Take children to London shows for free this August with Kids Week

Bodyguard workshop 2013 (photo credit Pamela Raith)

A workshop from The Bodyguard last summer (Credit: Pamela Raith)

The Society of London Theatre’s Kids Week returns this summer. The initiative offers free tickets to young people under the age of 16 to over 35 shows in London. Kids Week takes place throughout August (1–31) and is available to young people who are accompanied by a full-paying adult.

Shows on offer for those aged three to five and above are The Elephantom, The Tiger Who Came to Tea, What The Ladybird Heard, The 39 Steps, Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, The Lion King, Hetty Feather, Horrible Histories – Barmy Britain Part 2, MAMMA MIA!, Matilda The Musical, The Pajama Game, Stomp, Thriller Live, Top Hat, Wicked and many others.

For slightly older audiences, there’s also plenty of London favourites, from shows for those needing parental guidance through to audiences of young people aged 15+: Billy Elliot The Musical, The Bodyguard, The Commitments, The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time, The Importance Of Being Earnest, Jeeves And Wooster In Perfect Nonsense, The Mousetrap, Shakespeare In Love, War Horse,The Woman In Black, Avenue Q, Ghost Stories,Jersey Boys, Let The Right One In and Once.

The month-long scheme also offers a vast selection of free activities and events for young people to participate in: fans of The Elephantom can make their own Elephantom at a practical craft-based workshop; talk to the cast and creative team of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory at a post-show Q&A session; learn more about the theatre of Shakespeare’s era in a workshop with Shakespeare In Love‘s associate director; and discover how The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time translated from page to stage.   

All tickets, on sale now, for Kids Week shows and activities are subject to availability. For information on how to book tickets for shows and workshops, as well as more information about all the offerings this August, visit www.kidsweek.co.uk.

Theatre awards voted for by young people return for third year

Second annual awards - "The Mousetraps" at Soho TheatreOn 9 March ‘The Mousetraps’ – the theatre awards voted for by theatregoers aged from 15 to 23 – return for their third year. The awards, which will take place at Soho Theatre, are presented by Mousetrap Theatre Projects Youth Forum, and are supported by The Society of London Theatre through funding from the Theatre Development Trust.

At last year’s ceremony, playwright Simon Stephens described The Mousetraps as ‘the most enjoyable awards ceremony I have ever been to’.

The categories for this year’s awards include:

The Show That You Are Still Talking About
Best Play
The Musical That Blew My Mind
Best Performer
Best Set/Design
Best Family Show
Inspiring Young Performer
Best Ensemble
Best Off West End Production
The Show That You Would Sell Your Soul to Be In

As well as the prizes for the above categories being awarded at The Mousetraps, the ceremony will also include performances from up-and-coming young talent, including Spoken Word artist Omar Bynon, The Wrong People, Emily Burns, Elinor Machen – Fortune and Scallywags.

Look out for results for the 2014 Mousetraps in the news pages of TD summer 1.

Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Stephen Ward the musical to close in early

The curtain is to fall on Andrew Lloyd Webber’s latest show Stephen Ward, a musical interpretation of the Profumo scandal, after less than four months following disappointing ticket sales. The musical, which cost £2.5m to stage, opened at the Aldwych Theatre on 19 December.

Untitled jStephen Ward producer Robert Fox said in a statement: ‘I am very sad to see the show close in London but firmly believe this piece will be seen by many audiences in the future.’

In response to the criticism the show had received, Lloyd Webber said in a letter to The Telegraph: ‘The difference between success and failure in musical theatre is a horrifyingly fine line. However, I believe that if you choose a subject purely because it appears commercial, catastrophe looms’.

According to statistics from The Society of London Theatre, out of the 24 longest-running shows on London’s West End, five are Andrew Lloyd Webber productions (Details correct as of November 2013: The Phantom of the Opera, Cats, Starlight Express, Jesus Christ Superstar, Evita).

Stephen Ward runs at the Aldwych Theatre until 29 March www.stephenwardthemusical.com

Olivier awards search for general public judge

The judges of the Olivier awards will be accompanied by a new addition in 2013. Joining the three professionals on the panel, will be a member of the public.

The Society of London Theatre and The Radio Times are looking for a member of the general public to judge either the main theatre awards, the affliliate awards for smaller scale theatres, or the awards for Opera or Dance.

To apply, entrants must list the plays they have seen in 2011 and write a 150 words review of a production. The deadline for applicants is Tuesday 10 January 2012. Those who are successful will be invited to an interview in Covent Garden in January.

The lucky winner will have to attend all productions which are eligible for the category they will be judging – a mammoth year long task that begins in February 2012. The judge and a guest will also be invited to the awards ceremony in London.

To apply for your chance to be a judge visit www.olivierawards.com/about/panellists