213 episodes

Interviews and more from the world of professional theatre right across the UK.

British Theatre Guide podcast British Theatre Guide

    • Performing Arts

Interviews and more from the world of professional theatre right across the UK.

    Beats & Elements brings working class voices and beatboxing to online theatre

    Beats & Elements brings working class voices and beatboxing to online theatre

    No Milk for the Foxes was a one-act play written and performed by Conrad Murray and Paul Cree for Beats & Elements at Camden People’s Theatre in 2015 that looked in on the lives of two young, working-class lads, Marx and Sparx, working as security guards on zero-hours contracts and which used beatboxing and live looping between dialogue scenes.
    An archive recording of this production has now been made available on YouTube in order, according to Conrad, to introduce some diversity into the huge amount of online theatre that has suddenly become available by throwing some working class voices into the mix.
    BTG Editor David Chadderton spoke to Conrad about the play, about beatboxing and hip hop theatre and about his views on the importance of seeing genuine working class characters on stage, even if they don’t fit the preconceptions and sensibilities of the middle classes—even if they read The Sun.
    No Milk for the Foxes is now available on the Beats & Elements page on YouTube, where you can also find a link to make donations via Patreon. You can find out more about Conrad on his web site.

    • 35 min
    New Perspectives presents all-star recordings of David Rudkin pieces

    New Perspectives presents all-star recordings of David Rudkin pieces

    New Perspectives Theatre Company has teamed up with writer David Rudkin to produce a ten-part audio series called PlacePrints.
    Rudkin has written stories set in different locations around the British Isles and they’ve been recorded over the past four years. The cast includes Michael Pennington, Toby Jones, Juliet Stevenson and Stephen Rea.
    In this episode, Steve Orme speaks to Jack McNamara from New Perspectives about how the series came together and how the company’s work has changed since its tours were called off due to the coronavirus pandemic.
    Photo of Jack McNamara, credit Emanuele Costantini.

    • 16 min
    All-star cast broadcasts to the world from Huddersfield

    All-star cast broadcasts to the world from Huddersfield

    Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield is producing a star-studded multi-cast audio play, The Understudy, an adaptation by Henry Filloux-Bennett of a novel by David Nicholls about an actor who is failing in most aspects of his life.
    The cast includes Stephen Fry, Russell Tovey, Emily Atack, Sheila Atim, Layton Williams, Sarah Hadland, Mina Anwar, Jake Ferretti, Sasha Frost, Marie Lawrence, James McNicholas and Lizzie Muncey.
    Each actor has recorded his or her own dialogue at home in isolation and it has all been assembled by the sound design team of Alexandra Faye Braithwaite with Annie May Fletcher and Sophie Galpin.
    The proceeds from ticket sales will go to theatre charities the Theatre Development Trust, Acting for Others and the Equity Charitable Trust.
    In this episode, BTG Editor David Chadderton speaks separately to director Giles Croft, actor Mina Anwar, who plays deputy stage manager Donna, and writer Henry Filloux-Bennett, who is also Chief Executive and Artistic Director of the Lawrence Batley Theatre.
    Part 1 will be released on Wednesday 20 May and Part 2 on Wednesday 27 May 2020. For more information and to purchase tickets, see the Understudy Play web site.

    Slung Low streams civil war from Leeds

    Slung Low streams civil war from Leeds

    Slung Low, a theatre company founded in 2000 and currently based in the oldest social club in Britain in Holbeck, Leeds, programmes work in its own performance spaces but also creates large-scale works in non-theatre spaces, often involving large community casts.
    During the coronavirus lockdown, Slung Low is releasing a short film, The Good Book, written by James Phillips with a cast of three professional actors alongside more than a hundred people from Leeds in the first piece of work to be produced by the new Leeds People’s Theatre, filmed in January in Holbeck and Leeds.
    Slung Low’s Artistic Director Alan Lane spoke to BTG Editor David Chadderton about the film, and also about the philosophy of the twenty-year-old company and what they are currently doing during the coronavirus lockdown.
    Slung Low and Leeds People’s Theatre’s The Good Book will be available to watch online from 1 May 2020. For more information, see www.slunglow.org.

    HOME brings Homemakers into your homes

    HOME brings Homemakers into your homes

    In common with most of the UK’s theatres and other arts venues, HOME Manchester announced it would close soon after Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s statement on 16 March 2020 appealing to the public to stay away from public places to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.
    A week later, HOME announced a series of commissions, titled Homemakers, from artists asking them to devise new works in their homes for audiences who will also be at home.
    The initiative was created by HOME’s Associate Director Jude Christian who spoke to BTG Editor David Chadderton online, both in their own homes, a few days after the announcement. Jude explained about the project and the commissioning process and about some wider issues relating to the impact on theatre of the country’s current shutdown.
    Homemakers aims to launch its first works online in early April 2020.

    • 20 min
    Long John Silver sets sail for Derby Theatre for Easter

    Long John Silver sets sail for Derby Theatre for Easter

    For the second successive year, Derby Theatre is producing a major show featuring fully integrated British Sign Language and captioning.
    In 2019, the theatre presented Neil Duffield’s adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book; in 2020 Treasure Island will get similar treatment.
    For this episode, BTG Midlands editor Steve Orme chats to Derby Theatre’s artistic director Sarah Brigham about the show and what the theatre is doing regarding the coronavirus outbreak.
    He also interviews Beth Hinton-Lever who plays Long John Silver and T J Holmes, taking the role of Israel Hands.
    Treasure Island runs at Derby Theatre from 28 March until 11 April 2020.
    (Photo of Sarah Brigham, Beth Hinton-Lever and T J Holmes, credit Steve Orme)

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