First two shows booked for 2017!


I’ve booked for my first two shows in 2017!

whosafraid

As soon as Luke Treadaway was announced to be in the cast of “Who’s Afraid Of Virginia Woolf” at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London, I booked immediately! He didn’t do theatre since 2013, when he was in “The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time” at the Apollo Theatre, and I’m so happy he’s back “in town”!

I never saw the movie with Liz Taylor, Richard Burton, George Segal and Sandy Dennis or the play on stage, so I’m looking forward to it even more. The cast of four actors is an extra bonus: Imelda Staunton (Martha), Conleth Hill (George), Imogen Poots (Honey) and Luke Treadaway (Nick). James Macdonald directs this new production of the play written by Edward Albee. I’m also curious to see Imelda Staunton on stage. I heard she’s very good!

Here the storyline: “In the early hours of the morning on the campus of an American college, Martha, much to her husband George’s displeasure, has invited the new professor Nick and his wife Honey to their home for some after-party drinks. As the alcohol flows and dawn approaches, the young couple are drawn into George and Martha’s toxic games until the evening reaches its climax in a moment of devastating truth-telling.

It sounds promising, I expect sparks between the four characters.

I saw Luke in the movie “A Street Cat Named Bob” with a friend on November 12, 2016, she liked his performance so much that she decided to come with me in London to see him live! We booked for the 10th of May 2017 matinee. And it’s our first holiday in London together, it will be fun! She’s a lover of the city like me!

ticket

Some useful links:

information and tickets atgtickets.com

official Twitter account @WhosAfraidLDN

1966 movie imdb.com


life-rabbit-ballet-boyz-foto-di-tristam-kenton

The second ticket I booked for is a ballet. I’m following Ballet Boyz Twitter account for some time, because I love Ballet and their all-male company immediately got my attention. I recorded their ballet on WWI “Young Men“, too, when it was aired on BBC Two on November, 12.

I get the programme of the Teatro Alighieri in Ravenna every year and I was so excited to see their ballet “Life” was on the 2016-2017 season’s programme!

Life. takes an elegant, powerful and often humorous look at life and death.

I got friends involved, again. I booked for me, a friend and her 14 years old daughter, who’s taking part to a dance class! We got some good seats on Saturday 18 March night. I really hope they will like the show!

ticket

Some useful links:

Life on Ballet Boyz official site balletboyz.com

Ballet Boyz Twitter account @Balletboyz

Young Men on BBC iPlayer bbc.co.uk/iplayer


2016 isn’t finished, yet, so my list can still increase! 😉

Ben Daniels has told in two occasions on Twitter that he could be back on stage in 2017, if a project goes on! I’m impatient to know what it could be!

I have hope that some others actors I loved to see on stage will be back to theatre, too.

So, what do you think of my choices?

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My London-Stratford-London diary!


My London-Stratford-London diary in pictures!

adventure

Everything began last January, when I noticed these two tweets by the theatre expert Terry Paddock:

cymbeline-cast  king-lear-cast

I booked as soon as I could manage a new holiday, I wouldn’t have missed the occasion, even if the two plays got an alternate schedule and I had to think about my booking accurately! RSC Oppenheimer’s actor Oliver Johnstone (an actor I’m following for some time) was going to play two opposite characters, one good person and one villain, Edgar and Iachimo. Edgar is my favourite character in King Lear! While I was new to Cymbeline, we didn’t have it in our bookcase, yet, so I bought the book in double language and read it.

I know that isn’t very popular to say so, but I immediately liked the cheeky Iachimo on paper, more than Posthumus, Imogen’s soulmate. I have the impression that William Shakespeare himself didn’t root for this love story, while the sneaky bedroom scene is maybe the best one he wrote in the whole play.

I don’t like Cymbeline (and his wife and step-son) either, another selfish king in the Bard’s long bibliography, who causes his own ruin, as often happens in Shakespeare. While Imogen is lovely and bold, as well as her servant Pisanio, Belarius and his two sons, who are actually the king’s sons. I found the gender changes in the RSC production intriguing.

I also liked the idea of seeing the two plays in Stratford-Upon-Avon, Shakespeare’s birthplace, on the year of the 400th anniversary of his death. I hadn’t visited the city before.

Since I had to travel via London and to stay a few nights there, I took a look to some more plays to watch.

So, here my diary of that new UK adventure.


TUESDAY 6 SEPTEMBER

I went to London via Bologna airport. The day was splendid in Italy, so I could see the surface of my beautiful country from above! I was particularly impressed by the shapes of the San Luca mountain near Bologna and of the Lake of Garda! Pity I didn’t think to take photos, but maybe I enjoyed the view better, with my mp3 player on. While, approaching the UK, the weather went cloudy.

At Heathrow, I changed my booking with two train tickets to Stratford. At my hotel on middle afternoon, I had only to wait for the night to come.

Hobson’s Choice, the play with Martin Shaw and Bryan Dick (an actor I admire and I want to see on stage whenever I’m able) in its cast, was announced at the Vaudeville Theatre after the UK tour. I booked for it on that first night in London. It was a very enjoyable show, I wrote my report there. It was great to be back at that gorgeous theatre to see it!

It was also a real pleasure to meet Bryan Dick at the stage door after the show: he was very lovely, hugged me and signed my programme with a nice dedication! He writes my name right, that’s even nicer! Not common in my experience, haha!


WEDNESDAY 7 SEPTEMBER

war-horse

On the morning, I had an appointment with the National Theatre Archive to see a recording of War Horse, before to go to Stratford. I saw the 2013 and 2015 cast at the New London Theatre already, but consulting the archive online, I noticed they had some recordings of previous cast. At home in Italy, I exchanged some emails with a member of the staff: I asked her if it was possible to watch it again, with Luke Treadaway or Jack Holden in the role of Albert Narracott. It looked like it was possible, she told me I could watch the one with Holden, plus I could consult the script and the programme. I was very happy! I saw some scenes with the actor on the NT 50th DVD and in the 2012 trailer and I was curious to see that performance!

So scheduling my holiday, I posponed for some hours Stratford while booking and I decided to take an appointment at the NTA for that morning. But once at the archive, the woman apologized she thought I could watch the one I wanted, but the NTA put away those recordings, so only the newest are now available to watch there. I was disappointed, but I didn’t protest… too much. The recording was the 2013 one with Sion Daniel Young as Albert, so I decided to watch it again, also because I loved Ian Shaw’s performance as Friedrich Müller. But the programme was the 2015 one, so I didn’t consult it, as I have it at home. I don’t blame the NTA, though. I saw some great recordings, there, so I can’t complain.

Once I left the NTA, I took a walk along The Cut, because it was a bit too early to get to the train station. So I took this photo of the Young Vic, in appreciation of them putting these two flags on their balcony:

I had my train for Stratford on early afternoon. At Marylebone, a poster of Cymbeline was waiting for me:

Cymbeline's poster, Marylebone station, London

Cymbeline’s poster, Marylebone station, London

It was the first time I was on train in UK, if we don’t consider the one I took sometimes from Gatwick to London, so I was excited but worried at the same time I could take the wrong train or do something wrong changing it at Leamington Spa. But getting to Stratford was quite easy and I arrived around five o’clock.

I found my b&b Stretton House the office of tourism suggested me by email, a lovely house not too far from the station and the theatres. The owner was very welcoming and gave me a map of Stratford, explaining me the best way to get to the RSC theatres and Shakespeare’s famous places. It was good, I should remember not to trust entirely the Google maps I print, it’s better to ask to hotel’s owners!

I took a walk to the theatres and I was immediately taken by the modern/ancient building from far!

rst-from-far

I visited the bookshop of the RSC and bought the two programmes in advance. I also noticed some stuff I would have liked to buy the following days.

The first of the two plays with Oliver Johnstone, King Lear, was taking place that night.

It’s hard to say if I was more curious to see Oliver playing Edgar, a wonderful character, or Iachimo, the sneaky Italian, a fellow countryman of mine then, who tries to seduce the chaste Imogen. I can say he performed both the men in a wonderful way!

But let’s tell things in order.

On the night, I was sitting at my place inside the Royal Shakespeare Theatre. It was a very good seat at one side of the stage, on the front row. I didn’t dare to take a photo, but the atmosphere was exciting. A full report on the play will be posted there soon. The whole cast was terrific! The RSC always chooses well!

After the show, I wanted to meet Oliver at the stage door to say congratulations to him for the wonderful performance, but also to tell him I was going to see Cymbeline the day after. That because I read the cast speak Italian, French and Latin in the play, so I wanted to see if he could say any comment about it, knowing I was Italian.

He was very nice and asked me from which part of Italy I came. Then he exuberantly explained that Iachimo is from Siena, while I replied I thought he was from Rome (I didn’t remember that detail from the book). I also told him that I wanted to see him playing such opposite characters and he told me that, yes, they are two very different roles to play, but he finds it stimulating.

I thought that Oliver’s performance was very physical and reminded me of a figure from a painting of Caravaggio. I was right, as later, browsing the programme, I found a page mentioning the painter!

caravaggio

I had a great night.


THURSDAY 8 SEPTEMBER

After a delicious English Breakfast, on the morning I decided to visit Shakespeare’s grave first. It was due to pay homage to the Bard!

With my precious map on my hands, I reached the Holy Trinity Church, a beautiful church with original Gothic architecture. Photos were allowed, so I could take several pictures inside and outside. It was a great emotion to me to be there! Here the gallery with the description:

Outside the historical complex, the garden overlooks the Avon river and the view is stunning. You can see the RST tower from far. I took a walk along the river through a passage in the party wall. Definitely, this city is still focused on Shakespeare, as you can see from the gallery (see the pavillion’s photos, for example):

In my walk, I found by chance the famous The Other Place, the RSC mentions often on Twitter and I wanted to visit. I bet that, if I was looking for it on purpose, I wouldn’t have find it so soon! I liked that place. If I only think that inside there rehealsals take place!!

They use the walls as a glorious gallery of the RSC productions, so I couldn’t help taking pictures. You’ll see why:

I also had a delicious cappuccino at the bar.

Then, I continued my tour along the river and around the RST. I had the whole morning.

I took some stuff for my theatre collection at the bookshop and then I came back to the b&b to get ready for the other play, Cymbeline. You can well see why I wanted this calendar…I don’t think I’ll move the page any further, when I’ll find the one with Oppie….

calendar

There, a bad news: my mobile didn’t charge! Gosh. I had just the time to text my friend Chris time and place for our appointment on the evening, before the battery abandoned me.

I run to be at the theatre in time for Cymbeline. This time, I had a seat in front of the stage, first row. I was very curious to see if detractors of the play were right. They weren’t. Apparently we saw a different show. I greatly enjoyed the play, it was dynamic and funny, played not in a classic way. A full report on the play will be posted there soon.

Meeting Oliver at the stage door again, he smiled at me and told he hoped his Italian was okay and looked glad that I thought so. I can’t talk for French people and I didn’t study Latin, but I think that he did well. Actually, he spoke the best Italian in the cast and I told him so. I have to admit I didn’t understand some lines from the others actors during the scenes taking place in Rome and I had to read subtitles in English on screen, oops! But it was just the languages, because I really enjoyed all the performances!

I would have liked to ask Oliver how he manages two different performances day after day and where did he learn Italian and French, but I felt silly and I left him with his acting secrets.

He also asked me when I was going back to Italy and if I planned to see other plays in London. I replied that I had booked for Pride And Prejudice and Groundhog Day, he told me he was hoping to see GDay, too, once in London. Unless he saw the play on one of the last two Sundays, I’m sorry he will be disappointed, as the play ended last Monday, 19 September! I didn’t notice, or maybe I could have told him. What a pity for him, that musical was great!

I also got the occasion to ask for the autograph to the lovely Bethan Cullinane, I told her I loved her performance and that she and Oliver were my favorite in the cast. She said me smiling that they went to the acting school together, so I told her that I knew that last Summer they made together Young Bloods, a RADA play about Waterloo, too.

They both cheered my day up! Cheeky me, I looked for these two actors at the stage door only, as I think they stole the play.

I was in Stratford just for a short holiday, it’s a pity I could see each play only once, I’d need to focus on details! Who knows if I can make the London season at the Barbican, but looks like tickets are selling fast! So I hope that the RSC will edit the two plays on DVD, next year!

I will always regret I didn’t make an effort and didn’t go to Stratford before, to see Oppenheimer at the Swan Theatre! I found Stratford and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre gorgeous and I greatly miss them already!

On the evening, I had an appointment with Chris, an English friend I met through Twitter. We had dinner together at the RST restaurant. It was a lovely way to end the day. Courses were delicious and a pleasure for the eyes.

I found bizzarre the changes that have been made inside the building, as Chris explained me. They left just three seats on the wall to show where the old circle of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre ended. And posters.

After dinner, we walked around to see the city by night. Chris suggested me a shop where I could ask to check my phone in the morning. Pity I couldn’t take photos of Stratford by night, as my camera card was full already and I couldn’t use the phone. The atmosphere outside Shakespeare’s house was magic.


FRIDAY 9 SEPTEMBER

Another lovely English Breakfast. I had my train for London around 5 pm, but I had to renounce to visit to some Stratford places as I planned, for I had to fix my phone problems and I couldn’t leave my luggage at the b&b for more than few hours, as they apologized they had a last-minute commitment on the afternoon. So I took another long walk through the city, but it was nice.

Then I stayed around the RSC theatres and I sat on Ian Richardson’s bench. What a honour!

But I had enough time to visit the RSC’s free exhibition “WELL SAID, Favourite Shakespeare Quotes” inside the RST. Lines by Shakespeare were chosen by actors, like Ayesha Dharker, Hiran Abeysekera and Paapa Essiedu and inspired new artworks made by some artists.

After that, walking around the ground floor, I noticed that big photo Tom Morton-Smith tweeted about some months ago. Looks like at the RSC are still proud of that wonderful performance by John Heffernan! Oppie is still there! I can’t blame them!

I didn’t want to leave the RSC palace too soon, so I decided to have another lovely cappuccino and a slice of cake at the bar. The British now how to prepare them!

rsc-cappuccino-and-cake

Later, I visited the Guild Chapel, another amazing Gothic church in the city. There are some ancient affrescos in need for restoration, so they’re collecting money. I really hope they can make it.

And around the city there still are some amazing buildings of the time of Shakespeare, fortunately the city saved fro the passing of time. Is part of their cultural heritage, no?

I would have liked to stay in Stratford more days, but I had to leave. I took some last photos at the train station.

I had no plays to see in London in the evening, so I enjoyed an episode of Law & Order: UK on TV. It’s always a pleasure to see James Steel on screen!


SATURDAY 10 SEPTEMBER

I started my day going to The Cut again. In my schedule, I didn’t think I could excange my ticket for Groundhog Day at the Old Vic on Wednesday. Oh well, it was also an occasion to do my ritual: walking along the Southwark, which for me is like throwing a coin into the Fontana Di Trevi to get back to Rome!

Waiting for the Old Vic’s box office to open, I went to the bar of the Young Vic, where I know they do a good cappuccino. It was fun, because the barman asked me if I was there for an audition. Haha! I told him that I wished I was! Then he asked me if I was seeing Yarma, but no, unfortunately.

I took my ticket for GDay and then I went to the Southbank. Everytime, I have to go inside the National Theatre for their bookshop, where I bought a copy of The Stage, and then inside the BFI, where I use to visit the exhibition they set on the mezzanine. This time it was “Recent acquisitions to BFI special collection“. I took with me a programme of the incoming Film Festival, too. I wish I could have attended to it.

I was nervous and excited for the afternoon. I was going ot the Open Air Theatre for the first time, to see Pride And Prejudice, but the weather was cloudy, so I feared it could rain. I was right. As I wrote in my report there, I was able to see just few minutes of it, then the staff interrupted the play! I was so disappointed! For the second time in that holiday, I couldn’t see a play I planned to see!! I just took some photos around.

But I took consolation on the evening, as Groundhog Day was indoors and very enjoyable! My report there.


SUNDAY 11 SEPTEMBER

A brief visit to the British Library to buy a present for one of my two brothers, who celebrated his birthday the day after.

And then, on my way back to Italy, sigh. End of another great holiday! Looks always too short to me! Haha!

I hope you liked the gallery, I had to share how beautiful Stratford-Upon-Avon is!

Perhaps this diary matters just to me, really…

I took many other photos, but I posted here just the more interesting.

Bye bye!

the-rsc-by-night

Midsummer on the dancefloor


I can’t count how many companies around the world bring A Midsummer Night’s Dream on stage this year, in many creative ways, to celebrate the Bard’s 400th anniversary. I focused my interest on the RSC’s version RSC Dream 2016, which I liked much and I saw three times at the Barbican (read my report here), but for sure this other one caught my attention today: The Donkey Show, A Midsummer Nights Disco at Proud Camden in London.

logo

It was introduced to me via Twitter by , who is involved in the project (michaelwoods-sound.co.uk). We follow each other there and I’m grateful he suggested me the show.

I take the synopsis straight from their gorgeous, glittering site donkeyshowlondon.com:

Taking over Proud Camden, this Midsummer Night’s Dream has a disco flair and you’re in the party! Inspired by Shakespeare’s story of love, magic and mishaps, and boasting a catalogue of retro hits including; I Will Survive, We Are Family, You Sexy Thing, Carwash and Don’t Leave Me This WayThe Donkey Show is bringing the divas, dancers and disco balls to London this summer for a strictly limited season from 10 June.

You can follow them on several social media:

Twitter

Facebook donkeyshowldn

Instagram donkeyshowldn

YouTube channel

Snapchat donkeyshowldn

Here the Cast&Creative list: donkeyshowlondon.com/cast-creative with their Twitter accounts – some characters’ names are different from the original, so I’d like to know if there still are the four lovers and how the story develops.

In the News session, you can find interviews to the cast&creatives and a rehearsals diary. I like when a production shares a lot of material with the audience.

Venue: Proud Camden, Camden Town, London @ProudCamdenproudcamden.com – a strictly limited season from 10 June to 21 August 2016.

I love Disco music! I love Midsummer: to me it’s the most musical and colorful play that Shakespeare ever wrote, so putting it on the dancefloor is a great idea!

This show looks sooo cool! If I was in London this Summer, I would certainly go to Camden to see it!

I leave you with this promo shoot, which is really nice:


 

New musical and play about Tolkien


On Sunday 26 afternoon I was taking a look to my timeline on Twitter and I came across two tweets about a new musical and a new play dedicated to the writer J.R.R. Tolkien.

They told me they are completely unassociated, so it was a nice coincidence!

I loved reading The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings, he invented such a fascinating world with proper languages and writing, taking inspiration from real things, that’s maybe why his work is so appealing.

Not only Tolkien wrote some great books and inspired other artists, his whole life was an adventure! And tragic, too, starting from losing parents very soon and taking part to the WWI as a soldier.

These young talents are paying him what look like fantastic tributes! So they absolutely deserve a blog!

Both the productions talk about Tolkien’s friendship with C.S. Lewis, another writer who invented magic worlds and characters with his books. No surprises both are still sources of inspiration for many kind of artworks.


Let’s start from the first one I’ve found, the musical:

Tolkien – The Musical
Music and Lyrics written by Joseph Purdue

tolkienposter-a4-option3

New Musical explores the life of JRR Tolkien
Composer sets his sights firmly on reproducing debut show for the West End

book by Claire Gibson and Joseph Purdue

They are at showcase / development stage. Concert Trailer with musical clips are available on their YouTube channel.

Here the site of the composer, with news: http://www.joepurdue.com/news and his Twitter account @Joe_Purdue

23-yead-old Joseph’s creation “Tolkien” explores the life of perhaps the 20th century’s most significant fantasy writer J.R.R. Tolkien – fabled auther of novels The Hobbit and the Lord of the Rings trilogy. … Throughout Joseph’s two hour musical, Tolkien’s maturity and traumas are shown: his upbringing with Father Francis, his involvement within the semi secret Tea Club and Barrowvian Society, the First World War, his friendship with fellow fantasy writer C.S. Lewis and finally the origins of the Lord of the Rings.

The first concert dates and venue were Wed 20th and Thur 21st April at Central Studio, QMC, Cilddesden Road, Basingstoke. Let’s hope there will be more soon.

Follow their Twitter account for news: @Tolkien_Musical and FB page TOLKIEN-The-Musical

Cast to be announced. More details will follow.


And then the play:

The Fellowship

a new play by Bryan Hodgson, Hodgson Creed Productions

The Fellowship

13th August at 4.30pm / 14th – 19th August at 6.00pm, Hen and Chickens Theatre

part of The Camden Fringe 2016, Camden Town, London

Their website: – FB page: – FB event:

Synopsis: “In a dimly lit back room of Oxford’s Eagle and Child pub, two young Oxford graduates share stories of dragons, elves and Norse mythology amidst occasional beer-fuelled banter. C.S. Lewis, a fresh faced, impressionable yet imaginative young atheist, finds himself conversing with the energetic and highly opinionated new head of English, Professor Tolkien. Before the birth of their imaginative worlds, these two great minds developed a strong and inseparable friendship that was one of the founding and fuelling elements of the birth of Narnia and Middle-Earth. This UK premiere explores the very beginning of such an unlikely bond between a devout Catholic and an ardent non-believer, and their continued support and love of each other’s work.

Tickets available here: http://www.camdenfringe.com/show.php?acts_id=636

Hodgson Creed are Bryan Hodgson @bryanhodgson & Anita Creed @anitacreed

Bryan is currently playing Charlie Chaplin in a UK tour of “Chaplin: The Charlie Chaplin Story” and Anita has just finished filming a trailer for a feature film with Alan Ford (“Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrells”). She has also recently worked with Andrew Wright, double Olivier award nominee for choreography, and Amy Anzel who currently produced a national tour of “Happy Days” and is currently producing “Sideways” at the St. James theatre in the West End.

Here is a link to a review of the show where Bryan and Anita met: theargus.co.uk

Cast to be announced. More details will follow.


Poster and synopsis courtesy of @Tolkien_Musical and .


I’m so curious on these two productions! If I was in London, I would certainly take a chance to see both the shows. Who knows if I’m able…? Never say never!

Looking forward to news from them!

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



 

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!

The Boys In The Band play goes to London


This morning actor Mark Gatiss shared the great news on Twitter:

We’re having a party! Wanna come?

boys

So the play The Boys In The Band by Mart Crowley goes to the Park Theatre in London from the 28th of September to the 30th of October 2016.

Mark Gatiss will play Harold and his husband, the actor Ian Hallard, will play Michael.

No surprises they’re going to play the two main characters.

Here the official website boysbandplay.com, Twitter account @BoysBandPlay and Facebook page BoysBandPlay. Park Theatre @ParkTheatre.

Here an article on the revival: gaytimes.co.uk/culture/

I think the 1970 movie by William Friedkin from the same play was a masterpiece! So funny and bitter-sweet at the same time! Harold and Bernard are still my favorite in the movie, btw. While I’m still divided about Michael.

So I was hoping it would be made on stage, sooner or later. It’s about time someone take it to a theatre again!

Unfortunately, I’m quite sure I can’t make it, as I booked for London and Stratford at the beginning of September, so would be hard to me to be back to the UK again from Italy on the same month – and for sure this show will go sold out in a snap, as soon as the booking starts on Tuesday 3rd May – what a pity! Typical Italian problem…