A Perfect Fit

Sometimes, the artistic stars align and the right people find themselves collaborating on the right work in the right place at the right time. Such are the happy circumstances in which OperaGlass Works present their debut production here at Wilton’s: Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress. The history of the opera, its story and that of the creative team behind the production are like the threads of a web, connecting people, places and times. If ever an opera was meant to find its way to Wilton’s stag

“She will never tell this story to anyone, to any other living soul ...

so the audience becomes part of her psyche, part of her . . . they get to peek behind the curtain, peel back the layers of her mind and look inside.” Director, The play was Karge’s first. Born in 1938, he trained as an actor and was talent spotted, persuaded by Brecht’s wife, Helene Weigel, to leave drama school and join the couple’s Berliner Ensemble company – with which he is still closely associated, despite partings along the way. He wrote Jacke Wie Hose for his wife, Lore Brunner, who lo

Zigger Zagger, Zigger Zagger, Oi, Oi, Oi!

It’s fifty years since National Youth Theatre made history with Zigger Zagger, the first play to tackle the subject of football hooliganism. After devoting their first decade to Shakespeare with an occasional nod in the direction of Ben Johnson or George Bernard Shaw, they took a bold step in commissioning this groundbreaking work from Peter Terson. Terson was still a relatively young writer and one of the grittiest, yet still poetic, playwrights of the time. Zigger Zagger was first staged a

A Very Special Centenary

On 6 April 1917, US President Woodrow Wilson abandoned neutrality to join Britain and its allies at war with Germany. The following day, George M Cohan wrote a song titled ‘Over There’. It took him barely two hours. Despite not being published until June or publicly aired until the autumn of that year, it became the most popular song of the First World War, selling more than 2 million copies. A century later, it will be performed here at Wilton’s and is the title of the London English Song Festi

A Taste of Hong Kong

Think of Hong Kong. What springs to mind? What sights? What sounds? Whether you know the city intimately or have only glimpsed this vibrant, cosmopolitan hub in magazines and on-screen, Hong Kong Episodes will surprise and delight you. Fung Lam and Hong Kong Episodes was created for the 2015 biennial World Cultures Festival, a celebration of the rich and diversified cultures around the world through music, dance and theatre. For their 10th anniversary festival, The Leisure and Cultur

Food for Thought

‘Been there, seen it, done it’ is an expression that could well have been coined with Elizabeth Pisani in mind. Born in the US, raised and educated in Europe and Hong Kong, Elizabeth speaks French, Spanish and Indonesian and modestly describes herself as able to 'fake' Mandarin. She has an MA in Classical Chinese from Oxford, an MSc in Medical Demography from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and a PhD in Infectious Disease Epidemiology. She began her career as a foreign corres

On being Othello and Desdemona

Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory’s Othello opened in Bristol to a barrage of ecstatic reviews. A great deal has already been said about the production so, ahead of its arrival here at Wilton’s, we thought we would bring you a very personal account of what it’s like to get under the skin of one of Shakespeare’s most tragic couples, in conversation with Norah Lopez Holden and Abraham Popoola. Both Abraham and Norah graduated from RADA in 2016. How does it feel to play such iconic Shakespea

A Truly Revelatory Q&A with Boris & Sergey

It's not often that we get a glimpse into the lives, minds and sordid living conditions of a duo such as Balkan Bad Boys, Boris & Sergey. When we do, we feel it is our duty to reveal their secrets to you in a candid Q&A. You may feel the need to wash your hands after reading this. Sergey: We have been brothers all of our lives, though it certainly feels like much longer. I'm clearly being punished for something I did in a past life. In terms of our working relationship, I tend to be the hel

How to revive a classic without sacrificing your cynicism

It’s more than 50 years since the last major London production of Frank Loesser’s, his second greatest achievement after.  Now, the creative team behindat Southwark Playhouse andat the King’s Head are in rehearsal, bringing this Broadway classic to Wilton’s in a stylish revival that is bursting with life, energy and very contemporary, cynical humour. Director, Benji Sperring, is relishing the opportunity to apply his signature style to such an iconic work from the era of big-band musicals

The truth and magic in storytelling

Undermined was conceived when Danny Mellor was required to write, direct and star in a piece as a final showcase for his MA at the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama. As the grandson of a South Yorkshire miner, with the 30th anniversary of the end of the miners’ strike looming, he saw the opportunity to create a show about a subject close to his heart. There’s nothing quite so compelling, thought-provoking or entertaining as storytelling at its best. So Danny becomes Dale, down th

Welcome to International Women's Day

Today we are marking International Women’s Day with stories of some of the extraordinary women who feature in a series of events during our coming season.  We are very proud to be presenting diverse shows both by and about very special women and we invite you to join us in celebrating these exceptional lives and works. Not only did Sabina Spielrein excel in her field, she overcame massive obstacles as a woman working in a male profession and a Jewish woman during a period of extreme anti

What it is to be Human

We all know the story of, don’t we? At least, we think we do, even though many of us have never actually read it. We’ve probably seen plenty of film adaptations and we can all conjure up the image of Boris Karloff lumbering around in an ill-fitting suit with bolts through his neck. Which is not a million miles from where writerand directorwere coming from when they threw all that out of the window and each burrowed into Mary Shelley’s often rambling, sub-plot-ridden novel to unearth what really

The incredible true story of Tarrare The Freak - Part Two

Following on from Part One , which told the story of the man himself, we take a look at the fascinating research and development process behind Wattle & Daub's Wattle & Daub writer and puppeteer, Tobi Poster, claims he found Tarrare’s story down the back of the internet as he wandered, lost in Wikipedia. Understandably, his first thought was 'How come no-one has ever turned this into a puppet opera?' Haunted by the idea that Tarrare died believing he’d been killed by the golden fork that Baron

The incredible true story of Tarrare The Freak - Part One

“Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't.” So, it is claimed, said Mark Twain. He need have looked no further than the story of an 18th century Frenchman known as Tarrare for the perfect illustration of his adage. The details of this man's short but extraordinary life scarcely seem possible. As we're inclined to say today, you just couldn't make it up. From 30th January to 18th February, one of the country's most talent

Christmas is coming!

It may still be hot and steamy out there but the nights are drawing in, the leaves are beginning to fall and our thoughts are turning to... PANTO! After an industrious week of costume fitting, we had a day of hectic fun yesterday with our official pantomime photo shoot.We're thanking the Panto Fairy for blessing us with the same ace team who kitted out last year's cast - Tony Priestly and Paula Patterson. Having worked together, on and off, for around thirty years, our dynamic duo have dresse

An Audience with Miss Hope Springs

The crackle of sequins, the rustle of chiffon and the heady aroma of eyelash adhesive - yes, we're cock-a-hoop to  welcome the legendary Miss Hope Springs onto our premises. Ahead of her glittering three-night reign over our historic auditorium next week, we were honoured to be granted a bijou chat-ette with this one-in-a-million glamour puss. I have just gotten back from an exhausting 132 date coast-to-coast tour of the USA with my husband Irving (and his close friend Carlos who travels with u

Introducing Aimi Macdonald

Although, for many, she needs no introduction and will always be known as 'The Lovely Aimi Macdonald'. After being spotted by David Frost, Aimi joined the team on the iconic television sketch show, At Last, the 1948 Show, where she starred alongside John Cleese, Marty Feldman, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Graham Chapman. She was always introduced as 'The Lovely Aimi Macdonald' and the moniker stuck. Having begun her career as a dancer in Paris and Las Vegas, Aimi found herself catapulted to fame in 19

A Load of Balls

Alive and kicking is a shining example of how the simplest of ideas and enterprises can generate a chain of far-reaching benefits to change the lives of many. It all starts with hand-stitched footballs. The genius of it is that making them keeps 140 people in Nairobi, Lusaka and Accra, many of whom have never had a real job before, in full-time work. Those people support an average of six people with their wage, meaning the charity directly supports a community of over 800.It doesn't stop there.

A chat with Hackney Colliery Band's Steve Pretty

Hackney colliery Band are making their Wilton’s debut, although they have been known to take up their instruments here more than once already, as frontman, trumpet and melodica player, Steve Pretty, explained. “We have played here privately at three weddings so we know what a special venue this is and the acoustic is perfect for our sound. We’ll also be filming and recording the shows for a live album so this feels like the high spot of our tour”. The band was formed in 2008, born of ‘a desire

'Helping dancers stand on their own two feet'

Which is how the Guardian described our 2014 pilot of Wilton's Strike! Dance Festival. The Guardian also characterised the Festival as 'making a space for risk and play' and these are just two of the aims of our Second Wilton's Strike! Dance Festival in May. , aged 20 and never having been coached in the role. At 21 she became the Royal Ballet’s youngest Principal Dancer. She has performed every classical role and danced as Principal and Guest Artist with leading companies the world over. She