Rank #1: 094 - NT Live: "Julie"
This week is our first ever podcast brought to you specifically to celebrate an NT Live broadcast. We are bringing you some backstage chats with the cast of the National’s Lyttelton Theatre’s current production of “Julie” including “The Crown’s” Vanessa Kirby and Eric Kofi-Abrefa, recently seen onstage at the National in “The Amen Corner”.
The company talk about how exciting it is bringing this 19th Century Swedish classic to the 21st Century London and being able to share it beyond the walls of the National Theatre's home on the South Bank to cinemas around the globe.
Sep 04 2018
Rank #2: 090 - Keeping it Cool with the Americans
During the hottest stretch of hot summer weather we can remember in years here in the UK, we are bringing you some of our favourite chats from that last few years of the coolest Americans that have come over to play on the London stage - with each of the following three making their London theatrical debuts, and all of them known for their star turns on screen. Listen to John Goodman, Uzo Aduba and Michael C Hall share their experiences from the London stage.
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Jul 10 2018
Rank #3: 081 - Long Day's Journey's Journey
In this episode Lesley Manville, Jeremy Irons, Rory Keenan, Matthew Beard and Jessica Regan talk about their experience of bringing the classic Eugene O'Neill play Long Day's Journey Into Night from the Bristol Old Vic to the Wyndham's Theatre in the West End before their trip across the Atlantic to BAM in New York and the Wallis Centre in Los Angeles.
Apr 10 2018
Rank #4: 054 - Robert Icke
Robert Icke has a great track record here in the UK, having had an Olivier Award nomination for 1984 back in 2014 for Best New Play (where he also picked up the Best Director gong at the UK Theatre Awards), but today I want to bring you a little chat we had during the warm up of the play where he won the Olivier Award for Best Director. Oresteia, which showed at Trafalgar Studios a little less than two years ago, also brought a classic story, this time a Greek tragedy, to the stage. And, once again, cameras were a feature of this production. Less CCTV cameras of Big Brother, but broadcast cameras so that the killing of a child could be witnessed by the population as a leader’s sacrifice to help win a war. It was harrowing stuff, and extremely hard to watch, but was riveting theatre – something in which Robert Icke has made a name for himself.
Jul 11 2017
Rank #5: 050 - Regents Park Open Air Theatre
This week, to coincide with our piece written by Theo Bosanquet where he lists 10 of the best outdoor theatres around the world, I’d like to take you back to a chat I had with Andy Locke at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre. Andy is the Commercial Director, the first one of those we’ve had on this podcast. We sat down before a performance of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers in 2015 and the topics covered were what his job entails, coping with changing light and what makes performing on the iconic Regent’s Park stage such a special occasion to actors both new and old.
Jun 07 2017
Rank #6: 051 - Shakespeare's Globe's 20th Birthday
20 years ago on the 12th of June 1997, a major new theatre opened on London’s South Bank. It was the dream of American actor and director Sam Wannamaker to bring back to life one of the theatres that gave birth to drama as we know it today. It took over a quarter of a century from inception to lights up, with Wannamaker initially launching the Shakespeare’s Globe Trust to fund the project. Unfortunately, Wannamaker died 3 and a half years before the doors were officially opened to audiences by Her Majesty the Queen. And it is a real shame that he never got to see what a huge success The Globe as become, completely transforming the area that surrounds it. But what a legacy he left behind.
Jun 13 2017
Rank #7: 049 - Archie Madekwe, Professional Theatre Debut
On this week’s podcast, I hand over the reins of the question master to Curtain Call’s Sophie Soanes. You may recall hearing Sophie when we did our Brit School Episode…that would be epsode 34 if you want to go back and have a listen. On that episode, you would have heard Archie Madekwe talk about his experiences at the Brit School. At the time, he was studying at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts, but he was just about to go into rehearsals for his professional debut. And what a debut it is. Archie was cast as Billy in Edward Albee’s “The Goat – or Who is Sylvia?” in London’s West End alongside Damian Lewis, Sophie Okonedo and Jason Hughes
May 30 2017
Rank #8: 048 - The Olivier Stage
On this week’s podcast cast, to celebrate Sir Laurence Olivier’s birth date on May 22 1907, I would like to bring you selection of performers who have appeared on the stage named after him at The National Theatre on London’s South Bank. Making it to The Olivier Stage is seen as the pinnacle of a theatre professional’s career.
May 23 2017
Rank #9: 077 - The HandleBards
If you haven't heard of The HandleBards yet, you are in for a treat. As they describe on their website, they are "charmingly chaotic bicycle-powered Shakespeare". A roving company of bards who travel the country (and beyond), bringing a particular type of fun, fast and dare-I-say "furious" theatre that has seen them grow from a band of four "brothers" into a full-blown company with 15 members...and growing.
Listen to Tom Dixon, a founding HandleBard and one of their producers, as he discusses the company's history, vision, views on sustainable theatre, burst tyres and so much more...
Feb 20 2018
Rank #10: 080 - World Theatre Day
This week, we celebrate World Theatre Day by bringing you some of our favourite chats starting way back in 2015 when we visited the company of Three Days in the Country all the way up to last week when we spent the evening with the company of A Long Day's Journey into Night.
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Mar 27 2018
Rank #11: 133 - More "Evita"
Earlier in the week, we brought you Samantha Pauly, Trent Saunders and Ektor Rivera as they got ready to go on stage. But I thought that just wasn’t going to be enough to really show you backstage before a show.
Hopefully you’ll get a feel of what it’s like to be part of a company as I go from room to room and chat with some of the fantastic theatre professionals working on Jamie Lloyd’s production of “Evita” at Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.
Sep 20 2019
Rank #12: 096 - The Mono Box Speech Surgery
This week, I had the privilege of sharing the platform with Cherrelle Skeete (actress and found of Blacktress.co.uk), long-time RSC stalwart actor Sam Marks and director Zoé Ford, currently Associate Director for Sam Mendes on the Lehman Trilogy at the National Theatre.
Curated by The Mono Box's Polly Bennett, the panel's discussion were kicked off by two questions about mental health and issues of self-worth. Those two questions took half an hour to address, and I thought I would let you listen to how the conversation unfolded. I found it fascinating, and hopefully you will, too. It is apparent that we, in this industry, find it very hard to talk about how we are feeling, and yet we are expected to bare our souls in front of a camera or audience.
Sep 19 2018
Rank #13: 078 - Phil Ridley's Angry§
Tyrone Huntley and Georgie Henley are currently on stage at the Southwark Playhouse in Phil Ridley’s “Angry” – not so much a play as a theatre piece with Huntley and Henley performing what Ridley describes as “vespers” or stand-alone monologues.
This is a powerful piece with even more powerful performances. There were laughs, gasps, cheers and tears.
Director Max Lindsay deftly makes his London directing debut getting not only one performance out of his actors…but two. You see, Huntley and Henley swap these non-gender specific roles on alternate nights, making a return visit a must.
I sat down with Huntley, Henley and director Max Lindsay to talk all things “Angry”.
Mar 08 2018
Rank #14: 082 - The Grinning Man
We had the pleasure of making a show visit to The Grinning Man, currently playing at The Trafalgar Studios. Based on the novel ‘The Man Who Laughs” by Victor Hugo, the musical was created by War Horse director Tom Morris at the Bristol Old Vic. He brought together Tim Philips and Mark Teitler, a book by Carl Grose and all four of them collaborated on the lyrics.
We sat down with Sean Kingsley, Sanne Den Besten and Louis Maskell about how hard it is to place and describe The Grinning Man, the transfer from The Bristol Old Vic, working with puppets and keeping the voice in fine working order in one of toughest sings on stage at the moment.
Apr 24 2018
Rank #15: 087 - The Stable Musicals
I sat down with one of the founders of The Stable Musicals, Neil Marcus, a theatre producer with a distinguished history of developing new musicals and a massive supporter of emerging British musical theatre talent to discuss the growth of The Stable Musicals, their slate of new musicals and just how far they have come in the last four years.
Jun 12 2018
Rank #16: 097 - King Lear's Women - NT Live
Jonathan Munby’s production of King Lear, currently running at the Duke of York’s Theatre having transferred from Chichester and starring Sir Ian McKellan, feels astonishingly apt for today’s climate of geo-political posturing, with a map of Europe being ripped apart by Lear at one point.
We sat down and talked to some of the women in the cast about a number of unique aspects to this production, including the gender-swapping of the role of Kent played by Sinead Cusack.
Kirsty Bushell, Claire Price and Anita-Joy Uwajeh, who play Lear's daughters had more to offer including a number of cast changes. Nearly half of the company are new to the production which can be tricky. We also touched upon the political aspects of the play - something which Sinead Cusack also had a bit to say about.
Sep 25 2018
Rank #17: 086 - Alex Hassell and The Factory Theatre Company
Alex Hassell is a veteran of the London stage. Curtain Call have covered two shows with him in the shape of Henry V at The Barbican and Death of a Salesman at the Noel Coward Theatre. But before that, Alex’s career and the people he has worked with is like a “who’s who” of the industry including directors John Dove, Tim Caroll and Gregory Doran and on stage talent such as Dame Harriet Walter, Antony Sher and Mark Rylance.
But there’s a project that Alex has been involved with for the last 10 years, and one that he is intensely proud of (as you can tell when you’re listening to him). The Factory is a theatre company like no other. No sets, no props, no blocking, no set cast, no auditions, open rehearsals...you name the theatrical convention and they are tearing it down.
May 29 2018
Rank #18: 083 - Save Stage Lighting
The EU are bringing in regulations that will stop theatres from using bulbs and fixtures that don’t comply with new regulations that is being brought into law in September of this year. And I’m not just talking London and regional theatres, but sports halls, community theatres, lecture halls and more…
Curtain Call co-founder, Matt Humphrey, sat down with multiple award-winning lighting designer Paule Constable to talk about the proposed regulations and explain in simple terms what it means for the industry here in the UK and across Europe.
Read more about the proposals here.
May 01 2018
Rank #19: 132 - Open Air Evita
We were back at the Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre this week - one of our favourite places to do our Curtain Call visits. It was a welcome return for us to see not only a Jamie Lloyd production, but following the sell-out success of Jesus Christ Superstar two years ago, another Andrew Lloyd Webber hit show.
We sit down with the company members who play the three main antagonists in the show, Samantha Pauley as Evita Peron, Trent Saunders as Che and Ektor Rivera as Juan Peron to discuss their journey from across the Atlantic to Regent's Park here in London to perform one of musical theatre's classic rock scores.
Sep 17 2019
Rank #20: 091 - The Rise and Fall of Little Voice
This week, I talk to the company of the latest revival of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice which begins playing at The Park Theatre later this month, where the director Tom Latter believes that, despite being nearly 30 years old, the play absolutely stands up in today’s fame-crazed social media driven world. Also, this production boasts a real mother and daughter team in Sally George and Rafaella Hutchinson taking on the roles of Mari and LV. They also had a bit to say about what it’s like in the rehearsal room watching their family member being spoken to like they’ve never heard before...
Aug 07 2018