What a difference a name makes. Earlier this year the Tricycle theatre in north London announced that it would be rebranding itself as the Kiln when it opened after redevelopment. There were petitions calling for the theatre to revert to its former title; placard-wielding protesters gathered on the street to demonstrate against the artistic director, Indhu Rubasingham. A letter to the Guardian decried the change as throwing away “a valuable legacy and history”. Twisting the knife, two of the theatre’s former heads, Nicolas Kent and Ken Chubb, signed it. Even by the self-dramatising standards of British theatre, the controversy seems somewhat mystifying. There’s barely a theatre in the country that hasn’t changed its name at some point. No one was proposing the Tricycle – or Kiln – be closed down, and indeed after a £5.5m makeover it looks better than ever. This isn’t even the first time the theatre has taken on a new identity: it … [Read more...] about ‘Don’t spit on the deck!’ Arts bosses on how to hand over power
The man who has presided over the Royal Court's most dazzling period for many years is leaving to go freelance. Dominic Cooke, 45, whose productions of Enron and Jerusalem transferred from the small Sloane Square venue to the West End and then Broadway, will step down as artistic director in 2013. The venue's executive director Kate Horton is also departing to become deputy executive director of the National Theatre. Cooke was appointed artistic director in 2006, having spent eight years as associate director of the Royal Court and the RSC. Under his directorship, the Royal Court has won an unrivalled reputation as the home of provocative new drama, innovatively staged. Laura Wade's Posh, timed to coincide with the May 2010 election, dissected the decadence and sense of entitlement of the Bullingdon Club. Bruce Norris's Clybourne Park, first staged in New York, shocked and delighted audiences by teasing out the racial tensions behind urban gentrification. And Cooke brought to London … [Read more...] about Dominic Cooke’s reign at the Royal Court theatre is over
I never planned to write a play about Hong Kong, the place of my birth, nor China, the place of my father’s birth. My father was a pro-democracy politician, journalist and historian; my gradual uncovering of his work has since seeped into my own practice as a theatre-maker. Since 1997, Beijing has gradually tightened its grip on Hong Kong’s semi-autonomy. Following the umbrella revolution in 2014, the Chinese Communist party (CCP) swiftly accelerated its encroachment on civil liberties and freedom of speech. Journalists have bravely challenged China’s rise to global power off the back of millions who are persecuted and oppressed on a daily basis. Over little more than half a decade, western governments have kowtowed in droves to a state that punishes those who express opposing views. The UK has allowed China to build instrumental technological infrastructure and to own shares in its nuclear power, the public water supply and rail services. China, which, among a long … [Read more...] about Hong Kong reporters inspired The Life and Death of a Journalist
FRANK LAMPARD is looking for his Chelsea side to book their place in the Champions League knockout stages. After a topsy-turvy time in Group H, everything comes down to the final Gameweek as the Blues welcome Ligue 1 side Lille to Stamford Bridge. How can Chelsea qualify for the knockout stages? LILLE are unable to qualify and are the only side in Group H without a hope of reaching the next stage. Ajax could yet fail to make it through if they're beaten by Valencia and Chelsea beat Lille, whilst the Spanish side go into this crucial final week level on points with their Premier League counterparts. Lampard's side and the La Liga giants are locked on 8 points, fighting it out for one of two qualifying spots. If Chelsea better Valencia's result against Ajax, they will go through ahead of the Spanish outfit.Should the pair both draw, it will be Valencia who go through courtesy of their better head-to-head record. They beat the Blues 1-0 at the Bridge earlier in the campaign, whilst the … [Read more...] about How can Chelsea qualify for knockout stages of Champions League against Lille?
A London theatre which refused to host the UK Jewish Film Festival (UKJFF) while it is sponsored by the Israeli embassy, amid the Gaza crisis, has now dropped its objection. The Tricycle Theatre's change of mind follows lengthy discussion between both sides, but is too late for this year's festival as alternative venues have been arranged. The Tricycle had been due to screen 26 films as part of the November event. It has hosted the festival for the last eight years. But organisers were forced to seek new venues earlier this month after the theatre said the festival should "not accept funding from any party to the current conflict". The festival receives a £1,400 grant from the Israeli embassy. The theatre had offered to replace that funding with money from its own resources, but the UKJFF said the Tricycle's demands were unacceptable. The row stirred debate around the UK. A protest had been staged outside the theatre with demonstrators complaining the Tricycle was … [Read more...] about Tricycle Theatre does U-turn and lifts ban on Jewish film festival