Soho Theatre - Latest Posts for News http://sohotheatre.com/news/ News en-gb Tue, 28 Apr 2015 12:13:35 +0100 Tue, 28 Apr 2015 12:13:35 +0100 Soho Solo season is back! http://sohotheatre.com/news/soho-solo-season-is-back/ THIS YEAR’S MOST EXCITING SOLO SHOWS, ALL AT SOHO THEATRE. “In our second Soho Theatre Solo season, we continue to admire the resourcefulness of performer. Sometimes nothing is more powerful than one person on a stage with an audience. No complex set, no supporting cast – just a brilliant story, its teller and you.” Steve Marmion, Artistic Director, Soho Theatre. After the success of last year’s Soho Solo season and a number of critically-acclaimed solo shows, Soho Theatre Upstairs... Tue, 28 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0100 http://sohotheatre.com/news/soho-solo-season-is-back/ THIS YEAR’S MOST EXCITING SOLO SHOWS, ALL AT SOHO THEATRE.

“In our second Soho Theatre Solo season, we continue to admire the resourcefulness of performer. Sometimes nothing is more powerful than one person on a stage with an audience. No complex set, no supporting cast – just a brilliant story, its teller and you.” Steve Marmion, Artistic Director, Soho Theatre.

After the success of last year’s Soho Solo season and a number of critically-acclaimed solo shows, Soho Theatre Upstairs invites the best solo performances in the UK and Ireland to its intimate stage this summer from 15 June – 25 July.

Soho Solo season 2015 features work from six innovative companies, as well as a week-long residency and performance from Soho Theatre’s Talawa Writer-in-Residence 2014 Inua Ellams. From 6 July Inua celebrates Soho locals – meeting and writing small pieces on each – in a project titled #SohoFolks. He also hosts An Evening with an Immigrant (20 Jul), a one-person collection of anecdotes, stories and poems about his experience living as an immigrant in London.

Soho Theatre has produced, commissioned and presented some of the most inspiring solo plays and devised work including two Olivier nominated shows – Fleabag (2014) and Ivan and the Dogs (2011) – Spine, Bitch Boxer and Dark Vanilla Jungle. With a mixture of London and world premieres, Soho Theatre sees companies including Fishamble, The Birmingham REP and The Paper Birds join the growing crop of illustrious solo shows.

Kicking off the season with a world premiere is The Pyramid Texts from Geoff Thompson (15 Jun – 20 Jul); a story of human fear and expectation, all set in a boxing ring. Produced by Soho Theatre’s Associate Venue The Birmingham REP, The Pyramid Texts sees Michael Vale direct Christopher Fairbank (Doctor Who, Auf Weidersehn Pet, Spooks) in this authentic and touching performance.

Edinburgh Festival Fringe First winner Chef by Sabrina Mahfouz (15 Jun – 4 Jul) marks one woman’s journey from freedom and culinary success, to running a prison kitchen as a convicted inmate, jumping around heartbreaking memories with captivating urban lyricism. Chef stars Jade Anouka whose performance won her the Stage Award for Acting Excellence in 2014. The show reignites Soho Theatre’s relationship with Sabrina after she won their Westminster Prize for new playwrights in 2010.

Hailing from Dublin, the internationally-renowned and multi-award winning company Fishamble present Silent, written and performed by Pat Kinevane (7 Jul – 25 Jul). In another London premiere, Silent tells the story of McGoldrig who finds himself homeless after living a life of luxury. The wounds of his past are brought to life through the romanticism of Rudolph Valentino, in this brave, bold, beautiful production from an Irish company on a thrilling journey in the world of new writing.

Blind (13 – 25 Jul) from Leeds-based company The Paper Birds and double UK Beatboxing champion Grace Savage, is a sucker-punch of a show that displays the current variety of new British talent perfectly. Blind bounds between parallel stories of two pasts; Savage’s growing up, and the history of vocal manipulation, all through the medium that Savage knows best – beatboxing.

Soho Theatre also welcomes back Stuart Bowden to its stage following last year’s show She Was Probably Not A Robot. For the Solo Season’s fourth London premiere Before Us (23 Jun – 4 Jul) is a “contemporary casio keyboard operetta” featuring original music and the quirky but tender, physical comedy that audiences have come to know and love from Bowden. He also has a week’s residency at Soho Theatre, developing more new work.

Finally, Standby For Tape Back-Up (6 Jul – 11 Jul) sees theatre-maker and poet Ross Sutherland confront the illness that almost ended his life. Using an old video tape he found among his grandfather’s belongings, Sutherland talks through his story from high-flying city-slicker – cue 1980’s Natwest advert – through an identity crisis and eventually to a mental breakdown, all via The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air credits.

NOTES

Soho Solo season (#SohoSolo) began in 2014 with four one-person shows; Charlotte Josephine’s Bitch Boxer, La Merda by Cristian Ceresoli, Live Theatre Newcastle’s Captain Amazing and Philip Ridley’s harrowing Dark Vanilla Jungle starring Gemma Whelan.

Soho Theatre’s Talawa Writer-in-Residence Inua Ellams. is a poet, playwright and performer. He has published two poetry pamphlets including Candy Coated Unicorns and Converse All Stars and his first play The 14th Tale (a one-man show he performed) was awarded a Fringe First at the Edinburgh International Theatre Festival. He lives and works in London. Of the Soho Solo season 2015, he said:

I’m a typical Nigerian: I connive to make sumthin’ outta nuthin’ and started performing cause I couldn’t wait for someone else to bring my words to life. I’ve written for bigger casts since, but solo performance: a story resting on a set of fingertips, a lone voice feeding an audience, demanding they suspend belief, doing everything possible to ensure this happens… nuthin is more naked, nuanced and electrifying. It’s gonna be epic!
Inua Ellams, Talawa Writer-in-Residence 2014

Funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and partnering with the Bush Theatre, Soho Theatre and the BBC Writersroom, Talawa Writers’ Programme commissions three new writers to create a play alongside a year-long programme of activity.

Soho Theatre is London’s most vibrant venue for new theatre, comedy and cabaret. It is the place where emerging and established writers conceive, develop and realise their work. As an organisation they want to push the form in a way that delights and inspires their audience, with no thematic, political or philosophical constraints.

Across three different spaces Soho Theatre curates the finest live performance they can discover, develop and nurture. Soho Theatre works with theatre makers and companies in a variety of ways, from full producing of new plays, to co-producing new work, working with associate artists and presenting the best new emerging theatre companies that they can find. They have numerous writers and theatre makers on attachment and under commission, six young writers and comedy groups and they read and see hundreds of shows a year – all in an effort to bring their audience work that amazes, moves and inspires. Behind the scenes Soho Theatre work extensively with young people across London, ages 11 – 26, providing long-term courses and one-off workshops to support the growing creative talent across the city.

LISTINGS

TIM JOHANSON PRODUCTIONS PRESENTS
SOHO SOLO: CHEF
By Sabrina Mahfouz
Mon 15 Jun – Sat 4 Jul, 7pm (Sat matinees, 2.30pm)
Soho Upstairs
Tickets £10 – £16
Fresh from a sell-out Fringe First winning run at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe, Chef tells the gripping story of how one woman went from being a haute-cuisine head-chef to a convicted inmate running a prison kitchen. Sabrina Mahfouz’s distinct award-winning lyrical style and a mesmerising Stage Acting Excellence Award winning performance from Jade Anouka, this is an extraordinary, must-see, show.

BIRMINGHAM REP PRESENTS
SOHO SOLO: THE PYRAMID TEXTS
By Geoff Thompson
Mon 15 Jun – Sat 20 Jul, 8.30pm
Soho Upstairs
Tickets £10 – £16
Alone in a boxing gym, with a video camera, there is one last thing that Ray has to do.
“I’ve got so much to say to you kid. So much unsaid. What I didn’t teach you, what I was afraid to teach you, was that everyone is full of fear, some people just hide it better than others. We are all afraid.”

DON’T BE LONELY PRESENTS
SOHO SOLO: BEFORE US
By Stuart Bowden
Tue 23 Jun – Sat 4 Jul, 8.30pm
Soho Upstairs
Tickets £10 – £16
From the internationally acclaimed master of lo-fi, off-beat storytelling, Stuart Bowden returns with his latest invention, a surreal, raucous, contemporary, lo-fi, Casio keyboard operetta. An exuberant physical comedy, storytelling whirlwind. From the multi award-winning maker of She Was Probably Not A Robot, The Beast, The World Holds Everyone Apart, Apart From Us, Doctor Brown and His Singing Tiger and The Lounge Room Confabulators.

SHOW AND TELL PRESENTS ROSS SUTHERLAND
SOHO SOLO: STANDBY FOR TAPE BACK-UP
By Ross Sutherland
Mon 6 Jul – Sat 11 Jul, 7pm
Soho Upstairs
Tickets £10 – £16
After a hard-drive crash and a near death experience, Ross Sutherland found himself house-bound with only one thing for company: an old videotape that once belonged to his granddad. Over the months that followed, Ross memorised every second of the tape. Slowly, he learnt how to manipulate the images into telling the story of his life. The videotape allowed Ross to open a dialogue with his late grandfather, and eventually helped him confront the illness that had nearly ended his life. Standby For Tape Back-Up is the true story of one man’s journey into synchronicity and madness.

FISHAMBLE: THE NEW PLAY COMPANY PRESENTS
SOHO SOLO: SILENT
By Pat Kinevane
Tue 7 Jul – Sat 25 Jul, 8.30pm
Soho Upstairs
Tickets £10 – £16
Following huge international success from Los Angeles to Edinburgh, and from New York to Melbourne, the internationally acclaimed, multi-award winning company Fishamble brings Silent by Pat Kinevane to the Soho Theatre for its London premiere. Homeless McGoldrig once had splendid things. But he has lost it all – including his mind. He now dives into the wonderful wounds of his past through the romantic world of Rudolph Valentino, in this brave, bold, beautiful production.

THE PAPER BIRDS PRESENTS
SOHO SOLO: BLIND
By The Paper Birds and Grace Savage
Mon 13 – Sat 25 Jul, 7pm
Soho Upstairs
Tickets £10 – £16
Grace Savage stars in this breathtaking one-woman theatre show, charting her rise to becoming 2 x UK Beatboxing Champion. Blind tunes in and out of news broadcasts, playground gossip, beatbox battles and drunken brawls as Grace revisits beat by beat her teenage days, reflecting on who and what helped shape the person she is today. A mash up of pulsating bass, circus acts and silhouettes will have you on the edge of your seat as, searching for her own voice, the gentle and cautious Grace grows into the beatboxing Savage.

SOHO SOLO: AN EVENING WITH AN IMMIGRANT
By Inua Ellams
Mon 20 Jul, 8.30pm
Soho Upstairs
Tickets £10 – £16
Born to a Muslim father and a Christian mother in what is now considered by many to be Boko Haram territory, in 1996, award winning poet and playwright Inua Ellams left Nigeria for England aged 12, moved to Ireland for 3 years before returning to London and starting work as a writer and graphic designer artist. Part of this story was documented in his hilarious autobiographical Edinburgh Fringe First award winning play, The 14th Tale, but most of it is untold. For one night only, littered with poems, stories and anecdotes, Inua will tell his ridiculous, fantastic, poignant immigrant-story of escaping fundamentalist Islam, directing an arts festival at his college in Dublin, performing solo shows at the National Theatre, and drinking wine with the Queen of England, all the while without a country to belong to or place to call home.

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Soho Theatre meets... Iain Stirling http://sohotheatre.com/news/soho-theatre-meets-iain-stirling/ So we’ve met a fair few people in our bar now. It’s Iain Stirling’s turn, and there’s a bit of a vibe in the air. Cut it with a knife an’ that. Hi nice to meet you, what’s your name?Hi, my name is Iain Stirling. What’s your name? Where are you from?Oh OK, let’s not do names. I’m from Edinburgh it’s in Scotland. Where are you from? What brings you here?Really? Nothing? Hello!? I’m doing my latest solo show ‘Everything’. It’s a lot of fun. You want to come? Sorry, d... Fri, 10 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0100 http://sohotheatre.com/news/soho-theatre-meets-iain-stirling/ So we’ve met a fair few people in our bar now. It’s Iain Stirling’s turn, and there’s a bit of a vibe in the air. Cut it with a knife an’ that.

Hi nice to meet you, what’s your name?
Hi, my name is Iain Stirling. What’s your name?

Where are you from?
Oh OK, let’s not do names. I’m from Edinburgh it’s in Scotland. Where are you from?

What brings you here?
Really? Nothing? Hello!? I’m doing my latest solo show ‘Everything’. It’s a lot of fun. You want to come?

Sorry, didn’t get you a drink, what would you like?
I’ll take that as a no. I’m fine thanks I don’t eat or drink before shows.

Some crisps or nuts?
I said I don’t eat.

So, what’s so special about your show?
This is all getting very aggressive. I really feel like your bringing nothing to this conversation it’s starting to feel like an interview. I’m not going to tell you that it deals with being Scottish and living in post referendum pre election London. Also about trying to be a smilie kids TV presenter after and break up and one time I met Jedward.

How did the idea of the show come about?
All the events mentioned above happened to me so I wrote jokes about them.

Do you come here often?
I really think you should have opened with that. This is the worst first date over. I’m deleting Tinder off my phone.

Where are you going after here…
This is insane. I’m going home. Good luck with your life.

IAIN STIRLING: EVERYTHING
Fri 17 & Sat 18 Apr, 9.30pm
Soho Downstairs

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Anders Lustargen introduces his play Lampedusa http://sohotheatre.com/news/anders-lustargen-introduces-his-play-lampedusa/ This will never stop. Last year 170,100 refugees reached Italian shores by boat from Africa. That’s a rise of over 300% on the 42,925 people who arrived in 2013. They used to come only in the calmer summer months, but now they brave the winter storms and twenty foot waves too. The numbers for the first two months of 2015 are double those for 2014. This is not a blip. An aberration. These people will never stop coming. However many of them we try to drown or lock up. In an act of moral cowa... Wed, 01 Apr 2015 00:00:00 +0100 http://sohotheatre.com/news/anders-lustargen-introduces-his-play-lampedusa/ This will never stop.

Last year 170,100 refugees reached Italian shores by boat from Africa. That’s a rise of over 300% on the 42,925 people who arrived in 2013. They used to come only in the calmer summer months, but now they brave the winter storms and twenty foot waves too. The numbers for the first two months of 2015 are double those for 2014.

This is not a blip. An aberration. These people will never stop coming. However many of them we try to drown or lock up.

In an act of moral cowardice unusually repugnant even by British standards, our government led the way in ending Mare Nostrum, the EU’s rescue operation in the Mediterranean, last year, at the exact time when the need for it became extreme. More than 4,000 refugees drowned in the Med in 2014 despite Mare Nostrum (the real figure is much higher— those are only the bodies that were recovered). How many will die now it’s been withdrawn?

The replacement program, Triton, has a third of the resources and is limited to patrolling within thirty miles of the Italian coast. This amounts to an official policy of deliberately letting migrants drown to deter others from coming, cloaked under a nauseating faux concern for their well-being.

Europe’s other proposed responses are equally barbaric. Militarised camps, aka ‘processing centres’, on the southern shores of the Med. Arming the navies of Maghreb countries to intercept the migrant boats, round them up and send them back where they came from. ‘This would produce a real deterrent effect, so that fewer and fewer migrants would be ready to put their life at risk to reach European coasts,’ as the leaked Italian proposal for the latter scheme put it.

Except it wouldn’t. At the heart of our self-delusion about migration is a wilful misunderstanding of why people come. They don’t come to soak the benefits system, because hardly any of them know it exists. They come out of desperation, because their country is on fire or their government is repressive or climate change is killing their crops. Often that’s down to the West. We removed the Gaddafi regime in Libya, odious as it might have been, leaving a vacuum state that’s the epicentre of migrant smuggling. We are right behind the Sisi regime in Egypt, which is cracking down on Arab Spring dissidents and Muslims. Sisi is also privatising state assets at a rate of knots (which is a key reason why the West supports him), putting large numbers of workers on the street. There’s a long and intimate connection between World Bank privatisation schemes and mass migration. We’re the primary source of climate change emissions. I don’t need to tell you what we’ve done in the Middle East.

We urgently need a proper conversation about migration in this country, and in Europe. To acknowledge what we do to cause migration and correct it. To decide what we’re going to do about our rapidly aging population, which requires an infusion of hundreds of thousands of young, talented, hard-working people to keep up the employment base. Who wins and who loses if we let those people in? What about the extra load on public services? Does that require a major increase in taxation of the rich? (Spoiler: of course it fucking does.) What about the morality of taking skilled people from poor countries who need them even more than we do? What do contemporary patterns of outsourcing and de-skilling in many professions imply for our future needs?

The basic question we need to ask ourselves, and without giving too much away this underscores both storylines, is what kind of society do we want to be?

We don’t have any of these conversations. Instead, we just let people drown.

That is pure cowardice. All my plays are about bringing the reality of what’s really happening in the world home, and that’s what happens to both characters in this play. They keep the reality of what they do at arm’s length, until one day they just can’t any more. The barrier cracks. What will they do then?

I hope our collective barrier cracks, and soon. And when it does, that we will have the courage and the dignity to ask the right questions.

Anders Lustgarten
20 March 2015

Part of our Political Party Season, Lampedusa plays at Soho Theatre from Wed 8 – Sun 26 Apr.

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I Heart Catherine Pistachio Competition - Win free tickets! http://sohotheatre.com/news/i-heart-catherine-pistachio-competition-win-free-t/ Enter our video competition to win two free tickets to the double-denim, 90s-drenched world of Encounter’s I Heart Catherine Pistachio! Combining theatre, dance and a generous helping of Mario Lopez, with a soundtrack of tamagotchi pop and end-of-the-night classics. The 90s were a golden era for bad (so bad it’s good) dancing. For a chance to win tickets, simply send us a video of you, your pals, your family or your best-friend-who’s-also-a-dog, dancing along to any 90s classic –... Mon, 23 Mar 2015 00:00:00 +0000 http://sohotheatre.com/news/i-heart-catherine-pistachio-competition-win-free-t/ Enter our video competition to win two free tickets to the double-denim, 90s-drenched world of Encounter’s I Heart Catherine Pistachio! Combining theatre, dance and a generous helping of Mario Lopez, with a soundtrack of tamagotchi pop and end-of-the-night classics.

The 90s were a golden era for bad (so bad it’s good) dancing. For a chance to win tickets, simply send us a video of you, your pals, your family or your best-friend-who’s-also-a-dog, dancing along to any 90s classic – extra points for enthusiasm!

Grab your phones, get filming, and tweet the link to your video using the hashtag #iheartcatherinepistachio by Mon 30 Mar at 5pm. Our favourite videos will win free tickets to the show – and have the (dubious) honour of being recreated by the Catherine Pistachio cast!

#iheartcatherinepistachio

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Soho Theatre meets... GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN http://sohotheatre.com/news/soho-theatre-meets-getinthebackofthevan/ GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN, Number 1, The Plaza, Soho Theatre, Tue 31 Mar – Sun 12 Apr, 9.30pm (Sun 7.30pm) Hi nice to meet you, what’s your name?GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN Where are you from?Number 1, The Plaza What brings you here?We’re having a small exclusive party for 150 of our closest friends every night in the theatre. It’s an open house and it’s going to get messy. Sorry, didn’t get you a drink, what would you like?Just a litre of whiskey for Jen, and a couple of litres of wine for ... Fri, 13 Mar 2015 00:00:00 +0000 http://sohotheatre.com/news/soho-theatre-meets-getinthebackofthevan/ GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN, Number 1, The Plaza, Soho Theatre, Tue 31 Mar – Sun 12 Apr, 9.30pm (Sun 7.30pm)

Hi nice to meet you, what’s your name?
GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN

Where are you from?
Number 1, The Plaza

What brings you here?
We’re having a small exclusive party for 150 of our closest friends every night in the theatre. It’s an open house and it’s going to get messy.

Sorry, didn’t get you a drink, what would you like?
Just a litre of whiskey for Jen, and a couple of litres of wine for Lucy per show, please. Most of it will end up on the floor, but that’s what happens when you let it all out. Especially if you’ve been holding it in for a while.

Some crisps or nuts?
Why are you offering us the snacks? This is our fucking house.

So, what’s so special about your show?
It’s a no holds-barred examination of the kind of shit that we do day to day. Very exclusive, very intimate, not to mention you’ll get to hear a selection of our favourite and best show-tunes and we guarantee they’ll sound like they’ve never sounded before.

How did the idea of the show come about?
We decided it was time to really open up and let you know what it’s like on the inside; time to really reveal ourselves.

Do you come here often?
Yes, we’ve been here with our previous two shows External and Big Hits. In fact, we bloody live here. This is our fucking house. Now get out.

Where are you going after here…
Oh you know, all the usuals: Wembley, The O2, Madison Square Gardens, The Coliseum… check our website www.getinthebackofthevan.com for tour dates.

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New NitroBEAT residency at Soho Theatre http://sohotheatre.com/news/new-nitrobeat-residency-at-soho-theatre/ Nitro announces new name and residency in the creative heart of London. nitroBEAT is officially being announced today as the new name for Nitro Music Theatre (originally established as Black Theatre Co-operative in 1979) – honouring the legacy of its pivotal contribution to UK theatre whilst stepping boldly forward into a new iteration of innovation from its new home at one of UK’s leading powerhouse venues for new writing, Soho Theatre in the heart of London’s creative hub. Led by new... Wed, 11 Mar 2015 00:00:00 +0000 http://sohotheatre.com/news/new-nitrobeat-residency-at-soho-theatre/ Nitro announces new name and residency in the creative heart of London.

nitroBEAT is officially being announced today as the new name for Nitro Music Theatre (originally established as Black Theatre Co-operative in 1979) – honouring the legacy of its pivotal contribution to UK theatre whilst stepping boldly forward into a new iteration of innovation from its new home at one of UK’s leading powerhouse venues for new writing, Soho Theatre in the heart of London’s creative hub.

Led by new director Diane Morgan, the name marks a radical shift in the company’s vision, a refreshed approach to collaborating and instigating creative ideas and a broader range of influences, artists and audiences who will connect with the company at Soho Theatre. Mirroring the collective spirit that sparked the early development of the company, nitroBEAT has appointed the following Associate Artists for the first exciting phase of the journey: award-winning playwright Oladipo Agboluaje, cutting edge producer and DJ Charlie Dark & leading British theatre director and Associate Director of the 2012 Summer Olympics opening ceremony Paulette Randall.

Current projects in development with Soho Theatre, The Barbican, Theatre Royal Stratford East and the Southbank Centre include theatrical productions, a festival of new contemporary music-theatre, gigs, talks, artist development and learning experiences – all to be announced in the coming months.

“I’m thrilled and honoured to be leading the company into this new era of our residency at Soho Theatre. I relish the opportunity to work with our incredibly accomplished associate artists to establish nitroBEAT as a generator of ideas and inspiration. Culturally diverse artists all too often face perceptions and expectations that are creatively restricting. nitroBEAT aims to rebel rather than represent and to excite through the unexpected and underexplored.” Diane Morgan – Director, nitroBEAT

“NitroBEAT is a unique and essential player in the theatrical landscape. Diane’s vision is an inspiring one that offers people, across culture and experience, to find a way to turn their ideas into something real – working with some of the best in the business. We are delighted to be their new home.” Steve Marmion – Artistic Director, Soho Theatre

“As a father, musician and theatre practitioner my role will include shining a light on the underground visionaries from the next generation and developing new work that actively engages new and intergenerational audiences. As a dedicated practitioner of the philosophy of ‘health is wealth’ i’m interested in developing nitroBEAT projects that nourish the soul as well as entertaining the mind.” Charlie Dark – Associate Artist, nitroBEAT

nitroBEAT website: www.nitrobeat.co.uk

www.twitter.com/nitrobeatuk

www.facebook.com/TheatreNitro

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