Drama Online to add filmed theatre productions to its resource collection


Stage On Screen’s filmed production of The Duchess of Malfi will be available to watch via Drama Online from October

Drama Online, a subscription study resource available to schools, colleges and higher education institutions, is expanding its resource offering this autumn with video content. Partnerships with organisations such Shakespeare’s Globe and Stage On Screen will see more than 60 hours of material added to the site.

Drama Online’s partnership with Shakespeare’s Globe will add 21 productions to its collection, with further shows to be added. Shakespeare’s Globe’s artistic director, Dominic Dromgoole, says: ‘In Drama Online, Bloomsbury and Faber & Faber have created a fantastic portal for students, and we’re delighted that Globe productions will be some of the first video content on offer there.’

Stage On Screen will be contributing high-definition filmed productions from Greenwich Theatre of The Duchess of Malfi, Doctor Faustus, School for Scandal, and Volpone; and Manchester Royal Exchange’s Hamlet starring Maxine Peake will also feature among the new content.

As well as the filmed productions, Drama Online will be adding a six-hour Shakespeare acting masterclass with Guildhall School of Music and Drama’s head of voice Patsy Rodenburg, featuring movement, speech, body and warm-up exercises.

The new video content will be available for trial in October; for more information, visit www.dramaonlinelibrary.com.

Old Vic helps to make theatre affordable to younger generations

The Old Vic has entered into a new partnership to continue its scheme to offer subsidised tickets to the under-25s.

Accountancy firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), has signed a year-long sponsorship deal with the Old Vic. The PwC club will provide 100 tickets at £12 for each performance this year. The scheme was initially launched in 2004 by Old Vic’s artistic director of eight years, Kevin Spacey.

Spacey spoke of his concerns for the future of theatre audiences: ‘As the generation that is going passes on, the question is who is going to replace them? If we don’t reach out to make theatre affordable to the young generation we will lose them all. It is so short-sighted not to think about your future audiences. In this climate we need more than ever for companies to step up and support initiatives that make theatre accessible, especially to young people. Exposure to the arts and culture is enormously valuable.’

The subsidised tickets for under-25s were first launched by the Old Vic with no corporate sponsor, with the theatre making a loss on the project to ensure better diversity among its audiences.  Spacey then secured Aditya Mittal, ranked the fifth richest man in 2010, to sponsor the subsidised tickets. Aditya Mittal tickets were available to the under-25s for just £12.

Chairmen of PwC, Ian Powell said that the new partnership would help to, ‘open up a whole new world to people, and we think the PwC under-25s club will help bring theatre to an even wider audience.’

The scheme begins with the opening of the Old Vic’s production of The Duchess of Malfi this weekend. For more information about the PwC club visit:  www.oldvictheatre.com/under-25

The Greenwich Playhouse to close in April

April 2012 will see The Greenwich Playhouse bring the final curtain down after more than 20 years of theatre performances.

The theatre, which opened in 1989, is set to close as the lease has not been renewed by the landlord. The buildings’ owners, Beds and Bars, have chosen to part ways with The Greenwich Playhouse  so to take advantage of the influx of tourists to the capital for this summers’ Olympic games.

The Greenwich Playhouse’s artistic director, Alice de Sousa, said: ‘It is regrettable that the theatre’s landlord who have benefitted for eleven years from generous revenue generated by the theatre’s substantial trade, should have their sights focused on such short term objectives as the Olympics.’

A spokesman for Bed and Bars said: ‘This lease has always had an end date of April 2012. We took the decision last year that we wanted to operate the space ourselves and be in control of what we owned.’

The close will also affect Galleon Theatre Company, who have been in residence at the Greenwich venue since 1995. The Greenwich Playhouse and Galleon theatre company are currently in discussions with the local council to find a new venue for their work which brings 15,000 visitors each year to Greenwich.

Alice de Sousa said: ‘The Greenwich Playhouse and Galleon Theatre Company have over two decades made an immeasurable contribution to our capital’s cultural infrastructure. The Greenwich Playhouse is one of London’s most established small scale theatres. The work shown at this critically acclaimed venue draws annually from all over the world and the immediate community many, many thousands of people. It has staged hundreds of high quality theatre productions which have entertained and created work for hundreds of thousands of people.’

The final production to be performed at The Greenwich Playhouse will be Galleon theatre company’s production of The Duchess of Malfi. 

For information on performance dates and tickets visit: www.galleontheatre.co.uk
For information about the venue and its history visit: www.galleontheatre.co.uk/greenwich_playhouse.shtml