Adam Sherwin

Adam Sherwin
author

“Calderland–A People’s Opera” Celebrating Yorkshire Community’s Response To Floods Wins Top Award

A “folk opera” which celebrates the response of the local community in Calder Valley to the devastating Boxing Day floods which hit the Yorkshire region in 2015 has won a prestigious classical music award. Calderland–A People’s Opera, performed by a choir of 200 adults and children with the help of a cast of thousands, won the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award for Learning and Participation. Opera that “changes lives” The work, with a “compelling narrative and sophisticated musical language” hailed the resilience, recovery, and reinvention of the Calder Valley community following the floods and involved thousands of participants in workshops,...

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“Jack The Ripper” Opera Will Not Glorify Sexual Violence Against Women Says ENO

The English National Opera has promised that the world premiere of a new opera about Jack the Ripper will not glorify sexual violence against women. Jack The Ripper: The Women Of Whitechapel, tells the story of “a disadvantaged group of working-class women who are drawn together in their determination to survive the murderous terror that stalks London in 1888.” Jack the Ripper, who stalked the slum streets around Whitechapel preying on prostitutes, will not be depicted on stage in the opera, composed by Iain Bell with librettist Emma Jenkins. ‘Humanity’ of victims Bell said this was in order to...

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Audience To Vote For Bard’s Play They Want Performed At Shakespeare’s Globe

“Come, and take choice of all my library, And so beguile thy sorrow,” Shakespeare wrote. Now audiences will vote on the night to choose which of the Bard’s plays will be performed for them at Shakespeare’s Globe. Michelle Terry, the Globe’s new Artistic Director, announced that audience members are to be given a choice of three plays: The Merchant Of Venice, The Taming Of The Shrew or Twelfth Night. The Globe is still deciding the mechanism for the audience vote, which will take place shortly before the performance time. Audience could “throw vegetables” “We’re talking about putting hands up,...

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Corbyn-Era Labour Tackled By David Hare In New National Theatre Play

Sir David Hare will return to the National Theatre with the latest addition to a wave of plays about the Labour Party. The playwright’s, I’m Not Running, is the story of an MP rising to the top after 20 years, and his relationship with a friend who has deliberately steered clear of party politics. It comes 25 years after Sir David’s play, An Absence Of War, portrayed Neil Kinnock’s leadership. Labour of Love, James Graham’s new play about Labour’s ideological divisions, has just opened in the West End. Other plays have examined the 1981 Labour split which led to the...

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Sir Peter Hall: A Colossus Who Rebuilt British Theatre From The Ground Up

A titan of the stage, whose influence over the development of post-War British theatre was unparalleled, Sir Peter Hall, who has died aged 86, enjoyed an extraordinary career. A showman and impresario employing his talents across theatre, opera and television, the world’s foremost authority on staging Shakespeare coaxed landmark performances from the likes of Laurence Olivier and Peggy Ashton. His cultural legacy would have been secured by founding the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1960 at the age of just 29, and leading the company himself until 1968. Sir Peter insisted that the company should have a permanent home at...

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New Shakespeare’s Globe Director Michelle Terry Promises the Bard Unplugged’

Michelle Terry, the new artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe, has promised a return to the Bard “unplugged” after the row over the modern use of sound and lighting which cost her predecessor her job. An Olivier award-winning actress who played the title role in Henry V, Ms. Terry pledged to extend “gender-blind” casting to achieve a 50/50 split between male and female roles when she takes control of the famous open-air London theatre next Spring. No Amplified Sound and Fury But she said that a condition of her appointment was that productions will feature no amplified sound and no...

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Opera: Sex, Violence, and Politics – An Immersive Exhibition

Scenes depicting graphic sex and violence have a role in modern opera, the departing director of the Royal Opera House has said in a defiant parting shot. Kasper Holten is leaving Covent Garden next weekend after a controversial six-year reign. Audiences booed an explicit production of Lucia di Lammermoor featuring an S&M-inspired murder. A graphic rape scene in Guillaume Tell was also heavily criticised. But the Dane will depart with a parting shot – the ROH is collaborating with the V&A on a major exhibition, exploring passion and politics in opera over 400 years. The display will demonstrate that...

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‘Coughing Major’ Millionaire Scandal Turned into Play

The story of the “coughing Major” who cheated to win the Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? jackpot is the inspiration for a new stage play. Quiz, the latest work by James Graham, the award-winning playwright behind political drama This House, will debut at the 2017 Chichester Festival. The play promises a “provocative re-examination of the conviction of Major Charles,” who was found guilty of deception following his £1m win on the ITV game show in 2001. His wife Diana and another accomplice in the audience indicated the correct answer to questions posed by Chris Tarrant to Ingram, via a pre-arranged...

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Bryan Cranston to Star in Fake News-Predicting “Network” at National Theatre

The Breaking Bad star Bryan Cranston will make his London stage debut in a National Theatre adaptation of Network, the prophetic film which satirized a news industry succumbing to sensationalism. Cranston, 60, will play Howard Beale, the television news anchor who goes rogue and famously yelled “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this any more!” in the Oscar-winning 1976 movie. The screenplay by Paddy Chayefsky, has been adapted by Lee Hall, who wrote the film and stage versions of Billy Elliot. The National Theatre production, with other roles yet to be cast, opens in November....

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Shakespeare’s Globe Emma Rice Bows Out With Defiant Political Season

Emma Rice, the artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe ousted for introducing modern sound and lighting, announced a defiant season which will continue her innovative staging – and feature a President Trump-baiting take on Romeo and Juliet. The Globe board said Ms. Rice will be replaced next year after traditionalists complained that her experiments with neon lighting and amplified sound went a step too far. Rather than walk away, Ms. Rice said her farewell Summer season would fulfill her mission to bring Shakespeare to an audience too often left “baffled” by “really horrid” conventional productions. “I stayed because of this...

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National Theatre Asks Actors Over-80 to Improvise Play Without Script

A new play staged by the National Theatre will thrust actors in their 70s and 80s onto the stage without a script and ask them to improvise a storyline. Lost Without Words, described as “a theatrical experiment,” recognises that memory loss means that elderly actors often find it harder to recall scripts. Michael Gambon confessed that he uses an earpiece to prompt his lines onstage because his memory is so bad. Rufus Norris, the NT’s artistic director, said the play, would feature “older actors in their 70s and and 80s, actors who had spent their lives on stage bringing...

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