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Tanisha Spring & Olivia Onyehara in Shuck ‘n’ Jive. Photo by Helen Maybanks.

Tanisha Spring & Olivia Onyehara in Shuck 'n' Jive. Photo by Helen Maybanks.

London Theatre News Today: New productions, new prizes and new talent

Kitty Underwood

By Kitty Underwood First Published 4 October 2019, Last Updated 22 October 2019

There’s a talented bunch featured in today’s news round up; from new prizes to stage debuts. Check out all you need to know about London theatre news today.

The full cast has been announced for the Young Vic production of Fairview, winner of the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for women playwrights.

The cast is comprised of Naana Agyei-Ampadu, Donna Banya, David Dawson, Julie Dray, Nicola Hughes, Matthew Needham, Rhashan Stone and Esther Smith.

The National Youth Theatre announced today the full casting for its 2019 autumn REP season. The season consists of three plays: a modern, female-led adaptation of Frankenstein exploring VR and AI; Neil Bartlett’s Great Expectations and A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

The 2019 company comprises 16 actors between the ages of 18 and 25, including a whole host of new talent: Guy Clark, Ella Dacres, Natalie Dunne, Jordan Ford Silver, Jamie Foulkes, Alice Franziska, Billy Hinchliff, Jadie Hobson, Bede Hodgkinson, Tiwalade Ibirogba Olulode, Julia Kass, Sarah Lusack, Jemima Mayala, Joseph Payne, Sonny Poon Tip and Raj Singh.

The NYT REP provides opportunities for young people in underrepresented cultural and socio-economic backgrounds to get experience in theatre without having to pay for training. As part of the NYT’s Inclusion Programme, this year’s plays will also stage relaxed performances.


London Theatre News Today: The 2019 National Youth Theatre REP companyThe 2019 National Youth Theatre REP company

We got a sneak peek at the rehearsal photos for Shuck ‘n’ Jive at Soho Theatre today. The play, starring Olivia Onyehara and Tanisha Spring, is the story of two young women of colour performed with music and comedy.

Opera singer Simone is struggling with London not living up to her expectations. Actress Cassi is becoming increasingly bored of the stereotyping she’s facing in auditions for ‘sassy friend’ et al. Frustrated and desperate to be seen and treated as real people – not as the colour of their skin – they take control and they write their own play. This is that play.

Paines Plough company and Ellie Keel Productions have launched The Women’s Prize for Playwriting today. The prize will support female-identifying playwrights based across the UK and Ireland.

The winning playwright will receive £12,000 and an exclusive option for Ellie Keel Productions and Paines Plough to co-produce the play. Anyone 16 years or older who is resident of the UK or Ireland and identifies as female can enter; submissions open on Monday 11 November and you can learn more and enter here.


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