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7 days of theatre in 60 seconds: January 9-15

Alan Rickman. Photo: Marie-Lan Nguyen

Top theatre industry stories

Alan Rickman dies aged 69
Alan Rickman, one of the most charismatic actors of his generation, has died from cancer aged 69.[read more [1]]

Bend It Like to Beckham to close in March
West End musical Bend It Like Beckham will close in March after running for less than a year. [read more [2]]

Universal hires theatrical talent
Universal Music Group has hired West End producer Scott Landis as it begins a major push into developing and producing theatre. [read more [3]]

ATG hires Eventim boss to head up digital strategy
Ambassador Theatre Group has appointed Eventim managing director Rob Edwards to head up a new digital strategy. [read more [4]]

Bad Jews returns to London for Theatre Royal Haymarket run
Comedy Bad Jews is returning to London for a run at the Theatre Royal Haymarket. [read more [5]]

Ed Vaizey becomes UK’s longest serving arts minister
Ed Vaizey has become the longest serving arts minister in British political history, beating a record set by Labour’s Jennie Lee. [read more [6]]

Scarborough’s Futurist Theatre faces demolition after appeals failure
Scarborough’s Futurist Theatre looks set to be demolished after a third appeal to make the venue a listed building was rejected. [read more [7]]

Rising refurb costs force Scotland’s oldest theatre to appeal for more cash
Owners of the Theatre Royal Dumfries have called on the local authority for an extra £50,000 to complete a planned £1.9 million refurbishment of the building. [read more [8]]

Most read

  1. Exclusive: Audience member covers for performer after last-minute illness in Into the Woods [9]
  2. Akram Khan: ‘Don’t have more female choreographers for the sake of it’ [10]
  3. The Stage 100 2016 (top 5) [11]
  4. Danielle Hope and Eva Noblezada to join the cast of Les Mis [12]
  5. Billy Elliot producers branded ‘elitist’ in final night seats row [13]

Theatre talking points:

Theatre reviews

Rafe Beckley in The Lighthouse at the Space, London. Photo: Ben Carpenter
Rafe Beckley in The Lighthouse at the Space, London. Photo: Ben Carpenter

The Lighthouse [19]review at the Space, London – ‘gem of a fairy tale two-hander’ ★★★★
Vertical [20] review at Somerset House, London – ‘brave and brilliant’ ★★★★★
Give Me Your Love [21]review at Battersea Arts Centre, London – ‘a provocation’ ★★★★
Until the Lions [22] review at the Roundhouse, London – ‘breathtaking theatricality’
Tipping Point [23]review at Platform Theatre, London – ‘spellbinding’ ★★★★
Marcel [24]review at the Shaw Theatre, London – ‘poignant if simplistic’ ★★★
Richard III [25]review at New Diorama, London – ‘intelligent and kinetic’ ★★★★
Tosca [26] review at the Royal Opera House – ‘Gheorghiu does not disappoint’ ★★★
Fear and Misery of the Third Reich [27] review at Union Theatre, London – ‘resonant’ ★★★★

Need to know: The politics of culture

On his 2,070th day in office, Conservative MP Ed Vaizey became the longest serving arts minister [6] in British political history, beating a record set by Labour’s Jennie Lee.

On the other side of the parliamentary chamber, Maria Eagle, who has been appointed as shadow culture secretary, has been in the job for just a week. Eagle takes on the portfolio from Michael Dugher, who was “unceremoniously sacked” by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn [28] on January 5 after just four months in the role.

Dugher was considered somewhat outspoken [29] in the wake of the government’s “hugely damaging” arts and culture spending cuts, and was criticised by Vaizey for his alleged “scaremongering” at the time.


Sheridan Smith. Photo: Greg Williams
Sheridan Smith. Photo: Greg Williams

Sheridan Smith:

My idols have always been people like Kathy Burke and Julie Walters and Maggie Smith, who also do that. They have no vanity, and if you can leave your vanity at the door, you can laugh at yourself and people can laugh with you. [read more [30]]

Julie Hesmondhalgh:

If you’re filming a drama or doing a play, you never have 16 years of history behind you to bring to the last scene of something. Your investment in it and the audience’s investment in that character and the relationships and everything… it’s a really unique thing. [read more [31]]

Imogen Stubbs:

I do like a challenge. I’m not keen on reproducing what I’ve already done. That’s not interesting for me or for the audience. I want to do things that frighten me a bit, like Shakespeare. [read more [32]]

What they said about…

What you said about…

Poll: How many times have you seen a BAME actor playing the lead role in a Shakespeare play?



[vote now [40]]

Looking back…

This time last year, Oldham Coliseum Theatre revealed it was planning to relocate [41] to a new £30 million arts and heritage centre.

Five years ago, it was announced the Donmar Warehouse was in the process of buying its own rehearsal, education and office space [42] in Covent Garden London.

A decade ago, the Royal Shakespeare Company was awarded £20 million towards the proposed £100 million regeneration of its national base [43] in Stratford-upon-Avon.

What’s coming up?

January 14: This Is Private Property opens at Camden People’s Theatre, the venue’s first in-house production since 2009.

January 20: LAMDA completes the exterior of its new building with a topping out ceremony.

January 18: Writers’ Guild Awards are announced.

January 21-22: Plasa Focus Glasgow takes place.

More breaking news [44]reviews [45]interviews [46]obituaries [47] and jobs  [48]can be found on The Stage.