Over 1,000 young people attend TheatreCraft 2014

Vicky Featherstone with TheatreCraft volunteers (Credit: Helen Murray)

Vicky Featherstone with TheatreCraft volunteers (Credit: Helen Murray)

Teaching Drama visited TheatreCraft, the backstage theatre careers fair, on 17 October. The one-day event, aimed at young people aged 16-25, had more than 1,000 visitors in attendance at the Royal Opera House.

The event was opened with a speech from the Royal Court’s artistic director Vicky Featherstone. She said it was ‘such an honour’ to address the visitors to TheatreCraft. She described it as ‘an amazing moment’ that young people had gathered to pursue and research careers in backstage theatre.

Featherstone said in her opening speech: ‘I truly believe theatre in its wider sense has something in it for absolutely everyone and TheatreCraft will allow you to explore this. There are so many possibilities. Today is an amazing opportunity to come together and learn about your future. Theatre is all about people and their shared experiences. British theatre needs you.’

The day itself offered participants the chance to take part in over 70 workshops on offer in everything from theatre marketing to wig making. Over 50 exhibitors were on hand to talk to in the marketplace, highlighting education and industry opportunities throughout the country in the backstage sector. There were also 39 industry experts available for one-to-one advice sessions.

If you missed out on this year’s event, keep up to date with developments for 2015’s TheatreCraft on their website, www.theatrecraft.org.

Opera and ballet performances added to Digital Theatre Plus

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The Royal Opera House’s La Traviata (Credit: Catherine Ashmore)

Digital Theatre Plus, the online arts education resource featuring full-length films of captured live productions as well as behind the scenes interviews and study guides, has released a new series of opera and ballet performances.

Six-full length Royal Opera House productions are now available to view: Le nozze di Figaro, La bohème, Eugene Onegin, La traviata, Hänsel und Gretel and Dido and Aeneas.

Fiona Lindsay, creative producer of Digital Theatre Plus said: ‘This is a very exciting time as we expand the variety of educational performing arts content available within the resource. Geographical location and economic status should not be a barrier to experiencing excellent arts education, and it’s fantastic that productions from the Royal Opera House will be seen in classrooms around the world’.

There are also productions of The Sleeping Beauty, Sylvia and Swan Lake available to watch from The Royal Ballet, as well as Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along from director Maria Friedman and Into the Woods at Regent’s Open Air Theatre.

Alastair Roberts, managing director of Royal Opera House Enterprises, said: ‘Providing acclaimed productions alongside an education platform is not only a great way to learn but also showcases the breadth of opportunity within the arts world with behind the scenes access.’

www.digitaltheatreplus.com

Book of Mormon wins big at 2014 Olivier Awards

Book of Mormon: big winner of the Olivier Awards 2014

Book of Mormon: big winner of the Olivier Awards 2014 (Image credit: Johan Persson)

It was a night of twists and turns at the Olivier Awards on 13 April, as the predicted big winners came away with smaller prizes and the underdogs prospered at the ceremony at London’s Royal Opera House.

Book of Mormon from South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone came away with four prizes, including the coveted best new musical title. They were awarded with best theatre choreographer for Casey Nicholaw, best actor in a musical for Gavin Creel, and best performance in a supporting role in a musical for Stephen Ashfield. Lucy Kirkwood’s Chimerica also had similar success, collecting three awards for best new play, best director for Lyndsey Turner and best set design, as well as sharing two other prizes.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – which looked to follow in the footsteps of Matilda, leading this year with seven nominations –came away with two smaller nods at this year’s awards: best costume design and best lighting design, which the production shared with Chimerica. Fellow nominee leader for the 2014 awards Merrily We Roll Along also came away with just two prizes for best sound design, shared with Chimerica, and best musical revival.

In the acting categories, the best actress title went to Lesley Manville, and best actor in a supporting role was awarded to Jack Lowden, both for Ghosts; Rory Kinnear won best actor for his turn as Iago in the National Theatre’s production of Othello; best actress in a musical went to Once’s Zrinka Cvitešić; and best actress in a supporting role was awarded to Sharon D Clarke for the National’s The Amen Corner.

For the full list of winners and for highlights of the 2014 ceremony, visit www.olivierawards.com.

Nominations for Olivier Awards 2013 revealed

The National Theatre's Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time receives eight nominations (Credit: Manuel Harlan)

The National Theatre’s Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time receives eight nominations (Credit: Manuel Harlan)

The nominations for the Olivier Awards 2013 have been announced, with the National Theatre’s A Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time leading with eight nominations.

The adaptation of Mark Haddon’s novel has received nominations for best theatre choreographer, best set, sound and lighting design, best director for Marianne Elliott, best supporting actress for Nicola Walker, best actor for lead Luke Treadaway and best new play.

Musical Top Hat was another popular choice for this year’s awards receiving seven nominations, including best actor and best actress in a musical nods for Tom Chambers and Summer Strallen.

High profile actors from the big and small screen featured heavily: in the best actress category Helen Mirren has been nominated for her role as Queen Elizabeth II in The Audience, Kristin Scott Thomas for her role in Old Times and Billie Piper for her part in Lucy Prebble’s The Effect. The nominees for best actor include Rupert Everett for The Judas Kiss, Mark Rylance for his turn as Olivia in Twelfth Night and James McAvoy in the Trafalgar Studio’s production of Macbeth.

The awards ceremony will take place on 28 April at the Royal Opera House.

For the full list of nominations, visit www.olivierawards.com/nominations