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Aisha Jawando as Tina_Turner. Photo by Manuel Harlan

Aisha Jawando as Tina Turner in Tina - The Tina Turner Musical (Photo credit: Manuel Harlan)

London Theatre News Today: Monday 8 February

Hira Desai

By Hira Desai First Published 8 February 2021, Last Updated 15 February 2021

Tune into Theatre Chat Live with special guest Aisha Jawando tomorrow at 6pm

If you’ve not already heard, we’ve started a new Theatre Chat Live series on the Official London Theatre Instagram channel every Tuesday from 6pm and tomorrow we will be joined the incredibly talented Aisha Jawando who plays Tina in Tina – The Tina Turner Musical. If you tuned into BBC’s Musicals: The Greatest Show yesterday, you’ll have seen her super powerful performance of the iconic track; Simply The Best. We can’t wait to talk all things theatre with Aisha, come join us!

In the meantime, check out some of our previous episodes below in our Theatre Chat Live playlist. Last week, we were joined by West End stars, Louise Dearman and Oliver Tompsett. We spoke about all things theatre, lockdown and learnt all about West End Your Way – a VIP 2-way theatre experience that offers you the chance to be entertained by your fave West End stars in the comfort of your own home. 

Mark your diaries and hop on Instagram Live tomorrow at 6pm where Jess, our Social Media Coordinator will be waiting to welcome you!


Arcola Theatre to collaborate with researchers from Imperial College London to understand airflow and viral transmission in theatres

Arcola Theatre (Photo credit: Lidia Crisafulli)

Arcola Theatre today announces that their artistic team will be working with scientists from Imperial College London to explore air quality in theatres and how this affects aerosol transmission of viruses such as Covid-19.

As theatres and arts venues continue to navigate audience welfare amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the project will explore how increased airflow can be used by venues and performance spaces to reduce viral transmission to increase the safety of visitors and improve arts access for immunocompromised people.

The project aims to:

  • Explore ways in which Arcola can increase airflow in its indoor performance spaces
  • Use this exploration to facilitate conversations about airflow with other venues
  • Inform the development of Arcola’s new performance space, Arcola Outside, an outdoor performance space which mitigates the risk of Covid transmission among audiences

The project will commence this year and continues Arcola’s work exploring how theatres and venues can learn from the pandemic in long-term, sustainable ways.

This collaboration follows the announcement of Arcola Outside, Arcola’s new theatre space, due to open in spring this year, which has the benefits of full outdoor airflow, thereby reducing the risk of both aerosol and droplet transmission of Covid-19.

“Since the pandemic began, we have been trying to understand how the cultural sector can respond innovatively to the difficulties we have faced in bringing people together to enjoy culture in a safe way.

We are delighted to be working with independent scientists from Imperial College London, through Imperial Consultants, to understand how airflow affects viral transmission in theatres, which will turn the challenges of the past year into learning and ideas for both Arcola and the wider theatre sector.” – Dr Ben Todd, Executive Director, Arcola Theatre

“Significant scientific, engineering and policy work has been undertaken to better understand the impact of COVID-19 and mitigate the on-going risks. Ventilation and air quality have been identified as an important factor in reducing the risk of spread of COVID-19 through human activity in indoor spaces.”

“Working with Arcola Theatre, we hope to use emerging knowledge and data-driven approaches to address the continuous challenges faced by indoor theatres and venues during the pandemic.” – consulting lead, Imperial College London.



National Theatre announces Tony Kushner’s multi-award-winning Angels in America: Parts One and Two, is now available to stream worldwide

Angels in America Part One: Millennium Approaches (Photo: Helen Maybanks)

The National Theatre has today announced three new filmed productions have been added to its streaming service National Theatre at Home, including Angels in America Part One: Millennium Approaches and Angels in America Part Two: Perestroika, Marianne Elliott (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, War Horse)’s multi-award-winning production of Tony Kushner’s two-part masterpiece, with a cast including Andrew Garfield (The Social Network), Denise Gough (Paula), Nathan Lane (American Crime Story), James McArdle (Ammonite), Susan Brown (It’s A Sin) and Russell Tovey (Years and Years).

The two-part play is set in America in the mid-1980s in the midst of the AIDS crisis and a conservative Reagan administration, as New Yorkers grapple with life and death, love and sex, heaven and hell. Following a sold-out run in the Lyttelton theatre in 2017, the production transferred to Broadway for a sold-out 18 week run in 2018. The production won numerous awards including Best Revival at the Olivier and Tony Awards in 2018.

Also launching on the platform today is Polly Findlay’s 2012 thrilling contemporary staging of Antigone, with a cast including Christopher Eccleston (Thor, The A Word, Doctor Who) and Jodie Whittaker (Doctor Who, Broadchurch), and National Theatre Director Rufus Norris’ 2014 production of Behind the Beautiful Forevers, written by David Hare and based on the book by Katherine Boo, with a cast including Meera Syal (The Split).

Rufus Norris, National Theatre Director, said: “Angels in America is one of those productions that stays with you always – a seminal piece of theatre that has a lasting impact. It’s a true honour to be able to bring Marianne Elliott’s remarkable, compelling production of Tony Kushner’s masterpiece to audiences around the world through National Theatre at Home. After sold-out runs at the NT and on Broadway, I’m delighted global audiences will finally get the chance to experience the astonishing performances of the original cast on the Lyttelton stage. I’m really pleased that this month also sees my 2014 production of David Hare’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers available on the platform, with the inimitable Meera Syal and a fantastic ensemble bringing to life Katherine Boo’s non-fiction story of a community in a Mumbai slum. And Jodie Whittaker and Christopher Eccleston in a modern-day Antigone – Polly Findlay’s electrifying 2012 production in the Olivier. In a continued period of isolation for so many people and while we’re unable to open our theatres, we hope National Theatre at Home can bring people together to collectively enjoy theatre from home.”

National Theatre at Home now has 16 productions to stream on the platform available at any time, including Medea with Helen McCrory and Michaela Coel, Mosquitoes with Olivia Colman and Olivia Williams, Phèdre with Helen Mirren and Dominic Cooper, the Young Vic’s Yerma with Billie Piper and Othello with Adrian Lester and Rory Kinnear.

All productions on National Theatre at Home are available with captions. Angels in America Parts One and Two will also be available with audio-description to support blind and partially sighted audiences worldwide from later this month. Seven other National Theatre at Home titles are currently available with audio-description: Othello, Donmar Warehouse’s Coriolanus, The Cherry Orchard, Amadeus, Julie, Phèdre and the Young Vic’s Yerma.

National Theatre at Home is available now at ntathome.com, with single titles available from £5.99 – £8.99, a monthly subscription for £9.99 or a yearly subscription for £99.99. Click here to find out more.

Missing theatre and want to enjoy some from the comfort of your home? Head over to our online calendar to find out what’s showing online or have some stagey fun with our theatre quiz rounds or West End theatre spot the difference! You can also enjoy exclusive interviews, behind-the-scenes videos and exclusive performances over on our Official London Theatre YouTube channel.


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