Musical theatre creatives – there’s still time to sign up for the MTN’s Pitching session!

Attention Musical Theatre creatives! With pitching applications for BEAM2023 now open, the BEAM team invite you to register for a free event focusing on pitching your work.

There’s still time for you to sign up to join them at Theatre at the Tabard, (2 Bath Road, London, W4 1LW) from 7-9pm on Thursday 1st September for the BEAM2023 Pitching Masterclass.

Increasingly writers are asked to pitch their own work – so we want to take this opportunity to share top tips and help you get comfortable pitching your projects. Similarly directors, producers and other collaborators often find themselves in situations where they may be asked to advocate for a new musical they’re involved in developing. We’ll be hosting our Pitching Your Work Masterclass to aid you in your preparations for pitching for BEAM2023. Topics covered will also include pitching to producers, agents and collaborators in a limited timeframe; the so–called ‘elevator pitch’.

Find out more details, and book your place here. But be quick!


It’s nearly time for London Open House and Heritage Open Days

As September approaches, we look forward to the time when some of the UK’s hardest to see buildings throw open their doors to eager visitors for this once-a year opportunity. The two largest festivals, London Open House and Heritage Open Days, are running at the same time!

To give more opportunities to see, this year’s London Open House extends across two weekends and the week in between, from 8th to 21st September.

er, with a wide range of events that can be selected both in-person and online, which will certainly help broaden access to the many interesting events in the programme as well as allowing audiences to take part in more visits.

There are usually a handful of performance buildings included in the programme, and when the details are released on August 24th you can search on “Theatre” to locate them..

You can find full details when they are unveiled on 24th August at the Open House website which you can find by clicking here


Almost concurrently, Heritage Open Days runs from September 9th to 18th, which will allow two weekends’ worth of exploring for those able to get out and about.

England’s biggest festival of history and culture returns, with more than 800 free events.

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!

EXTRA FOR THOSE IN SCOTLAND, NORTHERN IRELAND AND WALES

In Northern IrelandEuropean Heritage Open Days is on for a week digitally from Monday 5 to Sunday 11 September, with in-person events on Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September. It includes 200+ sites and properties.

In ScotlandDoors Open Days runs throughout the whole month of September with hundreds of sites opening, as does Wales‘ Open Doors.

Remember to book ahead where you can and check to ensure details don’t change near the event.


Time Travel Theatre – watch WANDERING STARS – a 1987 documentary on Yiddish Theatre

Yiddish theatre is a fascinating and under-celebrated cultural tradition. Dating from the late 19th century, Yiddish theatre spread around the world as a by-product of mass global migration from Europe, helping displaced groups continue to feel connections with the homelands they had fled.

Into the twentieth century, Yiddish theatre could be found in many of the world’s capital cities, providing traditionally-based fare for their audiences.

Yiddish theatre productions often revolved around the central themes of identity, immigration, poverty, integration and deep cultural ties to tradition. Yiddish theatre was embracing of other works, often performing Yiddish versions of plays from Shakespeare and other notable important playwrights. It also embraced a wide range of styles – musical comedy, revue, operetta, drama and melodrama, also embracing new and traditional playwrights’ works.

Yiddish theatre, its exponents and expressions, were devastated by the impact of World War Two and the Holocaust , after which its influence waned, although still practiced by a few loyal defenders of the tradition.

I recently came across this engaging 35 minute documentary which was produced in 1987 and tells the story of the movement in London through some of its exponents.

Interestingly, actress Anna Tzelniker who features in this film is the daughter of well-known actor Meier Tzelniker who had a long and successful career in the UK in Yiddish theatre as well as films and non-Yiddish theatre. He was the co-founder of the UK’s Jewish National Theatre with Fanny Waxman, a well-known Yiddish actress, in 1936.

I am very grateful to the Tower Hamlets Local History Library and Archives for posting this video on their YouTube channel so that it can be more widely appreciated.

Documentary Copyright: The London Museum of Jewish Life, 1987. Reproduced with permission of Jewish Museum London.


EXTRA: Here’s an extract from a US PBS series on Jewish Americans which talks about Yiddish theatre in America Thanks to YouTube poster Leora Hatchwell for posting this: