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Patrick McNamee as Richard and Fiona Hampton as Sarah in Touching The Void. Photo by Michael Wharley.

London Theatre News Today: Monday 13 January

Hira Desai

By Hira Desai Published 13 January 2020

It was announced today that New York City-based actress Desi Oakley (Broadway: Chicago, Wicked, Waitress, Annie, Les Misérables) will be making her West End debut as she temporarily steps into the role of Jenna in Waitress after Lucie Jones and understudies Olivia Moore and Sarah O’Connor were struck down with illness this weekend.

As they recover, the producers of Waitress took the decision on Saturday night to fly over the Broadway performer to ensure that the shows can go ahead today and throughout the week. Just another dramatic day in the world of theatre!

Desi Oakley

Touching The Void and Samaritans will host a panel on mental wellbeing and resilience as a pre-show event on Monday 20 January. The lineup includes: presenter Alex Zane, blogger Kat Farm, Dylan Jones OBE and Editor of GQ and mountaineer Simon Yates. 

The critically acclaimed production which is currently running at the Duke of York’s Theatre in London’s West End is collaborating with the Samaritans as part of their Brew Monday campaign which encourages people to get together and connect over a cup of tea. All proceeds from the event will go to the charity and the production will continue to collect for them daily for two weeks after the event.

This production of Touching The Void marks the 30th anniversary of the publication of Joe Simpson’s best-selling memoir, charting his extraordinary struggle for survival on the perilous Siula Grande mountain in the Peruvian Andes. David Greig’s powerful adaptation explores the mental resilience it must have taken Joe to descend, alone, with a broken leg, frostbite, dehydration and starvation, as well as the moral quandary of Simon, to leave him behind.

Ruth Sutherland, Samaritans CEO said: “We know that some people face their own obstacles – their own mountains and feats of survival – every single day. For all kinds of reasons this winter, it might be difficult to get out of bed and face the day ahead. But Joe proved that survival beyond insurmountable odds is possible. David’s show, Touching The Void in the West End has proved that ‘anything is possible in the theatre’. And Samaritans’ message is that together, we can make a future feel possible, even when it feels like everything is stacked against you. This Blue Monday, remember to take time and check in – on yourself and on each other. It can really help us weather the ups and downs of life.”

Luckily, this must-see production is in our New Year Sale and as it’s running only until 29 February, grab your tickets now!

The multi-award winning Edinburgh Fringe hit, Collapsible by Margaret Perry opens at the Bush Theatre on 5 February. 

Essie’s lost her job. Her girlfriend’s left. But she’s alright. Except lately she feels more like a chair than a person. One of those folding chairs. Solid one minute. And then….

The funny, furious new monologue about holding on in this collapsing world won the Origins Award for Outstanding New Work at VAULT Festival 2019, The Stage Edinburgh Award, Best Performer at Dublin Fringe (for performer Breffni Holahan) and Fishamble New Writing Award at Dublin Fringe.

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