Jennifer Marsden, the creator of Knights of the Rose, is a qualified barrister, yet she has always been interested in theatre. She began writing Knights of the Rose over eight years ago. Here she shares her love for poetry, verse, rock music and, most of all, theatre.
French pianist, Jean-Paul Gasparian studied at the Paris Conservatoire before finishing his performance diploma at the Royal College of Music in London. When he was 18, he participated in the Verbier Academy, and ever since he has performed with orchestras across Europe including France, Serbia, Montenegro, and Germany. In August 2017, he made his solo recital debut and released a debut album featuring Rachmaninoff Etudes, Scriabin, and Prokofiev. Here, Gasparian discusses his relationship with the ‘Russian School’ and the ‘French tradition’ of classical music, and the key influences behind his new album.
Artistic Director of Boundless, Rob Drummer, reimagines Judy Upton’s play, Confidence and sets it in 2018, focusing on the legacy of youth culture in the 90s. With the production now showing at the Southwark Playhouse, Rob discusses Boundless Theatre’s aims to encourage more younger people to see and participate in theatre, and shares advice in succeeding in the theatre industry by ‘looking outside’ for ‘creative nourishment’.
Helena Jackson is the Artistic Director at Sleepless Theatre Company, an inclusive company that has committed to always having at least 50% of its performers and creatives identify as D/deaf, disabled or neurodiverse and that is currently developing its interaction with access technologies for audiences. At the moment Sleepless Theatre have programmed with Alex Wood’s debut play, Nine Foot Nine at the Bunker Theatre as part of their Breaking Out season in June before heading up to Assembly for the entirety of the Edinburgh Fringe. Helena shares with us the inspiration behind Nine Foot Nine, a sci-fi feminist piece shortlisted for the 2018 LET Award as well as having a showcase at the Royal Court earlier this year, the current climate of inclusive and accessible theatre, and reminds people that disability is an important part of intersectional feminism.
Molly Chesworth is currently at the Vaults Theatre performing the role of Josie in Teddy. Directed by Eleanor Rhode, written by Tristan Bernays with music by Dougal Irvine, the musical play teleports audiences back into 1950s London where the Teddy culture began. With original songs and performances, Teddy brings to life the post-war energy and celebrates the era with a post-show live-gig. I got to speak to Molly about her journey on Teddy‘s UK tour: how she manages to keep up with the fast-pace demands of her role and how special it is to perform in front of originals Teds. (Read my four-star review of the show here.)
London-based composer and violinist Layale Chaker will be performing Inner Rhyme at St Marylebone Church with the Sarafand Ensemble. Here, Layale shares with us: what inspired her to compose Inner Rhyme, how her rich Lebanese heritage influenced her musical style, and her professional experience performing as member of the West-Divan Orchestra.
Twang!! The Musical, originally written by Lionel Bart and Harvey Orkin in 1965 is now showing at the Union Theatre. An adapted version has been rewritten by Julian Woolford and Richard John (my review here.) Its director, Bryan Hodgson, shares his intrigue in Robin Hood and his Merry Men, and the production’s journey so far in the all-singing and all-dancing Sherwood Forest.