london-theatre

kickstarter.com
HELP FUND THE TRANSGENDER SHAKESPEARE COMPANY'S INAUGURAL WORKSHOP!
Inaugural voice, movement, and gender workshop for the world's first Shakespeare company run entirely by transgender artists.

Help an all-transgender Shakespeare company get on its feet!

ABOUT US
The Transgender Shakespeare Company is - as far as we know! - the world’s first Shakespeare company run entirely by and for transgender artists. We are not a drag troupe or a gender theory class; we’re the real thing. Based in London, our mission is to educate and engage trans actors in the most vital canon going. We hope to create a trans-specific theatrical community, promote trans and fellow marginalised communities’ representation in the theatre, and create powerful, vibrant Shakespearean productions.

WHAT’S GOING ON?
We’re hoping to raise £300 for our free first inaugural workshop (spaces still available!), which is taking place in central London on 24 October. This will cover the cost of renting a rehearsal space, snacks, and travel subsidies for our participants and directors. Any extra donations will go towards company maintenance, including setting up a website, hiring future guest artists, and funding our first production in spring 2016. Anyone can make a donation, however small or large!

HOW CAN I GET INVOLVED?

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2013 titles now available to buy or rent on Globe Player

You can now enjoy our 2013 productions on Globe Player in the comfort of your own home.

Relive the Season of Plenty with the magic of The Tempest with Roger Allam and Colin Morgan; fall in love again with the hilarious A Midsummer Night’s Dream starring Michelle Terry and John Light; or follow Macbeth’s decent with Joseph Millson and Samantha Spiro as the power-obsessed couple.

Buy or rent each title individually or, for the first time, buy all 3 titles together with our bundle for just £25 and save yourself the price of a Groundling ticket!

Watch now: globeplayer.tv

A first look at Judi Dench in The Winter’s Tale!

Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company presents Plays at the Garrick, a series of plays that bring together an exciting group of actors, led by Rob Brydon, Judi Dench, Derek Jacobi, Lily James and Richard Madden. Performances begin on 17 October 2015.Working in collaboration with artistic associates, director Rob Ashford and designer Christopher Oram, the acclaimed actor-director Kenneth Branagh presents an exceptional series of five plays that bring together a remarkable group of actors, led by Rob Brydon, Judi Dench, Lily James and Richard Madden.
http://ift.tt/1JV4DBg

London Theatreland!
BBC Radio 2 Audience Award nominated shows at the 2014 Olivier Awards. (Image Credit: David Levene for the Guardian)

Which show do you want to win?
http://www.olivierawards.com/vote/

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The Tempest: In rehearsal

The Tempest opens in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse this week, directed by Artistic Director Dominic Dromgoole. Here, we take a peek inside the rehearsal room…

(Image credits: Marc Brenner)

The Tempest will play in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse from 17 February –22 April. Discover more. 

Listen to Adopt an Actor interviews with Pippa Nixon (Ariel) and Dharmesh Patel (Ferdinand). 

McQueen

Ok, so I’m still in complete shock and awe about the whole experience (I met Dianna!), and I’m thanking my lucky stars for granting me the opportunity I got tonight, but I’m going to try and write as much about McQueen and Dianna as I can with my pounding heartbeat and fumbling fingers. 

I’m going to do this in list formatting because forming sentences and paragraphs seems like a foreign concept right now haha. If you’re not up for any spoilers about the play, I wouldn’t read further, but honestly I don’t think I’m going to give away all that much. I’m also sort of making this post for myself just to collect my thoughts and remember things! Ok, here goes!

1. Dianna was amazing. I expected her to be good, but she showed an immense amount of talent on that stage, and she made me feel things I didn’t expect to feel during a play about Alexander McQueen. 

2. She wears the wig throughout the entire performance–at first it was very odd, seeing her as a brunette with a bob-like hairstyle, but Dianna can pull of anything and within the first few minutes I forgot about her being blonde at all (almost!). 

3. Dianna is TINY! She’s the same height as me, which I knew, but it’s so different from seeing her on screen where she seems larger than life, if you know what I mean. Her waist is so small and she’s dainty and I think there’s a moment in the beginning of the play where McQueen calls her “fragile.” She’s adorable. 

4. She starts off wearing this really cool outfit (it’s supposed to be like modern-ish London so it’s a bit punk-y). She’s got on this miniskirt with black tights and converse sneakers and a teeshirt with a sweater over it. It’s really cute on her. Later on in the play her outfit changes to a dress that McQueen creates for her, and she’s elegant and stunning and so very Dianna. 

5. She says “fuck” a lot. 

6. There’s a scene where Alexander McQueen is making Dianna’s character (Dahlia) a dress, and he says “take your top off.” And she does. So she’s standing there in this little black bra and her skirt and she’s vulnerable and nervous and it’s the most I think we’ve ever seen of her (aside from the pictures of her in a bikini from an old photoshoot and one of her earlier TV spots). You could see her tattoo, which they didn’t coverup at all (the letters are smaller than I’d imagined). And she’s got the cutest stomach :)  

7. She cries a lot. The play dealt with some very intense, very serious topics–depression, suicide, self-harm, and I found myself crying through a lot of it as well. If you are sitting close enough and you look at Dianna’s arms, you can see red cuts all along her wrists and forearms. No one brings it up until near the end, but I noticed the second she took her top off, and I had this immediate reaction where my entire body clenched up and my heart sunk and tears started pouring out of my eyes. It was hard to see scars on Dianna’s wrists because at that moment she wasn’t a character. I was looking at Dianna and it was hard for me to see, given my own relationship with self-harm. Then I started thinking about Quinn, and suddenly, for those few moments, she was Quinn, and there was just SO much emotion. I left the play feeling very very affected, and honestly pretty triggered–so just a heads up for anyone who may be sensitive about that kind of thing.

8. It was not hard at all to separate Quinn from Dahlia–they are very different characters and it was exciting to see Dianna stretch her acting muscles and play something different. Of course there were moments where I would smile because she would do something that was just so very Quinn (when she was crying for one, and some of her facial expressions I could pinpoint to moments in Glee when she had the same expressions, some words, etc.) But overall, it was very cool to see her so differently. 

9. Dianna is in just about every scene, save for maybe one or two. There’s a scene where two characters are talking and she’s off in the corner “sleeping” and I couldn’t take my eyes off of her the whole time. But other than that scene were she doesn’t say anything, I think she’s really only gone for about one other scene. 

10. Dianna sings! And dances, too. The play opens with Alexander McQueen in a room, and all of a sudden from the background you can her Dianna’s voice singing before she appears on stage. She’s singing Billy Joel’s “She’s Always a Woman,” and she sings it a few times during the play. 

11. I think she’s developing a bit of a British accent, though that could be just her Bay Area accent melding into her character. She plays an American. 

12. Her face is kind of perfect. 

13. Aside from Dianna, which is primarily why I went to see the play, I truly enjoyed the production as a whole. It was inventive, creative, emotional, moving, and very well-done. I’m excited to see it again and get more out of the plot line (because honestly this first time I was keeping my eyes peeled on Dianna). I knew very little about Alexander McQueen going into this, and it’s certainly sparked my interest. 

14. There is no love interest for Dahlia. It was SO refreshing to see Dianna in a role that didn’t revolve one single bit around a romantic relationship with a man. 

15. There’s one line where she yells “I LOVE women!” and it wasn’t meant to be taken at all in any gay context, but I chuckled all the same. 

16. After the show ended I went out into the lobby and waited around for maybe five to ten minutes with a few other people who were there to see Dianna, and then she came out wearing a simple black dress and her cheetah-print fuzzy coat. Her hair was back to normal and I have no idea how it could be so perfect after being in a wig for an hour and a half. But she was stunning, as always. She stood talking to her costars for a while and then went to the bar to order some drinks. I made friends with a few of the girls who were waiting alongside me, and we all ordered drinks as well. 

17. Dianna came over after a little bit, she knew we were waiting for her and she was generous with her time. There were a few guys who came in as she walked over to us and were kind of obviously just there to get her autograph and leave (probably to sell them because this one guy had 4 pictures for her to sign). They were kind of getting in our way and Dianna turned to them and said, “I’ve got to take care of these guys first, because they actually saw the play and we’re technically not supposed to sign for anyone who hasn’t seen it,” and she turned back to us and was all smiles and “thank you”’s and she signed every single persons poster and took pictures with everyone. She kept asking “is that good? Anyone else?” because it was clear that she was very tired, but she didn’t want anyone to leave unhappy, so she took the time to do whatever each person asked of her. Everyone got a picture with her and whatever they wanted signed. After that she hung around the tables of her costars and a few other important-looking people for about fifteen more minutes and then she left the theater (she was the first to leave), and got into the backseat of a white car and drove away. 

18. I feel like the luckiest girl on the entire planet and I can’t wait to go back. 

youtube

Trailer for the current West End production of Miss Saigon.