Visit Leicester!

When I was younger, I had a big crush on Gary Oldman and his acting skills and I tried to watch as many movies with him as I could. I still like him, despite the ups and downs in his career, but that’s another story.

To me his performance as Joe Orton in Prick Up Your Ears is still the best one. When I saw the movie for the first time (I don’t remember the year), I was amazed and it made me want to know more about the writer. I was making my first steps towards the Gay Culture then, so I went to the library of my city and took his biography home. Perhaps I would change my mind reading it today that I’m older, but at the time I didn’t like the man, for his misogyny and other aspects of his nature that came out from the reading. I had a better opinion on him seeing the movie, so I was disappointed. I think I could like him more now if I try to see his life through his eyes and not from outside. Anyway, he must have been a fascinating man to the people around him and certainly he was for his younger sister Leonie, who had always worshipped him.

I  hadn’t the chance to see a play by Orton until this year, despite in my research I find out What The Butler Saw was performed in some theatres of Italy on tour in 2012.

When, unexpectedly, one day the actor Jack Holden wrote a tweet that made me happy: “What The Butler Saw. This is the next play I’m doing. Filthy, frantic, frisky

The city of Leicester was going to celebrate its national treasure Joe Orton on the 50th anniversary of his tragic death, with a play the playwright wasn’t even able to see staged!

I love celebrations and to be in a certain place in years when events happen. Like last year with Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary in Stratford-Upon-Avon! I couldn’t miss this one neither!

This was going to be a triple occasion: to see a play by Orton in its original language (a challenge to me, to see if I could like his work), to visit Leicester for the first time and, last but not least, to see Holden on stage again. The cast announced was an extra bonus.

I booked immediately everything for my holiday in Leicester, also involving my friend Laura, who will join me in London next May as well. We were both excited, despite we could book for just a short holiday on Thursday 16 and Friday 17 March! In fact, last December I had booked for Ballet Boyz‘s Life on Saturday 18 night in Ravenna and I had to be back in time, while my friend had to work along the week. It’s a pity that the events overlap, or we would have booked for Butler last day, too.

My following step was going back to the library after ages to take a book I remembered I had seen, that collects together three Orton’s plays, included What The Butler Saw, out of print for years here. It’s translated in Italian, but it helped me to understand the story.

I also found a TV movie filmed by the BBC in 1987 on YouTube, and watched it in original, despite now I much prefer it performed live. Theatre got a different rhythm when it’s performed for TV or maybe it was how they used to film stage works in the ‘80s, who knows…

I go on with the things I remember, because this time I didn’t write any note, like I use to do. Time was tight.

On Thursday 16 at very early morning, Laura and me were flying to Stansted via Bologna and later we took two trains plus the tube to Leicester. Going there is quite easy, so I’ll certainly will go back there for more theatre. We arrived on the early afternoon.

I couldn’t wait to visit Leicester also because it got another UK national treasure, Richard III, a historical character I have always found fascinating, for better or for worse. I read the news about the discovering of the king’s grave on the web and I wanted to visit it. I found very effective the way the Almeida Theatre inserted the discovery of the bones at the beginning and at the end of their production of Shakespeare’s Richard III starring Ralph Fiennes, a screening I was lucky to see in my city thanks to Nexo Digital. The king was also brilliantly portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch in the tv miniseries The Hollow Crown and by the Italian actor Alessandro Gassmann, who performed him like a sort of Frankenstein at the Teatro Diego Fabbri in Forlì. This is one of my favourite plays the Bard ever wrote.

Once reached our hotel, we took a walk around Leicester to see where Curve Theatre was located. We had a look outside and inside the Leicester Cathedral, too, which was still open, but a service was taking place so we didn’t visit it. Despite the weather was cold and cloudy, at the sunset the sun came out and spread its light over the buildings. The atmosphere was poetic. The city is beautiful!

On Friday morning (I realized it was Friday 17-03-17, I love such kind of dates!) we had our breakfast at Curve Green Room. it was a nice way to celebrate being in Leicester for the play. Toasts and cappuccino were delicious, have a break there if you visit the city! We had fun seeing a class of children outside warming up with their teachers, before to go inside the theatre. We wondered if they were there to see something or to take part to a performance.

While we were finishing our breakfast, I recognized from their Twitter profiles Nikolai Foster and Chris Stafford, respectively the Director and the Chief Executive of Curve, who were sitting at another table. I didn’t know what to do, I was afraid of bothering them while they were having a break. I have a rule: never bother people out of performing time! But my friend Laura, who didn’t want me to miss such an occasion, went on and introduced herself to them, explaining who we were and that we were going to see What The Butler Saw that night. I’m much grateful she did so. Stafford had to go, but Foster stayed for a chat. He seemed pleased we had come from Italy to see the play and that we showed interest in theatre. So he managed for us a wonderful tour of Curve, asking to a member of the staff if she could guide us inside the building. I’m sorry I forgot her name, because she was really nice.

Not only we got to go behind the scenes of WTBS! We also walked through the stage and were able to see the details closely! It was so very accurate, like being inside a real clinic. Our nice guide told us that the set designer made the stage inclined on purpose. I love to discover such tricks. It’s even more incredible thinking that actors had to run over it, the ladies and Holden even wearing hig heels! I had seen some photos of the making of on Twitter, I would never imagine I would walk through it one day! We couldn’t take any photos of the stage, though, due to the copyright, which we understood. The set looked like a treasure chest from the backstage. We could took some pictures there. My friend took a photo of me near the blonde wig Jack Holden wears during every performance, just for me to remember that I lived that day for real! In a corner there were all the clothes I recognized from the production photos, also the leopard dress! I was gloating! It made the wait for the incoming show even more exciting! I thought I got a pic of those clothes, but I can’t find it anymore…

We continued our tour and we saw a rehearsal room and then the workroom when a costume designer was making one wig for Mrs. Prentice: he  told us they make it for every performance because they want it to appear fresh. And on the same floor, as promised by Nikolai Foster, we could attend to the rehearsals of Grease, which is going to Dubai soon! What a honour to be there! He introduced us to Nick Winston, the co-Director and Choreographer, a very kind man. One of the actors, Keisha Atwell, came to shake our hand and told she was happy we had come from Italy! What a warm welcome! Later I searched and followed both on Twitter. We took a seat and seeing them rehearsing was like being inside a movie. Like being inside A Chorus Line for example, but in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere! A dream coming true! It never happened to us! The actors were learning the choreography for “Born To Hand Jive”, one of my favourite scenes in the story. They seemed to enjoy themselves. What great artists performers and theatre-makers are! Rehearsing again and again a single scene for hours, every day for weeks, and then doing it on stage in front of an audience for weeks again, sometimes for months! I definitely can’t say how they do that keeping the passion on, it must be the big love for what they do which brings them ahead! I can understand that! I took a sneaky photo of the wall with the pictures the cast&creative were using as samples for the style of the Grease’s era, I hope they don’t mind.

Our tour came to an end and we had to leave our guests! We were so grateful! Unforgettable morning! I don’t know if we had said thank you to them enough! We kept talking about that morning between us!

Later, we went to the Visit Leicester office to get information about Richard III and what was available to visit in just few hours. They were very kind and helpful and suggested the King Richard III Visitor Centre and the Leicester Cathedral. We also took some goodies they sell.

On our way to “meet” RIII, we noticed a fruit market and had a look around. We love such places, full of colours. There’s also a stall that sells beautiful gift cards! I bought two.

The visit at the RIII Centre was very interesting, they explained with panels and videos about the time he lived in. Scientists used his skull to reconstruct his face, it looks quite similar to the ancient portrait we knew before the discovery was made, and the man that came out doesn’t look like the fierce King we have imagined from the chronicles of the time or from the play Shakespeare wrote! In the room built over the place where bones have been found, a guide explained us about the work made there after a proper research. Then RIII’s remains where transferred into the Cathedral inside a decorated coffin, after a ceremony along the streets of Leicester. Before to leave the Centre, I bought for myself a book with the story of RIII and a notebook for my diary.

Our guide at the Cathedral, a beautiful Gothic church opposite to the Centre in the same square, told us that perhaps all was said about the King came from the bad propaganda Henry VII the winner wanted to be made against him. It wouldn’t be a surprise. If true, history should give him justice! Anyway, Shakespeare’s Richard III is still a much fascinating character actors will continue to perform that way! Below you can see the definitive tomb where RIII was buried and the coffin used for the ceremony.


And, finally, our time to see What The Butler Saw arrived on the evening at 7.30 pm! We got good seats in the stalls in two different rows. Curve is a beautiful and comfortable theatre! The play is exhilarating, I was crying with laughter, it’s a bit weird laughing on such things, but the script is so brilliant that you can’t get offended by it. I will write my report on seeing this “Filthy, frantic, frisky farce” on this other page (I’m sorry I’m still working on it). This blog is long enough!

But I’m happy to say we got to meet Jack Holden after the show, he was as nice as always, he stayed for a chat and we were happy to talk to him about the play and performing dressed as Geraldine. I was all focused on him, but I loved the performance of all the six actors. It’s really a good cast! Another time, maybe, I will get the chance to meet them. I still have hope that a theatre in London, hopefully in the West End, calls them to perform Butler for the Londoners. I’d certainly go there to see the play again!

I got from Jack Holden the most lovely dedication ever on my programme! The only thing I regret is I didn’t take a photo together with him, like other fans of the cast did, but I asked the autograph already and for sure he was tired after the performance! Maybe next time.

What a fantastic day it has been for us! The Curve’s team made our day on so many levels!

I’m glad we made it in Leicester! And a reply I got on Twitter made me happy again:


I greatly suggest people to go to see What The Butler Saw in Bath from 27 March to 1 April 2017:!


(Some photos were taken by my friend Laura, some by me.)

In praise of Jack Holden actor


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!


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 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,


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: 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: 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 Jack’s official site Jack’s Twitter profile Aideen Johnston’s Twitter profile Workshop on WWI on Skye is the limit Dawn Rehearsed Reading Facebook event interview to Jack 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:


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.



37 Shakespeare plays list



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.


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)


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!!


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

00 dream2016 is nearly here

GADGETS! (images copyright of The RSC)


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:

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:

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:


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


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:


Dream 2016

The Royal Shakespeare Company



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



The Professional:



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

All amateur groups




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!



Listen to The Common Lot on RNorfolk talking A Midsummer Night’s Dream: scroll to 3:39

How TheRSC is using tech to rehearse Rude Mechanicals across UK for RSCdream2016:



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

Let’s the journey begin!!


It is not enough to speak, but to speak true

Very nice and interesting interview with Jack Holden. I particularly like the suggestions to the amateurs! I just can’t wait to finally see Midsummer performed on stage, and in London at the Barbican!

Notes From The Bottom

For the second of this blog’s seasonal specials I am thrilled to bring readers an interview with a member of the professional cast of A Play For The Nation. Jack Holden will be playing the role of Lysander, one of the four mixed up young lovers in A Midsummer Night’s Dream.


Jack’s love of performing started at the age of 7 with a camcorder-recorded spoof of a popular children’s BBC show entitled ‘Bloop Eater’. He was born in Tonbridge, Kent in 1990 and was educated at the Judd School after which he was awarded a place at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, graduating in 2011. Since then he has never looked back and has played in a range of productions including a couple of highly praised one man plays and a previous season with the RSC. His last stage outing was as Hastings in the Theatre Royal, Bath…

View original post 964 more words

The RSC announced Professional Casting for Dream2016!

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

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!


BBC Home Front and other audio plays

HomeFront p023f6dl

(copyright BBC Radio4)

I’ve just started to listen to a fascinating WWI radio play, Home Front, these days.

It’s a “Drama serial tracking the fortunes of a group of characters on the home front as they try to maintain normality while Britain is involved in the First World War.

Official page

As you can see from the Characters, the cast is terrific and there is a good amount of interesting roles (eight families and other people) and the story takes places following exactly the real First World War Centenary timeline.

Every character has a page with information about date and place of birth, age at outbreak of WWI, occupation and even address! Plus a description of personality.

And audience can listen to it day by day or later with podcasts (single episodes or Omnibus week by week) and downloading the mp3 files. Well done BBC Radio4! A voice even says “thank you!” if you download the files, hehe! They appreciate if you do so!

Each episode is 11 minutes long and it’s aired from Monday to Friday at 12.04 am.

For each episode there’s the cast & creatives list in the page and they repeat it on the podcast. There are some beautiful illustrations along the days, too, I don’t know who is the author.

Plus links to articles on WWI real people and events.

I’m downloading all the Omnibus podcasts so that I can listen to the story from the beginning: it started the 4th of August 2014, but I didn’t know. So, as soon as the “RSC Oppenheimer” actor Jack Holden announced he joined the cast last Summer, I was taking a look to his character Roland Pemble.

As Jack tweeted yesterday: <<It’s my and Alex Tregear’s juicy episode of on at 1204 today! Photography’s never been so steamy…>> and he producer Allegra McIlroy tweeted: <<“Let’s go into the darkroom and see what develops” – sweetness + photography today >>, I liked a lot the episode and the previous others with them.

Lilian and Roland are two very charming characters, I like their personalities as described in their profiles: a bright and independent young woman who works in Photography (a kind of art I love and that was still in development and so open to creativity in those decades) at the beginning of the XX Century, when independence was not easy for women, side by side with a young assistant who loves his work and admires and loves…someone! You can well imagine what it’s going on between them through their voices, but in last’s episode…oh well, find out yourself!

Here the 9 October episode: <<HomeFront, 9 October 1915 “Lilian Frost sees Roland in a new light as they share a day of photographic discoveries” >>

And I will keep an eye on actress Alex Tregear, as well: she got a beautiful voice, like Jack!


Home Front

I also found moving what happens to another woman, but I don’t want to spoil you the story, so it’s better if we all start it from the beginning.

Even if so tragic and dreadful, I still find The Great War era interesting and here it’s seen under the point of view of those who lived it in first person.

Radio/Audio plays are great to listen to. My favorite between those I was lucky to find so far are:


I hope all the BBC radio allow more works like these for audience outside the UK!

It’s not only a good exercise to improve my English, it’s amazing how the cast & creatives are able to make your imagination run using only voices and sounds effects. Even purer performances than on Theatre! I don’t know if you get what I mean…

This play, Home Front, will be added to my Favorites pages soon…


She Stoops To Conquer reviews

She Stoops 00

First pictures and reviews for the play “She Stoops To Conquer” with the wonderful Catherine Steadman @CatSteadman and Jack Holden @jackholdenactor I liked much in “Oppenheimer”.

Gallery from Theatre Royal Bath official site:



She Stoops 01 Steadman as Kate Hardcastle is lovingly devious.


She Stoops 02 Steadman also puts in a fine turn as Kate Hardcastle“.

. Hardcastle – a sparkling portrayal by Catherine Steadman – pretends to be a barmaid to cure and catch him.


listomaniabath.comThe play is less a vehicle for social comment than an opportunity for comedy, and all is resolved satisfactorily when Kate (well played by Catherine Steadman) reveals that she has deigned to stoop from her social postion to that of barmaid (calm, this was first produced in 1773) to conquer her man.

Fingers crossed to the cast & creatives for tonight’s Press Night in Bath!

10 July, more reviews: The Times gives it 3 stars, but you need a subscription to read the article.

thepublicreviews.comCatherine Steadman is outstanding as the vivacious and independent Kate, while Charlotte Brimble makes an engaging Constance. Hubert Burton and Jack Holden are a suitably arrogant-yet-lovable double act as Marlow and Hastings“. Review: She Stoops to Conquer, Theatre Royal Bath (with a nice gallery). works up a head of steam by the madhouse second-half, though, as London rakes Marlow and Hastings, played in Jeeves and Wooster fashion by Hubert Burton and Jack Holden, […] and his daughter Kate, made delightfully feminine by Catherine Steadman, as the serving girl. What’s On Stage review. to go far too, Catherine Steadman switches likeably and effortlessly between cool, high-born Kate and her warm, West Country alter-ego. […] There’s spirited support from […] Jack Holden as the hoity-toity Hastings“.

(to be continued…)

What’s next for the wonderful Oppenheimer cast

Vaudeville Theatre

What’s next for the wonderful Oppenheimer cast?

John Heffernan

– he’s on TV with the BBC series “Jonathan Strange And Mr. Norrell” playing Henry Lascelles in all the 7 episodes –>

– he made also the first episode of “Luther” season 4, unknown role –>

– 3 episodes of the TV Mini-Series “Sons of Liberty” as Governor’s Aide –>

– and he’s the incoming movie “Eye in the Sky” as Major Harold Webb –>

Update 14 August 2015: he’ll return on stage in the title role of Macbeth at the Young Vic in London 26 December 2015- 16 January 2016 and UK Tour –>


Catherine Steadman and Jack Holden

– they are together in the incoming production of “She Stoops To Conquer” at the Theatre Royal Bath, 1-18 July 2015 –> site

– Jack plays Roland Pemberton in BBC Radio4 “Home Front“, too –> site and page on his character Roland Pemberton

No news on screen roles for the moment.


Oliver Johnstone

– takes part to the RADA London Festival with the play “Young Bloods” in the role of Napoleon Bonaparte at the Gielgud Theatre, 25-26 June and 2 July 2015 –> site

– Update Summer 2015: he reprised the role of Puck in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” UK Tour by The Royal Shakespeare Company

– is in the cast of “Teddy Ferrara” at the Donmar Warehouse (role not known yet) 01 October – 05 December 2015 –> site

No news on screen roles for the moment.


 Ben Allen

Not sure yet on his next steps. The 13rd of May the Propeller Theatre Co tweetedWe are bringing Pocket Merchant to @ElectricTheatre 17th Sept. Tix are on sale #GuildfordFringe #Guildford” and posted a picture with Ben, I wonder if he will be in the cast again?? –> site (he was in a previous production)

No news on screen roles for the moment.


Sandy Foster

– I think she’s working on the production of a play she wrote, pity I didn’t get more information about it, but she tweeted: 3 June and 8 June

No news on screen roles for the moment.


Please share other news about them with me if you have!

What I’m seeing in London 23-30 April 2015

OPPENHEIMER 23 April night
OPPENHEIMER 24 April night (following the suggestions and seeing it – at least – twice!)
HARVEY 25 April matinee
IN THE DEAD OF NIGHT 26 April matinee
THE GLASS PROTEGE 28 April night

I’ve great expectations on plays, cast and venues!

I will write down something on them!