CARNATION FOR A SONG can now be heard online

A couple of years ago, I was privileged to see one of the most impactful shows I have ever seen in my life.

CARNATION FOR A SONG was a show put together as a response to another show, by members of the Young Vic’s local LGBTQ+ community. You can read my appreciation of the show from April 2019 here

The show was recorded and you can now listen to the sound recording for free on SoundCloud, by clicking here

On this page you can find the original Soundtrack recording of the show at the bottom of the list here, lasting just over 57 minutes.

It brings something of the flavour and deeply personal qualities of the show for you to experience. I was so glad that I was able to see it. I hope that you will enjoy listening to it, and that it resonates with you, wherever you are – and whoever you are.


Not Lost In Translation: Foreign Affairs offers three new online discussions

East-London based theatre group Foreign Affairs describe themselves as “bringing stories from around the globe into unconventional spaces”. Rooted in a collaborative approach, they work with international playwrights and translators to bring award-winning world drama to English-speaking audiences with an eye to exploring topical social and political issues.

To celebrate their 11th anniversary, they have kindly shared three interesting discussions via their YouTube channel. The discussions all concern translations of works, language, perceptions of value and cultural and social issues, as well as the realities of collaborating with playwrights and across cultures.

Discussion One – Are distinctions such as ‘native’ and ‘non-native’ becoming irrelevant in a globalised society?

In this talk, English – Polish literary translator Marta Dziurosz talks to translators Anton Hur, Lúcia Collischonn and Valentina Marconi about “non-native” and collaborative translation, the bias towards/surrounding bilingual translators and the notions of ‘language ownership’ and ‘collaboration vs chaperoning’.

Discussion Two – In this talk, writer, editor and translator Daniel Hahn talks to playwright Marc-Antoine Cyr and his English translator Charis Ainslie, and playwright and translator Caridad Svich about working between cultures and the playwright-translator work relationship.

Discussion Three – In this talk, academic and translator Margherita Laera talks to translators Almiro Andrade and Jeremy Tiang and award-winning playwright Hannah Khalil about the role of translated theatre within an anglophone context, and the underrepresentation and marginalisation of migrant voices and communities on stage.

These conversations last around 75 minutes each and are certainly interesting for their experienced speakers and ideas which are examined.

Please note: These discussions are available online until Monday September 20th.


Bargains galore at the theatre or at home – LONDON THEATRE WEEK runs till September 5th

Following on from August’s promotion KIDSWEEK, here’s another promotion to entice you back into those comfy theatre seats for a bit of much-missed entertainment.

You’ll need to book by September 5th but the offers carry on through selected dates in September and beyond. While there are a widely varying amount of seats available, it’s worth taking a look to see what you can find for a first – or second – visit.

Here is a link to one of the suppliers for London Theatre Week. Find bargain tickets here

There certainly seems to be a bit of volatility in booking patterns at present, and offers to entice folk back will probably keep popping up this side of Christmas.

However, if you’re feeling ready to go back these offers may just help you.

For guidance on how the theatres are welcoming you back, please have a read of my How To Go To The Theatre Safely article which you can find here

And the “at home” bit? Well, if you aren’t feeling quite ready to get back to your favourite seats in person, here’s a reminder you can enjoy a 7-day free trial of all the brilliant shows on BroadwayHD.com in the comfort of your own home. More details here


YouTube’s Theatre Treasures: Laurence Olivier interviewed by Kenneth Tynan

Here’s another treasure from my occasional rummaging around the dusty corners of the cyber-storeroom that is YouTube. Today’s nugget is an interview from 1966 – Kenneth Tynan interviewing Laurence Olivier.

The recording lasts just over 45 minutes. Do stay with it through the rather pompous opening fanfares, and you’ll find a really interesting and candid discussion with one of our greatest actors about his career, chances, upbringing, and successes.

Kenneth Tynan, who interviews Olivier, was the Literary Manager of the National Theatre at the time of this recording. Tynan, a writer and critic who liked to make waves from his first appointment – at the Evening Standard – in 1952. His collected reviews are often interesting and incisive pieces. A fan of the New Wave, John Osborne et al, Tynan’s barbed retorts against cosy theatrical fare are crackling pieces of disdain in his reviews of this material, and, frankly, are something of a delight to read in themselves. (A particular favourite of mine is his demolition of Anna Neagle in one of the plodding historical productions she starred in, “Sixty Glorious Years” who, when she sang, Tynan described as “Shaking her voice at the audience like a tiny fist”….)

Tynan was made Literary Manager of the new National Theatre Company in 1963, at which time they were still operating out of the Old Vic Theatre. It is fitting that this interview starts on stage at the Old Vic, with a view of the auditorium, with an informal Olivier, with the interview transitioning to the studio later on.

I hope you enjoy it!

With Thanks to YouTube poster Roman Stryan


Ardent Theatre present STRIKE!

On Thursday September 16th at 7.00pm UK time, Ardent Theatre is inviting you to an exclusive sharing of their play reading of Tracy Ryan’s STRIKE! filmed at the Irish Cultural Centre, to be followed by a live Q&A. (booking necessary- see below)

Ardent’s Creative Director Mark Sands has long been a passionate advocate of Ryan’s play of these real-life events and his dedication to bring STRIKE! to a wider audience is commendable.

Set in Dublin in 1984, the play concerns a twenty-one year old shop worker who refuses to sell South African fruit to a Dunnes Stores customer and is suspended. Ten colleagues follow her out on strike, thinking it will only last two weeks.

It goes on for nearly three years.

STRIKE! by Tracy Ryan is a powerful and moving account of the Dunnes Stores Anti-Apartheid Strike that took place in Dublin between 1984-87.

Filmed at the Irish Cultural Centre in July, this recorded play reading is directed by Kate Saxon and performed by 13 actors.

Following the reading, there will be a live-streamed Q&A with 3 or 4 of the original strikers from Dublin.

7:00pm – 8:15pm: Showing of the pre-recorded play reading

8:15pm – 9:00pm: Live-streamed Q&A with strikers Karen, Liz and Vonnie and hosted by Ardent’s Andrew Muir.

There will be an opportunity to ask questions. To do this, please type your question in the chat function on YouTube on the night. They can’t promise to cover them all, but will get through as many as they can.

Although this is a free event, registration is required to receive the link to the broadcast, which will be sent out near the time of the event.

BOOK your place to see STRIKE! here