Theatre figures recognised in 2015 New Year honours list

Kristin Scott Thomas, pictured Electra (Credit: Johan Persson)

The 2015 New Year honours list has recognised a range of individuals holding performing, artistic and administrative roles in the theatre and stage sector.

Actress Kristin Scott Thomas, who starred in The Old Vic’s Electra last year, has been made a dame for her services to drama. Stage and screen actors Sheridan Smith and James Corden have both been awarded OBEs. Actress and writer Meera Syal, most recently seen performing in the National Theatre’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers, has been awarded a CBE for services to drama and literature.

Paul Kerryson (Credit: Paul Adams)

Leicester Theatre Trust’s Paul Kerryson (Credit: Paul Adams)

Artistic director of Leicester Theatre Trust Paul Kerryson, also outgoing artistic director of Leicester’s Curve, has been awarded an MBE for his services to theatre in Leicester. Also being honoured with an MBE is Graeme Phillips, Liverpool’s Unity Theatre artistic director who is stepping down from the role after more than three decades; he is being recognised for his services to the arts in Liverpool. Founder and artistic director of Northern Broadsides Barrie Rutter has also been awarded for his services to drama with an OBE.

P11_ES_DEVLIN_INTELLIGENT_LIFE_473_V2Retreat_1 David Ellis

Stage designer Es Devlin (Credit: David Ellis)

Design talents of the theatre world have also been acknowledged in this year’s honours: stage designer Es Devlin – whose recent work includes I Can’t Sing! at the Palladium, American Psycho at the Almeida Theatre and the 2014 Olivier Award-winning Chimerica – has been presented with an OBE for services to stage and set design; and the Royal Shakespeare Company’s associate designer Tom Piper has been awarded an MBE for services to theatre, and as well as for services to First World War commemorations, for his part in the poppies installation at the Tower of London.

————————

Subscribe to Teaching Drama as a print or digital edition now for more news, features and information. Single issues are also available in print and digital from just £2.49.

VAULT Festival announces ‘mini’ festival for under 11s

!IMG_8569

Pirates of the Carabina will perform extracts of their show Flown as part of the inaugural Mini VAULT (Credit: Cryingoutloud.org)

This year’s VAULT Festival – opening on 28 January for six weeks of performances, events and workshops at Leake Street’s tunnels in London Waterloo – will include an inaugural Mini VAULT festival for under 11s, with three weekends of underground shows, events and free activities for families.

Highlights of Mini VAULT will include Comedy Club 4 Kids, in which stand-up comedians and sketch artists perform their work for children aged six and above and their families; British and international circus performers Pirates of the Carabina performing excerpts of their show Flown; all-female performance company Figs in Wigs bring their performance Show Off, showcasing their mix of theatre, comedy and dance for children aged eight+; and Greenlight Theatre will present their interactive children’s show for ages three and up, Albee Vector the Sound Collector. As well as performances, Mini VAULT will also run a range of workshops.

Show Off Christa Holka Low Res

All-female performance group Figs with Wigs bring Show Off to 2015’s Mini VAULT (Credit: Christa Holka)

The main VAULT Festival programme has plenty to offer adult attendees. IdeasTap will host a selection of their free spa sessions each Saturday of the festival. The first sessions taking place on 31 January will be ‘A Beginners Guide to Writing For The Stage’ and ‘How To Take A Show To Edinburgh’; on 7 February, Snapdragon Productions will offer their advice on ‘Setting Up a Theatre Company’, and the Rhum and Clay Theatre Company will run sessions on ‘Creating Theatre Without Words’ (28 February) and ‘An Introduction to Le Coq’ (21 February). All of the IdeasTap sessions are free, but booking is required as spaces are limited.

VAULT has a range of workshops on offer for 2015’s festival, including live performance arts and entertainment company Artful Badger’s session on ‘wall-running’,  Scaffold State Theatre Company’s guide to  adapting an ancient drama into a modern text in 30 minutes, and a workshop in improvising and devising for performance led by Needless Alley Collective.

Also taking place throughout the festival will be discussions as part of ‘VAULT Panels: Join the debate’. On 8 February, ‘The Big Arts Debate’ will take place, looking at ‘Cultural policy and the future for UK theatre and the arts’. Other highlights in the Panels programme include ‘Elephant in the room: What is the social responsibility of The Arts?’ (20 February) and ‘The Female Force Forum: The Future for Women in Theatre’ (7 March). The Panels discussions are free to attend, but require booking.

VAULT Festival runs from 28 January to 8 March; Mini VAULT runs on the weekends of 7–8 February, 21–22 February and 7–8 March. For more details, visit www.vaultfestival.com.

————————

Subscribe to Teaching Drama as a print or digital edition now for more news, features and information. Single issues are also available in print and digital from just £2.49.

Richard Attenborough dies aged 90

RichardAttenborough07TIFF

Actor and director Richard Attenborough has died at the age of 90. Born in Cambridge in 1923, Attenborough began acting aged 12 and made his professional stage debut aged 18. The RADA graduate was one of the original cast members of The Mousetrap at the Ambassadors in 1952. He also starred in stage productions of The Little Foxes at the Piccadilly Theatre, Arthur Laurents’ The Way Back and 1952 comedy Sweet Madness.

Attenborough was a respected screen actor, appearing in more than 70 films with a breakthrough role as Pinkie in 1947’s Brighton Rock, a role he had previously performed on stage at The Garrick Theatre, and starring in other cinematic milestones such as The Great Escape, Doctor Dolittle and Jurassic Park. Behind the camera, Attenborough became an award-winning director, with his film Gandhi winning eight Oscars in 1982.

Attenborough was appointed a CBE in 1967 and knighted in 1976, being made a life peer in 1993.

He is survived by his wife, Sheila Sim, whom he married in 1945, his daughter, Charlotte, and his son, Michael, theatre director and former artistic director of the Almeida Theatre.