Saturday, 19 September 2020

NEWS: Cirencester's Barn Theatre announces their 2020 Recovery Season.

The Barn Theatre has announced their full theatre recovery season for 2020 with two new productions being announced to join the current production of Private Peaceful, which is currently running until 4 October.

The season, which will feature smaller cast sizes as well as a reduced capacity in the auditorium, follows the postponement of the Barn’s original 2020 Built by Barn Season earlier this year. The theatre intends to reschedule the postponed productions to 2021 with new dates being announced in due course.


The Theatre Recovery Season will consist of a two-hand actor-musician production of Simon Reade’s adaptation of Private Peaceful (10 to 4 October), a new revival production of Stephen Sondheim’s Marry Me A Little (16 October to 8 November) and the world debut of Alan Pollock’s new stage adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan (21 November to 3 January 2020).


The Barn Theatre have also recently announced that they will be co-producing the world debut of Henry Filloux-Bennett’s new digital play adaptation of Jonathon Coe’s What a Carve Up!, with the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield and the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich. Directed by Tamara Harvey, the digital production will run from 31 October - 29 November 2020.


Kirk Jameson will return to the Barn Theatre as a Director-in-Residence for the two newly announced productions. His previous directorial work with the Barn Theatre includes The World Goes ‘Round (co-produced by Piers Cottee-Jones) at the theatre’s first outdoor theatre festival BarnFest and the 2018 Built by Barn production of Stiles + Drewe’s Just So.


Iwan Lewis, Artistic Director of the Barn Theatre, said of the new season, “I am absolutely thrilled that we have been able to produce this Theatre Recovery Season for the end of 2020. We have been overwhelmed by the positive response to our new safety procedures since we opened at the end of July for our first outdoor theatre festival, BarnFest, and again when we reopened last week for indoor theatre with Private Peaceful. We have had the seal of approval from Visit England to say that “We’re Good To Go” and we are confident that our audiences will experience the safest and most enjoyable return to live theatre. We are determined to bring back this year’s original programming in 2021 however we hope that our audiences love this new season we have worked hard to put together. Smaller shows are not a compromise on quality and this season will be a testament to that. In the words of Shakespeare, though she be but littleshe is fierce.


For their re-opening, the Barn Theatre have implemented numerous procedures to ensure audience safety throughout their experience. The theatre runs at a reduced capacity with Perspex screens being placed between groups in a new seating layout which ensure social distancing measures are adhered to. The theatre has also announced that they have a new and upgraded air filtration system which exceeds governing guidelines to ensure the experience is the safest the theatre can provide. The cast and creative team will also adhere to Government guidance on social distancing and temperature checks.


The safety measures that were successfully utilised during BarnFest - the theatre’s outdoor theatre festival - including temperature checks on arrival, mandatory masks for all patrons over 11 years old, staggered arrival times, sanitisation of public areas and hand sanitiser at entrance and exit points continue for indoor theatrical performances.




Based on the modern classic by Michael Morpurgo (War Horse, The Butterfly Lion), Private Peaceful tells the story of Tommo Peaceful as he reflects upon the events that made him the person he is now, from first love to fighting on the battlefield alongside his brother. Set against the backdrop of World War One, the intimate production runs from 10 – 27 September, with press night on Tuesday 15 September.


Private Peaceful will be performed by Emily Costello and James Demaine, directed by Alexander Knott with Zöe Grain as associate director and movement director. The transfer production will feature sound design by Harry Smith (Henry VDaddy Long Legs) and lighting design by Sam Rowcliffe-Tanner (Henry VJust So).


Private Peaceful is a co-production by BoxLess TheatreBarn Theatre and Take Two Theatricals, with associate producer Thomas Hopkins.




The charming and bittersweet one-act musical revue, which follows two single strangers as they explore their secret, unshared fantasies as they are left alone in their studio apartments on a Saturday night, will run from 16 October to 8 November, with press night on 20 October. Conceived by Craig Lucas and Norman René, with music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim, the production will be directed by Kirk Jameson (Just So, Madagascar) with musical staging by Sam Spencer-Lane (The Last Five Years, Aspects of Love), set and costume design by Gregor Donnelly and musical direction by Arlene McNaught (SIX).


Marry Me A Little is produced by the Barn Theatre in association with Anthology Theatre.




The digital production, which will be directed by Tamara Harvey (Home, I’m Darling), chronicles the events leading up to the ‘Winshaw Murders’. Filled with murder, mayhem and madness, the murder mystery turns a satirical eye on what it is like to be a member of one of the most corrupt, powerful and toxic families in the country.


Produced by the Barn TheatreLawrence Batley Theatre and New Wolsey Theatre, the murder mystery, based on the award-winning novel by Jonathan Coe, is written by Henry Filloux-Bennett (Nigel Slater’s Toast) and directed by Tamara Harvey (Home, I’m Darling).


The play, which will be available internationally, will run from 31 October - 29 November 2020. Tickets can be purchased at with audience members receiving a screening link which will activate at their booked performance time for a 48-hour period. A premium option, consisting of a physical programme and pre-theatre dining recipe card, will be available for UK residents.




“Desperate not to miss bedtime, a man in a hotel room three thousand miles from home recreates his daughter's favourite story: an epic tale of adventure, pirates, fairies - a crocodile with gigantic teeth! - and a little boy who refuses to grow old....”


The Christmas season will be filled with magic and a trip to Neverland with the world premiere of Alan Pollock’s new stage adaptation of the J. M. Barrie classic Peter Pan from 21 November 2020 to 3 January 2021 with press night on 24 November. The production is conceived and directed by Kirk Jameson with composition and musical arrangements by Nick Barstow (Rags, Just So), movement direction by Tosh Wanogho-Maud and set and costume design by Gregor Donnelly.


"Peter Pan" is presented by arrangement with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity and Concord Theatricals Ltd. on behalf of Samuel French Ltd


In the event that a show is unable to go ahead (such as a local lockdown), audience members will be contacted as soon as possible via email or phone.


Customers with bookings for the 2020 Built by Barn Season will be contacted by the Barn Theatre’s box office team to arrange alternative dates when the dates for the postponed season are announced. The theatre kindly asks that customers do not call the box office directly at this time, the theatre will make contact with all customers as soon as dates are announced.


Tickets are now on general sale now for Private PeacefulMarry Me A Little and What A Carve Up! Priority booking for Peter Pan are on sale for members from today with general sale from 25 September. Members also receive a 20% discount for preview performances of Marry Me A Little.

NEWS: Wise Children's Romantics Anonymnous to live stream to Poole's Lighthouse from Bristol Old Vic.

 Wise Children in partnership with Lighthouse present 


Thursday 24 September 
7.30pm, Live stream from Bristol Old Vic 

Tickets & information 01202 280000  

Lighthouse, Poole’s centre for the arts, is a partner venue for an online sharing of Emma Rices delicious musical produced by Wise Children, Romantics Anonymous, about the fragile love affair between a gifted chocolate maker and her socially awkward boss. 

Angélique is a gifted chocolate maker inhibited by social anxiety, so timid, she faints when people look at her. Jean-René is the boss of a failing chocolate factory, awkward, prone to embarrassing sweating and relies on self-help tapes. When Angélique takes a job in Jean-René’s struggling factory, a fragile love affair unfolds. 

Funny, tender and painfully awkward, Romantics Anonymous is a delicious love story about breaking the mould and finding the courage to be happy. 

Wise Children, the company set up by Kneehigh Theatre's former artistic director, Emma Rice (Malory Towers, Wise Children, Tristan & Yseult), has partnered with Lighthouse in the online sharing of this beautiful new musical, originally intended to be premiered in the US before the pandemic struck. 


For one night only, this fully staged live stream comes direct, in all its glory, from Bristol Old Vic to Lighthouse audiences at home - in the best seat in the house! 

The live performance takes place at 7.30pm on Thursday 24 September and digital can be booked here: 

The world premiere of Romantics Anonymous was originally produced by Shakespeare's Globe for the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse by special arrangement with Radio Mouse Entertainment. 

This live stream has been made possible by the unwavering support of the Broughton Family Charitable Trust and of Paul and Joanna Pearson. In truly challenging times, the generosity and faith of these donors has allowed Wise Children to take the very real risks involved in this project and give this wonderful show another life.  

We thank them from the bottom of our chocolate box hearts. 

NEWS: Live theatre returns to the Dukes, Lancaster.

 The Curtain Rises on Live Performance at The Dukes


Following a successful reopening of their cinema back in August, Lancaster arts organisation The Dukes have announced that audiences will be able to enjoy the return of live performance at their venue this autumn.


The season of live theatre and comedy will be housed in Moor Space, The Dukes’ second site on Moor Lane, beginning with a hop back on board the hilarious and heart-warming comedy-drama Ladies That Bus from Tuesday September 29 – Thursday October 1.


Inspired by the passengers, travels and tales of the Route 555 bus between Lancaster and Keswick, and originally borne out of a collaborative project between The Dukes, Kendal’s Brewery Arts Centre and Theatre by the Lake, the popular play made its debut at The Dukes in February this year to critical acclaim.


Audiences will also be able to enjoy two family shows, with the practically purrfect Puss in Boots, starring CBeebies’ Patrick Lynch, on Saturday October 24 and fun puppetry show Ugg ‘n’ Ogg and the World’s First Dogg on Thursday October 29.


There is also an off-site collaboration with Lancaster Arts, as they bring theatre company imitating the dog and Leeds Playhouse’s co-production of Dr Blood’s Old Travelling Show to Lancaster University on October 20 and 21. (Tickets for this show will be sold by Lancaster Arts.)


Tickets are on sale now for the Moor Space performances, with advanced booking required online or by phoning The Dukes Box Office on 01524 598500. As the café-bar remains closed, bookers can also pre-order refreshments when purchasing a ticket.


As with the reopening of their cinema, The Dukes have introduced safety measures and made a few adjustments in order to welcome audiences back. These include socially distanced seating plans and sanitiser stations, while masks are also a requirement. Bookers are encouraged to visit to find out more.


This new season is a positive step forward in welcoming back theatre-lovers, particularly to Moor Space which is just a few doors away from The Dukes’ main building. The second site was transformed into a multi-functional performance venue in late 2019 and showcased award-winning theatre at the start of 2020.


The Dukes’ Director, Karen O’Neill said: “The Dukes is so happy to be bringing live theatre back to Lancaster this autumn. Our team have been working incredibly hard to make our venue a COVID secure space and after the success of our cinema reopening in August the next part of the journey was to find a way to bring back theatre.


“We’ve transformed our Moor Space into a social distanced theatre, the measures are in place and we’re thrilled that the first performance is the glorious return of Ladies that Bus – a love-letter to the local area.


“Our community, funders and partners have supported us so much during this difficult time and we cannot thank them enough. The situation is still hugely financially challenging, but it’s important that we start to navigate this new reality. Culture is at the heart of life in Lancaster.”


Tickets for Ladies That Bus are priced at £9 - £13, while tickets for Puss in Boots and Ugg n Ogg and The World’s First Dogg are £8. For further information on The Dukes live programme, cinema listings and safety measures, visit

NEWS: A Dazed New World won't upset the Appelcart! new digitial festival in October.


Dazed New World Festival

A new live streamed online theatre festival, programmed to reflect the world today, featuring new writing, clown, spoken word, debate and an immersive audio experience

12 – 24 October 2020

@ApplecartArts | #DazedNewWorld |

Over twelve narratives on some of the most difficult facts facing our society today, online theatre festival Dazed New World will feature work exploring how we might evolve post-corona, highlight social injustice, inequality and issues of environmental concern. All shows are ticketed both via Newham’s Applecart Arts and various regional partner venues, and will be multi-camera live streamed online at particular dates and times.

The award-winning One Duck Down teaches us about the environment one rubber duck at a time, whilst clowns use Alexa to find the funny side of mental health in Clown-hearted, Black, brown and Asian musical theatre nerds debate all things showtunes in Jellicle Questions for Jellicle Nerds, Sabrina Richmond shares contemporary black British stories in A Black Story, and the audio immersive Imaginarium invites you to discover a whole new world in your bedroom, via your mobile phone.

London Borough of Newham is the home of Applecart Arts and one of the areas worst hit by Covid-19, Dazed New World Festival will include the voices of some of those affected, as well as highlighting broader themes around the pandemic and 2020.
The award-winning 
One Duck Down teaches us about the environment one rubber duck at a time, whilst clowns use Alexa to find the funny side of mental health in Clown-hearted, Black, brown and Asian musical theatre nerds debate all things showtunes in Jellicle Questions for Jellicle Nerds, Sabrina Richmond shares contemporary black British stories in A Black Story, and the audio immersive Imaginarium invites you to discover a whole new world in your bedroom, via your mobile phone.

Peter Moreton, Artistic Director of Applecart Arts, said “It’s a poetic privilege to be platforming emerging artists just as we all begin to dust ourselves off and evaluate our new landscape.  Story has always been at the heart of community and diverse, creative narratives have never been more needed than in our current times. Hopefully this festival of live performance will contribute to the conversation as we set a new agenda for our Dazed New World.” 

Applecart Arts was founded in 2008 with a monthly event in a pub in Whitechapel. Committed to the power of storytelling as a tool for entertainment, engagement, and inspiration, the company use a wide range of artistic disciplines including theatre, film, music and visual art to cross cultural divides and strengthen communities. Formerly based in The Old School Room in Tower Hamlets, the company moved to Harold Road Community Centre in Upton Park in 2017 - a creative hub that celebrates the community it serves.

A little like a small theatrical tour, Applecart Arts are presenting Dazed New World in partnership other venues across the UK including the Old Fire Station in Oxford and Aberystwyth Arts Centre, who will be engaging their audiences and selling tickets via their box offices. This helps present the work to more people, and connect to share content and income with other venues in these difficult times.

Listings information 
(in order of first performance)

Jellicle Questions for Jellicle Nerds

By Nemo Martin

A panel of Black, brown and Asian musical theatre nerds are given free rein to go off on one about their wildest musical conspiracy theories, and answer the biggest questions: Should the Phantom be given roller skates? How low could Hades go? FMK: Bill, Harry or Sam? And so much more!
Ages 16+ | Tickets £5 |

12th October 8pm
16th October 6pm


Finding Percy Erebus

By Elephant Talk Theatre

A child travels to a magical world where she confronts dancing tricksters and outsmarts rhythmic doctors. All in the hope of achieving the impossible… ‘Finding Percy Erebus’.  Elephant Talk’s striking original score, clowning, and puppetry guide the audience on an allegorical journey through grief.

Ages 7+ | Tickets £12/£10/£8 |

13th October 7.30pm

19th October 2pm

24th October 5pm


The Fall

By Coracle

A comic, poignant and poetic retelling of a child’s memorable trip to church resulting in a life changing realisation. The Fall is an exploration of inherited shame and how to overcome it. 30 minutes of comedy, history and a sprinkling of theology.

Ages 25+ | Tickets £12/£10/£8 |

14th October 8pm

16th October 9pm


One Shot

By Applecart Arts

Winner of Applecart Arts' SEEDs competition, Julia Szajkowska's 'One Shot' asks what way out would you take? Performed by Warren Mendy and Directed by Prashant Nagar, this thought provoking performance was performed and filmed in Applecart Arts' Littlewood Theatre space as the UK began to emerge from Lockdown.

Ages 13+ | Tickets £12/£10/£8 |

14th October 7pm

17th October 9pm



By Out of the Blue

Imaginarium is an exciting, experimental audio immersive experience that will guide you to discover a whole new universe within your bedroom. Lend us your ears, your time and most importantly your curiosity and step past the threshold of reality; step into the “Imaginarium”.

All ages | Tickets £12/£10/£8 |

15th October 6pm

18th October 9pm

23rd October 7pm


One Duck Down

By FacePlant Theatre

One Duck Down. 7000 rubber ducks. Seven Seas. One big adventure! Join us on a five-star eco-friendly comedy adventure packed with clowning, music and puppetry. Winner of Family Show of the Year at Vault Festival.

All ages | Tickets £12/£10/£8 |

16th October 7.30pm

18th October 3pm

22nd October 2pm

24th October 3pm


On Demand

By Natasha’s Project

On Demand is a vulnerable and impacting contemporary dance/physical theatre production revealing depths and effects of human trafficking and modern day slavery. This Production shares with audiences the physical and psychological effects this issue has on the body and mind.

All ages | Tickets £12/£10/£8 |

18th October 7.30pm

19th October 9pm


All By Myself

By Part of the Main

All By Myself explores the question, ‘Who are we without other people?’. This solo show tells the story of a woman, alone in her apartment, but connected to the outside world through her popular YouTube account. Through her online and daily life, she reveals two very different sides of herself.

Adult | Tickets £12/£10/£8 |

18th October 6pm

20th October 9pm

23rd October 8pm


A Black Story

By Sabrina Richmond

Two siblings with a whole lot of past. A grandmother and grandson reorder their world. A couple with an electric connection afraid to take a leap. What’s A Black Story – living life.

Young Adult | Tickets 12/£10/£8 |

19th October 7.30pm

21st October 9pm

24th October 7pm



By 7th Floor Productions

In a society where private lives become political and freedom of expression is not an option, Irene finds herself imprisoned. As tales of her incarceration spread overseas and her growing exposure becomes a threat, she is forced to make a brutal decision. Penelope Skinner’s urgent play is a haunting vision of state control, tense friendships and one woman determination not to be broken.

Adult | Tickets £12/£10/£8 |

20th October 7.30pm

22nd October 6pm

24th October 9pm


Call Me By My Name

By Nicole Botha

The pandemic exposed the UK to the rise of unemployment, media culture and racism in the UK, how will it play out for single twenty something Comfort in East London? Call Me By My Name is a fusion of basslines, spoken word and a story that needs to be told.

Young adult | Tickets £12/£10/£8 |

21st October 7pm

22nd October 9pm



By Clodhopper Theatre

“Alexa, why am I sad?” Join two clowns on a frank and funny journey through self-care and mental health, as they discover laughter really can be the best medicine.

Ages 14+ | Tickets £12/£10/£8 |

22nd October 8pm

23rd October 9pm



Dazed New World is funded by Arts Council England