Watch Olivier-winning CONSTELLATIONS online

Great news for anyone who missed this show in-person or online, or who fancies trying some acclaimed drama from the comfort of their own home this holiday season. All four casts of Michael Longhurst’s Olivier Award-winning revival of Nick Payne’s CONSTELLATIONS are once again available to watch online until 25 May 2022.

Home viewers can now watch one, or all, of the four star casts of this show on demand via the Donmar’s dedicated platform 

Four different casts take turns to journey through the multiverse and the infinite possibilities of a relationship; each refracting the play in their own unique way. The four casts are: Sheila Atim & Ivanno Jeremiah, Peter Capaldi & Zoë Wanamaker, Omari Douglas & Russell Tovey, and Anna Maxwell Martin & Chris O’Dowd.

Each production is now £7.50 to rent and households can watch the show for 24 hours from the time of purchase; or choose the multi buy of all 4 for £20, available for 14 days. Captioned and audio described versions are available in partnership with Stagetext and VocalEyes.


DAYS WITHOUT – a moving new short film by playwright John Binnie

Playwright/ director John Binnie has been a leading light in Scottish theatre for nearly 40 years. From his re-established Clyde Unity Theatre company, to writing the very first AIDS-related play (the poignant and beautiful KILLING ME SOFTLY, awarded at the 1985 Edinburgh Fringe Festival (where we first met and became friends), he has always been a writer to caringly uncover the poignant humanity pulsing within the authenticity of ordinary life.

Now his wide-ranging talents have lead to a film, written and directed by Binnie himself, entitled DAYS WITHOUT. Set during the first days of lockdown in 2020, Myrna, an elderly mum in a nursing home, and her middle-aged gay son Russ struggle with self-isolation in their own special ways.

Russ feels history repeating, recalling the AIDS pandemic of thirty years earlier and sees strong parallels between the suffering of his first love, Cal, and the impact of the current Covid pandemic on his mum’s well-being.

The film is written and directed by John Binnie, with Graham Crammond, Ann Scott Jones and Scott Miller. Director of photography was Kevin Walls, music by Tommie Travers, production design by Robin Mitchell, stage management by Linda Service, movement consultant Jane Simpson and dramaturgy by Mari Binnie.

The film was supported by Creative Scotland through National Lottery funding.

You can watch the film by clicking the link below.

Originals playwriting award just announced

Calling all early career playwrights!

Established and just announced by the Original Theatre Company, the Originals Playwriting Award is the UK’s latest national competition for playwriting. It is a search for compellingly well-told stories capable of entertaining a wide audience. They’re looking for theatre scripts that have not yet been produced, by all UK-based writers who identify as being at the outset of their careers and would benefit from this platform.

They will award four plays with a cash prize and a script-in-hand performance filmed and streamed live by North South in front of a live studio audience at London’s iconic theatre and television hub, Riverside Studios. The winning play will receive an enhanced cash prize and the potential of a full stage production by Original Theatre.

Submissions for the Originals Playwriting Award are open until Monday 9 May 2022 10:00am.

Here is a quick look at the headline entry requirements:

Your play should not have been previously produced/performed

Your play is written to be performed by 4 actors or less

Your play should be no longer than 70 minutes in performance

You consider yourself to be at the outset of a professional playwrighting career and believe that this award would be transformative.

For further information and full entry requirements please click here

Historic buildings given new life as creative centres

Capital Project – The Civic

The Architectural Heritage Fund (AHF) is the UK’s leading social investor and helps communities find enterprising new uses for the old buildings they love.

In March, AHF announced new Transformational Project Grants, including three to support projects by leading arts organisations in England. The awards, which form part of AHF’s Transforming Places through Heritage programme, are funded by a £15 million grant from the UK Government through the Department for Digital, Culture, Media, and Sport. This will help to conserve and adapt unique historic buildings for new uses by community-led charities and social enterprises.

These awards were approved as part of funding for 15 projects across the UK, with funding offers totalling £1,615,100. You can find a full list of the projects supported here. The three arts projects awarded capital funding are detailed below.

The Ice House in Great Yarmouth is located on the riverside, a 19th-century prominent survivor of the herring fishing industry that once dominated the town. Out There Arts, an independent arts development charity, currently use the site to store festival equipment. With the support of a £350,000 grant, however, work can now begin to transform the Grade II-listed thatched Ice House into a National Centre for Arts and Circus, with facilities for circus training and teaching.

Exterior of the Ice House in Great Yarmouth, courtesy of Out There Arts.

Alice Billings House in Stratford, East London was built in 1905-6 to provide accommodation for firemen of the West Ham Fire Brigade. The site consists of two three-storey buildings, an adjoining shed built to house horse-drawn fire engines, and a central external courtyard. Project lead Creative Land Trust was established by the Mayor of London, Arts Council England, and Bloomberg Philanthropies to provide affordable workspace for the creative sector across London. They have been awarded a grant of £116,880 to support their project to convert Alice Billings House into 26 studios, which will be let at affordable rents to around 80 artists and makers. In addition, a gallery and exhibition space, community café, and public courtyard will be created. The AHF grant will contribute towards structural repairs to the listed north block building.

Artist’s impression of the north block of Alice Billings House in Stratford, credit to Purcell.

The Trinity Centre in Gateshead is a Victorian building, originally constructed as an extension of the adjoined Grade I-listed 13th-century chapel. By 1969, however, the extension was no longer needed, and that portion of the building was deconsecrated. Today, it is home to Gateway Studio, a dance and related arts charity. Due to the poor condition of the building, however, the organisation can currently only offer a limited programme of activities. An AHF grant of £250,000 will fund a series of repairs to the Trinity Centre. Once restored, the building will provide new and improved facilities for dance, related arts, and community engagement activities, including a community café, performance space, and rentable office space.

Gateway Studio dance class at the Trinity Centre, Gateshead, courtesy of Gateway Studio

Matthew Mckeague, Chief Executive Officer of the AHF, said:

“Historic buildings so often provide the unique DNA of places, and it’s not surprising that so many arts organisations are inspired by their architectural interest and drawn to the open, flexible spaces they can provide – and also to spaces on high streets and within town centres that help put these organisations at the centre of their communities. It is fantastic to see the imaginative and creative reuse projects we have been able to fund through the latest round of Transformational grants, as well as the other awards made to projects across the UK.”

Two more capital grants were also awarded through the Transforming Places through Heritage programme:

Heritage Lincolnshire, The Harlequin, Lincoln – £350,000

intoBodmin CIC, The Old Library, Bodmin – £150,000

To explore full listings of grant offers, please click here

The Art of Dramaturgy with Anne Cattaneo – an online event

On Wednesday May 4th from 6.30pm – 8.00pm BST, Stage Directors UK are hosting this online event to discuss Anne Cattaneo’s recently published book The Art of Dramaturgy, her wider work, and to explore the dramaturg/director relationship.

Anne Cattaneo is the dramaturg of Lincoln Center Theater, and the creator and head of the Tony Award Honour nominated Lincoln Center Theater Directors’ Lab. A three term past president of Literary Managers and Dramaturgs of the Americas, she is the recipient of LMDA’s first Lessing Award for lifetime achievement of dramaturgy. She has worked widely as a dramaturg on classical plays, created projects, adapted works for the stage, and translates 20th Century German playwrights’ work.

She is currently on the theater history faculty at Juilliard. In July 2011, she was awarded the Margo Jones Medal given annually to a “citizen of the theater who has demonstrated a significant impact, understanding and affirmation of the craft of playwriting, with a lifetime commitment to the encouragement of the living theatre everywhere.” Her book “The Art of Dramaturgy” was published in September. 2021 by Yale University Press. Anne is a 2020 Guggenheim Fellow.

For further information and to book tickets which are priced at £5, click here