Visit London Blog » danny boyle Enjoy the very best of London Mon, 20 Oct 2014 09:00:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Evening Standard Theatre Awards: The Winners Tue, 27 Nov 2012 10:54:50 +0000

The famous faces in The Savoy ballroom on Sunday night were enough to make anyone a bit giddy. I was lucky to join stars Judi Dench, Anna Wintour, Bill Nighy, Damian Lewis, Ian McKellen, Colin Firth and Danny Boyle to celebrate the capital’s best theatre, at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards 2012.

Compere James Corden opened the ceremony with a cheeky song called “For the love of awards”, reminding us that he has a tip-top singing voice as well as plenty of wit. The night had some serious moments too: double award-winner Nicholas Hytner spoke passionately in support of public funding for the arts, and Judi Dench was moved by a special award.


Judi Dench

Everyone’s favourite Bond matriarch was awarded the Moscow Art Theatre Golden Seagull Award, a golden bird-shaped broach that signifies her achievements in bringing London theatre to the world’s attention. “I’ll never take it off,” she declared.

Danny Boyle

After he got the Queen to jump out of a helicopter (or so it seemed) in the Olympic Games Opening Ceremony, it’s fitting that Danny Boyle’s extraordinary £27 million production should get special recognition. He and his team scooped up the Beyond Theatre Award for pushing the boundaries of theatre with the ceremony, which was arguably the best – and certainly the biggest – performance of the year.

Nicholas Hytner

The director of the National Theatre picked up the Best Director award for setting the little-known Shakespeare play Timon of Athens in modern times. Hytner also won the Lebedev Special Award in recognition of his ten-year leadership of the National Theatre, which has seen him bring War Horse and One Man, Two Guvnors to the stage.

One to watch – Matthew Tennyson

Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Hardy won the Outstanding Newcomer Award in their early days, so it’s worth keeping your eye on young actor Matthew Tennyson who won this year’s prize for his role in Making Noise Quietly at the Donmar Warehouse.


The Judas Kiss

The Judas Kiss, a play about Oscar Wilde was on everyone’s lips at the awards, despite not being nominated. It received glowing praise from National Theatre director Nicholas Hytner, who described Rupert Everett’s performance as one of the best on the London stage for years.


Writer Nick Payne won the award for Best Play for Constellations, becoming the youngest person to the category at just 29. It’s a tender story of love, awkwardness and string theory, using physics as a metaphor for life.

Sweeney Todd

Named Best Musical at the awards, this tale of a homicidal barber could convince even those allergic to musical theatre to burst into song. Stephen Sondheim’s score for Sweeney Todd is delicious in its complexity, and leading duo Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton are musical royalty.

Have you seen any of the award-winners? Or have you seen some theatre recently that deserves an award?

]]> 2
Where To Watch The Olympic Opening Ceremony in London Tue, 24 Jul 2012 15:00:56 +0000

Sheep, a huge bell, a miniature Stonehenge, David Beckham and some NHS nurses. This much we know will be in the London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony on Friday evening. A global audience of four billion people are expected to tune into the show which is called Isles of Wonder, inspired by a line in Shakespeare’s The Tempest. Artistic director Danny Boyle has kept most details under wraps, but we can say with certainty that it starts at 9pm, and that you’d be mad not to watch it.

London Live
Friday is the opening night for the Olympic London Live sites at Hyde Park and Victoria Park. In Hyde Park, the ceremony will be shown on screens alongside a celebration concert with acts representing each part of the UK – Snow Patrol from Northern Ireland, Stereophonics for Wales, Duran Duran representing England and Paolo Nutini waving the flag for Scotland. Tickets are £60 and are still available. If you just want to watch the ceremony in a crowd, you can head to the Victoria Park site which is free entry.

Tower of London
If you’re feeling flush, you could pay for an exciting Opening Ceremony dinner at the Tower of London House of Nations for just £139. Hosted by four-time record breaking swimmer and Strictly Come Dancing star, Mark Foster, you’ll enjoy a champagne and Pimm’s reception in the Tower of London’s moat, an exclusive private tour of the Crown Jewels, a delicious three-course meal with all inclusive drinks, footage of the Opening Ceremony and live entertainment.

You can also catch all the Opening Ceremony action at Greenwich Summer Festival’s Gala Weekend. As well as the big screens, there’ll be live entertainment, starting with music on the bandstand at 6pm. Greenwich’s very own Hangar Arts Trust will then perform a cabaret of aerial circus in a high-impact, thrilling show full of beautiful and apparently impossible human feats, before the Opening Ceremony kicks off at 9pm.

General Gordon Square, Woolwich
General Gordon Square in Woolwich is hosting one of two big screens set up by the BBC in London for outdoor summer screenings. It will show the ceremony outside for free in the newly landscaped square, which offers bench seating and food stalls and street performers to get you in the party mood.

Walthamstow Town Square
Another BBC big screen will be beaming the ceremony to Walthamstow Town Square in North London. Seating will be set up so crowds can watch in comfort.

The Broadgate development in the Square Mile is home to some of the world’s biggest companies, and this summer it is also the base for three big screens which will all show the Opening Ceremony. Take your pick from Exchange Square, Broadgate Circle and Finsbury Avenue.

Novikov’s Beach Party at Waterside House
Top Mayfair restaurant Novikov is heading east this Friday to set up an all-day Opening Ceremony beach party – complete with sand and beach loungers – at Waterside House in Royal Victoria Dock. You can watch the show while sipping cocktails and listening to DJ sets. Tickets are £25.

In The Pub
Hundreds of top London pubs will be showing the all action on big screens, so have a look at the watering holes near you. We suggest The Hanbury Arms in Islington, The Lauriston in Hackney, the Water Poet in Spitalfields and the Clapham Grand in Clapham Junction, all of which will be putting on amazing parties.

Where will you be watching? Let us know below.

]]> 15
Olympic Opening Ceremony Details Revealed Tue, 12 Jun 2012 15:20:06 +0000

Masterminded by British director Danny Boyle, who is famous for films such as Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire and 28 Days Later, the Olympic Opening Ceremony looks set to be a colourful celebration of English life.

Entitled Isles of Wonder after a line from Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the ceremony will see the stadium transformed into a rural idyll that features grass, giant maypoles and flowers that represent each British nation. There will even be clouds that will produce rain if the English weather is not obliging!

The striking vista will be populated by morris dancers, families having picnics, villagers playing cricket and a menagerie of farm animals that includes 12 horses and 70 sheep. Music will be integral to the ceremony and there will be a pre-recorded score from Underworld as well as live music from famous faces.

Two mosh pits will also be created at either end of the arena, one themed around the Last Night of the Proms and one around Glastonbury Festival. These will be filled with ticket holders, although details of how to obtain tickets have not yet been announced.

A 23-tonne bell, which is the largest harmonically-tuned bell in the world and was cast at the Whitechapel Bell Foundry, will be rung to open the ceremony.

It has been reported that the show will evolve to display more of Britain’s urban scenery but in any case, with a cast of 10,000 that has already done 157 rehearsals, it should be nothing short of spectacular.

What do you think of the plans so far?

]]> 1
Video: Helicopters Fly Through Tower Bridge Mon, 11 Jun 2012 09:27:43 +0000 Following the Diamond Jubilee River Pageant, Tower Bridge was involved in another spectacle at the weekend, as two helicopters flew through the middle of the bridge.

The Bond-style stunt is thought to be part of a film directed by Danny Boyle, which will be shown during the Olympic Opening Ceremony. Daniel Craig was even rumoured to be in one of the helicopters!

]]> 1
Your Chance to Perform at Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies Mon, 15 Aug 2011 15:00:00 +0000

If you’ve always dreamt of being on stage, here’s your chance to perform at the greatest show on earth, in front of a global audience of up to one billion people!

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) is searching for adult volunteers to perform at the Olympic Opening and Closing Ceremonies next year.

Artistic Director Danny Boyle is searching for 10,000 performers from many different disciplines, including acting and dancing, to take part in the spectacular ceremonies at the Olympic Stadium. No previous performance experience is required – just lots of enthusiasm, positivity and energy.

Applicants will attend two auditions in November and December and must be prepared to invest significant rehearsal time from March 2012 in the run up to the Games. All rehearsals will take place in East London.

To apply for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, register at The deadline for applications is 31 August.

]]> 3
London 2012 Opening Ceremony: Danny Boyle Talks Fireworks Thu, 06 Jan 2011 12:30:28 +0000 If you were impressed by the fantastic firework display in London on New Year’s Eve, it turns out you’re not the only one.

Danny Boyle, director of hit films like Slumdog Millionaire and Trainspotting, and Artistic Director of the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Olympic Games loved the show on 31 December.

He was so impressed, he’s thinking of using a similar firework display for the Opening Ceremony.

“The fireworks at New Year’s Eve were amazing, weren’t they? There was this big debate, should there be fireworks [at the opening ceremony] or not because they’re not very green. I’m sure they will after New Year.” 

If you’re a fan of Boyle’s work, don’t miss his new film, 127 Hours which opens this week in London, or check out his first play for the National Theatre, Frankenstein from February.

]]> 1
Thursday Theatre News: Oliver! New Musicals, Frankenstein, and the Return of the Rat Pack Thu, 04 Nov 2010 17:53:07 +0000

Smash-hit show Oliver! may only have a couple of months left in the West End (it closes on 8 January), but that hasn’t stopped a couple of familiar faces making a return to the show. Griff Rhys Jones will return to play Fagin this December for a five-week run, while Jodie Prenger will play Nancy for one last time on 13 November. Jodie will stand in for current Nancy, Kerry Ellis, when Kerry takes to the Royal Albert Hall stage for the Festival Of Remembrance concert. When Oliver!’s gone from Theatre Royal Drury Lane, it’s all about green monsters as Shrek arrives in May.

More exciting casting news about this week: Benedict Cumberbatch (that’s Sherlock to you and me) and sexy Jonny Lee Miller have been announced as Dr Frankenstein and the monster he creates in the National Theatre’s upcoming production. “Which is which?!” I hear you cry. Turns out they’re going to be alternating parts each night! Sounds like I’m going to have to book to see more than one show when it comes to Danny Boyle’s National Theatre debut. Excited? I can’t wait.

If you’re a fan of new musicals, then Waterloo East Theatre is the place for you this Christmas. The new venue is producing two musical premiers this festive season. Choose between:

  • Striking 12: a musical retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairytale The Little Match Girl with a score that fuses jazz, rock and show tunes. It’s composed by the American “theatrical power trio” GrooveLily
  • Pinkalicious The Musical: aimed at children aged nine and younger, it’s the story of Pinkalicious, a girl who can’t stop eating pink cupcakes, despite warnings from her parents

Finally, for this week, a heads-up for Rat Pack fans. Christmas With The Rat Pack – Live From Las Vegas comes to the Theatre Royal Drury Lane for just two performances this Christmas; a matinee and an evening show on 19 December. Book now!

]]> 0
Stephen Daldry and Danny Boyle to Direct London 2012 Olympic Ceremonies Thu, 17 Jun 2010 09:30:51 +0000 Exciting news this morning: the London 2012 Olympic opening and closing ceremonies will be directed by Hollywood film makers Stephen Daldry and Danny Boyle.

Boyle, who won an Oscar for directing Slumdog Millionaire, is to direct the London 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony.

And Stephen Daldry, director of hit films such as Billy Elliot and The Reader, as well as theatrical successes like An Inspector Calls and Billy Elliot The Musical, will be one of the four key executive producers of the opening and closing ceremonies for both the Olympic and Paralympic Games.

As the creative production lead, Daldry is joined by a strong team of talent on the executive production team:

  • Mark Fisher, the concert, theatre and Beijing 2008 Games designer as executive producer for design
  • Grammy and Bafta-award nominated TV director Hamish Hamilton, who’ll lead on broadcast
  • Catherine Ugwu, producer of the 2006 Asian Games and the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games as executive producer for production

Daldry said, “Myself and my co-executive producers will ensure there is creative continuity across all four ceremonies, that the public have real engagement and that we continue to attract into key roles the best talent in the world. I’m delighted to be part of the team.”

Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme this morning, a very chirpy Danny Boyle said his job was “to provide a thrilling, enthralling, captivating evening.”

“Hopefully it’ll take its place in the list of openings, but it’ll be a new beginning as well.”

If you can’t wait til then, don’t forget Danny Boyle is making his National Theatre debut this winter, directing a new production of Frankenstein.

]]> 0
Thursday Theatre News: Wicked, Dirty Dancing and National Theatre Excitement Thu, 21 Jan 2010 18:46:54 +0000 In a week dominated by a trip to see Legally Blonde (yes, I’m still humming the songs), there’s nice news from another pair of London musicals.

Wicked has been voted the best musical of the Noughties by visitors to, with Spring Awakening and Avenue Q coming in second and third. It’s nice for the Wicked team, but to be honest, I’m not convinced by any poll that has Billy Elliot at No.7 (surely top 3?), and is missing Mamma Mia, Phantom of the Opera and Les Mis.

Next up is Dirty Dancing, which is having a Valentine’s Day Charity Gala on 13 February in aid of Magic 105.4’s Cash for Kids charity. If you’re a fan, make sure you’re there for this special show.

Also this week, the Tricycle Theatre’s announced the third play in their Irish Season. Pat McCabe’s The Dead School joins Greta Garbo Came To Donegal and Chronicles of Long Kesh at the theatre this spring. The Dead School arrives at the Tricycle after a Ireland and a sell-out run at the Ulster Bank Dublin Theatre Festival in 2009, where it was nominated for three Irish Times Theatre Awards including Best Production. If you saw it, tell us about it!

But all the big news today has been about the National Theatre’s new season. And it’s got me breathless with excitement.

There’s Oscar-winner Danny Boyle directing a new take on Frankenstein, and (my personal favourite) Rupert Goold directing a new play by Mike Bartlett about global warming called Earthquakes In London. Shakespeare fans can see a £10 Hamlet with Clare Higgins and Rory Kinnear, directed by Nicholas Hytner, as well as Twelfth Night directed by Peter Hall for his 80th birthday, starring his daughter, film and stage actress Rebecca Hall, as Viola. Wow.

There’s more: I’m personally chuffed to see two shows transferring from my hometown theatres in Northampton: Eugene O’Neill’s Beyond The Horizon and Tennessee Williams’s Spring Storm from the Royal & Derngate Theatres start the new season in April.

Read the whole story of the National Theatre’s 2010 plans on the Official London Theatre website, and put the booking dates in your diaries today! It’s going to be great.

]]> 0