It’s nearly time for the Big Give Christmas Challenge!

It must be nearly Christmas as the Big Give Christmas Challenge is here again!

Every year, donations that you give to a chosen charity’s projects will be doubled when made through the Big Give website. This is made possible by a large pot of match funding being given by large charities and other donors. A number of causes are nominated by Champions, and a number of these are finally selected to take part in the match-funding scheme.

Another reason so many charities need your help right now is that they are all battling the Covid restrictions which has impacted their operation, making their work universally more difficult to achieve, but ever more important in the fight to tackle loneliness and social isolation. This year, more than ever, your support is vital.

This year the pot of funds available to be matched is over £10million! The Challenge runs for 7 days, from midday on November 30th until midday on December 7th.

Here are some of the charities you can support which are theatre-related. If you feel able to help, remember your gift will be doubled!

CARDBOARD CITIZENS works with homeless people to allow them creative expression.

THE LITTLE ANGEL THEATRE‘s Puppets for All scheme provides free tickets to disadvantaged children and families so that they can experience the joy of theatre.

BRISTOL OLD VIC YOUNG SIXSIX group put on a play and use it to effect outreach about social issues to disadvantaged or isolated communities.

WASSAIL THEATRE COMPANY are Somerset-based and support aspiring performers from the area which is very poor in arts provision and opportunities.

HEAD2HEAD SENSORY THEATRE provides accessible and sensory theatre for children with disabilities

LYRIC THEATRE HAMMERSMITH asks for your help to provide more free and subsidised places to our drama, music & technical classes for all 7-25 year olds facing hardship.

POLKA THEATRE asks for your support for their Access Programme which provides tailored support and opportunities to ensure children can experience the magic of live theatre and creative workshops regardless of their disability.

BIRMINGHAM HIPPODROME EDUCATION NETWORK asks for your help to support 25,000 disadvantaged young people in the West Midlands left behind by Covid in their education and personal development, through their schools project.

GOSFORTH CIVIC THEATRE is a fringe theatre in Newcastle, opened by a group of people with learning disabilities. Their theatre shows are for the whole community to enjoy, brings people together, and shows what people with learning disabilities can contribute to society.

SHEFFIELD THEATRE TRUST aim to create new choir to allow people of all ages with dementia, from schoolchildren to pensioners, to experience the joy and community of singing within their own choir.

CLEAN BREAK work with women caught up in the criminal justice system or at risk of entering it. Offering theatre activities and support services alongside, their aim is to empower women to reach their potential and thrive.

FUEL THEATRE asks for your support for its programme of performance and engagement, producing and amplifying inspiring stories by under-represented performance makers for under-served audiences and participants across the UK.

UNICORN THEATRE is the UK’s leading theatre for younger audiences. They ask for your support of their project which will focus on giving inspiring creative experiences to young people who face significant barriers and hardship.

THEATRE PECKHAM ask for your help to enable them to subsidise or provide free course and activity places to young people from disadvantaged background in the local community.

MONTAGE THEATRE ARTS ask for your support to provide free and subsidised places for their activities for Lewisham’s disadvantaged children and young people, one of the most deprived boroughs in the UK. Funds support their Saturday School and Holiday Club activities.

Whichever charity you choose to help, I know that they will be enormously grateful as they strive to help their communities through the extra hardships of the legacy of Covid.

THANK YOU for whatever you can spare to help others enjoy being creative, who otherwise would not be able to access a sense of community, achievement and hope. Every pound you give makes a difference to someone’s life.

Find out more about the Big Give Christmas Challenge here


Winners announced of the Black British Theatre Awards 2021

The winners of the 2021 Black British Theatre Awards were announced on Sunday 21st November at a reception at Old Finsbury Town Hall, London.

Hosted by Cynthia Erivo (Wicked) and Danny Sapani (Black Panther), the event welcomed guest presenters including Miriam-Teak Lee (Hamilton), Jason Pennycooke (Moulin Rouge!), Dawn Hope (Follies), Kenneth Olumuyiwa Tharp (Interim CEO at Eclipse Theatre Company), Mzz Kimberley/Kim Tatum (Straight White Men), Matthew Xia (Blue/Orange), Brenda Emmanus (arts, culture, entertainment correspondent), Nadine Benjamin, Layton Williams (Everyone’s Talking About Jamie) and Ahmet Ahmet (director of Get Into Theatre).

Those with multiple wins were Miranda Cromwell’s production of and breathe… at the Almeida with four awards, and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre’s Romeo and Juliet also won four awards.

The winner for each category is highlighted in bold type in the list below.

CREATIVES GROUP
BEST DIRECTOR AWARD FOR A PLAY OR MUSICAL
Anthony Simpson-Pike, Lava, Bush Theatre
Miranda Cromwell, and breathe…, Almeida Theatre
Tinuke Craig,The Color Purple – at Home, Curve, in association with Birmingham Hippodrome

BEST MUSICAL DIRECTOR
Femi Temowo, and breathe…, Almeida Theatre
Ian Oakley, From Here, Chiswick Playhouse
Nadine Lee, Bagdad Cafe, The Old Vic

BEST PRODUCER AWARD
and breathe…, Almeida Theatre
Chris Steward and Shanay Holmes, West End Musical Celebration at Palace Theatre
Tanisha Spring, A Killer Party

BEST CHOREOGRAPHER AWARD
Dannielle ‘Rhimes’ Lecointe, The Sun, The Moon and The Stars, Theatre Royal Stratford East
Ingrid Mackinnon, Romeo and Juliet, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Sarah Golding, Cruise, Duchess Theatre

BEST DANCE PERFORMANCE IN A DANCE PRODUCTION AWARD
Joseph Sissens, The Statement, The Royal Ballet

BEST DANCE PRODUCTION AWARD
And Still We Dance!, Afro Dance Xplosion
Far From the Norm, BLKDOG
‘Like Water’, Ballet Black

BEST USE OF INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY
Chris Steward and Shanay Holmes, West End Musical Celebration at Palace Theatre
Ryan Carter, The Secret Society of Leading Ladies, Barn Theatre

RECOGNITION GROUP (BODY OF WORK)
LIGHT AND SOUND RECOGNITION AWARD
Tony Gayle

COSTUME DESIGN RECOGNITION AWARD
Jodie-Simone Howe

BOOK AND LYRICS RECOGNITION AWARD
Annabel Mutale Reed
Benedict Lombe
Yomi Sode

MUSICAL DIRECTOR RECOGNITION AWARD
Ian Oakley
Sean Green

CASTING DIRECTOR RECOGNITION AWARD
Chandra Ruegg
Isabella Odoffin

ACHIEVEMENTS GROUP
LGBTQ CHAMPION AWARD
Alex Thomas-Smith
Jay Perry
Nicole Raquel Dennis

BEST TEACHER OF PERFORMING ARTS AS A SUBJECT AWARD
Ashley Campbell, British Theatre Academy
Hakeem Onibudo, Impact Dance
Kamara Gray, Artistry Youth Dance

BEST RECENT GRADUATE AWARD
Georgina Onuorah, Arts Educational Schools
Kayla Carter, Royal Academy of Music
Natasha May-Thomas, Urdang Academy

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
Derek Griffiths MBE

PLAYS GROUP
BEST MALE ACTOR IN A PLAY
David Jonsson, and breathe…, Almeida Theatre
Michael Balogun, Death of England, National Theatre
Omari Douglas, Constellations, Vaudeville Theatre

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A PLAY
Isabel Adomakoh Young, Romeo and Juliet, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Ronkẹ Adékoluẹjo, Lava, Bush Theatre
Tia Bannon, seven methods of killing kylie jenner, Royal Court Theatre

BEST SUPPORTING MALE ACTOR IN A PLAY
Andrew French, Romeo and Juliet, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Ola Ayofe, After Life, National Theatre
Stephen K Amos, My Night With Reg, Turbine Theatre

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE ACTOR IN A PLAY
Anoushka Lucas, After Life, National Theatre
Aretha Ayeh, Romeo and Juliet, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Rosalind Eleazar, Uncle Vanya, Harold Pinter Theatre

BEST PRODUCTION PLAY
and breathe…, Almeida Theatre
J’Ouvert, Harold Pinter Theatre
Lava, Bush Theatre

MUSICALS GROUP

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL AWARD
Ivano Turco, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, Gillian Lynne Theatre
Liam Tamne, The Prince Of Egypt, Dominion Theatre
Tyrone Huntley, Jesus Christ Superstar, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL AWARD
Lucy St Louis, The Phantom of the Opera, Her Majesty’s Theatre
Marisha Wallace, Hairspray The Musical, London Coliseum
Shanay Holmes, Disenchanted

BEST SUPPORTING MALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL AWARD
Ashley Samuels, Hairspray the Musical, London Coliseum
Caleb Roberts, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, Gillian Lynne Theatre
John Pfumojena, Carousel, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL AWARD
Gloria Onitiri, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cinderella, Gillian Lynne Theatre
Natasha May-Thomas, Carousel, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre
Tanisha Spring, The Prince Of Egypt, Dominion Theatre

BEST MUSICAL PRODUCTION AWARD
The Color Purple – at Home, Curve, in association with Birmingham Hippodrome
The Last Five Years, Minack Theatre
West End Musical Celebration, Palace Theatre


TheatreCraft 2021 is back – and it’s online!

TheatreCraft when it was in person. This year it’s online- so, even easier to get to!

On November 22nd, TheatreCraft opens its first virtual doors to those seeking a career in the offstage world of theatre.

Streamed live from the Royal Opera House and online via events platform Whovia, this promises to be the most accessible TheatreCraft yet. As well as being totally free!

The UK’s largest free theatre careers event for 16 to 30 year olds, TheatreCraft this year will feature:

Live Streamed Insider Panel Talks
Q&A sessions
Over 40 online workshops
Over 50 universities, theatres & other leading organisations at their virtual marketplace

Now its online, you don’t even have to travel, you can attend from the comfort of your own home!

Register to attend and find out more at their website here


Here’s your invitation to a fascinating week of creative conversations in November

The Achates Philanthropy Foundation contributes to the vibrancy of the cultural ecosystem through its sponsorship of initiatives and events, including the annual Achates Philanthropy Foundation Prize.

In November, Achates presents a free nightly symposium over five days from November 15th which looks well worth catching, especially as it is a free event, although registration is required. Take a look at the details of the sessions below.

The 2021 Achates Philanthropy Foundation Symposium

Join them for a series of nightly conversations with creatives and thought leaders challenging the cultural sector to think differently.

Across the week, they will ask UK and international guest speakers to reflect on urgent issues – from the cultural implications of addressing climate change, to the myth of social mobility in the creative industries. These events will explore our renewed understanding of the role of art in society and offer a space for discussion about the nature of change and how it can come about.

This artist-led programme of events is curated by the writer and theatre director, Javaad Alipoor (The Believers Are But Brothers, Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran).

Bringing together leaders from across the arts, these provocative discussions are for anyone who wants to be part of bringing about real change.

All events are free and online, but booking is required.

All events will be captioned by Otter.ai

Book here (or below) for your place at any of their five free events:

Climate Economics – Monday 15 November, 7pm
The Social Mobility Myth – Tuesday 16 November, 7pm
All that’s been revealed… – Wednesday 17 November,  7PM
The Hidden Artist – Thursday 18 November, 7pm
The Lives of Artists – Friday 19 November, 7pm

Climate Economics – Monday 15 November, 7pm

Book your ticket here 

As the Global North finally wakes up to the reality of climate change, it is now seeking to alter the way in which art is curated and consumed worldwide, through initiatives such as reducing international travel and promoting digital engagement. But this sets a challenge for artists in the Global South many of whom seek opportunities in the Global North to raise the perceived and economic value of their work. Where do climate and social justice meet in the arts?

Chair: Imran Khan is a scientist, writer and grantmaker.

Panellists:

Shoshana Polanco is a creative producer. Based in Buenos Aires, her area of expertise is international collaboration with a focus in Latin America.
Fehinti Balogun is an actor and writer. He conceived, wrote and performed in Can I Live?, a brand new digital performance about the climate catastrophe from Complicité. TV and film credits include I May Destroy You and Dune.
Róise Goan is the Artistic Director of Artsadmin.

The Social Mobility Myth – Tuesday 16 November, 7pm

Book your ticket here

The arts have been one of the vehicles by which the myth of social mobility has been promoted, yet the cultural ecosystem remains a mirror of society with roles largely dictated by socio-economic background. Can the arts become a beacon of change?

Chair: Syima Aslam is the founder and Director of the Bradford Literature Festival.

Panellists:

Dr Dave O’Brien is Chancellor’s Fellow in Cultural and Creative Industries based in The University of Edinburgh’s School of History of Art, and co-author of the book, Culture is bad for you: inequality in the cultural and creative industries.
Dr Mariam Rezaei is an award winning composer, turntablist and performer. She is Artistic Director of TOPH, a producing mixed arts space in Newcastle.
Abdul Shayek is Artistic Director and joint CEO of Tara Theatre.

Keynote Lecture: All that’s been revealed… – Wednesday 17 November,  7pm

Book your ticket here

The pandemic represents a period in which our world views have undergone seismic shifts with social and environmental justice movements finding renewed momentum. However, as the old methodologies of liberalism have failed to achieve these goals, both left and right have moved to more strident and authoritarian positions which form the basis of the so-called ‘ culture wars’.

As curator and guest artist for the inaugural Achates Philanthropy Foundation Symposium, Javaad Alipoor will give the Keynote Lecture, All that’s been revealed…, exploring the role of art in achieving justice with understanding.

Chair: Claire Armitstead is associate editor, culture, for the Guardian. She presents the weekly Guardian books podcast and is a regular commentator on radio, and at live events across the UK and internationally.

Keynote speaker: Javaad Alipoor is a British-Iranian, Manchester-based and Bradford-built artist, writer and founding Artistic Director of The Javaad Alipoor Company. The Javaad Alipoor Company takes stories beyond the stage through powerful multi-platform creations that explore the intersection of politics and technology in the contemporary world. Javaad was Resident Associate Director at Sheffield Theatres (2017-18), Associate Director at Bradford’s Theatre in the Mill (2015-2017) and is an alumni of Arts Council England’s Change Makers programme. Javaad’s plays include The Believers Are But Brothers, Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran (both published by Oberon) and Made of Mannheim, and his writing on international politics, cultural policy and art has been featured in The Guardian, The Independent and The Stage. 

 javaadalipoor.co.uk

@javaadalipoor

The Hidden Artist – Thursday 18 November, 7pm

Book your ticket here

Whilst the arts have become much better at articulating the case for the economic and social value of art, as well as its benefits for wellbeing, the space for talking about art itself and its intrinsic value seems to have shrunk.  How can we move beyond a zero-sum approach to these ideas?

Chair: Javaad Alipoor is a British-Iranian, Manchester-based and Bradford-built artist, writer and founding Artistic Director of The Javaad Alipoor Company.

Panellists:

Andrew Barnett OBE is Director of the UK Branch of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.
Nii Ayikwei Parkes is a writer, editor, socio-cultural commentator, broadcaster and recipient of Ghana’s national ACRAG award for poetry and literary advocacy.
Henna Zamurd-Butt is a London based researcher, inclusion practitioner and event producer.

The Lives of Artists – Friday 19 November, 7pm

Book your ticket here

The pandemic has brutally revealed how we undervalue freelancers and, in particular, those working in front of house and technical roles. How do we create an arts infrastructure in which artists aren’t valued at the expense of their co-creators at a time when it has become clear that the mixed economy we have relied on for so many years is now failing?

Chair: Javaad Alipoor is a British-Iranian, Manchester-based and Bradford-built artist, writer and founding Artistic Director of The Javaad Alipoor Company.

Panellists:

Andrew Glassford is a Manchester-based freelance theatre technician and production manager who set up a project to make homes more eco-friendly after losing his job in the arts industry during the pandemic.
Darren Pritchard is a performer, choreographer, teacher, producer and director. He’s a celebrated Vogue performer and the Mother of the House of Ghetto in Manchester.
Kully Thiarai is Creative Director and CEO of Leeds 2023, and the former Artistic Director and Chief Executive of National Theatre Wales.

All that’s been revealed…in partnership with Battersea Arts Centre, Beatfreeks, The National Centre for Writing, The People’s Orchestra, Theatre503, Union Chapel, Manchester International Festival, Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery

All events in the Achates Philanthropy Foundation Symposium are available free of charge online both live and on-demand post-Symposium.


Streatham Hill Theatre placed on Heritage at Risk list

Today, 4th November, Historic England has published its Heritage At Risk Register 2021,
which for the first time includes the Streatham Hill Theatre, one of eighteen new London sites added to the Register .

The Heritage At Risk Register sets out the historic sites in England most at risk of being lost forever as a result of neglect, decay or inappropriate development. The 2021 Register describes the Grade II listed Streatham Hill Theatre as “an unusually lavish example of a theatre built outside of the West End and was designed by William George Robert Sprague, one of the leading theatre architects of his generation. It is a rare survival as only a few of his buildings still exist today”.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan said: “In London our theatres are the envy of the world, they provide a stage for aspiring artists and bring a wide range of benefits to our communities. That’s why I’m supporting efforts to ensure the magnificent Streatham Hill Theatre is saved for future generations, and why it’s so encouraging Historic England have recognised this is a place like no other and added it to the Heritage At Risk Register. I hope others will join me in supporting this remarkable building being transformed into an inclusive, cultural space that will serve the local community for years to come.”

This means that there will be more attention paid to the ongoing state of this now considered vulnerable building, and will hopefully focus mind on how to continue the process to bring this gigantic sleeping beauty back into productive community use.