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The Week Ahead

Melanie Hughes & Nadia Ostacchini present Caught Between Two Worlds - The Italian Community in London 1918-1939, at 6pm on Tuesday 21st September.

This illustrated talk, exploring London’s Italian quarter in Holborn and Clerkenwell in the turbulent period between the world wars, is a free-to-view, on-line event produced by the Camden Local Studies and Archives Centre.

Admission is free, but please register using the link below.

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Martin Wimbush and Sally Bayly have compiled a musical revue, So, Where Did It All Go Wrong?, which they will perform as part of the Rye Arts Festival on 25th September at 7.30pm and on 26th September at 3pm. The Musical Director is Malcolm Newton.

A light hearted, fun-filled entertainment in a cabaret setting, looking at some of the pitfalls in show business. So, top up your glass from the bar and enjoy the brilliant writing of Alan Bennett, Noel Coward, Dorothy Parker, Clive James, David Niven, Michael Bentine, W.C. Fields, George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde and classic songs from Cole Porter, Jerome Kern, Stephen Sondheim, Jule Styne, Cy Coleman, Leonard Cohen and Johnny Nash. It promises to be an entertaining show - if it isn’t, you know who to write to!

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Calum Wragg-Smith and Louise Bangay are to perform in Living the Drama’s production of Penetration by Carolyn Lloyd-Davies. The piece, exploring consent, will run at The Cockpit in London’s Marylebone between Wednesday, 22 September and Saturday, 9 October 2021.


Stephanie Connell, besides being the Co-Producer for Living the Drama, is the Sound Designer on this production.

Joining them are Steve Chusak (Tut, Paramount; Krypton, Warner Bros. Television) and Amantha Edmead (SOLD, Edinburgh Fringe; Eastenders, BBC). Completing the cast are Rebecca Hunt (Magic Flute, Idéale Audience; What’s Up TV, Sky One) and Mike Anfield (Henry IV, The Rose Playhouse and St James Theatre).

“No one lies about rape. You either consent or you don’t, that’s absolutely clear. But what about when memories aren’t as clear?”

When Sean is accused of rape by Anna, his arrest throws his world into turmoil. His mother Felicity, a lifelong feminist, knows women don’t lie about rape just as surely as she knows her son is innocent. ‘Innocent until proved guilty’ is ripped up as Sean is exposed in the press, publicly abused and barred from his university, his friends and his future. The interminable wait for prosecution finally drives Felicity from grief to a dark obsession.

Based on real events, Penetration highlights the agony of lives in limbo, waiting for a verdict. But will resolution ever come?

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David Shirreff’s play Murder Most Foul will be performed in the churchyard at Kilmington, Wiltshire on September 18th/19th. Kilmington was the scene of a horrific double murder in 1557, for which Charles, Lord Stourton, eighth Baron, was hanged.

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Tasmin Jahan’s compelling 2-minute monologue, That Silver Lining, is free to view on YouTube (click below). The video is produced by the Permafrost Theatre Collective of New York, and performed by Mahvish Bokhari.

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Catherine Harvey writes:“Tongue and Talk: The Dialect Poets is back on BBC Radio 4. I’m series producer and have written and present the first episode at 4.30pm on 5th September on Radio 4 (with the usual month afterwards on BBC Sounds).”

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Julie Bevan leads in new feature film St Cecilia of Spirilance, playing a housekeeper who gives her son away to be adopted, only for him to become a shitty politician. See the Premiere Cut on YouTube.

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The audio version of Penny Culliford’s latest play, Grimaldi’s Last Act, commissioned by Nadia Ostacchini’s Tricolore Theatre Company, can now be heard free of charge on Soundcloud. The play is performed by Edmund Dehn, directed by Anthony Shrubsall.

Grimaldi won fame as a clown in the early 19th Century, rising to the then equivalent of today’s A-List. Penny’s text draws on the biography by Grimaldi fan Charles Dickens.

The theatrical version of the play hasbeen postponed until 2022 because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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Further Events in the Month Ahead

Rare Fortune Productions presents its long-delayed production of Life Changes, a sequence of plays by Carolyn Pertwee, at the OSO from 14th to 17th October.

It’s an all-AWL cast - Julia Haythorn, Robin Miller, Rebecca Bugeja, Michael Duran, Martin Wimbush, Alexander Jonas, Maurice Thorogood & Carolyn Pertwee herself. Rachael Bellis is sound and lighting operator. Maurice Thorogood directs.

A discount is available for AWLies. Contact any member of the company for details.

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Future Plans

Bonny and Read, first performed at AWL, previews at the OSO on Saturday 6th November, ahead of its first full run at the Brockley Jack studio theatre from 23rd November to 4th December. The play is written by Claire Novello, with music composed, and accompanied at the piano, by Frederick Appleby. The director is Kenneth Michaels.

Based on the trials of Captain Rackham and his pirate crew in Jamaica in 1720, history meets myth in this real life story of the remarkable, cross-dressing women pirates Anne Bonny and Mary Read, and their fateful encounter with the infamous Jack Rackham, also known as Calico Jack.

Unlike most ‘pirate plays’, this musical tragicomedy focuses on the social and economic circumstances that led Bonny and Read to disguise themselves as men, go out to sea, and eventually join the notoriously male-dominated world of piracy. It’s a story of exceptional female bravery, adventure, and survival against all odds.

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Singer/songwriter David Forest returns to The Pheasantry, Chelsea, for a 90th birthday performance of his one-man show, Playing with Myself.

David introduces and performs his own songs with piano arrangements by Charles Miller. The show, directed by Harry Landis, received its premiere performances to sold-out houses at The Pheasantry and Tristan Bates Theatre, and went on to enjoy successful runs at the Brighton and Camden Fringe Festivals.

David has kept up his songwriting during lockdown, and plans to include some of his new songs in this birthday special.

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Viv Lake has done quite a bit of research into theatrical and family history and accumulated a lot of information which might prove useful to other AWL members who have been looking into family or theatrical history.

She has lists of information such as stage names and aliases, biogs, obituaries, where they are buried, census returns which mention performers, old theatrical companies and theatres, actor-managers, and photocopies or pdfs of very old playbills, as well as text from theatrical journals and newspapers, most of which are from the Georgian and Victorian eras, and earlier, in Great Britain and America.

If you’re interested in Viv doing just a basic search for free through her files, please speak to her at an AWL meeting, or email her via her AWL page.

John Melainey has coached audition technique for the last 20 years. It is one of the areas that many actors push to one side and yet it is a vital skill. A good audition technique is the secret to many a successfull acting career. If you feel like you go into an audition and it never seems to go the way you planned or if you leave feeling like you just didn’t do enough, or didn’t have long enough to work on the script, then the chances are that it is your audition process, that is letting you down.

Click for further information.

Stephanie Connell is an award winning web designer who has been creating websites for the past seven years. Each website is handmade and specific to the client’s requirements and is therefore unique. She will guide you through the process and provide design and practical suggestions where necessary. She offers aftercare service which she feels is just as important as the creative process. A discount to AWL Members only.

AWL Members who have had their websites created recently: Carolyn Pertwee, David Hampshire, Julia Haythorn and Hedley England

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