Never Mind The Blog… Here’s Spring/Summer 2019

Spring Summer 2019

You may remember that last year I provided you with one of these big preview posts every month. Whilst it was interesting to find out what was going on across the country (and remind myself of things I still needed to see), the self-imposed pressure of compiling so much every few weeks started to cause unnecessary stress – and it definitely felt more like a chore by the end of 2018. But I didn’t want to stop completely, so instead I’m opting for a more seasonal approach; you had my Coming up in 2019… post back in January that covered the early stages of the year (as well as some choice highlights for 2019), so the next logical step is to do Spring/Summer 2019 and Autumn/Winter 2019 posts to cover any new announcements.

I’ve given the format a little bit of a shuffle, and decided to place a bit more emphasis on non-theatre events & items as I’m trying my best to get more variation into my days.

The nominations for the 2019 Tony Awards were announced, with some good news for London shows that have transferred to Broadway! James Graham’s Ink is nominated for six awards – including Best Play, Best Scenic Design (Bunny Christie) and Bertie Carvel for his supporting performance – and The Ferryman is up for an incredible nine awards – including Paddy Considine & Laura Donnelly for their lead roles, Best Director (Sam Mendes) and Best Costume Design (Rob Howell). Network is also in the running, scooping up five nominations that include Best Lighting Design of a Play (Jan Versweyveld & Tal Yarden) and Best Actor (Bryan Cranston). 
N.B. Award names have been simplified for this post.

Elsewhere, the Old Vic shared details of Matthew Warchus’ next season – this includes another return for A Christmas Carol, as well as the dates for A Very Expensive Poison (by Lucy Prebble) and star casting for Duncan Macmillan’s Lungs (The Crown stars Claire Foy and Matt Smith reunite to make their Old Vic debuts).

Opening in London

Photo credit: Perou

As ever, there’s an incredible range of shows on offer.

May: Why the Child is Cooking in the Polenta (1 May), The Lehman Trilogy (7 May), Rejoicing at Her Wondrous Vulva The Young Woman Applauded Herself (9 May), OVERTURES at Bishopsgate Institute (12 May), Testament (14 May), Our Town (16 May), The Starry Messenger (16 May), The Glass Menagerie (23 May)

June: A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Bridge Theatre (3 June), Kill Climate Deniers (4 June), The Sweet Science of Bruising (5 June), Sweat (7 June), Bitter Wheat (7 June), The Light in the Piazza (14 June), On Your Feet! (14 June), Hansel and Gretel (14 June), The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole (15 June – cast recording available to pre-order), Dark Sublime (25 June), A Midsummer Night’s Dream – Regent’s Park (28 June)

July/August: Shit-faced Showtime: Alice Through the Cocktail Glass (6 July), The Night of the Iguana (6 July), Evita (2 August), Les Misérables: The All-Star Staged Concert (10 August), A Very Expensive Poison (19 August)

Closing in London

Unfortunately, to be able to welcome all these new shows we have to say goodbye to others.

May: A Super Happy Story (About Feeling Super Sad) (3 May), Mouthpiece (4 May), The Bay at Nice (4 May), Intra Muros (4 May), Little Miss Sunshine (11 May), Other People’s Money (11 May), The Crucible (11 May), Uncle Vanya (11 May), All About Eve (11 May), Follies (11 May), The Marvelous Wonderettes (12 May)

June: Emilia (1 June), The Twilight Zone (1 June), Ain’t Misbehavin’ (1 June), All My Sons (8 June), Man of La Mancha (8 June), Night of the Living Dead Live (8 June), Betrayal (8 June)

July/August: Les Misérables (13 July), Nigel Slater’s Toast (3 August)

Regional theatre comings & goings

It’s not all about London, of course. I do my best to head out of the capital at least a couple of times a month, and I encourage you to do the same; it’s cheaper than you think to organise a theatre day trip, as long as you’re relatively prepared – most regional theatres have good seats at affordable prices, and the National Express is usually a very reliable mode of intercity transport (unless you get very lucky with train prices!).

Why not take advantage of this to follow Little Miss Sunshine on its UK tour? Or head up to Manchester for Hobson’s Choice at the Royal Exchange, Manchester International Festival or Nine Foot Nine and No One Is Coming To Save You at HOME (as part of Incoming Festival 2019). Wise Children will debut their new show (an adaptation of Malory Towers) at the Passenger Shed in Bristol this July & August, before heading off on a brief tour around the country. Up in my favourite city, you still have time to catch the acclaimed production of Sweeney Todd at Liverpool Everyman, The Worst Witch will soon end its UK tour at the Playhouse (prior to its West End stint), and Electrolyte stops off at the Unity Theatre. The Trials of Oscar Wilde heads to the Brewhouse in May, this year’s Theatre in the Forest (Red Rose Chain) will be Romeo & Juliet, and Kema Sikazwe’s Shine will be at Newcastle’s Live Theatre as well as Edinburgh’s Traverse Theatre.

Mind the Blog reviews

This list is bound to expand over the next couple of months, but so far these are the reviews that you’ll be able to find on here:

  • The Hired Man (Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch)
  • Sherlock Holmes: The Sign of Four (Greenwich Theatre)
  • Neck or Nothing (Greenwich Theatre Studio)
  • Henriad Trilogy (Shakespeare’s Globe)
  • Salomé (Greenwich Theatre)
  • Summer Street (Waterloo East Theatre)
  • Beats on Pointe (Peacock Theatre)
  • The Flies (The Bunker)
  • GREY (Ovalhouse)
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Shakespeare’s Globe)

I’m also hoping to dip my toe in Liverpool Fringe Festival, as well as return to Edinburgh Festival Fringe later this summer.

Currently confirmed for the Mind the Bloggers are:

  • One Hundred Trillion (Old Vic Workrooms)
  • INK Festival: Feast from the East (Tristan Bates)

Other shows

Image source: Barbican Centre

There’s lots & lots to be excited about over the coming months, and fortunately I already have a fair amount confirmed! I finally get to see Maxine Peake onstage as I’m seeing Avalanche at the Barbican, plus I have The Happy Prince, Rosmersholm, A German Life (Maggie Smith!), Great British Mysteries: 1599?, Taking Flight Festival at the Pleasance, Small Island, Death of a Salesman, and Into The Woods (RADA graduate production) over the coming weeks. Later in the summer I’m set to see Carmen at the Royal Opera House and Andrew Scott in Present Laughter.

BroadwayWorld UK reviews
I currently have one show confirmed for BWW – excitingly it’s Kneehigh’s revival of Dead Dog in a Suitcase at the Lyric Hammersmith! If I’m lucky, I’ll also be adding The Who + guests at Wembley Stadium, The Worst Witch at the Vaudeville, and Bartholomew Fair in the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse.

On tour
I’m also heading out and about across the country again – some trips will be easier than others… First up is Amélie at the Watermill Theatre (the place that public transport forgot), Henry V at The Barn, Let It Be at Theatre Royal Bath, and Educating Rita at Salisbury Playhouse. I may be able to make it to Stratford-upon-Avon at some point, and hopefully Manchester as well!

Any Other Business

As well as theatre and cinema trips, I’m also doing my best to do something completely different! Exciting things planned so far are:

  • Voltaire Lecture 2019: Adam Rutherford & Alice Roberts (Logan Hall)
  • Kelly Jones: Don’t Let The Devil Take Another Day (Liverpool Philharmonic)
  • Bohemian Rhapsody: How a classic was made (British Library)
  • Bloc Party: Silent Alarm (The Brighton Centre)
  • England v Ireland – Test Match day 1 (Lord’s)

I’m always on the lookout for interesting (& ideally free) lectures, and am also hoping that a Guardian Masterclass on a subject that’s useful to me pops up at some point, as I’ve had some really nice experiences on those before.

New releases

Image credit: Paramount Pictures

DVD: Fleabag – series 1 & 2 boxset (6 May), Line of Duty – Series 5 (6 May), The Favourite (13 May), Mary Queen of Scots (20 May), Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing series 1 (27 May), Stan & Ollie (3 June), All Is True (10 June), Fisherman’s Friends (8 July), The White Crow (22 July)
CD: Bruce Springsteen – Western Stars (14 June), 1977: The Year Punk Broke (28 June), ZZ Top – Goin’ 50 (16 August)

Coming soon to a screen near you…
Tolkien (3 May), Rocketman (24 May), X-Men: Dark Phoenix (5 June), Yesterday (28 June), Artemis Fowl (9 August)

Hot tips

Blog post: The Mortal Fool’s How to get into theatre: Courses, scratch nights, free groups (London)
Book: The Holy Vible (Elis James & John Robins)
TV shows: Ghosts (BBC One), Game of Thrones (Sky Atlantic), Turn Up Charlie (Netflix)

“I have given you my soul; leave me my name!”
John Proctor, The Crucible (Arthur Miller)

Don’t miss!
My round-up of #MindTheMusicals week – and keep an eye out for future challenge weeks…

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