Visit London Blog » the audience Enjoy the very best of London Thu, 17 Apr 2014 09:00:42 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Olivier Awards 2013: Curious Incident Wins A Record-Equalling Seven Trophies Mon, 29 Apr 2013 09:40:13 +0000 The Curious Incident of the Dog In The Night-Time

The National Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time won seven awards at last night’s Olivier Awards, equalling the record set last year by Matilda The Musical.

As well as Best New Play, Simon Stephens’ adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel featured the following winners: Luke Treadaway for Best Actor, Nicola Walker for Best Supporting Actress, Marianne Elliott for Best Director, Paule Constable for the White Light Award for Lighting Design, Bunny Christie and Finn Ross for the XL Video Award for Best Set Design and Ian Dickinson and Adrian Sutton for Best Sound Design. The Curious Incident is currently playing at the Apollo Theatre, following a successful West End transfer in March. It’s one of the best shows I’ve seen in recent years, so if you’re able to book a ticket, go! The show is now booking until January 2014.

Helen Mirren. Photo by Giles KeyteThe Audience, currently playing at the Gielgud Theatre and Sweeney Todd which ran at the Adelphi Theatre in the summer took two actor awards each: Helen Mirren won Best Actress for portraying The Queen and Richard McCabe took Best Supporting Actor for playing Harold Wilson in the former; Michael Ball and Imelda Staunton won Best Actor in a Musical and Best Actress in A Musical for their roles in Sweeney Todd. The brilliant Sondheim musical also won the prize for Best Musical revival.

Elsewhere, there were prizes for Top Hat, currently on at the Aldwych Theatre for Best New Musical, Costume Design and Choreography. Leigh Zimmerman won Best Performance in a Supporing Role in a Musical for A Chorus Line at the London Palladium. And long-runner Billy Elliot won the BBC Radio 2 Audience Award – voted for by the members of the public.

For a full list of winners, go to

Congratulations to everyone involved. Do you agree with the judges’ choices? Let us know in the comments below.

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What’s On This Weekend: 15-17 February 2013. Mon, 11 Feb 2013 10:01:35 +0000 It’s a great weekend for both couples and families, as London offers a mix of late-Valentine’s celebrations and half-term activities. If you don’t fit into either category, however, there are still plenty of great things to see and do in the capital.

Edible Cinema at the Aubin Cinema

Enjoy a romantic 4D cinema experience at the Aubin Cinema, where screenings of the classic film Some Like it Hot are augmented by clever servings of food and drink. The evening starts with a prohibition-style cocktail courtesy of Bombay Sapphire, followed by mystery servings of snacks and beverages that are to be enjoyed at key points throughout the film – you might, for example, find yourself savouring champagne truffles when the protagonists enjoy a boozy kiss aboard a borrowed yacht. Tickets start from £23 and full details are available from the Edible Cinema website. 17 Feb

MCN London Motorcycle Show at ExCeL

The Carole Nash MCN London Motorcycle Show is a haven for anyone whose idea of fun involves two wheels and an engine. Whether you ride a Harley Davidson or the newest sports bike the show will have something for you, and beyond the range of stalls, presentations and workshops you’ll be able to watch biking legends in the Revolution area, where they’ll go head-to-head in spectacular competition. Tickets are £16. 15-17 Feb

Imagine Festival at the Southbank Centre

As an annual extravaganza for children on the Southbank, the Imagine Festival is both a perfect solution for half-term boredom and a great source of inspiration for kids. The festival offers a large variety of both free and ticketed events, ranging from talks by acclaimed children’s authors Anthony Horrowitz, Judith Kerr and Cressida Cowell, to children’s theatre and workshops. 11-24 Feb

The Audience at the Gielgud Theatre

See Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren play The Queen in the world premiere of Peter Morgan’s The Audience. The play looks at The Queen’s private audiences with the country’s Prime Ministers – ranging from Churchill to Cameron – and imagines the dialogue that might have taken place therein. It’s a fascinating look at The Queen’s innermost thoughts throughout her sixty year reign, and the charismatic Mirren should be a perfect choice for the role. Tickets start from £10 .Until 15 Jun

Manga Comic Workshop at the British Museum

Fans of the Japanese graphic novel form will love this two-hour informative session, which teaches students the basics and allows them to create their own story. As with many great works of fiction, participants’ stories will be based on ancient stories – and works found within the museum should provide plenty of material! Entry is free and the workshop is suitable for ages 7+. 17 Feb

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Six New London Theatre Shows to Look Forward To In 2013 Wed, 02 Jan 2013 17:30:36 +0000 I’ve already flagged up some of the fantastic musicals coming to London this year. Here’s a list for those of you who prefer your plays “straight”. (Or simply hate musicals…!)

Many of 2012′s theatrical highlights were Shakespearean. The World Shakespeare Festival created some amazing dramatic moments, from Stephen Fry’s yellow stockings at The Globe to a Julius Caesar set in modern day Africa from the RSC. There were also triumphs for Sheridan Smith as Hedda Gabler, and some impressive displays of stamina in the 8-hour GATZ.

Theatre in London is more exciting than ever in 2013. There’s plenty more Shakespeare for you to look forward to, as well as some newer treats. Here are just some of the shows I’m looking forward to in the coming months:

Quartermaine's Terms1. Quartermaine’s Terms, Wyndham’s Theatre from 23 Jan
See Rowan Atkinson return to the London stage for the first time in 25 years this month. He’s starring as the well-meaning but hopeless teacher St John Quartermaine in Simon Gray’s tragicomedy at Wyndham’s Theatre. Quartermaine’s Terms is set in a 1960s English language school and is a humorous but moving account of several years in the lives of seven teachers.

2. Old Times, Harold Pinter Theatre from 12 Jan
If you enjoyed watching the BBC adaptation of Restless over the Christmas holidays, here’s a chance to catch the ever-brilliant Rufus Sewell in the flesh. He’s playing opposite Kristin Scott Thomas and Lia Williams in Harold Pinter’s erotically charged and compelling drama, Old Times. Directed by Ian Rickson, Old Times will be the first Harold Pinter play to be staged at the newly named Harold Pinter Theatre.

Macbeth3. Macbeth, Trafalgar Studios from 9 Feb
Another month, another big name comes to the West End. From February, you can see James McAvoy, best known for his big-screen roles in films like Atonement and The Last King of Scotland playing Macbeth, directed by Jamie Lloyd at the Trafalgar Studios. This Macbeth is part of a longer season of political plays under the banner “Trafalgar Transformed”.

4. The Audience, Gielgud Theatre from 15 Feb
If you’re a fan of 2006 film The Queen, you’ll love The Audience opening at the Gielgud later this year. Like that film, The Audience is also written by Peter Morgan, and stars Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II. Directed by Stephen Daldry, The Audience imagines the weekly meetings between The Queen and her 12 Prime Ministers. Look out for Haydn Gwynne as Thatcher, Robert Hardy as Churchill and Rufus Wright as David Cameron.

Peter And Alice5. Peter And Alice, Noel Coward Theatre from 9 Mar
In March, the Michael Grandage Company presents Peter And Alice, a new play exploring a meeting between the real-life inspirations for Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan. Written by John Logan, Peter And Alice is the story of Alice Liddell Hargreaves and Peter Llewelyn Davies who meet at the opening of a Lewis Carroll exhibition in 1932. It stars Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw as the eponymous leads.

6. Relatively Speaking, Wyndham’s Theatre from 14 May
Following the success of A Chorus of Disapproval, another Alan Ayckbourn play opens in the West End in May. Relatively Speaking stars Felicity Kendal, Kara Tointon, Jonathan Coy and Max Bennett at Wyndham’s Theatre in what’s sure to be a brilliant comedy of British manners.

What London theatre shows are you looking forward to in 2013? Let us know in the comments below.

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London Theatre News: Steptoe and Son; Royal Court; Midnight Tango; plus Tamsin Greig and Roger Lloyd Pack Thu, 08 Nov 2012 17:32:47 +0000

Fans of the Kneehigh Theatre Company are in for a treat as their production of Steptoe and Son comes to London next year. Following a successful run at the West Yorkshire Playhouse, the two-hander based on scripts from the original TV series will play from 19 March at the Lyric Hammersmith. Kneehigh founding member and joint Artistic Director Mike Shepherd and Dean Nolan will reprise their roles in London.

Dominic Cooke’s last season as Artistic Director of the Royal Court has been announced this week. Following the hugely successful Clybourne Park, Cooke will direct Bruce Norris’ third play The Low Road in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs. Young playwright Polly Stenham will premiere her third Royal Court play No Quarter in the Royal Court’s Jerwood Theatre Upstairs, while Anthony Neilson will close the season with the intriguingly named A New Play, which he will both write and direct. Visit the Royal Court Theatre’s website to find out more.

Finally, more Strictly Come Dancing news: Russell Grant returns to the West End next year to once again share the stage with his Strictly Come Dancing partner Flavia Cacace in the return of Midnight Tango at the Phoenix Theatre. Grant is taking the role of bar owner Carlos, whose downtown Buenos Aires-establishment becomes the setting for the explosive story.

London Theatre Cast News:

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Thursday Theatre News: Wicked, Helen Mirren, Julian Barratt and Punchdrunk’s Christmas Show Thu, 27 Sep 2012 17:14:58 +0000

Firstly: Wicked fans can rejoicify! The show has reached its 6th birthday today. One of my favourite West End shows, Wicked seems like such a fantastic fixture in the West End, I thought it might’ve been around for longer. If you haven’t seen this great musical yet, you should book now! Here’s to the next six years…

The second piece of exciting news is from the Gielgud Theatre, looking ahead to next year. From 15 February, Helen Mirren will be starring in Peter Morgan’s new play The Audience at the venue. The play examines one of the most fascinating meetings in British public life; the weekly discussion between the Queen and the Prime Minister. From Winston Churchill to David Cameron, The Audience imagines what might have been said in those pivotal meetings over the years, the confessions and questions from Prime Ministers, and the advice, suggestions and occasional teasing offered by the Queen. This will be Mirren’s second time playing the monarch; she won an Oscar, Golden Globe and a BAFTA for her portrayal of Elizabeth II in Morgan’s silver screen offering The Queen.

Finally, if you’re thinking ahead to Christmas, there’s an exciting-sounding new Punchdrunk show coming to East London’s Discover Children’s Story Centre from 29 November. Called The House Where Winter Lives, the show will transform the Stratford venue’s basement into a “magical frozen forest” for the delight of three to six year-olds.

London Theatre Cast News:

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