In praise of Jack Holden actor


NATIONAL THEATRE

I started to follow Jack Holden on Twitter in 2012, on a list first, when I noticed he was playing Albert Narracott in War Horse at the New London Theatre after Luke Treadaway and because he showed interest in WWI.

I didn’t see the 2012 production of War Horse, I had to wait the year after, but the cast was different.

Anyway, the staff of the National Theatre Archive wrote me that a version with Jack as Albert is available to view at their location, so I will go there in my next London holiday to watch it.

I think Jack is playing very interesting roles, of course I started to follow his Twitter account after a short time! And WWI seems to be a regular feature in his career.

In 2014 through his tweets, I saw that Jack was starring in the one-man show Johnny Got His Gun from Dalton Trumbo anti-war novel, on WWI again. He got praises for his performance in reviews and from the audience. I’m curious about that book I heard of several times, I’m going to search for it soon and I will try to imagine how he did play Joe. Must have been challenging being alone on stage every night for weeks!

Johnny-Got-His-Gun-Southwark-Playhouse

The same year, since Jack is also a writer, he wrote Dawn, which was played as rehearsed reading at the Etcetera Theatre in Camden on Tuesday January 28, 2014. The synopsis is very interesting, I hope we get to see it in a theatre one day:

<<In the trenches of World War One, two English boys are bound together by the terrors which surround them. One dawn, whilst their regiment surges forward to their deaths, they run the other way, together. On their hopeless flight for the Channel, shaken and scared, they find the seed of a mutual love. But how can that love bloom when all they have is the bombed-out wilderness and each other?

In the centenary year of the start of World War One, Fine Frenzy Theatre are proud to present a reading of Royal Court Young Writer Jack Holden’s haunting new play.>>


I had my first chance to see him on stage in the play Oppenheimer by Tom Morton-Smith, which was announced by the Royal Shakespeare Company to be staged in Stratford-Upon-Avon and later in London.

The cast looked very promising and, as I said in my report, I got tickets to see the show in London and I totally fell in love with the story and its cast.

Jack was Robert Wilson, one of the young scientists who worked with R.J.Oppenheimer at the atomic bomb. I agree with the britishtheatre.com 5 stars review in thinking that <<Holden is absolutely outstanding; a star on the rise.>> I loved how he talked and moved on stage!

He played one of the most moving scenes, when Wilson tried one last time to prevent the use of the bomb, but, then, I suspected he could be good for comedy, too, for some funny moments he was in, like when he took milk and egg as a remedy for booze. His Wilson will always stay in my heart!


Pity I wasn’t able to see him playing the funny role of Hastings in a quite modern version of She Stoops To Conquer at the Royal Bath Theatre in Bath, he must have been hilarious,

She_Stoops_58

but I booked immediately for A Midsummer Night’s Dream – A Play For The Nation at the Barbican in London, (a play I wanted to see on stage from long time) as soon as the cast was announced. I think that Jack is perfect as Lysander! The role requests a good-looking nice actor with a very physical presence, which he is. He goes very well together with the other members of the cast. Dream 2016 will be back to Stratford-Upon-Avon, from where the UK tour started, from June to July, I wish I could see this play there again! I wrote my report there.

Jack Holden as Lysander


Currently, Jack plays Roland Pemble in the BBC Four radio play Home Front, which takes place during the WWI years. Roland is a young photographer who falls in love with the woman who owns the photography shop where he works. It’s a tender and bit of a troubled love story. And then he joins the Army. I really hope he’s back ‘in safe’ in the next season.

Home Front is available to listen to on the BBC Four site: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b047qhc2 where there is information on the play and on WWI.

Roland and Lillian

Jack can play so well the romantic hero!


I suggest you watch online a nice short movie called In A Bookshop by Aideen Johnston, where Jack plays Jake Ryan, an ex uni student who works in a publishing house: https://vimeo.com/78006498. The ending is funny, I have the impression maybe something similar happened for real! I find Jake very nice! I can’t say the same about the teacher, haha!

In A Bookshop


Jack has just finished shooting the movie The Levelling with Ellie Kendrick, currently in post-production. He plays James, but we know very little about the movie, yet. IMDb says: <<Hope Dickson Leach has written and is directing the film, which is set in the aftermath of the dramatic flooding in Somerset last year. Kendrick will be a young woman who returns to her family’s dairy farm after the tragic death of her younger brother.>>

So I’m looking forward to it, hoping it will come to Italian cinemas, as Ellie is quite famous here for her role in Game Of Thrones.

From Hope Dickson Leach Twitter account

From Hope Dickson Leach Twitter account

 


I admire Jack Holden as a bright, talented actor! And he’s a very nice young man in person! I met him twice, once after Oppenheimer and once after Midsummer, he was lovely to me!

And, for the record, I got to live a magical “stage moment” with him in both the plays!

During Oppenheimer, ‘Serber’ and ‘Wilson’ pointed at me and applauded me saying: “…and hey, you’ll kill everyone in the room…well done.” when I was sitting in the front row. I’m still blushing thinking about it, but I had fun! Well, they were just playing their lines, I was there by chance! Haha!

At the end of Midsummer, while dancing, ‘Lysander’ smiled and winked at me from the stage. I saluted him back from the front row, again. And that was not part of the play, just him being cheerful and pleased I was seeing the play again that day. What a lovely thing he did!

And is not just that. Jack is also a good human being. In 2010, with a friend, he raised money for Action Aid, with the project Skye is the limit. They reached the highest point of the Isle of Skye, by hitch-hiking from Bristol, with the help of a crowdfunding. They decided to embark on the trip to support ActionAid’s relief efforts in Pakistan and its child sponsorship programme. If you take a look to the nice videos they filmed, they faced a big challenge, but I bet they had fun!

I wish Jack all the best for his career!



LINKS

http://www.jackholden.net/ Jack’s official site

https://twitter.com/1JackHolden/ Jack’s Twitter profile

https://twitter.com/AideenJ Aideen Johnston’s Twitter profile

http://www.theatreworkshop.net/ Workshop on WWI

http://www.somersetlive.co.uk/Skye-s-limit-fundraising-Harry/story-12340646-detail/story.html on Skye is the limit https://twitter.com/skyesthelimit10

http://www.lovetheatre.com/tickets/3794/Johnny-Got-His-Gun

londontheatre1.com/news/17181/interview-with-jack-holden-albert-in-war-horse-at-the-new-london-theatre

https://www.facebook.com/events/287632238050852/ Dawn Rehearsed Reading Facebook event

http://www.tommortonsmith.com/theatre/2014/10/21/oppenheimer

https://bottomdream16.wordpress.com/2015/12/31/it-is-not-enough-to-speak-but-to-speak-true/ interview to Jack

http://www.ifeatures.co.uk/the-levelling1.html The Levelling official site



News of 10 June: photographer Jack McGuire shared a gorgeous new headshot of Jack on Twitter:

Actor: @1JackHolden Represented by @UnitedAgents #Headshots #Actor

Jack McGuire headshot 10June16

Very nice headshot, top notch actor!

McGuire official site: jackmcguireheadshotphotography.com



 

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My first of 2016 London adventures and Shakespeare list


So from 19 to 22 May I had my first 2016 London adventure, planning to be there again in September, ready to travel to Stratford-Upon-Avon to see two other RSC plays (will be great to visit the Bard’s birthplace on his 400th anniversary!). I will also see Hobson’s Choice at the Vaudeville.

This May holiday has been such a treat! Short, but amusing and full of good theatre!

I’ve also made two pleasant… “close encounters” that made my days! Especially the second one, with a lovely, nice blonde actor…

I saw Orange/Blue at the Young Vic…


…and RSC’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Barbican Centre.

Both the plays are such fun, I will write a proper page for them in the Theatre session.

I collected everything I could find from newspapers and magazines about the two shows and some “theatricalia” of course, for my collection which is getting big.

Joe Penhall’s Blue/Orange deserves all the 4 stars the ES review gives it! The three actors were great, it’s a play worth to see! I wanted to see David Haig on stage for some time and finally happened, in a role that is perfect for him!

While I’m 80% agree on the 3 stars by Time Out and review of CamdenNewJournal about Dream 2016: it deserves 4-5 stars and it really charms! Lucy Ellinson, Jack Holden and Chris Hayak deserve all the phraises, of course, I’m 100% agree, I got tears in my eyes and pain in my stomac for laughters thanks to them and the mechanicals! I don’t see Titania and Oberon so understated, but, ok, it’s an opinion. Other members of the cast would deserve to be mentioned, as well. While I liked Tom Piper’s staging and costumes, as I find interesting to see it posponed in more modern times, not necessarily a play staged in a medieval forest.

My reports and opinions on the two plays to come soon!

I will add a Puck tribute page to my “Favourite Stuff”, too, because it’s a very likeable character!


I also came back to the Southbank for a walk on Sunday morning, which is always a pleasure to me!

A brief look at the National Theatre….

National Theatre

…and then inside the BFI, where I have always to visit their exhibitions in the mezzanine each time I go to London. The one on currently is “Shakespeare On Film“.


Thinking about A Midsummer Night’s Dream, I feel ashamed to say I didn’t see all the 37 plays, yet.

LIST OF THE 37 PLAYS BY SHAKESPEARE

(source)

37 Shakespeare plays list

 

SO FAR I SAW

Nr.2 One screen version (which I didn’t like at all)

Nr.5 One screen version (terrifying)

Nr10. Two screen versions, one TV version, one radio play, one stage version (three times the same, wonderful production)

Nr.11 One screen version, one stage version (at V&A archive), two ballet versions

Nr.14 One screen version

Nr.18 One screen version, one stage version

Nr.20 One screen version

Nr.22 One screen version, two stage versions (and one with NT Live, one on DVD)

Nr.26 Two stage versions (one with NT Live)

Nr.29 Two stage versions (one with NT Live)

Nr.30 One screen version, two stage versions (one with NT Live)

Nr.33 One stage version with NT Live

Nr.36 Two screen versions, one stage version

Nr.37 One stage version

 

And Chimes At Midnight, The Hollow Crown and West Side Story versions.


I HAVEN’T SEEN, YET

Nrs. 1 – 3 – 4 – 6 – 7 – 8 – 9 – 12 – 13 – 15 – 16 – 17 – 19 – 21 – 23 – 24 – 25 – 27 – 28 – 31 – 32 – 34 – 35

(for some, I have the BBC DVDs, which I have to watch, yet)


I HAVE TO SEE SOON

Nr.29 and Nr.35 in Stratford on September 2016


Ok, I saw only 14 of 37 plays (soon to become 16), but I will do better in the future!

It’s Dream 2016 opening night!!


Dream_Team_RGB635

Finally Dream 2016 opens in Stratford-Upon-Avon tonight!!


00 dream2016 is nearly here

GADGETS! (images copyright of The RSC)

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I follow A Midsummer Night’s Dream 2016: A Play For The Nation on Twitter for the very beginning! They wrote their progress every day for months. It has been very interesting following their steps from the announcement to the last tweets with the trailer, through clips and pictures of the rehearsals.

I was interested to see it already, since I find amazing a project that involves a whole nation, and so far I saw only screen version of the play, I still have to see it on stage! I’m also intrigued by the fact that they set it in the ’40s of 1900, so it’s a modern version of Midsummer.

But then the cast was announced and it was even more exciting! As I’ve I said already here and here, it will be a pleasure to see Jack Holden on stage again, playing Lysander, one of the four lovers. Not talking about a female Puck, played by Lucy Ellinson! And, as you can well see from this clip on the rehearsals, also the other members of the cast look very nice, like Ayesha Dharker who plays Titania.

It looks so poetic and intriguing already! In the play there will be different Bottoms in each city of the tour and lot of fairies who will sing and dance, plus students from schools involved in this big project. They rehearsed in their free time, like on the evenings, to be ready for the great event, they deserve a great applause! And to get in touch with every amateur group, the staff used video conferences, laptops and so on. People of different age and background were involved. It’s going to be something we have never seen before.

There’s the interesting blog by John Chapman, who will play Bottom in London at the Barbican, talking about working in the play, with pictures from the rehearsals: https://bottomdream16.wordpress.com/

There are artists, too, in the team. Jon Trenchard for example makes wonderful mini castles 1:12 scale, with materials like cereal packet and pencils. Take a look to his amazing blog: http://miniaturecastle.blogspot.it/

Watch Alex Tomkins, a member of the cast, introducing the fellow professional actors in the clip “Rehearsals for A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation | Royal Shakespeare Company” during rehearsals at Northern Stage, Newcastle.

And watch the trailer: A Midsummer Night’s Dream: A Play for the Nation from The RSC YouTube channel:

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Here a rehearsal gallery from The RSC Facebook page. Photos by Topher McGrillis.

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I’ve started a list on Twitter with the cast&creatives, here all the accounts I could find so far, some don’t seem to have one:

OFFICIAL ACCOUNTS

Dream 2016

The Royal Shakespeare Company

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VENUES

Stratford-Upon-Avon February 17, 2016 – March 5, 2016 – Royal Shakespeare Theatre

Newcastle Upon Tyne 16 – 26 March 2016 – Northern Stage

Glasgow 29 March – 2 April 2016 – Citizens Theatr

Blackpool 5 – 9 April 2016 – Grand Theatre

Bradford 12 – 16 April 2016 – Alhambra Theatre

Canterbury 19 – 23 April 2016 – Marlowe Theatre

Norwich 26 – 30 April – Theatre Royal

Nottingham 3 – 7 May 2016 – Theatre Royal

Truro 10 – 14 May 2016 – Hall for Cornwall

London 17 – 21 May 2016 – Barbican     I’ve booked for this venue, Saturday 21 May matinee!!

Cardiff 24 – 28 May 2016 – New Theatre

Belfast 31 May – 4 June 2016 – Grand Opera House

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CAST&CREATIVES

The Professional:

Bottoms:

Others:

  • Fiona Galloway plays Snout in Stratford & Bradford
  • Alex Powell plays Flute

All amateur groups

And:

 

Creatives:

Feel free to correct me if I wrote anything wrong or to add more members and information.

Now I can’t wait for the production pictures and to see it in London!

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AUDIO

Listen to The Common Lot on RNorfolk talking A Midsummer Night’s Dream: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p03gsyk0?platform=hootsuite scroll to 3:39

How TheRSC is using tech to rehearse Rude Mechanicals across UK for RSCdream2016: https://audioboom.com/boos/4192924-is-all-our-company-here

 

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I want to espress all my admiration for this great team! Break a leg everyone involved!

Let’s the journey begin!!

images

The RSC announced Professional Casting for Dream2016!


Today the RSC announced the Professional Casting for A Midsummer Night’s Dream tour 2016!

rsc.org.uk/press/releases/rsc-announces-professional-casting-for-a-midsummer-night-s-dream

I was waiting for it for a while. I had the intention to see it in any case, but seeing who’s in the cast…

“[…] Ayesha Dharker will take on the role of Titania, Queen of the Fairies. […] Ayesha Dharker is joined by Jamie Cameron (Fairy); Lila Clements (Fairy); Lucy Ellinson (Puck); Aimee Gray (Fairy); Peter Hamilton Dyer (Egeus); Laura Harding (Hippolyta); Jack Holden (Lysander); Chris Nayak (Demetrius); Mercy Ojelade (Hermia); Chu Omambala (Oberon); Sam Redford (Theseus); Laura Riseborough (Helena); Isaac Ssebandeke (First Fairy); Alex Tomkins (Fairy) and Jon Trenchard (Philostrate). With further casting to be announced. […]

 

…I decided to book immediately for it at the Barbican Centre next May! It’s the venues I can reach more easily than others (see the list on their official site).

dream for Instagram

I’m curious to know the further casting. Meanwhile, I couldn’t help to send tweets to @RSCDream2016 and to Jack Holden saying “Congratulations for the role!”

He posted this nice tweet (link to the original):

Jack on Dream2016

I saw this play only in a movie and I’m glad to be able to see a stage version, finally. Here some information on Lysander from another production, one of those characters I immediately like, who likes “Being rebellious & forbidden love” according to his profile.

Now I can’t wait to see it and to see the first pictures in rehearsals and then official!

I find very interesting that Puck is played by an actress. Looks like next 2016 could be my Shakesperian year!

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It’s never too much for a theatregoer!


What I’ve booked for from September to January. It’s never too much for a theatregoer! I’m so excited, even for “War Horse“, which I saw already!

I’m glad to see Ben Whishaw, Oliver Johnstone and John Heffernan on stage again. Can’t wait to see some others for the first time: Bertie Carvel, Benedict Cumberbatch, Karl Johnson, Dan Parr, Reece Sheersmith, David Morrissey, Sally Messham, Laura Roger, Luke Newberry, Anna Maxwell Martin and others.

I’ve great expectations on the three LGBT plays “The Sum Of Us“, “Tipping The Velvet” and “Teddy Ferrara“, which feature young cast mostly.

And, despite I tried hard to…. resist, I HAD to book for “Macbeth” in January, because since “Oppenheimer” I realized I can’t miss a “perfornan” (aka a John Heffernan’s performance). My notebook is ready for my notes!

Last but not least, I’ve great expectations for 2016: I wish so much one actor announces his next stage role….but, shhht, I can’t talk….(yet).

per Instagram

What I will see in London next Autumn


Now that the cast lists are updated every day, I’m even more happy to have booked for these plays in London, because of the actors mostly, but also because of the storylines! I’m also glad to see three plays LGBT related.

From 15 to 19 September:

24 October and around:

BAKKHAI: I booked because of Ben Whishaw mostly, but despite I’m more fond of new writings, I’m curious to see this piece from ancient theatre and it will be a pleasure to come back at the Almeida, after “Our Town“, it got a peculiar stage I liked much. And some days ago it was announced that actor Bertie Carvel has joined the cast. I’m liking him as one of the two protagonists in “Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell” on BBC One, so he’s one more reason to be satisfied for the ticket. Just in time!

HAMLET: first, it’s my second favorite Shakespeare’s play. Then, when it was announced Benedict Cumberbatch as protagonist, I couldn’t miss the occasion to see him on stage, because he’s the British’s national treasure these years and he impressed me in some roles, most of all his modern “Sherlock”. Then as it was announced some days ago, some interesting actors have joined the cast. Ciarán Hinds, a good Irish screen actor, and Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, who I liked in “The Low Road” at the Royal Court. Then, the wonderful Karl Johnson in the role of Ghost of Hamlet’s father, which makes me happy because I wanted to see him on stage from ages! I’m pleased also the young actor Dan Parr, who played the sweet but bold Charlie Dawlish, one of the “Lucky 13” in “The Crimson Field“, will play Barnardo. With him, I saw two elements of the cast from that wonderful series on stage. I find great the poster with the children.

WAR HORSE: I’m going to see this wonderful play for the second time, courtesy of “War Horse On Stage”, with a new cast! There’s always a good reason to see it. It’s such a beautiful production!

TIPPING THE VELVET: when I read the news on Twitter, I booked immediately for it even if even today the cast hasn’t been announced, yet! Having little hope that Rachael Stirling, Sally Hawkins or Anna Chancellor would reprise three roles which gave them celebrity in the TV series, as someone suggested (despite I’d love it), I think this would work brilliantly on stage and it’s from the same director of Hamlet, Lyndsey Turner, who’s much admired into the London theatreland. Last but not least, finally a play on women in love, with almost all female characters. They should make more productions like this! They’re such teasers: I can’t wait to know who’s in the cast. I hope something great this way comes!

TEDDY FERRARA: several good reasons, again, brought me to buy a ticket. I was lucky to find one because seats are selling fast from yesterday. First, a Twitter friend annunced me the Donmar new season was out and that it would make me happy. In fact, “Oppenheimer” actor Oliver Johnstone, I’m keeping an eye on for some months, is in the cast. I’m glad he got two more stage roles after Oppie (unfortunately I will not able to see him playing Napoleon for RADA Festival) but I’m not surprised! Then, I read the name of Luke Newberry in the list! He was terrific in the TV series “In The Flesh” playing a gay zombie and I’m even more happy to see him on stage for the first time! Then the plot: it’s on some gay lads at college, freely inspired by a sad true story, written by the American playwright Christopher Shinn. I’ve great expectations on it! And finally I’m going to see a play at the Donmar Warehouse!!! I haven’t had the occasion, yet!

EDWARD II: if I’m able, I wanna take an appointment with the “National Theatre Archive” to see this play, featuring the wonderful John Heffernan in the main role, who I greatly appreciated in “Oppenheimer” and these days in “Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell” as Lascelles. This is also a classic which unfortunately I wasn’t able to see when it was on in London.

I will take notes and I will write my reports on all these plays! Only one takes place in modern days (Teddy Ferrara), the others in old ages.

I haven’t booked my holidays, yet, so who knows if something more will be announced before September comes? And I’m still deciding for other plays announced…

Full cast for Hamlet Barbican


What’s On Stage announced the full cast for “Hamlet” at the Barbican, which makes me even more happy to have booked for it!!

 Hamlet cast list

<<Full casting has been announced for Hamlet starring Benedict Cumberbatch, which opens at the Barbican Theatre on 5 August.

Joining the production will be

Barry Aird (Soldier),

Eddie Arnold (Danish Captain, Servant),

Nigel Carrington (Servant, Cornelius),

Ruairi Conaghan (Player King),

Rudi Dharmalingam (Guildenstern),

Colin Haigh (Priest, Messenger),

Paul Ham (Official),

Diveen Henry (Player Queen, Messenger),

Karl Johnson (Ghost of Hamlet’s father),

Amaka Okafor (Official),

Dan Parr (Barnardo),  

Jan Shepherd (Courtier),

Morag Siller (Voltemand),

Matthew Steer (Rosencrantz),

Sergo Vares (Fortinbras)

and Dwane Walcott (Marcellus).

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They join the previously announced

Ciarán Hinds (Claudius),

Anastasia Hille (Gertrude),

Sian Brooke (Ophelia),

Kobna Holdbrook-Smith (Laertes), 

Jim Norton(Polonius)

and Leo Bill (Horatio)

 in Lyndsey Turner‘s production.

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Hamlet, which runs from 5 August to 31 October 2015, is currently sold out; 100 seats will be available for every performance at £10.

The production will also be broadcast in the UK, US and across Europe on 15 October 2015.>>

 

Barbican Twitter account

Hamlet