Heritage Open Days return this September!

England’s biggest festival of history and culture returns this September. Right now, you can take an early peek at the programme as it develops, with more than 800 free events already planned this year, and more to be added throughout July and August.

Current highlights from a search on theatres brings up these in-person events

The Old Savoy, Northampton

Alnwick Playhouse, Northumberland

Bristol Old Vic

The Stables, Wavendon

Mercury Theatre, Colchester

East Riding Theatre, Beverley

Hull Truck Theatre

Hull New Theatre

Chesil Theatre, Winchester

Gorleston Pavilion, East Anglia

Norwich Puppet Theatre

Newark Place Theatre, Nottinghamshire

Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford

See the full programme here. Book early to secure your place, as these events do sell quickly!

MGCfutures announces new round of Bursary winners

These 20 talented people are the recipients of this year’s MGCfutures Bursaries.

The MGC Bursary team said of the award’s sixth round “This year we’re pleased to be working with London Performance Studios to support their new role of Cultural Entrepreneur as well as working with Dance Base in Edinburgh to support a Hip-Hop Dance Artist Traineeship.

We’ve also had the pleasure of working with South House to provide a Creative Development Residency at their studio in Faversham

And two recipients have been awarded the Stephanie Arditti bursary in memory of costume supervisor Stephanie Arditti, generously supported by designer Christopher Oram

We are grateful to the Theatre Community Fund for their generous support.”

Congratulations to each and every one of them!

Read more about the happy and talented Bursary recipients here

Save Hulme Hippodrome Campaign goes to court to challenge inactive owners

For those who may not have heard of it before, Hulme Hippodrome is a theatre building of great hiostorical and architectural value which has been on the Theatre Trusts’s Theatres At Risk list for many years.

The buidling has changed hands several times in a series of possibly improper ways, and the Save Hulme Hippodrome Campaign are looking to secure its survival against the ravages of time and its current unsound condition, before it falls beyond repair.

On 14 February Manchester City Council issued notice to owners of the building to make repairs and improvements to its exterior. Known as a Section 215 Notice, it had 11 requirements, listed below, all designed to help slow the decay of the building’s fabric.

As of the time of writing the owners have not started any of these works and instead appealed. The first hearing will occur on 29th July and we wish the Council and the SHH campaign success in getting these irresponsible people to protect the future of this important heritage building.

The list of requirements which have so far been ignored by the building’s irresponsible owners

FOOTNOTE: There is an interesting article by a local reporter Kevin Glenton, with a particularly Mancunian take on the Hippodrome and its significance, which includes talking to members of the Save Hulme Hippodrome campaign. It’s worth a read, and you can find it by clicking here

Camden People’s Theatre launches New Programmers Scheme

If you, or someone you know, is an aspiring Artistic Director or Programmer, then you’ll want to know about an amazing new opportunity – Camden People’s Theatre’s (CPT) New Programmers Scheme – which has recently been launched.

Until July 11th, they are inviting applications to join the scheme – it’s a rare and valuable opportunity to see shows, learn about programming and curation, and plug in to the heart of CPT’s artistic operation over the course of the next twelve months.

CPT says “Participants on CPT’s New Programmers Scheme will see shows on our behalf, write reports, and attend regular meetings with our programming team. We want to cast the net as widely as possible to find the best new work for us to support and stage. We also want to hear from you about artists and projects you find exciting and want to see on our stage.

In return, we offer training and insight into programme assembly and curation at one of the UK’s most excited and socially engaged theatres. This will include the opportunity to collectively programme a week of performance at CPT at the end of your year on the scheme.”

If you’re interested and keen to know more, then you can find out more details at CPT’s website here

British Library presents Black Theatre Making and Censorship in the Archive – a live and online event

On Wed 6th July from 7.00pm to 8.30pm BST, The British Library hosts an interesting free event, held both in-person and simultaneously available online, which explores the unjustly hidden contributions of black artists in the world of theatre.

Black theatre making is often written out of the archive, credited to white theatre practitioners, or catalogued in ways that make it hard to find. But because Black theatre makers were frequently at the forefront of movements for change, their work was regularly subject to censorship and surveillance and collected in state archives.

This panel discussion and performance explores Black theatre making in the Lord Chamberlain’s Plays Collection, an archive which owes its existence to British theatre censorship laws requiring theatre managers to obtain a license to stage a new play up until 1968.

Come and find out how Black theatre practitioners are talking back to archives of censorship to recover the rich heritage of Black theatre making.

The event will feature staged readings from theatre manuscripts and censored reports held in the Lord Chamberlain’s collection and a chance for audience members to consider what they would censor if these plays were performed today.

This event will take place at the British Library. It will be simultaneously live streamed on the British Library platform. Tickets may be booked either to attend in person (physical), or to watch on our platform (online) either live or within 48 hours on catch up.  Viewing links will be sent out shortly before the event.

This event is supported by the Independent Social Research Foundation as part of the ‘Archives of Cultural Surveillance and the Making of Black Histories’ project

The event is organised by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library. The Eccles Centre exists to support and promote creative research and lifelong learning about the Americas, through the world-class collections of the British Library.

Learn more and book your free tickets here