Sunday, 17 January 2021

BOOK REVIEW: Bob Dylan In London: Troubadour Tales - Jackie Lees and K.G. Miles


TITLE: Bob Dylan In London: Troubadour Tales
AUTHOR: Jackie Lees and K.G. Miles
PUBLISHED BY: McNidder & Grace.

Bob Dylan first visited London as long ago as December 1962 - to film a television play in which he gave the first broadcast performance of 'Blowin’ In The Wind'. Like so much from that era of television, the play is long gone, junked by BBC apparatchiks who valued reusable film stock over cultural milestones. But memories remain, usually blurry, often contradictory. There is still some debate over which venue hosted Dylan’s first appearance on British soil - several folk clubs based in several pubs vie for that distinction - but what is not in doubt is the importance London has had for Dylan over the decades, from that first low key appearance at the start of the sixties to headlining an open-air festival in 2019.

The present work seeks to explore the relationship between singer and city by devoting a chapter apiece to each of Dylan’s acknowledged visits between 1962 and 1978, though later visits in 1981 and the early nineties are touched on. Perhaps the first striking thing that emerges from this history is a socio-economic factor: unlike so many first-time visitors to Britain destined for later superstardom, Dylan never had to couch-surf (as they didn’t call it in those days). On his first visits, he was accommodated at the grand Mayfair Hotel in Knightsbridge (the BBC picked up the cheque, as well as paying for his flights: an astonishing privilege for a 21-year old performer virtually unknown in Britain at the time), a venue he spurned because of its stuffy formality, in favour of bedding down at the director’s house in Hampstead. Thereafter, his normal centre of operations during London visits was a suite at the Savoy. He never had to rough it!

It’s a pity these early visits are so poorly-documented because in many ways they are the most interesting of all and the authors can only speculate about some of the incidents reputed to have taken place: for instance, did Dylan really have a three hour chat with the poet Robert Graves or was the limit of their acquaintance attendance at the same house party in Tregunter Road? Dylan’s own Chronicles suggest the former, but he is a notoriously unreliable narrator of his own life. By the time of his next visit in 1964, with fame burgeoning, things become a lot clearer and from 1965 onwards, we have detailed, if sometimes contradictory, accounts of each visit. The best documented remain the 1965 and 1966 tours, both filmed by D.A. Pennebaker and with many famous incidents veraciously captured on camera. Even so, the authors are able to fill us in on some things that Pennebaker either didn’t see or Dylan chose not to have recorded: his split with Joan Baez during the spring 1965 tour and a promising liaison with the eighteen year old Marianne Faithfull that Dylan aborted upon discovering she was pregnant (by someone else, of course).

The 1966 ‘electric’ tour (or the ‘Judas!’tour, depending on your politics) has gone down in history as one of rock’s lightning points, with Dylan fronting a rock band against the protests of the various folkies and alleged ‘communists’ who had booked their tickets without knowing his style had changed (easily done in pre-youtube/internet days). The true story is somewhat more complex than that, but the legend is more appealing than the facts. To explore the whys and wherefores of Dylan’s ‘going electric’ is not part of this book’s remit, but it’s interesting to note that after one draining gig at the Albert Hall where he’d faced down a barracking audience, Dylan retreated to his room at the Savoy only to be told the Beatles had called round to offer him moral support. Being ‘too tired’ to see them, he sent them away ....

It was twelve years before Dylan performed in London again and his residency at Earl’s Court during the summer of 1978 and the concert at Blackbushe Aerodrome that followed to accommodate those who couldn’t obtain tickets for Earl’s Court, have also passed into legend. The shame is that security at those venues was so tight that bootleggers were discouraged from even trying and the only records of those gigs are incomplete and poorly-recorded.

The authors round off with a chapter on Dylan’s special relationship with the Crouch End area of the capital, a place he seems to have a fondness for and where he chose to shoot a video in 1993. Along the way, we learn of some amusing incidents, such as Dylan’s non-incognito visit to London Zoo in 1981 (apparently, no-one recognised him), the famous ‘plumber’ incident of 1985 (Bob mistakes Eurythmic Dave Stewart’s house for that of another plumber, coincidentally also named Dave) and the galvanising effect Dylan’s casual decision to sit in front of one particular wall painting for an album cover had on the career of the artist.

This highly enjoyable book will amuse and divert the more-than-casual Dylan fan (diehard Dylan fans will probably know most, if not all, of it already) and send you back to the related albums with a renewed curiosity.

Reviewer - Richaed Ely
on - 15/1/21

NEWS: Manchester International Festival announces FREE online "In My House... And Yours" Festival.


MIF PRESENTS FREE 'FESTIVAL IN MY HOUSE... AND YOURS' PROGRAMME ONLINE

Artists from across Greater Manchester, supported by Manchester International Festival (MIF), host monthly micro-festival events from their own homes.


Following a successful programme of online events presented last summer in response to the challenges posed by COVID-19, MIF are again supporting artists and collectives from across Greater Manchester to host online events each month (December 2020 - May 2021) as part of Festival In My House… And Yours, MIF’s popular micro-festival series reimagined for the digital realm. All events will be free and streamed via MIF’s Youtube channel.

 

Already live, A Woman’s Place is in the Home is an ambitious online cross art-form event from Megan Marie Griffith, Shonagh ShortJenny GaskellJustina Aina and Lowri Evans of Girl Gang Manchester. Watch again here.

   

Megan Marie Griffiths, Artistic Director of Girl Gang Manchester, said, “It’s been really exciting to get this opportunity and we’re so excited by all the other five groups that are presenting work!”

   

First in the new year (Thursday 21 January, 7pm), Simone French, Tracey Gibbs, Tom Halls and Rebecca Taylor - a group of designers, producers and performers who met following an MIF Matchmakers event - are inviting viewers to re-style, re-educate and repurpose their wardrobes as they reflect on sustainable methods to stay fashionable in Rebels of Extinction.

   

Visually impaired artist Elizabeth Wainwright of Engage to Stage in Bury, presents Playing Through The Looking Glass (Thursday 25 February) - a series of online workshops on clowning, movement and theatre to bring together and showcase the talent within the visually impaired creative community.

   

Josh Wilkinson and Chloe Barlow, of North Manchester theatre company Malandra Jacks, are working with artists from Moston to host Arty Farty (Thursday 25 March) - exploring what it means to be young and working class today, whilst celebrating and parodying all things arty.


Black Stories Matter (Thursday 29 April), curated by Ronke Jane Adelakun and Adeola Adelakun, explores the day-to-day struggles of Black people dating and in the workplace through imagery, poetry and storytelling.

   

For the final Festival in My House… And Yours in this series, Manchester Urban Diggers will present MUD Kitchen ­(Thursday 27 May) – a specially curated series of streamed outdoor cooking workshops run by members of the community around Platt Fields Park.

   

With the creative community seriously affected by the COVID-19 crisis, MIF has been finding ways to offer support to artists and creatives based in Greater Manchester. Other initiatives have included online Remote Residencies, digital workshops, bespoke funding for music industry professionals and regular online drop-in sessions for freelancers and creatives to offer advice, build networks and begin new collaborations through MIF Matchmakers.

   

MIF has also continued to actively support and be part of GM Artist Hub, offering advice and resources to the independent practitioners, artists, and companies of Greater Manchester.

   

Listings


Rebels of Extinction

Simone French, Tracey Gibbs, Tom Halls and Rebecca Taylor

Thursday 28 January 2021, 7pm

Online

   

Playing Through the Looking Glass

Elizabeth Wainwright

Thursday 25 February 2021, 7pm

Online

   

Arty Farty

Malandra Jacks

Thursday 25 March 2021, 7pm

Online

   

Black Stories Matter

Ronke Jane Adelakun and Adeola Adelakun

Thursday 29 April 2021, 7pm

Online

   

MUD Kitchen

Manchester Urban Diggers

Thursday 27 May 2021, 7pm

Online

NEWS: The Lowry Theatre, Salford launch 'Creativity For Wellbeing' during lockdown.


The Lowry launches timetable of FREE creative activities to support positive mental health in lockdown

     

The Lowry has released details of a new timetable of free creative activities for children and adults to enjoy from home during the new national lockdown.

 

Launching on Tuesday (19 January) with ‘Under 7s Dance Yourself Happy’, the programme is entitled Creativity for Wellbeing and is led by professional artists and workshop practitioners.

 

Each activity will run on the same day and time each week for at least the next five weeks to enable those home-schooling to factor events into daily lesson plans.

 

Events will be delivered on Zoom or livestreamed on Facebook.

 

The full list of confirmed events are:

 

  • Under 7’s Dance Yourself Happy: Every Tuesday at 9.30am for 30 minutes.
  • Colour and Craft: Every Wednesday at 12.30 for 30 minutes.
  • LS Lowry inspired drawing: Every Wednesday at 6.30pm for 2 hours.
  • The Sea Within: Yoga & Mindfulness for children: Every Thursday at 12.30 for 30 minutes.
  • Creative writing & poetry: Every Thursday at 6.30pm for 2 hours.
  • Walkeoke: Every Friday at 11am for 45 minutes.

 

No experience or skills are required to take part. All are welcome.

 

Julia Fawcett OBE, chief executive of The Lowry, said: “Our Creativity for Wellbeing timetable is designed to boost people’s mood, enhance their energy and promote a sense of calm.

 

“We hope that in offering a fixed schedule of events people will be able to easier-factor them
into their working day, lesson plan and other personal or family commitments.”


For more information about the events on offer, please visit: www.thelowry.com/CreativityForWellbeing


Creativity for Wellbeing has been made possible thanks to funding from Arts Council England, Art Fund and Salford City Council.

NEWS: Crawley's Right Here Festival announces revised COVID-safe programme for 29 and 30 January.


Creative Crawley presents: 

Right Here Festival 

A celebration of the creativity and vibrancy of Crawley in a free festival of spoken word, dance, photography, film, and a live talk with Grace Saif from13 Reasons Why 

29th & 30th January 2021 

Online and locations around Crawley 

@CreativeCrawley | #RightHere | www.creativecrawley.com 

Taking place online and with outdoor art for passers-by to discover around Crawley, this two-day festival will showcase the talent and creativity of the town in more than 20 events.   

From audio tours, to storytelling for toddlers and sing-a-long for people with dementia, from writing to photography to a images on lampposts, the festival represents and caters to the diverse talents and tastes of the community, as well as curious audiences from elsewhere in the online programme. 

Curated by Crawley born-and-raised Louise Blackwell and West Sussex artist Sinead Emery, the festival is split into four sections: 

Happenings: events and exhibitions happening outdoors and online, including 10 images celebrating local people in lockdown on lampposts across the town, an audio tour with recorded stories about local people’s favourite walks, and live streamed poetry and music. 

Workshops: interactive sessions for people of all ages, from storytelling for toddlers, creative writing for mums of young children and sing-a-longs for people with dementia 

Talks & Film: young people including Crawley Community Youth Services and Manor Green College have created films to be shown online, and creatives of Crawley including actress Grace Saif (Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why) and drag queen Seb Livingstone will talk about what inspires them and how they got into a career in the arts. 

In Your Home: music available direct to your home from Songbirds Virtual Choir and Dormans Youth Arts Centre, recommended book of the day to an online live streamed Festival Finale with short films, music and spoken word poetryThere will also be a recipe of the day to follow along with, and the Crawley Camera Club share their 2020 images. 

Speaking about the festival, participating artist Sarah Maple said “Crawley has especially taken a hit during 2020 so I am really excited to have this festival as something to lift our spirits and get our creativity flowing. We have a lot of community spirit and talent here and I can't wait to see it shine!” 

Katie Gledhill, Principal Librarian –  “We know that Crawley has been really hard hit by the pandemic and so the positive investment in the town, that Creative Crawley and the Right Here Festival represent, feels urgent, hopeful and very welcome.” 

Vicki Illingworth, Principal, Crawley College and Creative Crawley advisory group member “The Right Here Festival is an exciting and innovative showcase of arts and culture across Crawley.  There are so many creative, skilled and talented groups and individuals in our community, Creative Crawley is passionate about showcasing breadth and depth of artistry and opening imaginative opportunities to engage more people.  The programme is vibrant and dynamic – we’re looking forward to January!.” 

Creative Crawley is a grouping of local stakeholders who aim to place creativity at the heart of Crawley.  The town has faced significant challenges in 2020, in part because of its links to the fortunes of the airline industry; the festival will celebrate the spirit and resilience of its people, connecting local organisations such as libraries, youth groups and shops to benefit the wider community. 

Listings information 

29 – 30 Jan – all day  

FREE 

Online and various venues 

www.creativecrawley.com

 

Fully Booked: Recommended book of the day by Crawley Library                                  29 & 30 Jan, all day 

TALK | Online 

Tune in to hear a book recommendation from Crawley library. 

 

People’s Pathways by LPK Learning, Sinéad Emery & Gaz Tomlinson                           29 & 30 Jan, all day 

HAPPENING | Audio trail, different locations in Crawley 

Local people have recorded stories about their favourite walks in Crawley since March 2020. Download the stories and listen to them on your own walk or at home, at your leisure.  

 

UPDATED: Lockdown Looking Glass by LPK Learning, Crawley Museum & Rachel Cowell        

29 & 30 Jan  

HAPPENING | Art exhibition, online  

Local people will be filming objects with a narrative about their meaning to be collated into a digital collage and shown as part of the Festival Finale 

 

UPDATED Awakening by Same Sky                                                                 29& 30 Jan  

HAPPENING | Light sculpture exhibition 

Crawley favourites Same Sky commissioned artists to produce10 new light sculptures that represent their lives since March 2020 and they will be on display for passers-by to discover. 

 

UPDATED Capturing Lockdown by LPK Learning, Woodard Photography, Crawley Museum and Sinead Emery                                                                                                                         29 & 30 Jan  

HAPPENING | Photography on lampposts around Crawley  

Photos taken by local people since March 2020 will appear on different lampposts in Crawley for passers-by to discover 

 

Cultural Kitchen: Recipe of the Day by Diverse Crawley                                               29 & 30 Jan, all day 

IN YOUR HOME | Online (recorded) 

Join local residents as they share their cultural recipes with you online including recipes from Poland, Nigeria, Portugal and England. 

 

2020 Photography by Crawley Camera Club                                                                 29 & 30 Jan, all day 

IN YOUR HOME | Online (recorded) 

An online exhibition of images taken and individually selected by members of Crawley Camera Club in 2020.  

 

Songbirds Virtual Choir                                                                                               29& 30 Jan, all day 

IN YOUR HOME | Online (recorded) 

Songbirds all female choir haven't been able to meet in person for a while, but since March they have worked together online. Tune in to listen to their songs.  

 

29th January 

 

Creative Café by Culture Shift & Crawley College                                                           29 Jan, 9.30am 

WORKSHOP | Online (live) 

A workshop for Crawley College students about how to enter the creative industries featuring local successful creative professionals.  

 

Baby Rhyme Time by Crawley Library                                                                           29 Jan, 10.30am 

WORKSHOP | Online (recorded) 

Sing a long workshop for babies, toddlers and their parents from Crawley library.  

 

Story Magic: What Am I? by Crawley Library                                                                 29Jan, 11am 

WORKSHOP | Online (recorded) 

Aimed at children with additional needs, this is a sensory Storytime from Crawley library.  

 

We Are Manor Green College by Manor Green College and Carousel                            29 Jan, 1.45pm 

FILM | Online (recorded and live)  

 A short film showcasing life in a special school during an extraordinary year celebrating the talent and abilities of the students.  

Crawley Creatives talk by Annie Bowden from The Posh Club                                       29Jan, 4pm 

TALK | Online (live)  

Annie is co-founder of The Posh Club which was invented in Crawley for her Mum who was in her 80s and feeling a bit lonely 

 

Crawley Creatives talk by Sebastian Livingstone                                                           29Jan, 4.30pm 

TALK | Online (live)  

Sebastian, or as he’s known around Crawley – Sebrina is a twenty-three-year-old drag queen who has resided in Crawley for twenty-two years. He’s been dressing and performing as a drag queen for three years. Crawley has a small, but rich and vibrant queer scene which he hopes to draw more attention to. It’s an important part of his art, and of his character... and who doesn’t love a sickening pair of heels? 

 

Crawley Creatives talk by Grace Saif                                                                           29 Jan, 5pm 

TALK | Online (live) 

Grace Saif is an actress, best known for her role as Ani Achola in Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why, She was born and raised in Crawley. Trained at RADA she’s tipped as a rising star. 

 

No Need to Hug to Share the Love by CCYS                                                               29 Jan, 6pm 

FILM | Online 

A film sharing the creativity of young people who work with Crawley Community Youth Services.  

 

UPDATED: postponed to later in the year : Doorstep DJs, by Tons of Sound & local DJs                                                                      

IN YOUR HOME | Music, ten streets in Crawley  

When the restrictions have been lifted and it’s time to celebrate being together again, we will host a 20 minute DJ set on your doorstep on multiple streets around Crawley 

 

30th January  

 

Melody for the Mind by Crawley Library                                                                        30Jan, 11am 

WORKSHOP | Online (recorded) 

Sing-a-long with Crawley library for those living with dementia.  

 

Writing around the kids by Anna Jefferson and New Writing South                                30 Jan, 11am 

WORKSHOP | Online (live)  

A creative writing workshop for mothers with young children.  

 

Dance Hub TV Watch Party, local dance schools and Dance Hub TV                             30Jan, 4pm 

FILM | Online (recorded and live)  

Tune in to witness short films made by local dance schools since March 2020.  

 

Lockdown Made Me…by Woodzy and Sinead Emery                                        30 Jan, throughout the day 

HAPPENING | Performance, online 

Teenagers have written spoken word poetry about their experience of lockdown with professional spoken word poet Woodzy which will be performed online as part of the Festival Finale. 

 

Festival Finale: Music from local bands, poetry from local teenagers and digital exhibitions                                                                                                                                                         30Jan, 7.30pm 

IN YOUR HOME | Music, poetry, short films, online (live and pre-recorded) 

A mix of pre-recorded and live streamed content showcasing local pop and rock bands, spoken word poetry and world music from young people and adults from Crawley. Plus short films made by local artists.  

 

Funded by Arts Council England, Crawley Festival, Sussex Community Foundation, Crawley Town Centre BID, Crawley Borough Council 

Wednesday, 13 January 2021

NEWS: St. Helens Theatre Royal extends its online run of 'Beauty And The Beast' until the end of January.


ST HELENS THEATRE ROYAL ANNOUNCE AN ONLINE EXTENSION

TO THEIR 5-STAR CHRISTMAS PANTOMIME

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST UNTIL END OF JANUARY

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

St Helens Theatre Royal have today announced they will extend the online version of their 5-star socially distanced production of Beauty and the Beast until the end of January and is available to purchase and watch now.

Beauty and the Beast recently ran for the festive period from Friday 11 December and was due to finish on Sunday 3 January, unfortunately due to a change in Tiers by the government, the show was forced to closed on Wednesday 30 December. 

Audiences who missed the show at Christmas had the option to enjoy the critically acclaimed production from the comfort of their own homes, a link to purchase tickets was available until 10 January, this was a specially filmed version of the Christmas Eve performance.

Now the theatre has extended the online run to allow parents to treat their family throughout the month of January to beat those lockdown and January blues.

St Helens Theatre Royal were one of a few venues across the UK who opened their doors for a Christmas pantomime after being closed for 9 months, due to the current Covid pandemic. The highly anticipated show proved to be a popular choice during the festive season and was praised by audience members and critics alike.

Theatre Royal manager Chantelle Nolan commented: “We are thrilled to be able to extend the online version of our popular Christmas production until the end of the month, January is normally such a dead month and even more so due to the strict lockdown restrictions and being told to stay at home. To watch theatre online from the comfort of your own home could be a lovely treat to children, giving them something to look forward to after doing their schoolwork or at a weekend and it also supports the theatre through the lockdown period.

“We are proud to say that during our 36-show Christmas run, we didn’t have a single positive case and no cases reported to us via the public or track and trace.  Our staff and full company were tested on a regular basis and we were delighted to receive constant feedback from customers saying how safe they felt in the theatre. We are really looking forward to bringing back audiences into the theatre for live performance and our Easter Pantomime, Goldilocks and the Three Bears which is now on sale.” 

The full cast of Beauty and the Beast is Jamie Greer as Potty Polly; Abigail Middleton as Madame Botox; Scott Gallagher as French Frank; Olivia Sloyan as Belle; Andrew Geater as The Beast; Tim Lucas as Gaston; and Jenna Sian O’Hara as Fairy Rose.

The show is directed by Chantelle Nolan, written by Liam Mellor, with choreography by Nazene Langfield, and Callum Clarke is musical supervisor.

Get ready to go on a family adventure with the fabulous family friendly pantomime, Beauty and the Beast. This is the timeless story of Belle, a beautiful young woman who falls in love with the most unexpected of princes, who has been cursed to look like a hideous beast. Will the Beast learn to love and be loved? Will the spell be broken in time for all to live happily ever after?

For more information, please visit www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com

Follow St Helens Theatre Royal on social media channels:

Facebook: St Helens Theatre Royal

Twitter: @TheatreRoyalStH

Instagram: @TheatreRoyalStH

NEWS: SOUND STAGE - A new Scottish co-produced audio-digital theatre platform to premiere new plays


SOUND STAGE: A NEW AUDIO-DIGITAL THEATRE TO BE LAUNCHED WITH 8 NEW PLAYS FROM LEADING BRITISH PLAYWRIGHTS

 

§    Sound Stage is a new audio-digital theatre which will premiere eight new plays in its first season, one each month from March to October 2021.

§    Sound Stage offers audiences the chance to have an ‘at home theatre experience’ designed by theatre makers and leading creative technologists

·   Opening season to include new plays from John Byrne, Mark Ravenhill, Timberlake Wertenbaker, and Roy Williams,     

·    Sound Stage is a joint venture from Pitlochry Festival Theatre and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh, in collaboration with award winning audio production company Naked Productions

·   The launch of Sound Stage has been made possible through investment from Creative Scotland and Resilience Funding from the Scottish Government

      

Pitlochry Festival Theatre, The Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh in collaboration with Naked Productions are thrilled to announce Sound Stage – a new immersive audio digital theatre which from late March will premiere 8 new plays written by amongst others Mark RavenhillRoy Williams, Timberlake Wertenbaker, and John Byrne.

         

 Sound Stage is an exciting new audio-digital venture, designed by theatre makers and leading technologists, giving audiences a unique and engrossing online theatre experience of new plays from the best in British theatre which in the future Pitlochry Festival Theatre and the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh hope to produce on stage.

 

Sound Stage will operate an online booking system for all productions. Just like booking a ticket for the theatre, audiences will be able to book ahead for a performance and time of their choice.

 

The first season will feature 8 new co-productions from Pitlochry Festival Theatre and Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh -  and will open with the world premiere of Angela - Mark Ravenhill’s first autobiographical play which explores the way culture high and low had impacted his mother’s life and that of his family. Mark Ravenhill’s previous plays include Shopping and F***ing (Out of Joint and Royal Court Theatre) and The Cut (Donmar Warehouse).

 

The opening  season will also feature new plays by Roy Williams (Death of England and Sing Yer Heart Out For The Lads, National Theatre; John Byrne (The Slab Boys, Traverse Theatre and Tutti Frutti, BBC Scotland), who will premiere his  first new play since Nova Scotia at the Traverse Theatre in 2008; Timberlake Wertenbaker (Our Country’s Good, National Theatre and Broadway);  Lynda Radley (The Interference, Edinburgh Fringe)  Jaimini Jethwa (The Last Queen of Scotland, Dundee Rep ); Frances Poet (Ghost Light, National Theatre of Scotland) and Gary McNair (Locker Room Talk, Traverse).

 

Elizabeth Newman, Artistic Director of Pitlochry Festival Theatre said:

“Pitlochry Festival Theatre is thrilled to share the news about Sound Stage. The original idea came from my experience last year making the audio premiere of Adventures with the Painted People with David, Polly, and the rest of the Naked Productions Team. The quality we could produce remotely blew me away and made me think this is how we can make great work during lockdown. However, this did not solve the problem of how much audiences and the theatre industry as a whole were missing the experience of going to the theatre itself… and so Sound Stage was born. With Sound Stage audience members can come together for the experience of not only listening to exceptional new audio plays written by some of the UK’s best-known playwrights but also the experience of ‘attending’ a virtual theatre. From entering the theatre  itself and being ushered to your seat, to meeting people in the interval and staying afterwards to listen to a post-show discussion, Sound Stage will be an exciting new theatrical experience for everyone.

 

In these difficult times, the pandemic has caused so many to feel isolated and we hope Sound Stage may help ease this feeling by giving people the opportunity to meet new people who share a love of theatre and audio plays. For everyone involved in Sound Stage we know we need to keep growing the cannon and offering artists the opportunity to make exciting new art and we hope that Sound Stage will do this by showcasing the incredible talent the UK has to offer.”

 

David GreigArtistic Director of the Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh said:

Sound Stage developed from my own experience of making an audio play remotely during the early COVID-19 lockdown with Naked Productions and Elizabeth from Pitlochry Festival Theatre. It was such a joy for me to be able to fully realise a story - with all the imagination sparking power that audio work brings -  from my own home. That is why I am thrilled that The Lyceum will be working together with our partners to make eight fully realised new plays for audio. As the country stays at home during the early Spring, we will be creating thrilling drama from our back cupboards and kitchen tables, for a season that will offer audiences a delicious taste of new plays for their ears.”

 

Eloise Whitmore, Managing Director and Lead Sound Designer, Naked Productions said:

"Naked Productions Limited has a long track record of making work with theatres for BBC radio. We loved working with David Greig, Elizabeth Newman  and the team at  Pitlochry Festival Theatre on the BBC Radio 3 debut of David’s new play Adventures with Painted People in 2020. From that collaboration, Sound Stage was born. Working with our colleagues to design and build a new digital performance space for theatre audiences to access PFT and The Lyceum's work is an exciting new departure for audio too. We are delighted to be working with Sound Stage on so many fantastic dramas, celebrating new writing in the UK, in a dynamic new fusion of theatre and audio skills.  We are proud to be collaborating with our theatre colleagues to make great audio drama, delivering for the national audience, to the highest standards in these difficult times.”

 

Playwright Roy Williams said:

“Writing a new play for Pitlochry Festival Theatre and the Royal Lyceum Theatre to produce on Sound Stage is an extremely exciting project to be undertaking. Sound Stage itself is a really great idea; it is going to help audiences engage with more new writing and it will also give audiences a chance to connect with each other tooMy play will explore the special relationship between USA and UK through a specific cultural as well as personal perspective.  COVID-19 has meant so much theatre work world-wide has been cancelled or postponed which has been really hard for everyone. So, it is fantastic to know that no matter what happens, these plays will in 2021 for audiences.”

 

Made possible through support from Creative Scotland and Resilience Funding from the Scottish Government, Sound Stage will open on Friday 26 March with the premiere of Mark Ravenhill’s new play AngelaTickets will go on sale on Sunday 14th February.

 

Further details about the plays and casting for the opening Sound Stage season will be announced in the coming weeks.

 

For further information visit www.pitlochryfestivaltheatre.com and www.lyceum.org.uk