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Production news round-up: March 15 to 21

Wendy Mae Brown has been cast in a one-night only concert version of The Color Purple
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Edinburgh International Festival has announced its 70th anniversary line-up. The programme includes the world premiere of a two-part Alan Ayckbourn play called The Divide and an expanded opera programme, featuring Joe Hill-Gibbins directing Greek by Mark-Anthony Turnage. There will also be a season of work by four Scottish companies: Citizens Theatre, the Royal Lyceum Theatre, Traverse Theatre Company and Vox Motus. EIF runs from August 4 to 28.
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The Octagon Theatre in Bolton has announced a new play by Timberlake Wertenbaker, which explores the line between fighting for freedom and terrorism. Winter Hill runs from May 11 to June 3, with press night on May 15.
Author: Timberlake Wertenbaker
Director: Elizabeth Newman
Design: Amanda Stoodley (set), Chris Davey (lighting), Ben Occhipinti (sound)
Movement: Lesley Hutchinson
Cast includes: Cathy Tyson, Denise Black, Louise Jameson, Fiona Hampton, Janet Henfrey and Souad Faress
Producer: The Octagon Theatre
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Economics journalist Paul Mason is to star in a play, which he has also written, at the Young Vic. The promenade production, called Why It’s Kicking Off Everywhere, will also be filmed and broadcast by the BBC. It runs from March 28 to 30.
Author: Paul Mason
Director: David Lan
Design: Jeremy Herbert (set), Nicki Brown (lighting), Peter Rice (sound), Ali Hossaini (video)
Producer: The Young Vic Theatre
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Janet Suzman will star in a revival of one-woman play, Rose, at Home in Manchester. It runs from May 25 to June 10 with press night on May 31.
Author: Martin Sherman
Director: Richard Beecham
Design: Simon Kenny (set), Chris Davey (lighting), Adrienne Quartly (sound)
Producer: Home, Manchester
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Becoming Mohammed, a play looking at conversion to Islam by westerners, will run at Pleasance Theatre in London from May 2 to 21.
Author: Claudia Marinaro
Director: Annemiek van Elst
Design: Bex Kemp (set), Syed Shadid Nisar (costume), Daniela Pinheiro (illustration and graphics)
Cast includes: Philippa Carson, Nadia Lamin
Producer: Hannah Tookey, And Many Others

Touring consortium Black Theatre Live has announced High Rise’s Bigfoot as its 2017 tour. The production, which tells the story of a young London teenager becoming a carer for his mother, will tour in autumn 2017 with full dates to be announced.
Author/performer: Joseph Barnes-Phillips
Director: Dominic Garfield
Producers: Black Theatre Live and Stratford Circus Arts Centre

Puppetry and mask show The Marked will tour the UK’s regional homeless ‘hotspots’ from March 31 to June 14. The show is inspired by real stories of homelessness. It will run at venues including Tobacco Factory in Bristol, Courtyard Theatre in Hereford and The Hub in Salford.
Director: Ailin Conant
Design: Grafted Cede Theatre (masks), Peter Morton (puppets), Zahra Mansouri (set and costume), Filipe Gomes (sound), Pablo Fernandez Baz (lighting)
Cast includes: Dorie Kinnear, Tom Dawze, Bradley Thompson
Producers: Theatre Témoin, Everyman Theatre

Revenge porn play Blush will have a run at London’s Soho Theatre before setting out on a UK tour. The play, which premiered in Edinburgh last year, runs from May 16 to June 3 with press night on May 18. The tour will run from June 6 to 24.
Author: Charlotte Josephine
Director: Edward Stambollouian
Design: James Turner (set), Harry Blake (sound), Seth Rook Williams (lighting), Holly Rose Henshaw (costume)
Choreographer: Polly Bennett
Cast includes: Charlotte Josephine, Daniel Foxsmith
Producer: Jake Orr

Cardboard Citizens has announced the casting for Home Truths, a series of nine new plays exploring the history of housing. The plays will run at the Bunker Theatre in London from April 17 to May 13.
Authors include: Sonali Bhattacharyya, Lin Coghlan, EV Crowe, Anders Lustgarten, Stef Smith, and Nessah Muthy
Directors: Adrian Jackson and Caitlin McLeod
Cast includes: Richard Galloway, Jake Goode, David Hartley, Marian Haque, Caroline Loncq, Endy McKay, Andre Skeete, Mitesh Soni, Cathy Owen and Faye Wilson
Producer: Cardboard Citizens

Blood of the Young has announced a tour of its new production Daphne Oram’s Wonderful World of Sound, which celebrates the life of composer Daphne Oram. The show will open at Tron Theatre in Glasgow on May 10 and tour until June 2.
Authors: Paul Brotherston and Isobel McArthur
Director: Paul Brotherston
Design: Ana Inés Jabares-Pita (set and costume), Simon Hayes (lighting)
Music: Anneke Kampman
Cast includes: Isobel McArthur, David James Kirkwood, Robin Hellier, Dylan Read and Matthew Seager
Producers: Blood of the Young

Sh!t Theatre’s Letters to Windsor House, which explores the housing crisis, will run at Manchester’s HOME from April 19 to 21.
Authors: Rebecca Biscuit, Louise Mothersole
Director: Paul Brotherston
Producer: Sh!t Theatre


Tyrone Huntley will star in a one night only concert version of The Color Purple, which tells the story of a woman who triumphs over racial adversity. The production, which will raise money for the British Theatre Academy, will show at London’s Cadogan Hall on May 21.
Authors: Brenda Russell, Allee Willis and Stephen Bray (music and lyrics), Marsha Norman (book)
Director: James Taylor
Choreographer: Mykal Rand
Cast includes: Wendy Mae Brown, Cavin Cornwall, Rachel John, Hugh Maynard, Seyi Omooba and Marisha Wallace
Producers: Matthew Chandler and Danielle Tarento
Read original story here

Strictly Come Dancing finalist Danny Mac is to take the lead in a new production of On the Town at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. The musical, which runs from May 19 to July 1, will also star Maggie Steed, Naoko Mori and Rodney Earl Clarke.
Authors: Leonard Bernstein (music), Betty Comden, Adolph Green (book and lyrics)
Director/choreographer: Drew McOnie
Design: Peter McKintosh (set), Howard Hudson (lighting)
Musical supervisor: Tom Deering
Producer: Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Read original story here

Casting has been announced for the new UK tour of Footloose: The Musical. Joshua Dowen will lead the cast – alongside the previously announced Gareth Gates and Maureen Nolan. He is joined by Hannah Price, Reuven Gershon, Lindsay Goodhand, Laura Sillett, Connor Going, Emma Fraser, Gracie Laid, Tomas Wolstenhome, Dominic Gee Burch and Alex Marshall. It tours from April 21 to September 30.
Authors: Tom Snow (music), Dean Pitchford (book and lyrics), Walter Bobbie (book)
Director: Racky Plews
Design: Sara Perks
Choreographer: Matthew Cole
Musical supervision: Mark Crossland
Producers: David Hutchinson and Phillip Rowntree for Selladoor Productions, Tristan Baker and Charlie Parsons for Runaway Entertainment, Jason Haigh-Ellery and Stephen McGill Productions

Casting has been announced for the European premiere of Pete ’n’ Keely. Katie Kerr and David Bardsley will star in the musical set in 1960s America. It runs at Tristan Bates from May 2 to 20 with press night on May 4.
Authors: James Hindman (book), Patrick Brady (music), Mark Waldrop and Patrick S Brady (lyrics)
Director: Matthew Gould
Design: Emily Bestow (set and costume), Mitchell Reeve (lighting), Sam Glossop (sound)
Musical director: James Cleeve
Producer: Wallflower Theatrical

A new musical comedy by the Heather Brothers will show at London’s King’s Head pub theatre. Holy Crap, which follows the launch of Britain’s first pay-to-view religious channel, runs from June 7 to July 8.
Author: The Heather Brothers (book, music and lyrics)
Director: Benji Sperring
Producer: Nick Thompson Productions


Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, starring Imelda Staunton and Conleth Hill, will be broadcast live to cinemas on May 18, as part of National Theatre Live. It runs in the West End until May 27.
Author: Edward Albee
Director: James Macdonald
Producers: Sonia Friedman Productions and Tulchin Bartner Productions in association with 1001 Nights Productions, Scott M Delman, Rupert Gavin, Brian Zeilinger
Read original story here


Arlene Phillips is to tour a new show in which she talks about her life and career. Arlene! The Glitz. The Glamour. The Gossip. opens at the Assembly Theatre in Edinburgh on August 22, before touring until November, when it ends its run at the Duchess Theatre in London.
Producer: Emma Brunjes Productions

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