Nicola Walker in discussion from the National Theatre- for free* (*donations welcome – if you can afford to)

Nicola Walker, photo courtesy National Theatre website

On Monday 23rd May at 4.00pm you can hear actors Nicola Walker and Iwan Davies reflect on the rewards and challenges of performing in Emlyn Williams’ THE CORN IS GREEN, currently at the National Theatre, in a 60-minute discussion chaired by Fiona Mountford. 

If you wish to attend in person you can book here . Tickets are £10/£5 concessions.

However, there is also the option to join the discussion online for free.

You can book your free online ticket here

And if you miss the live talk, or can’t make it at that time, you can catch up using the same link you will receive when you register online for the talk.

The National says “We have made the live-stream of this NT talk free so it can be enjoyed by as many people as possible. If you can, please make a donation to keep our events open and accessible to all. Together we can shape a bright, creative future.
To donate, please visit https://tickets.nationaltheatre.org.uk/donate/q/talks-and-events
or text:
EVENT 3 to 70580 to donate £3
EVENT 5 to 70580 to donate £5
EVENT 10 to 70580 to donate £10
Texts cost your donation amount plus one standard rate message. UK networks only.”

THE CORN IS GREEN by Emlyn Williams runs at the National Theatre until 11 June 2022. For more information visit https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/the-corn-is-green


TROUBLE IN MIND cast talking on Instagram this Friday

This Friday 21st January at 1.00pm GMT you can catch an Instagram Live talk by two of the stars of the National Theatre’s production of TROUBLE IN MIND, the incomparable Tanya Moodie and Rory Keenan.

They will be talking about the show, their roles, and giving insights into the actor’s life, as well as taking some of your questions.

This talk is, like many others from the National, a free to attend event but they do ask that those who are financially bale make a contribution which they feel is affordable. This helps towards funding future events.

You can find the donation page here

You can find the National’s Instagram page here


Alfred Fagon Award 2021 – and the winner is….

Chakira Alin, Mojisola Adebayo and Diana Nneka Atuona (Photo courtesy Richard H Smith /AFA)

The 25th Alfred Fagon Award presentation took place on December 3rd in the National Theatre’s Lyttelton auditorium.

Mojisola Adebayo won this year’s Award for her play FAMILY TREE.  The £6,000 prize was presented to Adebayo by Baroness Floella Benjamin. 

Also announced at the ceremony was the recipient of the Roland Rees Bursary, Diana Nneka Atuona; and also the inaugural winner of the Mustapha Matura Award and Mentoring Programme, Chakira Alin.

A special mention was given to the Award’s 25 Black Champions of Theatre. 

Adebayo said, in a statement, :

“I am so deeply honoured and moved to be the recipient of the 2021, 25th anniversary, Alfred Fagon Award for Family Tree.  Family Tree was a painful pregnancy. The process of researching the different ways in which Black women’s bodies have been extracted from was at times more than I thought I could cope with. And the task of writing something beautiful out of the brutal sometimes felt impossible – but we did it! So being gifted with the Alfred Fagon Award means the world to me. It is a hugely respected prize and I am both humbled and delighted to follow in the footsteps of writers and friends for whom I have a huge admiration, from Oladipo Agboluaje to Winsome Pinnock and many more. There is no greater honour for me than being recognised and applauded by and amongst your own Black British theatre family, so thank you so much to all the judges, organisers and sponsors.

Receiving the Alfred Fagon Award feels almost like I’ve birthed a baby, the pain is gone now and there is light and hope and warmth in my heart and peace in my mind and spirit. Like a baby, the play is not mine, I just carried it inside my mind and out onto the page. Family Tree is enriched by the creative DNA of so many artists, actors and supporters. Thank you all. Inside the body of this play text, and all around it and all of us, are the cells of the extraordinarily wonderous, Henrietta Lacks. My award is dedicated to her. All we need now is a stage on which Family Tree can grow and play.”

You can find further information, as well as the shortlists and longlists, at the Alfred Fagon Award website which you can find here

Congratulations to all the winners!


The National Theatre’s Friday Rush is back!

The Friday Rush has always been a great way to see the National Theatre’s quality drama at affordable prices.

Now the pandemic has allowed the return of live theatre, the news that the Friday Rush is back is a most welcome development.

Offering tickets for most shows (including those showing as Sold Out), you can grab a chance to see a live performance from as little as £10, which is quite a bargain these days!

You can find details of the National Theatre’s Friday Rush Scheme here


YouTube’s Theatre Treasures: Laurence Olivier interviewed by Kenneth Tynan

Here’s another treasure from my occasional rummaging around the dusty corners of the cyber-storeroom that is YouTube. Today’s nugget is an interview from 1966 – Kenneth Tynan interviewing Laurence Olivier.

The recording lasts just over 45 minutes. Do stay with it through the rather pompous opening fanfares, and you’ll find a really interesting and candid discussion with one of our greatest actors about his career, chances, upbringing, and successes.

Kenneth Tynan, who interviews Olivier, was the Literary Manager of the National Theatre at the time of this recording. Tynan, a writer and critic who liked to make waves from his first appointment – at the Evening Standard – in 1952. His collected reviews are often interesting and incisive pieces. A fan of the New Wave, John Osborne et al, Tynan’s barbed retorts against cosy theatrical fare are crackling pieces of disdain in his reviews of this material, and, frankly, are something of a delight to read in themselves. (A particular favourite of mine is his demolition of Anna Neagle in one of the plodding historical productions she starred in, “Sixty Glorious Years” who, when she sang, Tynan described as “Shaking her voice at the audience like a tiny fist”….)

Tynan was made Literary Manager of the new National Theatre Company in 1963, at which time they were still operating out of the Old Vic Theatre. It is fitting that this interview starts on stage at the Old Vic, with a view of the auditorium, with an informal Olivier, with the interview transitioning to the studio later on.

I hope you enjoy it!

With Thanks to YouTube poster Roman Stryan