Emma Rice

Photo credit: Steve Tanner

This was bound to happen sooner or later! And what better time could there be than the year that Emma Rice’s new theatre company Wise Children makes its way into the world?

As ever, this page will start off pretty sparse – though with the UK/US tour of The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk about to start, The Little Matchgirl making its way around the country, and Brief Encounter heading back to London, I’m sure it won’t take long to start filling it up. And this is all before we add her production of Wise Children into the equation…

Watch this space!

Blog posts

Emma Rice at the Globe: top 10

Photo credit: Eddie Mulholland

It’s officially into Emma Rice’s last week at Shakespeare’s Globe, and I’m fully expecting to have a meltdown come Saturday evening… So while I’m still functioning, I thought it would be great to celebrate some of my favourite things about her time as the artistic director of the Globe – both from her shows and the others programmed in her seasons. I found it hard enough to narrow it down to 10 things, so they’re definitely not in any particular order! Read more…


Romantics Anonymous, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Wilton’s Music Hall
Brief Encounter, Empire Cinema Haymarket
The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, West Yorkshire Playhouse
The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Salisbury Playhouse
The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, HOME Manchester
The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Exeter Northcott
The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Oxford Playhouse
The Little Matchgirl and Other Happier Tales, Sam Wanamaker Playhouse
The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Royal & Derngate
The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk, Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Brighton Festival
Wise Children, Old Vic
Wise Children, Oxford Playhouse
Wise Children, Cambridge Arts Theatre

The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk

Annoyingly, my first encounter with this show was in its brief run at the Bristol Old Vic last summer – it had been on at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse during Emma Rice’s first summer season, but it was just before I really started to avidly follow her work so I missed out. After falling in love at first sight, I rushed back to my hotel room and wrote my review there and then! It was really sad to think that I’d never get to see it again (I even tried to dash up to Edinburgh to see it there), but then I got the gossip I’d been hoping for: a tour was imminent! My aim is to see it at every UK venue (that will take me to a few new places) and hopefully New York too, as I needed another excuse to head back over there and explore things properly.

Photo credit: Steve Tanner

Bristol Old Vic review

Photo credit: Steve Tanner

“First performed last year, as Emma Rice took over the reins at the Globe, The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk is back at the Bristol Old Vic for a few shows – it will then travel to Edinburgh Festival, before flying all the way over to LA early next year. The 90-minute production blurs the lines of art and theatre, telling the story of Marc and Bella Chagall.” Read more…

Wilton’s Music Hall review (for BroadwayWorld UK)

Photo credit: Steve Tanner

“After a short stay at the Bristol Old Vic, and an award-winning run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, Daniel Jamieson’s play about the life and love of Marc and Bella Chagall begins a UK/US tour at Wilton’s Music Hall in east London. Directed by Emma Rice, it follows in the wake of Romantics Anonymous and precedes the return of Brief Encounter and the debut of her “brand new theatre company Wise Children.” Read more…

Flying Lovers 2018: UK tour diary

Photo credit: Steve Tanner

“In 2016-17 I followed 946: The Amazing Story of Adolphus Tips from the Globe in London to St Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn. It’s always great to get out of London and discover new places & theatres – and once you get the taste for it you can’t look back! So you won’t be surprised to discover that I’m now off on my travels following another Emma Rice show around the country…” Read more…

Brief Encounter

The first run of this show was before my time, theatre-wise, and I’ve also never seen the film (or Noël Coward’s play, Still Life, which preceded it) so I’m chuffed that it’s getting a revival on its tenth anniversary. What’s also very exciting is that the London run is in as close to a site-specific venue as you could get: the Empire Cinema, Haymarket.

Isabel Pollen as Laura & Jim Sturgeon as Alec in Brief Encounter, credit Steve Tanner (2)
Photo credit: Steve Tanner

Interview with Jos Slovick (for BroadwayWorld UK)

Photo credit: Steve Tanner

“Kneehigh (in conjunction with the Old Vic) are about to revive their acclaimed production of Emma Rice‘s Brief Encounter, starting with a short tour followed by a six-month West End run. Jos Slovick, playing Stanley, talks bunking off, jazz, and returning to the West End.” Read more…

Empire Cinema Haymarket review (for BroadwayWorld UK)

Steve Tanner

Emma Rice begins her association with the Old Vic by reviving her version of Brief Encounter. It has recently been performed at the Birmingham Rep (where it first began life 11 years ago) and the Lowry in Salford, but now makes a return to the West End for a run at the Empire Cinema. The screen has been specially adapted to suit a theatre production, with a stage added in for the occasion.” Read more…

Empire Cinema Haymarket review

Jim Sturgeon as Alec and the cast of Brief Encounter, credit Steve Tanner
Photo credit: Steve Tanner

“It’s set to be quite a year for Emma Rice. With The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk off on tour (around the UK & US) and a couple of productions left in the Winter Selection at Shakespeare’s Globe, she now adds a revival of Brief Encounter to the list. It has already had short runs in Birmingham and Salford, but now has a six-month residency at the Empire Cinema Haymarket ahead of it, in conjunction with the Old Vic.” Read more…

Wise Children

This one has been a long time coming. First announced back in July 2017, it wasn’t until this summer that full details of the company’s opening production were released – not only is it forming part of Emma Rice’s residency at the Old Vic, but it will also be heading out on tour for the winter & spring of 2018-19. So that’s me sorted for the next few months!

Photo credit: Steve Tanner

Old Vic review

Photo credit: Steve Tanner

“If you’ve read Angela Carter’s final novel, Wise Children, you’ll understand just how gargantuan an undertaking it would be to adapt for the stage – but when the person taking on that challenge is Emma Rice, you can be certain it’s a match made in heaven. Thematically and content-wise it is an ideal piece of work to bring to the stage; with its focus on a sprawling acting family, what better medium could you choose than theatre? This is the first venture for Rice’s brand new company (also named Wise Children) and is in the middle of a run at the Old Vic prior to a nationwide tour that’s currently booking until April 2019.” Read more…

“Welcome to the wrong side of the tracks”

Wise Children
Photo credit: Steve Tanner

“The beauty of seeing a show several times is that you can take in so many different things across the hours you spend in a theatre with it. With it being Emma Rice (and, let’s face it, Katy Owen) I’d booked four tickets in advance of seeing Wise Children at all, and added a fifth to my tally just to keep me going – so I knew that I had time to drink in different elements of the show separately. Getting from announcement to first preview seemed interminably long, so when that came around it was a bit overwhelming; the show was also in need of some tightening up, so making any judgments on it early on would have been a mistake (not that it stopped some people from writing reviews prior to its official opening).” Read more…

Wise Children: 2018-19 UK tour diary

Photo credit: Steve Tanner

“Earlier this year I headed out on tour with The Flying Lovers of Vitebsk – well, I went to every venue on the UK leg of their tour… So with this being my year of Emma Rice, I simply had to do the same thing for Wise Children! It’s heading to a few places I know and love, as well as some theatres I’ve not managed to visit before; it’ll be great to take in some sights at some points during my tour as well.” Read more…