INBOX: March 2015  

NT: All Change

So much to look forward to as Rufus Norris takes over the National Theatre including lots of collaborations, notably wonder.land by Damon Albarn and Moira Buffini which will head to the Olivier Theatre from November after wowing visitors to the Manchester International Festival in July. This new musical, directed by Norris, is inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and features 12-year-old Aly who loves this extraordinary virtual world. Bullied at school and unhappy at home, wonder.land lets her escape from her parents, from teachers, from herself. But some of the people she meets online – the weird Dum and Dee, the creepy Cheshire Cat, the terrifying Red Queen – seem strangely familiar. As hard as Aly tries to keep them apart, real life and wonder.land begin to collide in ever more curious and dangerous ways.

 

Down Under

To Check the Tide of Prejudice is a stunning new free exhibition of lithographs, original sketches and wash drawings by John Cooke Bourne, which were widely used to address criticism of the construction of the London & Birmingham Railway in the 1830s. Criticism of plans for a new national railway? Mmm, plus ça change and all that. The display opens in April at the Coalbrookdale Gallery, Ironbridge Gorge Museum, Shropshire and explores how Bourne’s work presented the railway in a picturesque fashion for the first time. But the idyllic images hid a strong political undertone as the railways were about to radically re-shape the English countryside and not everyone was happy about this. For further information take a journey to www.ironbridge.org.uk.

 

Hepworth Show

2015 could well be the year of Barbara Hepworth with two exhibitions celebrating her life and works at The Hepworth Wakefield and a major retrospective at Tate Britain this summer. All shows are essential viewing for fans of her work or those looking to learn more about the artist. A Greater Freedom (from April 18) follows artistic developments in Hepworth’s later years, focusing on the last decade of the sculptor’s life from 1965–1975. Meanwhile, Hepworth in Yorkshire (from May 16) will focus on her early years growing up in Wakefield, exhibiting publicly for the first time family photographs and images of Hepworth’s formative years. For details point your mouse to www.hepworthwakefield.org 

IMAGE: Barbara Hepworth working on Oval Form, Trezion, 1963, Photograph by Val Wilmer, Courtesy Bowness, Hepworth Estate, from Greater Freedom: 1965–1975
 

An abridged

version of the hit comedy The 39 Steps is now available and to celebrate the launch, there is a chance to win some great themed prizes including a FREE trip to see the show. So what do you have to do? Schools are asked to perform one of three different extracts from the new schools script being as inventive as possible with all submitted entries judged by the West End production team. The winning entry will also win a free 39 Steps themed workshop with Theatre Workout Education and free performance rights to the abridged schools version for a year upon publication with Samuel French Ltd. To find out more head to seatplan.com/london/39-steps/. You have until Monday 30 March 2015.   

 

Dance away

the heartache, Roxy Music urged. And maybe Robert Clark has taken that advice with his Promises of Happiness show to be performed on May 1. This is a dance show for joy, for simple pleasures – a hallmark of Clark’s work. The UK-based choreographer has been creating and presenting work since 2006 and is renowned for his humorous and emotionally charged, intricate and detailed, direct and engaging dance performances. The performance, commissioned by DanceEast and The Place, can be booked at www.danceeast.co.uk.