It would be unfair to review Lipstick: A fairy tale in Modern Iran, after all, it is a scratch performance based on the experiences of Sarah Chew and her visit to Tehran during the Green Uprising in 2009. At the Omnibus Theatre, people got to see a theatrical work in its development stages. With script in hand, Laura Dos Santos read Sarah Chew’s words and reenacted a heavy and serious topic, which was up for discussion later on in the evening. Mark, bravely performed by Nathan Kiley, added cabaret and drag aesthetic to the episodic work. Together they ruled over my attention for the evening, and I was genuinely locked in and engaged.
Opera wouldn’t be influential if it wasn’t for the role of the ‘diva’ (Italian for ‘goddess’) or ‘prima donna’. Its voices, the magnificent sopranos, tender contraltos, and mellifluous mezzo-sopranos are huge driving forces that foster our love for opera.
Opera is the one of the few artistic genres that elevates the status of women. Since the time of Handel and Mozart, opera’s trouser-roles have also played an influential part. They were specifically made for women to cross-dress as men, manly fighters and despairing boy-like lovers.
To celebrate Women’s Day, I want to share my favourite women in opera from voice to characterisation.
The news just came in. Alexandra Burke and Elaine Paige were hosing this year’s nominations this afternoon while it was announced that Catherine Tate will host the 42nd annual awards on 8th April at the Royal Albert Hall.
I’m pleased that a large majority of the shows, which have been nominated, are shows I’ve already seen and are on my to-do list already. However, there are other shows (plays, operas, musicals, comedies) which I put on the sideline that I’m now reconsidering having read the nomination list. If the Laurence Olivier judges are nominating them, it must mean something, right?
Do you like contemporary dance? How about an adaptation of a classic ballet revamped to the 21st century with a brand new score and an entirely different dance choreography? Would that be of interest to you? Then say no more. Akram Kham has provided the solution with his collaborative work with the English National Ballet’s (ENB) artistic director Tamara Rojo.
I’m reading this again and again, and I’m unsure what the fuss is all about. Having read through both Matt Trueman (read here) and Mark Shenton’s posts (read here) on ‘Stunt Casting’, I feel a deep urge to say something.
The news is that a Youtuber / famous vlogger has been cast in the play Confidence at the Southwark Playhouse. To Shenton it begs the question, ‘if anyone with a big Instagram and Twitter following can be thrown into the lead of a play, what’s the point of real actors learning and honing their craft?’ Fair enough, I can see where he’s coming from, but, now, I have to ask, is there a particular reason why the director Rob Drummer picked the vlogger to perform the lead role in the first place? Trueman notes it is to fill seats by those aged 15 to 25 who are more likely to be looking at Snapchat than checking out what’s going on in the theatre world. ‘It holds the key to theatre’s future.’
Within the last two weeks 2018 has come into full swing. There’s been so many news bulletins from the opera, theatre and the classical music world that I’ve decided to break down the theatre news into one blog post and bring you opera and classical music news tomorrow in another post. Enjoy!
(Word count: 678)
(Reading time : 2 minutes)
The number of likes and followers you make on social media may make you seem popular, but does that really mean you’re getting genuine likes and authentic followers? I had a eureka moment this morning when I managed to find a couple of unfollow apps. I learnt a few insightful things about my Twitter and Instagram followers.
I have been cultivating my Instagram (@nguyenuk11) account for a year now and have invested almost four years on my Twitter (@marygnguyen) account. As I cleaned through my ‘following’ lists, I realised that many of them:
a) don’t follow me,
b) are bots and are not managed by people,
c) hardly interact with me,
d) don’t spread content related to my interests, usually because they are spam, or
e) are redundant accounts, or were shut down by social media.
The hashtags #Metoo and #TimesUp originate from the rise of sexual allegations and harassment cases revealed within the wider theatre, film and entertainment industries since the latter part of 2018. After media outlets announced the sexual allegations claims made against Hollywood film producer Harvey Weinstein, more claims of sexual abuse, rape and harassment came out about other notable figures, including ex-artistic director of London’s Old Vic theatre and actor Kevin Spacey. He was accused of misconduct and inappropriate behaviour by 20 members of the Old Vic as artistic director from 2004-2015. Actor Anthony Rapp also accused Spacey of making sexual advances towards him when he was 14 years old.
The Stage’s Special Report on Harassment in Theatre was published on January 25th. Having read it I thought I’d share some sections, quotes and statistics from The Stage’s findings. (The actual report can be found here. You need to be a subscriber to read all seven pages of it online.)
Welcome! Here’s a roundup of news, posts, bits and pieces I’ve been sharing on Social Media from the second week of January. That includes Bridge Theatre’s PR email blunders, Devoted and Disgruntled’s 13th event, and lots of interviews and reviews.
TrendFem – My blog posts
I shared some of my thoughts of the opening night of #ROHTosca with Joseph Calleja, Gerald Finley and Adrianne Pieczonka. It’s the ninth revival of Jonathan Kent’s production. (Click here.)
Come and get a history lesson at the @gatetheatre with @NinaB0wers ‘s captivating performance #Twilight1992 (here) focusing on the riots of Los Angeles in 1992.
It was National Popcorn Day on Friday 19th, so I sent out a post I wrote in 2016 discussing the effects that cinema live screen events have had on converting new audiences to opera (here).
It was the opening night of David McVicar’s revival production of Salome with Malin Bystrom and Michael Volle. I wrote about their tremendous performance here.
ICYMI: For fans of @charlescourt & @KingsHeadThtr, they have a brilliantly fresh & hilarious production of #GilbertandSullivan #TheMikado, showing from tomorrow. Here's my interview with artistic director John Savournin to share some gossip about the show. trendfem.com/2018/03/q-a-jo…
My interview with @charlescourt artistic director John Savournin to discuss G & S #TheMikado @KingsHeadThtr showing from March 22, this wk. We talked about the inspiration behind the comic work & his optimistic outlook of the fringe & Off-West End operas. trendfem.com/2018/03/q-a-jo…