Watch Donmar’s ASSEMBLY online for a limited period

After its live debut on Saturday 20th March, the Donmar’s ASSEMBLY is now available online for a while through their YouTube channel.

Imagine the future. However you choose to imagine it. Now imagine it in your hands.
What does community mean in a time of division and separation?
Mixing live performance, animation and sound, ASSEMBLY looks at the impact of humans on nature and what we might build together for a better future. It’s about trying, failing, and trying again. In times of emergency, it is about hope.

Created by writer Nina Segal (In the Nighttime (Before the Sun Rises), Gate), director Joseph Hancock ((This Isn’t) A True Story, Almeida Young Company) and the Donmar Local Company, ASSEMBLY is a live digital performance created in collaboration with video designer and director of photography Andrzej Goulding (Teenage Dick, Donmar), set and costume designer Frankie Bradshaw (Sweat, Donmar and West End), composer and sound designer Max Pappenheim (The Way of the World, Donmar) and lighting designer Sam House (#HashtagLightie, Arcola). This is the first production from the Donmar Local Company – members of the community who live and work in the Donmar’s home boroughs of Camden and Westminster.

The running time is approximately one hour.
An audio introduction is available to listen to or download from the VocalEyes website and a captioned version will also be available.
ASSEMBLY is presented in line with all current Government guidelines.

The Domnar says: “Although this production is free to watch, if you are able to, please consider how you can support us at this time to ensure we can reopen in the best possible shape when it’s safe do so, while continuing to safeguard our staff and artists, and share our art form digitally in the meantime.

You can make a donation online or over the phone by calling us on +44 (0)20 7845 5815, join as a Friend, or text using the details below. You can also donate via YouTube giving when you watch the production.

Text DONMAR 5 to 70470 to donate £5
Text DONMAR 10 to 70470 to donate £10
Text DONMAR 20 to 70470 to donate £20

UK networks only. Texts cost your donation amount plus one standard rate message.”

Watch ASSEMBLY here.


NT panto to be broadcast free from 23-27 December

Here’s a bit of good cheer for all you young at heart Panto-holics! If you can’t go to the Panto, then this year the Panto will be coming to You!

The National’s drafted-in production of DICK WHITTINGTON which has been sadly curtailed for live performance, has – in the nick of time- been recorded for broadcast via the National’s YouTube channel from 23 to 27 December.

The National said “In honour of all the theatres that have been forced to cancel their Christmas pantos, we’re sharing DICK WHITTINGTON for FREE from 3pm (UK time) on 23 December until midnight (UK time) on 27 December.

Freshly updated for 2020 by Jude Christian and Cariad Lloyd, this hilarious and heartfelt new version of the classic tale is packed with the cheekiest of jokes, the chattiest of animals, the awesomest of songs and the messiest of silliness.

As you enjoy watching the show, please support a theatre near you by making a donation or booking tickets for 2021.”

When the notice about Tier 3 status and closure became a reality last week, the cast and technical team worked tirelessly to bring forward the projected filming date so that they could just get the show “in the can” before the curtains fell yet again, and the NT along with London’s world-leading West End theatres, experienced their first ever “dark Christmas”.

So this year, although Covid-19 is the real villain, we can all still raise a laugh thanks to this most British of entertainments! Hooray!

You can find the National Theatre’s YouTube channel here


UPDATE: Black Theatre Awards 2020 to be broadcast on Sky Arts on October 25th

How good it is in Black History Month to tell you that The Black British Theatre Awards will be broadcast live on SkyArts Freeview channel on Sunday October 25th at 9.00pm GMT (UK)

With theatre stalled and the Black Lives Matter debate raging, this is a useful time to remind ourselves of the wealth of great Black British talent which has recently come to the fore.

My personal choices within the nominations include Nadia Latif for Best Direction of the Pulitzer-winning FAIRVIEW (produced by the Young Vic) which carefully dissects white attitudes to race. Sharon D Clarke’s deeply-rooted performance as Linda Loman is Best Female Actor in a Play- nominated for the Young Vic’s production of DEATH OF A SALESMAN.

It’s interesting to see that these two productions are also nominated for BEST PRODUCTION PLAY; here FAIRVIEW is definitely my winner (read my review here). Best Supporting Female Actor in a play in my opinion should definitely go to Cherrelle Skeete for her brilliant performance in Temi Wilkey’s play THE HIGH TABLE co-produced by the Bush Theatre (read my review here). Disability Champion Award nominee Rachel Nwokoro has recently won The Stage’s Debut Award for her performance in LITTLE BABY JESUS at the Orange Tree, Richmond, which she thoroughly deserved (read my review here).

Congratulations to all the nominees and eventual winners!

The full list of nominees are below:

BEST DIRECTOR AWARD FOR A PLAY OR MUSICAL

Clint Dyer, Death of England, National Theatre

Nadia Latif, Fairview, Young Vic Theatre

Ola Ince, Appropriate, Donmar Warehouse

Roy Alexander Weise, ‘Master Harold’… and the boys, National Theatre

BEST PRODUCER AWARD

Adrian Grant, Thriller Live, Lyric Theatre

Nicole Raquel Dennis and Ryan Carter, Turn Up, Cadogan Hall

Tobi Kyeremateng, My White Best Friend (and Other Letters Left Unsaid), Royal Court Theatre

BEST CHOREOGRAPHER AWARD

Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy MBE, REDD, Barbican Theatre

Lanre Malaolu, Pass Over, Kiln Theatre

Shelley Maxwell, ‘Master Harold’… and the boys, National Theatre

BEST DANCE PERFORMANCE IN A DANCE PRODUCTION AWARD

Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy MBE, REDD, Barbican Theatre 

Marcelino Sambé, The Cellist, Royal Opera House

BEST DANCE PRODUCTION AWARD

Ingoma, Ballet Black, Barbican Theatre

REDD – Boy Blue, Barbican Theatre

Some Like It Hip Hop – ZooNation, Peacock Theatre

BEST USE OF INNOVATION AND TECHNOLOGY

Nicole Raquel Dennis and Ryan Carter, Turn Up, Cadogan Hall

LIGHT AND SOUND RECOGNITION AWARD

Carmen Wright

Simeon Miller

Tony Gayle

COSTUME DESIGN RECOGNITION AWARD

Jodie Simone Howe

Maybelle Laye

Natalie Pryce

BOOK AND LYRICS RECOGNITION AWARD

Arinzé Kene

Roy Williams

Shirley Thompson OBE

MUSICAL DIRECTOR RECOGNITION AWARD

Ian Oakley

Sean Green

Shiloh Coke

CASTING DIRECTOR RECOGNITION AWARD

Isabella Odoffin

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A PLAY

Lucian Msamati, Master Harold’… and the boys, National Theatre 

Paapa Essiedu, Pass Over, Kiln Theatre

Valentine Olukoga, The Fishermen, Trafalgar Studios

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A PLAY

Rakie Ayola, On Bear Ridge, Royal Court Theatre

Ronke Adekoluejo, Three Sisters, National Theatre

Sharon D. Clarke MBE, Death of a Salesman, Piccadilly Theatre

BEST SUPPORTING MALE ACTOR IN A PLAY

Arinzé Kene, Death of a Salesman, Young Vic Theatre

Nari Blair-Mangat, Cyrano de Bergerac, Playhouse Theatre 

Reice Weathers. The Upstart Crow, Gielgud Theatre

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE ACTOR IN A PLAY

Cherrelle Skeete, The High Table, Bush Theatre

Michele Austin, Cyrano de Bergerac, Playhouse Theatre 

Rosalind Eleazar, Uncle Vanya, Harold Pinter Theatre

BEST PRODUCTION PLAY

Death of a Salesman, Piccadilly Theatre

Fairview, Young Vic Theatre

Three Sisters, National Theatre

BEST MALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL AWARD

Jason Brock, Thriller Live, Lyric Theatre

Jonathan Andrew Hume, Come from Away, Phoenix Theatre 

Noah Thomas, Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, Apollo Theatre

BEST FEMALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL AWARD

Aisha Jawando, TINA – The Tina Turner Musical, Aldwych Theatre 

Maiya Quansah-Breed, Six the Musical, Arts Theatre 

Miriam-Teak Lee, & Juliet, The Shaftesbury Theatre

BEST SUPPORTING MALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL AWARD

Arun Blair-Mangat, & Juliet, The Shaftesbury Theatre

Nicholas McLean, Wicked, Apollo Victoria Theatre

Tarinn Callender, Hamilton, Victoria Palace Theatre

BEST SUPPORTING FEMALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL AWARD

Melanie La Barrie, & Juliet, The Shaftesbury Theatre

Nicole Raquel Dennis, Dear Evan Hansen, Noël Coward Theatre 

Shanay Holmes, The Bridges of Madison County, Menier Chocolate Factory

BEST MUSICAL PRODUCTION AWARD

Hamilton, Victoria Palace Theatre

Thriller Live, Lyric Theatre

TINA – The Tina Turner Musical, Aldwych Theatre

LGBTQ+ CHAMPION AWARD

Arun Blair-Mangat

Layton Williams

Rikki Beadle-Blair MBE

DISABILITY CHAMPION AWARD

Chris Fonseca

Rachel Nwokoro

BEST TEACHER OF PERFORMING ARTS AS A SUBJECT AWARD

David Blake, WAC Arts

Dollie Henry, Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance 

Kamara Gray, Urdang Academy/Artistry Youth Dance

BEST RECENT GRADUATE AWARD

Danielle Fiamanya, Guildford School of Acting

Stacy Abalogun, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

Tonye Scott-Obene, Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts

LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

Shirley Thompson OBE