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  1. BIG INTERVIEW: playwright Jessica Swale, composer Joe Stilgoe and director Max Webster

    BIG INTERVIEW: playwright Jessica Swale, composer Joe Stilgoe and director Max Webster  

    Susan Elkin spoke to playwright Jessica Swale, composer Joe Stilgoe and director Max Webster during the rehearsals for a brand-new adaptation of The Jungle Book which opened at Royal and Derngate, Northampton before Christmas and tours nationally this year. Everyone connected with this production mentions the 1967 Disney film, with its songs by George Bruns which have [...]

  2. Training to Stand-up

    Training to Stand-up  

    Susan Elkin delves into the world of stand-up comedy to discover an MA course in Canterbury to help you refine your skills Stand-up comedy doesn’t, at first glance, seem the sort of thing you could train for in a university. Surely, if you have the innate talent you’ll just get up and do it? Then [...]

  3. Having a knees-up

    Having a knees-up  

    From playing village halls to touring Los Angeles, Kneehigh has come a long way since it began as a schools’ theatre company in the early 80s, yet its Cornish origins run deep and continue to influence its productions. Mark Glover finds out more about this extraordinary touring company. Thirty-seven years ago, a primary school teacher [...]

  4. Mystery men…and a dog

    Mystery men…and a dog  

    Susan Elkin meets up with two of the leading actors in the latest revival of The Woman in White… and a dog. Iam sitting in the bar at Charing Cross Theatre in the early afternoon. With me are two engaging men and a delightful dog named Peety. Tea is laid on for me along with [...]

  5. 3 Into 2 Does Go

    3 Into 2 Does Go  

    Bucking the trend… or perhaps at the forefront of a new one, Fourth Monkey are now offering an intensive two-year actor training course. When formed back in 2010, Fourth Monkey were looking to challenge what was perceived to be at the time and still in many circles today the tried, tested and only means of [...]

  6. 70 years of Youth

    70 years of Youth  

    Celebrating its 70th anniversary, Susan Elkin looks at the National Youth Orchestra, which continues to excel and expand. Ruth Railton, later Dame Ruth, was a pioneer. When she founded the National Youth Orchestra 70 years ago in 1948 she was doing more than building an orchestra. She was launching a world movement and, as she [...]

  7. EXHIBITION: Taking it all in

    EXHIBITION: Taking it all in  

    Our regular exhibition correspondent, Graham Hooper, marks your card for the wonderful array of exhibitions across the country this coming year. Every year seems to bring ever-bigger exhibitions. Each venue competing for higher profiling and each time it feels as though tickets get more expensive. I used to walk in off the street, no need [...]

  8. PAUSE FOR THOUGHT… Eating and drinking

    PAUSE FOR THOUGHT… Eating and drinking  

    Susan Elkin champions the case for banning food and drink in theatres If you want to picnic then go to a park. In a theatre “The play’s the thing” in every sense. Eating and drinking are for elsewhere. Traditionally gentlemen bought rustly chocolates to impress the ladies they wanted to impress. Theatres sold said expensive [...]

  9. Theatre Review: The Woman in White – Charing Cross Theatre

    Theatre Review: The Woman in White – Charing Cross Theatre  

    It’s good to see a grandiose, gothic musical – not particularly successful by Andrew Lloyd Webber standards when it first aired in 2004 – scaled down and given vibrant new life. It now uses an ensemble cast of three (plus a child) supporting seven principals accompanied by a nine piece band – and it works [...]

  10. BOOK REVIEW: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Going to the Theatre (But were too sloshed to ask, Dear)

    BOOK REVIEW: Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Going to the Theatre (But were too sloshed to ask, Dear)  

    by West End Producer Published by Nick Hern Books Published late autumn this was definitely the best theatre book of 2017 and I suspect it will be unsurpassed this year too. Written in the same wickedly dead-pan tone as his earlier Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Acting (But were too sloshed to ask [...]