie Atherton’s theatre credits include The Grinning Man for Trafalgar Studios, Therese Raquin for Park and Finborough Theatres, Avenue Q at the Noel Coward Theatre, Mamma Mia! at the Prince Edward, Cinderella at the Lyric Hammersmith, Sister Act on National Tour, The Last Five Years at the Theatre Royal Haymarket and Ordinary Days for Trafalgar Studios.  Her television credits include EmbankmentDoctorsShakespeare and Hathaway, Sound of Music Live and Otherworld and film credits include The Amazing Maurice.

Holly Atkins’s theatre credits include Romeo and Juliet, and Helen at Shakespeare’s Globe, The Ballad Of Crazy Paola at the Arcola, Scarborough at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Royal Court and Summer Begins at Southwark Playhouse. Her television credits include HomeKing GaryThis CountryIn The Long Run, WitlessCall The MidwifeWallanderCriminal JusticeThe Sarah Jane AdventuresCity LightsWhere the Heart isCasualtyThe ProjectKiss Me Kate and EastEnders.

Wendy Mae Brown’s theatre credits include To Kill a Mockingbird for Theatr Clwyd, The Lorax for The Old Vic, White Christmas for Curve Theatre, Leicester, Kiss Me Kate for The Old Vic and Chichester Festival Theatre, Ghost The Musical on the UK Tour and Australian Tour and South Pacific for Kilworth House. Her television credits include River, Man Down, 4 Weddings and a Funeral, Porters, 40 North and Casualty. Her film credits include Last Chance Harvey and Blackbeard the Pirate.

Pip Carter’s credits for the National Theatre include Consent, Platonov (also for Chichester Festival Theatre), The Cherry OrchardThe White GuardGethsemane, Never So Good and Present Laughter. Carter’s other theatre credits include Mood Music for The Old Vic, The Dark Earth and The Light Sky for the Almeida Theatre, Posh for the Royal Court and Duke of York’s Theatre, Tiger Country for Hampstead Theatre and Joseph K for the Gate Theatre. His television credits include The IrregularsIndustryThe CrownNew WorldsFleming and Henry IV.   His film credits include 1917DenialSpectre, The Eagle and Robin Hood.

Samuel Creasey graduated from ArtsEd in 2020 and is making his professional stage debut. His television credits include Inside Man.

Ayesha Dharker’s theatre credits include Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello and Arabian Nights for the Royal Shakespeare Company, Pericles and Ramayana for the National theatre, When the Crows Visit and White Teeth for the Kiln, Richard II for the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, The Island Nation for the Arcola Theatre, Anita and Me for Birmingham Rep and Theatre Royal Stratford East, The Dijnns of Eidgah and Disconnect for the Royal Court.  On film her credits include The Father, Star Wars, Attack of the Clones, The Terrorist, Outsourced and Anita and Me.  On television her credits include Holby City, Doctor Who, Indian Doctor and Coronation Street.

Ella Dacres graduated from the National Youth Theatre’s Rep Company in 2020 and is making her professional stage debut.

Heather Forster graduated from Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in 2019 and is making her professional stage debut. Her TV credits include Call The Midwife, Casualty and Doctors and she is set to appear in the upcoming film The Colour Room.

Naomi Frederick’s award-winning theatre credits are Time and the Conways for the Royal Exchange Theatre, Measure for Measure at the National Theatre and Three Sisters for the Theatre Royal Bath and on tour. Her other theatre credits include Agnes Colander for the Theatre Royal Bath and Jermyn Street TheatreWhite Teeth for the Kiln Theatre, The Mentor and Hobson’s Choice for the Theatre Royal Bath and in the West End, As You Like It and The Heresy of Love both for Shakespeare’s Globe, Made in Dagenham at the Adelphi Theatre, Kneehigh’s Brief Encounter at Birmingham Rep and in the West End, Emil and The Detectives, Henry IV and Mrs Affleck all for the National Theatre, The Winslow Boy for the Old Vic and The Tamer Tamed and As You Like It both for the Royal Shakespeare Company. Her television credits include BelgraviaEastEndersInspector George Gently, Casualty and Foyles War. On film her credits are Father Christmas Is BackThe Aftermath and The Children’s Act.

Richard James-Neale is an actor, director and movement director. He is also a practitioner for Frantic Assembly. His theatre credits include King Lear in the US on tour, Wings for the Young Vic, The Taming of the Shrew, Romeo and Juliet and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Shakespeare’s Globe, Watership Down for the Watermill Theatre, Peter Pan for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Othello for Frantic Assembly, Emil and the Detectives for the National Theatre and Pygmalion for the Old Vic. Feature films include The Batman and The Legend of Tarzan.

John Light’s more recent theatre credits include Uncle Vanya at the Theatre Royal Bath, Mary Stuart at the Duke of York’s Theatre, The Winter’s Tale and A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Shakespeare’s Globe, Three Days in the Country for the National Theatre, The Blackest Black for Hampstead Theatre, Julius Caesar for Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, Luise Miller for the Donmar Warehouse and The Master Builder at the Almeida Theatre.  On film his credits include Albert Nobbs, Scoop, Partition, Heights, The Lion in Winter and The Ascension.  On television his credits include Around the World in 80 Days, Agatha Raisin, Mars, Maigret, Silk and Father Brown.

Dearbhla Molloy’s more recent theatre credits include Uncle Vanya at the Harold Pinter Theatre, The Ferryman at the Royal Court, Gielgud and on Broadway, Moment for the Studio Theatre Washington, Afterplay and Give Me Your Hand for the Irish Repertory Theatre NYC, Richard III for the Almeida Theatre, Much Ado at the Guthrie Theatre Minneapolis, Outside Mullingar at Manhattan Theatre Club, Trojan Women at the Gate Theatre and And No More Shall We Part at Hampstead Theatre.  Previously she also was seen in Dancing at Lughnasa and A Touch of the Poet on Broadway, and Cripple of Inishmaan directed by Nicholas Hytner.  Film credits include Wild Mountain Thyme, No Reservations, Home for Christmas and The Damned United.  Television credits include Women on the Verge, Acceptable Risk, Scandal, Family Tree and Wallender.

Tomi Ogbaro’s theatre credits include Ruff Tuff for Cardboard Theatre, Seagulls for Octagon Theatre, An Act of Care for York Theatre Royal, A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre and Sweet Charity for Watermill Theatre. On television he has been seen in Temple and on film in Dao Hides, No Name and Three Trapped Mice.

Sid Sagar‘s theatre credits include The Invisible Hand at Kiln Theatre, The Starry Messenger at the Wyndham’s Theatre and Julius Caesar at the Bridge Theatre.  His television credits include Anatomy of a Scandal and Trying and film credits include Cruella and Dolittle.  As a writer, he is currently part of the London Library Emerging Writers Programme and his first short film is in development with BFI NETWORK.

Nick Sampson’s theatre credits include Anthony and CleopatraGreat BritainOthelloThe Captain of KopenickTimon of AthensCollaboratorsHamletLondon AssuranceDark MaterialsCyrano De Bergerac all for the National Theatre, Plenty for Chichester Festival Theatre, Julius Caesar for the Bridge Theatre, Ross for Chichester Theatre, The Gathered Leaves for The Park Theatre and King Charles III and Romance for the Almeida Theatre. His television credits include The Sister Boniface Mysteries, BelgraviaCatastropheDoc MartinWitness for the Prosecution and Genius. On film his credits include Lost City of ZAn EducationSiam Sunset and Madness of King George.

Sky Yang graduated from The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art in 2020 and is making his professional stage debut. His television credits include Holding and Halo. His film credits include Touchdown and Tomb Raider.

La Belle Sauvage was published in 2017 and was followed by The Secret Commonwealth in 2019. His Dark Materials, a ground-breaking production sixteen years ago directed by Hytner at the National Theatre, was also adapted for broadcast on BBC One in 2019 with the second series in 2020. Philip Pullman was knighted in 2019 for his services to literature.

For the stage Bryony Lavery’s work includes the internationally critically acclaimed Frozen as well as Stockholm, Kursk, Dirt and Beautiful Burnout. Last year her adaptation of David Walliams’ The Midnight Gang was presented at Chichester Festival Theatre where her previous adaptations The Hundred and One Dalmatians and A Christmas Carol were also seen.  The London premiere of her play Last Easter opened at the Orange Tree Theatre in July.

Straight Line Crazy

Straight Line Crazy

Ralph Fiennes will lead the cast in the world premiere of David Hare’s Straight Line Crazy to be directed by Nicholas Hytner at The Bridge.  Performances are from 16 March – 18 June 2022 with opening night on 23 March 2022.  Designs are by Bob CrowleyStraight Line Crazy reunites Fiennes, Hare and Hytner who previously collaborated on Beat the Devil at The Bridge in Autumn 2020.  Further casting will be announced at a later date as well as further members of the production team.  Priority booking for Straight Line Crazy opens today at 10am, with public booking opening at 10am on 12 October 2021.

Ralph Fiennes stars in David Hare’s blazing account of the life of a man whose iron will exposed the weakness of democracy in the face of charismatic conviction. For forty uninterrupted years, Robert Moses was the most powerful man in New York. Though never elected to office, he manipulated those who were through a mix of guile, charm and intimidation. Motivated at first by a determination to improve the lives of New York City’s workers, he created new parks, new bridges and 627 miles of expressway to connect the people to the great outdoors. But in the 1950s, groups of citizens at grass roots began to organize against his schemes and against the motor car, campaigning for a very different idea of what a city was and for what it should be.

Ralph Fiennes has enjoyed an extensive career in theatre, film and television as well as producing and directing film.  He was last on stage at The Bridge in David Hare’s Beat the Devil, directed by Nicholas Hytner, and recently toured in The Four Quartets which has a London run from 18 November 2021. Fiennes was previously directed by Hytner as Edmund in King Lear for the Royal Shakespeare Company.  His many other theatre credits include Hamlet, Ivanov, Richard II and Coriolanus for the Almeida, Antony and Cleopatra, The Master Builder, God of Carnage and Faith Healer.  His many film credits include Schindler’s List, The English Patient, The Constant Gardener, The Grand Budapest Hotel and the roles of Lord Voldemort in the Harry Potter films and M in Skyfall and Spectre.   He has also directed three feature films – Coriolanus, The Invisible Woman and The White Crow.  Fiennes’ forthcoming films include The King’s ManThe DigThe Forgiven and No Time To Die.

David Hare is one of the UK’s most prolific and acclaimed writers having written extensively for stage, television and film.  He is the author of over 30 full length plays, his first, Slag, was produced in 1970.  Hare is the winner of multiple international awards including a BAFTA for Licking Hitler, an Olivier award and a Critics’ Circle award for Racing Demon, an Evening Standard Drama award for Pravda and a Tony award for Skylight.  He is also a two-time Academy award nominee for The Hours and The Reader and was knighted in 1998.

For the Bridge Theatre Nicholas Hytner has directed Young Marx, Julius Caesar, Allelujah!, Alys, Always, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Two Ladies, Beat the Devil, The Shrine, Bed Among the Lentils, A Christmas Carol and Bach & Sons.  In December he will direct Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust – La Belle Sauvage in a new stage adaptation by Bryony Lavery also at The Bridge.  Previously he was Director of the National Theatre from 2003 to 2015.

Circus 1903

Circus 1903

Photo: Manuel Harlan

Circus 1903 is delighted to announce a world-class line-up of performers from across the globe who are limbering up for their anticipated third Christmas Season at Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall from 16 Dec 2021 – 2 January 2022, with a press night on Thursday 16 December. Tickets are available from

A range of astounding new acts will accompany old favourites, transporting audiences back to the wonders of the Golden Age of Circus.  Undoubtedly the most charming puppet elephants on any stage around the world, Queenie and Peanut will return for 2021 alongside the magnificent Ringmaster Willy Whipsnade (award-winning magician David Williamson) who will preside over the whole extravaganza, delighting audiences young and old.

Joining the Circus 1903 family adventure for the first time this year is ‘The Russian Bar’ (performed by Ukraine trio Tymofii Chemko, Oleksii Balakhchy and Mykola Mykytchyn) which will entertain with exploits of equilibrium acrobatics in a delightful and delicate display unmatched on terra firma! These intrepid champions of balance and acrobatics are unrivalled, performing fearless feats of equilibristic exploits with courageous concentration and consummate composure.

This new act will join the stomach-churning heights of ‘The Daring Desafios’ (a foursome of Brazilian teeterboard daredevils João Guilherme de Lima Siqueira, Luan de Souza Vieira, Leonardo Louzada de Freitas and Vinicius Vasconcelos da Silveira), the legendary balancing act Rola Bola by ‘The Sensational Sozonov’ (performed by Russian artist Mikhail Sozonov), ‘The Cycling Cyclone’ (performed by German artist Florian Blummel), unrivalled Ethiopian contortionist ‘The Elastic Dislocationist’ (Senayet Asefa Amare), the astonishing aerial artist duo ‘The Flying Fredonis’ (performed by Russian artists Daria Shelest and Vadym Pankevych), the Russian Cradle featuring breath-taking performances from ‘Les Incredibles’ (Olavo Rocha Muniz and Denise Torres de Souza), mind-bending juggler ‘The Great Gaston’ (Roberto Carlos), Dizzying Ethiopian duo ‘The Remarkable Risleys’ (Abiy Saleamlak Negash and Seife Desta Buser) will bring their Icarian Games act and finally the furious flexible feats of Russian Rolling Ball Hula Hoopist ‘Mademoiselle Natalia’ (Natalia Leontieva).

Following dizzying new levels of awe and wonder in 2019, The Wheel of Death will return for 2021. This ginormous rotating apparatus featuring large metal hoops at each end will see Colombian trio Carlos Mayorga Macias, Mauricio Venegas Torres and Andres Felipe Daza Venegas carry out eye-popping acrobatic skills whilst the wheel is rotating.