MUSIC, THEATRE, DANCE & VISUAL ARTS NEWS

Also online this week

Wigmore Hall Highlights

Content by Albion Media

Soile Isokoski soprano; Ilkka Paananen piano Peterson-Berger - Rangström, Strauss and more

The Finnish soprano focuses on songs by composers from her homeland, including the neglected figure of Yrjö Kilpinen and his Tunturilauluja (Songs of the Fells, 1926), as well as the Swedish Wilhelm Peterson-Berger’s Four Folk Ballads of 1892. Tuesday 4th December 7.30pm

Arcangelo; Louise Alder soprano; Tim Mead countertenor Scarlatti, Handel and Porpora

Two leading singers join Jonathan Cohen and his period-instrument orchestra for cantatas by Scarlatti, Handel and the latter’s onetime rival, the Neapolitan Porpora – prolific vocal composer and teacher of the famed castrato Farinelli. Friday 7th December 7.30pm

Nash Ensemble; Sophie Bevan soprano Mendelssohn, Reinecke, Schumann, C Schumann and F Mendelssohn

Much-loved soprano Sophie Bevan performs a selection of the attractive songs by Robert Schumann’s wife Clara and Felix Mendelssohn’s sister Fanny. They’re prefaced by wind music by Felix Mendelssohn and Carl Reinecke, a friend of both families. Saturday  8th December 5.30pm

Following a smash-hit sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival, Penelope Skinner’s Fringe-First award winning play Angry Alan now transfers to Soho Theatre.

Content by Chloe Nelkin Consulting
Angry Alan
by Penelope Skinner
Tuesday 5th  Saturday 30 th March 2019, 7pm

This darkly comic play about masculinity in crisis is written and directed by multi-award-winning playwright Penelope Skinner (The Village Bike, Royal Court Theatre; Linda, Royal Court and Manhattan Theatre Club) and co- created and performed by Donald Sage Mackay (True West, Vaudeville Theatre; Deep State, Fox TV; Linda, Manhattan Theatre Club).
 
Looking out over the country, this country, where I was born and raised, I wonder what’s going to become of us. Because this can’t be the future, can it? Everyone just… changing the rules?
 
Roger thinks the world’s gone mad. He hates his job, his ex-wife torments him and to top it all, his girlfriend just discovered feminism. Roger’s about to lose his shit. Until he discovers Angry Alan: online activist and voice of reason
 
In 2016, in the wake of Trump’s election, Penelope Skinner was inspired to write a play about  the anger which is dominating today’s political landscape. In doing so she stumbled across the  Men’s Right’s Movement and, along with American actor Donald Sage Mackay, began creating  Angry Alan, a story about Roger, an ordinary American man being radicalised online by an  extremist movement. Angry Alan explores how any extreme political viewpoint can take root in someone’s consciousness if they are vulnerable to it and how those who propagate such views may not be all that they seem.
Mackay is superb, and Skinner (who also directs) keeps it both simple and observant. She doesn’t seem to judge Roger at all just to make us see more clearly the dangers of the kind of warped self-realisation he is encouraged by online forums to feel. It is a fierce, clear warning of what is
going on, and it is utterly terrifying (What’s On Stage).
 
Angry Alan is a ruthlessly funny, timely and powerful play by one of the UK’s most significanfeminist playwrights.
 
Penelope Skinner and Donald Sage Mackay comment, We were delighted with the response to Angry Alan in Edinburgh and are so pleased to be coming to the Soho Theatre. Soho feels like the perfect home for this piece. And in this fraught and polarised political climate, we are gratefufor the opportunity to keep telling this story.

The Bunker Theatre announces 2019 spring season from new Artistic Director Chris Sonnex

53A Southwark Street London SE1 1RU

The Bunker’s revolutionary spring season is the first from its new Artistic Director, Chris Sonnex. The season, which spans four months and includes six productions and a unique festival, will also mark the opening of the Bunkers Writers Snug a free-to-use space in the theatre for up to four playwrights, with one desk reserved for underrepresented writers.
 
The Bunker have also named Debbie Hannan (Things of Dry Hours, Latir, Cuckoo) as their new Associate Director; she will present a new monthly podcast The Underground Podcast which will be packed with artists and activists, investigating, naming and exploring what needs to change in the theatre industry. In response to the themes discussed in the podcast, The Bunker will also host a monthly variety night The Underground Night which will feature new and established musical, spoken word and dance talent.
 
Sonnexs first season opens with the world premiere of Borderline’s Welcome To The UK!powerful satirical comedy about the situation of refugees in the UK. This bold production has been devised and performed by a mixed ensemble which includes people who have recently sought
refuge in the UK. Following this, Sacha Voit and Jessica Butchers funny and frank Boots is a story of cross-generational connection through forests and FemFresh, where an unlikely friendship reveals the loneliness of age and the power of Mother Nature.
 
My White Best Friend and Other Letters Left Unsaidis a week-long festival exploring intersecting identities and tensions responding to writer Rachel De-Lahays original provocative piece, My White Best Friend. She and director Milli Bhatia have commissioned eleven exceptional writers to pen their own letters that say the unsaid to the people that matter most. Two of the letters will be cold-read
by performers each night, alongside Rachels piece.
March and April see a double bill of one woman shows putting female working class voices front and centre with Kat WoodsKillymuck and Monsay Whitney’s Box Clever. Written with humour, care and urgency, Killymuck gives an insight into the trials and tribulations of being from the benefit class system whereas Box Clever confronts us with the repercussions of systemic failure in politics to care
for the working classes.
 
Emma Dennis-Edwards’ Fringe First award-winning Funeral Flowers follows 17-year-old Angelique as she navigates her way through adulthood, the care system and the recurring threat from her boyfriend’s gang. The powerful season concludes with Joanna Nastari’s Fuck You Pay Me – a surreal collision of comedy, poetry and storytelling which gives a hilarious insight into the life of a stripper in London’s fast-changing cityscape.
 
Artistic Director Chris Sonnex comments, Theatre exists to disrupt, challenge and interrogate the world that is put before us. We live in a world where the words of so many people are struggling to be meaningfully heard. There is an artistic and political revolution bubbling across our society,
whether that be very personal revolutions or a bigger structural, seismic revolt. This season explores the full spectrum of revolution, from Emma Dennis-Edwards exploring how one very personal decision can change someone’s life in Funeral Flowers to Jessica Butcher and Sacha Voit’s burning it all down and starting again in their new play Boots. At The Bunker, we are incredibly honoured to welcome theatre makers who have something to say that reflects and comments on today’s world. These voices will rise up from an underground car park in South London and be heard across the city.

Look out for...

Temple Winter Festival 10 to 14 December Temple Church, London

Temple Music Foundation and Hazard Chase have unveiled the 2018 Temple Winter Festival, which takes place from 10 to 14 December 2018 at Temple Church, London. The festival continues to bring together some of the UK’s finest talent from the choral world.

Temple Winter Festival has attracted some of the finest artists in choral music over the years, including the BBC Singers, Polyphony and the Tallis Scholars, who return for this year’s festival. The concerts take place in the magnificent and centrally located Temple Church, built in the 12th century by the Knights Templar.

York Early Music Christmas Festival

Head to York for the antidote to a chaotic Christmas and set the tone for a relaxed and music-filled yuletide with the National Centre for Early Music’s much-loved annual York Early Music Festival – celebrating its 20th anniversary!
 
Ten events over eight days, highlights of which include Bach’s Christmas Oratorio presented by the Yorkshire Bach Choir, and a mix of established and new artists including Voces8, Joglaresa, Ex Cathedra, Spiritato and The York Waits.
 
There are also opportunities for singers to find their own voice during a participatory choral workshop led by James Weeks (Sat 8th).

London Gay Men’s Chorus The Grand, St. John’s Hill, Clapham, London 20, 21 and 22 December

Join the boys of the London Gay Men’s Chorus in what promises to be a truly unique festive bonanza! With the bawdy spirit of the Victorian music hall you can expect a glorious, fun-filled vintage start to your festive season with rousing carols, drinking songs, cabaret, vaudeville, burlesque and circus. With classics such as ‘Masters in this Hall’, ’12 Days of Christmas’ and ‘God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen’ through to the fabulous musical theatre of Lionel Bart and Pasek and Paul, you can expect the London Gay Men’s Chorus in fine form to give you the greatest Christmas show of all time!

Fernand Léger New Times New Pleasures

This exhibition brings together more than forty works by renowned artist Fernand Léger (1881–1955). Léger was enthralled by the vibrancy of modern life.

His paintings, murals, film and textiles were infused with the bustle and rhythm of the metropolis. He drew on photography and new forms of communication that boomed during the ‘mechanical age’ of the twentieth-century such as typography, advertising and graphic design.

Léger’s work was heavily influenced by his surroundings and his experience of modern life. Included in the exhibition are his collaborations with architects Le Corbusier and Charlotte Perriand. Also on display is his experimental 1924 film, Ballet Mécanique. This, the first major UK exhibition dedicated to Léger’s work in thirty years, celebrates the artist’s desire to make art part of everyday life.

Opera Company puts human rights in the spotlight – WNO announces Freedom Season

Content by Christina Blakeman WNO

“This Freedom season brings together a group of works all of which touch on this intensely political subject, but as works of art, not political manifestos. It establishes that an art form often wrongly thought of as an establishment playground nonetheless has a lot to say about political and social suffering.” David Pountney, WNO Artistic Director

Welsh National Opera presents Freedom, a season of operatic works with complementary panel discussions, talks, community engagement and an exhibition of immersive reality artwork exploring the themes of human rights, justice and political imprisonment.

Curated by Artistic Director David Pountney, the season will showcase every element of the performing company from the WNO Chorus and Orchestra through to WNO Community Chorus and WNO’s award-winning Youth Opera. In addition, young singers including Youth Opera alumni and students at the David Seligman Opera School at Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama (RWCMD) will take roles in several of the productions, demonstrating WNO’s ongoing commitment to developing young talent. The creative process will see young artists sharing the rehearsal room and concert platform alongside colleagues of international standing.

At the heart of Freedom are five operas, four semi-staged and one fully staged production. Semi-staged productions include The Consul by Gian Carlo Menotti, Dead Man Walking by Jake Heggie, The Prisoner by Luigi Dallapiccola and the second act of Beethoven’s Fidelio with a fully staged production of Brundibár by Jewish Czech composer Hans Krása. All operas will be performed at Cardiff’s Wales Millennium Centre.

Partners for the talks and debates in the season include Amnesty International UK, the Welsh Refugee Council and the National Assembly for Wales among others, with the aim of stimulating conversation and raising awareness of the issues that are highlighted by the Freedom season operas and in society today.

Freedom performance listings

Fri  7 June Dead Man Walking*  7.30pm

Wed 12 June The Consul* 7.30 pm

Fri 14 June The Prisoner/Fidelio (Act II)* 7.30 pm

Sat 22 June Brundibár 5.00 pm

Sun 23 June Brundibár* 2.00 pm

Sun 23 June Brundibár 5.00pm
*Denotes Press Nights

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