Soho Theatre - Latest Posts for NEWS http://www.sohotheatre.com/news/ NEWS en-gb Wed, 26 Aug 2015 12:44:39 +0100 Wed, 26 Aug 2015 12:44:39 +0100 SOHO THEATRE AUTUMN 2015: LOVE AGAINST THE ODDS http://www.sohotheatre.com/news/soho-theatre-autumn-2015-love-against-the-odds/ Book for the new season “I hate love stories. Especially my own. However, from time to time you come across a tale that can slay the inner cynic, and very slightly rekindle a fire. This season is full of those stories. From unlikely dark animal love, to complex mental health love, to forbidden internet love to sister parent child love. I’m not sure why there’s so much of it around at the moment, perhaps an antidote to all the politics we just had, but I’m glad it’s here, so let’s... Wed, 26 Aug 2015 00:00:00 +0100 http://www.sohotheatre.com/news/soho-theatre-autumn-2015-love-against-the-odds/ Book for the new season

“I hate love stories. Especially my own. However, from time to time you come across a tale that can slay the inner cynic, and very slightly rekindle a fire. This season is full of those stories. From unlikely dark animal love, to complex mental health love, to forbidden internet love to sister parent child love. I’m not sure why there’s so much of it around at the moment, perhaps an antidote to all the politics we just had, but I’m glad it’s here, so let’s make the most of it.”
Steve Marmion, Artistic Director, Soho Theatre.

This autumn Soho Theatre brings the very best new writing and performance to its stages. Friends, new and old, are invited to share their heart-breaking and joy-making love stories. We have artists arriving direct from this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe, others kicking off with world premieres in the heart of Soho; an autumn season of freshness, excitement and love against the odds.

Presenting the UK debut of exciting new playwright Rita Kalnejais and directed by Soho Theatre’s Artistic Director Steve Marmion, First Love Is The Revolution (22 Oct – 21 Nov) is an audacious, original tale of forbidden love. Written and developed through Soho Theatre’s commissioning programme Soho Six, First Love follows two young hearts Basti and Rdeca as they forge an impossible bond against all odds. Viciously funny and beautifully twisted, Soho Theatre is immensely proud to present this latest piece of home-grown work.

Fresh from a sell-out, critically acclaimed run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Soho Theatre Associate Artist Bryony Kimmings returns with Fake it ‘til you Make it (22 Sep – 17 Oct), a new work about clinical depression and men, which Bryony created with her real life partner Tim Grayburn. Co-commissioned and co-produced with Soho Theatre, this is a heartbreaking yet inspirationally warming story about one of the final taboos in men’s health.

Sonya Kelly’s How To Keep An Alien (1 – 19 Dec) has received huge praise at both the Dublin and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals. A frank, funny and tender account of Sonya’s struggle to secure an Irish visa for her Australian partner, Rough Magic and Soho Theatre co-produce this stunning winter warmer of a show. With its witty script and charming performances, How To Keep An Alien perfectly captures this love-driven battle against the paperwork giants.

Following development support here at Soho Theatre, Made In China premiere their latest show Tonight I’m Gonna Be The New Me (7 – 26 Sep). As the season’s second real-life couple, Tim Cowbury and Jess Latowicki’s new work focuses on their relationship and how it can exist through art. Walking the line between what is truth and what is fiction, Tim and Jess explore the human survival obsession of outlasting hardship in a piece that is less theatre, more physical endurance act.

Commissioned by cross-cultural charity Mothertongue and produced with Metal Rabbit (Radiant Vermin) Andrew Muir’s world premiere The Session (3 – 28 Nov) is a love story told across linguistic and cultural barriers. Robbie is English, Lena is Polish and their love thrives despite their inability to speak each other’s language. As they grow together over the years, so does the distance between them. The Session asks can a relationship survive the test of time without a shared language, or is their love enough?

Amy and Rosana Cade present a powerful and joyous performance about female sexual identity, feminism and the unconditional love of a family in Sister (29 Sep – 3 Oct). This collaboration between two siblings, one a radical shaven headed lesbian artist and the other a former sex worker, sees them explore each other’s sexual identities through their bold autobiographical storytelling in the speakeasy cabaret setting of Soho Theatre Downstairs.

In October, Clean Break returns with Joanne (Tue 13 – Sat 31 Oct), starring Olivier Award nominated Tanya Moodie (Fences, Sherlock). Five of the most exciting voices in theatre tell stories ignited by the stresses on our public services as one young woman buckles under pressures of her own. Written by Deborah Bruce, Theresa Ikoko, Laura Lomas, Chino Odimba and Ursula Rani Sarma, Joanne welcomes back Clean Break to Soho Theatre following their successes Charged, This Wide Night and Billy the Girl.

Performance artist Stacy Makishi takes over Soho Theatre Upstairs for three nights only with Vesper Time (8 – 10 Oct). Drawing on Moby Dick, 80’s hits and her one-time wish to be a missionary, Makishi invites you to her secular evening prayer – her ‘vesper’, if you will.

Disability culture moves centre stage in Soho with Touretteshero’s Backstage In Biscuit Land (29 Sep – 3 Oct), Jess Thom’s award-winning tic theatre show now seen by thousands of audience members across the world. Performing alongside her stage partner Jess Mabel Jones, this hilarious and neurologically unpredictable show presents her unique perspective on life.

Finally, Soho Theatre couldn’t possibly celebrate Christmas without their nearest and dearest stood by. Kim Noble’s You’re Not Alone (8 Dec – 9 Jan) is back to rekindle the human spirit. His hit show (last seen in at Soho Theatre in February), both fiercely provocative and immensely moving, is a bold exploration of isolation in the modern day. Kim returns for the festive period to remind us all of the true meaning of love, loneliness and Christmas.

PRESS ENQUIRIES Judi Ellard 020 7478 0142 / 07826 525 143

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Planned Tube Strike: Tue 25 - Fri 28 Aug http://www.sohotheatre.com/news/planned-tube-strike-tue-25-fri-28-aug/ Important Information for Bookers for performances Tuesday 25th – Friday 28th August: Transport unions are currently planning to hold strike action affecting the Underground on the 25th – 28th August inclusive, resulting in either severely reduced or no tube service across London during this time. If you are planning to come to Soho Theatre within these dates, please allow plenty of extra time for your journey, as other methods of transport will be much busier than usual; most of our p... Thu, 20 Aug 2015 00:00:00 +0100 http://www.sohotheatre.com/news/planned-tube-strike-tue-25-fri-28-aug/ Important Information for Bookers for performances Tuesday 25th – Friday 28th August:

Transport unions are currently planning to hold strike action affecting the Underground on the 25th – 28th August inclusive, resulting in either severely reduced or no tube service across London during this time.

If you are planning to come to Soho Theatre within these dates, please allow plenty of extra time for your journey, as other methods of transport will be much busier than usual; most of our performances have either a latecomers cut-off point, or a no-latecomers policy, and we regret we are not able to issue any compensation or refunds for patrons that cannot gain access to their performances due to arriving late.

Further updates on strike action can be found here.

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Carmen: Meet the Characters http://www.sohotheatre.com/news/meet-the-cast/ Find out more about the powerful story and the characters of Carmen, Jose and Escamillo in this interview with the actors Flora McIntosh, Anthony Flaum, and Richard Immergluck Wed, 19 Aug 2015 00:00:00 +0100 http://www.sohotheatre.com/news/meet-the-cast/ 1. Tell us about the character that you’re playing?

CARMEN:
I think she’s ordinary, she’s not that special. She’s not got much money, she’s a factory worker, and earns what she can on side with petty crime. She does what she can to elevate her status so that she can get out of the world that she lives in. The way she thinks that she can do that, is through men.

JOSE:
Jose is a complex man with a troubling past. He has an overwhelming desire within him to be a good person and stay on the straight and narrow but this is in constant battle with a very dark, violent, intemperate and abusive side that bubbles up when certain buttons are pressed! He then becomes obsessive and controlling and thereby loses his own control over his life and the situations he finds himself in. He’s a proud, fastidious soldier and in this production, this job is his sole chance to succeed and escape his past, which is why giving it all up for Carmen is such a huge deal for him.

ESCAMILLO:
Escamillo is a local Matador who is still in his twenties and thinks he’s at the start of a brilliant career as a bull-fighter. He’s been training all his life and is very proud of his achievements so far. He probably comes across to some as brash or over-confident or self-obsessed/absorbed. People love him though as he’s a bit of a local celebrity and the life and soul of a party. He likes to be the centre of attention. Serious about his job, serious about his women!

2. Have your preconceptions about your character changed while you’ve been working on this production?

CARMEN:
Yes, Robin Norton-Hale (director) and I talked a lot about humanising Carmen. The idea of her being culpable for her murder was not oaky with us and we took a different angle on the preconceptions of Carmen being a manipulator, whilst staying true to Bizet’s opera.

JOSE:
I have never sung this role before however I was in the chorus of a production a few years ago in Opera Holland Park and although I always believed there was more to Don Jose than just obsession, I didn’t have the many different levels of his character which we have found during the process. So yes, he has become a much more complex and unstable man to me!

ESCAMILLO:
There’s there idea that Escamillo is six feet six, full of bravado and oozes masculinity. A real bullfighter has to be a showman, sure, but a young one (as ours is) is plucky and adventurous. This Escamilllo doesn’t swan on and off stage, he doesn’t always have to be the centre of attention, he’s great fun, he likes a wind up and to tease people. But he’s not afraid of a fight.

3. What are his/her best and worst qualities?

CARMEN:
Best qualities: She’s loyal, fundamentally honest and smart. She can imaging getting out of the world that she’s in.
Worst qualities: She thinks that she has all of the answers and she doesn’t.

JOSE:
Best qualities: conscientious in his work. A desire to be better himself. A desire to be loved (or a version of love in his mind).
Worst qualities: his darker side, his obsessive and violent traits. His version of love is not a normal one! His inability to be mocked and not to take things too seriously.

ESCAMILLO:
Best qualities: You know that you’re going to have a good night with Escamillo around.
Worst qualities: He love winding people up and to push their buttons. He lives off the adrenaline and rush that he gets in the ring and he needs it out of the ring too, which means he’s pretty good at picking a fight with people that are bigger than him.

4. What does Carmen see in Jose and Escamillo?

JOSE:
A woman with huge appeal to others and offers him a purpose, a belonging in life. He thinks that she will devote herself to him and “be his”!

ESCAMILLO:
She also likes to be the centre of attention and he likes that in her. She stands out in a crowd and is the object of many men’s attention which makes her more of a prize to win. Underneath it all though I think she has a soft and loving heart and is waiting for the right man to come along and sweep her off her feet. He wants that man to be him.

And what does Jose/Escamillo see in Carmen?

CARMEN:
In Jose she’s attracted to a darkness that she sees in herself. And she’s attracted to Escamillo’s status, he’s neither a soldier, nor a factory worker, he’s something different. She’s attracted to his (low grade) glamour and thinks that she can match it.

5. What would it be like to go for a drink in Soho with your character and where might you?

CARMEN:
She’d want to go to a small, dark, over crowded cocktail bar that she thinks is very exclusive and everyone else there thinks is too, but it’s probably not. Jose would hate it. Escamillo would love it and work the room. I’d like it if I could be left alone, I don’t like people getting my space.

JOSE:
We’d probably go for a drink in a quiet pub, no music, I’d have one beer but that’s it. Conversation would be fairly stunted and be aimed at figuring out the environment I was in, i.e. revolve around goings on around us or who people are and what they did. I wouldn’t say he’s a barrel of laughs on a night out but if you got into a fight, he’s your man.

ESCAMILLO:
I don’t think I would get on with Escamillo very well. He’s a little too self-absorbed for my tastes but I would still go out with him for a drink as I’m sure he’d be really good value on a night out. He’d probably end up getting everyone singing and dancing or something silly which I really like.

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WRITERS’ LAB: ACCESS FOR ALL WORKSHOP http://www.sohotheatre.com/news/writers-lab-access-for-all-workshop/ Sat 22 Aug, 11am-1.30pm FREE, Soho Upstairs Led by resident writer Matilda Ibini (Writers’ Lab alumnus) and Education Producer, Jules Haworth. Want to know more about Soho Theatre’s Writers’ Lab and other opportunities available to young people at Soho Theatre? Join us for a relaxed workshop looking at the diverse voices that make up our work at Soho Theatre, through playwriting tips and exercises. We’re working hard to make sure that the people we work with are representative of our... Wed, 12 Aug 2015 00:00:00 +0100 http://www.sohotheatre.com/news/writers-lab-access-for-all-workshop/ Sat 22 Aug, 11am-1.30pm

FREE, Soho Upstairs

Led by resident writer Matilda Ibini (Writers’ Lab alumnus) and Education Producer, Jules Haworth.

Want to know more about Soho Theatre’s Writers’ Lab and other opportunities available to young people at Soho Theatre? Join us for a relaxed workshop looking at the diverse voices that make up our work at Soho Theatre, through playwriting tips and exercises.

We’re working hard to make sure that the people we work with are representative of our diverse community. Writers Lab: Access for All has been designed for young artists aged 16-26 who identify as BAME and/or disabled.

Email jules@sohotheatre.com to book your place (spaces are limited). If you have any access requirements please let us know how we can support you, essential companions/interpreters are welcome to join.

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This is not a love story by Robin Norton-Hale http://www.sohotheatre.com/news/carmen/ This is not a love story by Robin Norton-Hale Carmen is murdered by her ex-partner. She has this in common with more than two women a week in England and Wales who are killed by a current or former partner. What she also has in common with these women is that she does not deserve to die. Your reaction to the previous sentence is probably (hopefully), ‘Of course she doesn’t’. But in seeing Carmen and Jose’s relationship as a doomed romance, or a violently passionate ‘can’t be with... Fri, 07 Aug 2015 00:00:00 +0100 http://www.sohotheatre.com/news/carmen/ This is not a love story by Robin Norton-Hale

Carmen is murdered by her ex-partner. She has this in common with more than two women a week in England and Wales who are killed by a current or former partner. What she also has in common with these women is that she does not deserve to die.

Your reaction to the previous sentence is probably (hopefully), ‘Of course she doesn’t’. But in seeing Carmen and Jose’s relationship as a doomed romance, or a violently passionate ‘can’t be with each other, can’t be without each other’ one, we can be guilty of falling into many of the pitfalls of tackling domestic abuse – that it is a problem of ‘anger management’; or something that is only caused by high levels of stress, alcohol or provocation; or that the specific toxic combination of two people is what drives a man to brutality and murder while in another ‘better’ relationship he would not resort to violence.

There is no typical victim of domestic abuse, but there is a stereotypical one – a meek, easily browbeaten, isolated woman. Carmen does not fit this image. She is confident, bright, apparently unfettered, and has a strong support network in Frasquita, Mercedes, Remendado and Dancairo. None of this protects her from what happens to her. She also mocks, criticises and challenges Jose, and – worst of all perhaps – leaves him. Is this provocation to murder?

Perhaps it is the fact that Carmen is neither easily intimidated or a saint which has meant that the narrative of the opera is often viewed as a story of two equally flawed protagonists careering towards a so-called ‘crime of passion’, rather than one in which Carmen is a victim of an escalating cycle of abuse. As the essay about Georges Bizet earlier in this programme says, it is usually seen that Carmen’s own ‘relentless appetite for love, or perhaps simply sex… leads inevitably to her death’.

While a sexually confident female lead is undeniably appealing (witness the enormous popularity of Bizet’s opera), to maintain that it is not Carmen’s own choices which lead to her death, but Jose’s, should not diminish her. This version of Carmen still asserts her right to love whoever, and live however, she chooses. The fact she does so while she is mortally afraid of Jose makes her an even stronger and braver character.

We have tussled with the connected ideas of fear and fate in the rehearsal room. Carmen foretells her death by reading it in a pack of playing cards – but that does not mean she accepts it, or that we should either (and it is clear that Mercedes and Frasquita take this fortune telling no more seriously than most people today take their star sign predictions in the back of magazines). The idea that Carmen’s murder by Jose is her ‘fate’ somehow diminishes his responsibility – and her autonomy – in a way we found troubling. In the final scene, she stands her ground not because she accepts death at Jose’s hands as her lot, nor because she is not afraid, but because it is only by convincing him once and for all that their relationship is over that she will be able to get on with her life. On the other hand, there is a horrible inevitability about her death. Once Jose has decided Carmen is ‘his’, he will not let her go. Tragically, it is often when people try to escape abusive relationships that they are most in danger.

Despite all of this, it is too easy to dismiss Jose as a monster. It is more frightening and truthful if he is an ordinary (if deeply flawed) human being, rather than an aberration. He can be ardent, even sweet. He wants to be a good son and a good citizen. He believes he loves Carmen. And yet he wants – and believes he has the right – to possess and control her, and when she refuses to be possessed and controlled, he kills her. To understand that this is the act of a weak man trying to erase the shame and humiliation of his life shouldn’t stop us from being angry and horrified by this most brutal, but sadly all too commonplace, of stories.

Robin Norton-Hale, July 2015

With thanks to the End Violence Against Women coalition for resources and advice, and BBC3’s drama-documentary ‘Murdered by my boyfriend’.

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Win dinner for two at our bar http://www.sohotheatre.com/news/win-dinner-for-two-at-our-bar/ Have you spotted one of our Carmen railway posters? Mon, 03 Aug 2015 00:00:00 +0100 http://www.sohotheatre.com/news/win-dinner-for-two-at-our-bar/ Tweet or Instagram a selfie with one of our CARMEN railways posters to @sohotheatre #carmensoho and we’ll enter you into a draw to win dinner for two at the Soho Theatre bar.

Terms and Conditions: – Per persons, includes one course from Pizza, Hot Dish, antipasti menu including a side of chips or salad, plus a glass of house wine, beer or soft drink – Winners will be selected at random and notified before 31st August 2015

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