Enjoy A HISTORY OF DISRUPTION – a free online talk from the National Theatre Archive

DAYTIME EVENT – Fri 18th September at 14:30 BST

This unusual and intriguing online talk will take you through periods of disruption in the National Theatre’s history, from the very movement that founded the theatre, right up to the present day’s unprecedented closure. It will also highlight a variety of ways in which anyone can access and enjoy National Theatre content from home.

The event is expected to last about 30 minutes, with time for audience questions at the end.

This event is hosted by the National Theatre Archive and is part of Lambeth Heritage Festival 2020.

Book here to request access to this talk


Photo by Tom Wren

Fancy some Oscar Wilde? An archive recording of Leicester Curve and Birmingham Repertory Theatre’s co-production of Oscar Wilde’s classic play THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING EARNEST is available for you to watch free for one week!

The captioned archive recording will be available from 7pm today, Sun 5 Apr until 7pm on Sunday 12 Apr. NOTE: It is still available at time of update, Monday 13th April.

Please bear in mind that this recording is an archive recording not originally intended for public viewing. The camera is positioned towards the rear of the stalls and takes in the whole view of the stage at all times. Nevertheless its still a stylish and enjoyable production!

Although this production is free to watch, please strongly consider making a donation to Leicester Curve to enable it to keep its doors open after this crisis has passed.


Exhibitions and events with a theatre theme to enjoy across the UK – now and soon!

COUNTRY-WIDE From 13 to 22 September, there are over 100 theatre-related events going on across the country during Heritage Open Days. Most likely a theatre near you will be opening its doors to offer tours of the buildings. Intrigued? Then take a look at their website here where you can search what’s happening near you.

LONDONV&A – Discover the creative process behind designing for performance, from costume to set design at Staging Places, which celebrates the diversity of British performance design across spaces and genres. This display, in collaboration with the Society of British Theatre Designers, presents costumes, set designs, models, photos, drawings and puppets that reveal the creative process behind designing for performance. And best of all, its free! Running now until 29 March 2020. More information here

Stockton Globe

STOCKTON ON TEES – Preston Park Museum – A fascinating exhibition about the life -and rebirth- of Stockton’s magnificent Globe is now on. The building has had a splendid history. Opened as a 2400-seater cinema in December 1935, the building closed in 1996 and has lain empty for over 20 years, falling into terrible disrepair. Thankfully Stockton Council have saved the building and it is undergoing extensive modernisation works, with a planned reopening in Spring 2020. Explore the story of the Globe and its restoration in this fascinating exhibition.  Find out about the famous acts – including Buddy Holly, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and Elton John – who played at the venue. Plus, discover the exciting future for the newly restored Globe. The exhibition is on now until October 6th at the Preston Park Museum. Admission into the museum is paid but the Globe exhibition is presented at no extra cost. More information here. And to find out more about the reborn Globe, see their new website here.

Collins’s Music Hall on Islington Green – sadly long gone!

LONDON – ISLINGTON MUSEUM – “Ta-Ra-Ra Boom-De-Ay!” is an exhibition about Islington’s many popular Music Halls. For over 100 years, throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, the borough’s many music halls and variety theatres entertained generations of Islingtonians. Each venue promised a unique evening’s entertainment and local residents and visitors would drop in to see their favourite ‘turns’. Explore a time when variety was definitely the spice of life. The exhibition is free and a range of attached talks, shows and walks have been curated to further visitors’ enjoyment. On until 22 October. More details here

ROYAL COURT WRITERS’ SCHEME – free courses for aspiring writers – apply by June 26th!

Royal Court Theatre. Image courtesy Royal Court website.

Great news for all aspiring playwrights, whatever your level of experience. Applications for the Royal Court’s Introduction to Playwriting groups are now open and close at midday on Wednesday 26 June.

This is a myth-busting introduction to theatre writing, led by writers currently associated with the Royal Court. Running one evening a week for eight weeks, there are three separate intakes starting in August and October this year, and January 2020. All you need to have is an interest in writing and the thirst to write a play. At the end of the course participants are encouraged to submit a play for feedback from Royal Court readers.

Places are assigned based on potential; writers are not expected to have extensive experience of writing for stage. Application is through a short extract of written work.

There is no fee for attending the course, and The Royal Court say that they are often able to help successful applicants with travel costs into London too, so don’t let your location put you off.

This could be the break you have waited for. Make sure you apply! Details here

Free London Musical extravaganza – at WEST END LIVE 2019

West End Live last year. Image by Pamela Raith Photography

Next weekend, 22/23 June, West End LIVE is back at London’s Trafalgar Square, where the place will be thronged with musical lovers enjoying a fun afternoon in the (please!) sun and listening to some of the great performers currently gracing the West End in extracts from London’s greatest musicals – and its all free!

The event is free to the public. No tickets are required, with entry operated on a first come, first served basis. On Saturday the event runs from 11am to 5pm and on Sunday it’s 12noon- 5pm, with doors opening up to 45 minutes before the above start times. Remember you may have to queue to get in, as the event is incredibly popular.

The schedule includes over 50 performances scheduled to take place over the course of the weekend.

Make your weekend memorable with West End LIVE!

For more information, schedules of acts and more, click here

West End LIVE is presented by Westminster City Council and the Society of London Theatre with support from the Mayor of London.