Artistic Update

Tickets for all shows in our Autumn Season are now on sale!

We’re thrilled with the audience reaction to The Merchant of Venice, which has received 2 FOUR STAR reviews including some lovely comments about the theatre : “Now, a word on the Tower Theatre. I cannot thank you enough for this production … A socially distanced auditorium, a lovely warm welcome in the foyer, a small but perfectly arranged theatre and a fantastic troupe of actors. This was exactly what I had been hoping for, longing for even, after such a dreadful passage of restrictions. Stoke Newington is a place of dramatic wonder.” We couldn’t put it better ourselves!

Looking ahead we have the darkly comic Three Birds by Janice Okoh opening on 6th October, which is also the first planned event celebrating Black History Month, which takes place during the month of October. More information on further events will follow soon. The next full production in the theatre after that is Kensuke’s Kingdom, a delightful family show based on Michael Morpurgo’s popular story, taking place during half term and including extra weekend matinées. With puppets! There’s also a relaxed performance at 11am on Sunday 31st October, which is perfect for anyone who benefits from being able to make a noise, leave and return to their seat or access the toilets during the performance. More information on the website. And if any of our Members and Friends are teachers, please get in touch so we can share our Kensuke plans with you and your school.

And we will be announcing the Spring and Summer seasons at the AGM on 1st October so make a note in your diary to come along and find out what’s next!

For our new promotional film showing the theatre in action, we’d like to film a general bar scene featuring Tower members and friends enjoying themselves at the bar. Something we’re all well-rehearsed in… This will take place on Friday October 1st, directly following the AGM; itwill only take a few minutes and of course you can opt out if you’d rather not be seen on camera.

Tell us what you thought!

We want to hear from everyone who participated in, contributed to or attended the Love [and Survival] in a Time of Covid festival to tell us what you thought. All feedback is valuable and helps us develop and improve our  initiatives in the further. Please fill in our feedback form here.

Rehearsal Artist

We’re all accustomed to having a photographer in the rehearsal room but what about an artist? Local artist Judith Symons will be capturing our autumn season rehearsals in digital paint. Here’s her expressive interpretation of Kensukes Kingdom in rehearsal.

Workshops

We’re planning an ongoing series of workshops and would like to know your ideas of what to offer. Or perhaps you can facilitate a workshop yourself? If you have any ideas, do get in touch.

It’s a Win

We’re absolutely thrilled for Emily Carmichael who recently won a British Theatre Challenge award for her script Each Fallen Robin which had its first outing on Virtual Tower last summer, directed by Ruth Sullivan. Sky Blue Theatre Company announced the win with the following words : “OUR FIRST WINNER, residing in London, England – Emily Carmichael with her gentle and sweet play Each Fallen Robin. Congratulations Emily!”. Hear hear!

Minack and Paris 2022

We are very excited to announce that our Summer 2022 show, touring to the Minack Theatre in Cornwall, will be Coram Boy by Helen Edmondson, directed by Simona Hughes.

A tale of love, friendship and betrayal, Helen Edmondson’s dramatisation of Jamila Gavin’s Whitbread Award-winning novel is an epic piece of story-telling set in 18th century England. Abandoned children, cruel fathers, passionate first love, human trafficking, child choirs and musical genius all feature…. and the composer Handel makes a guest appearance too! Think Charles Dickens crossed with Philip Pullman crossed with Amadeus!

The original 2005 National Theatre production was nominated for multiple awards including 4 Olivier awards, including one for Paul Ritter’s stand-out performance as the sinister Otis Gardener, the “Coram Man”.

Dates and details to follow soon!

We were hoping to announce our Paris Shakespeare show here as well but as there’s been a recent change of management at the theatre we’re holding off until we can confirm our plans. Suffice it to say we have a play! And a director!

Here’s a hint from our lovely new director Emma Miles : “Plans are afoot for our annual Paris tour – think music, food, love and the sound of the sea lapping against the shores of beautiful foreign lands – while we wait to confirm arrangements with the Jardin Shakespeare. More on this very soon!”

Call Out for Directors

With our Autumn Season under way we are seeking pitches from directors for remaining slots in Spring/Summer 2022 and beyond. Directors are invited to submit pitches for any show at any time. To help with the process, we have designed a new Directors Pitch submission form

We also have secured the rights for a number of plays hand-picked by the AD team for which we are seeking directors. If you would like to consider any these plays, or discuss an idea before submitting, please get in touch.

The Tower’s Annual General Meeting

The 2021 meeting is to be held on Friday October 1st.

The date for this year’s AGM has been set for Friday 1st October.  We’re pleased to say that we expect to be able to hold it in the theatre this time round, rather than on Zoom, so make a note of the date and plan to come along. There will be the usual reports, elections and awards plus plenty of time to catch up with Tower friends.

Continue reading The Tower’s Annual General Meeting

Autumn Season Announced!

The Artistic Team is pleased to announce plans for the Autumn

We’re thrilled to announce the first full season of our Artistic Directorship. Our aim is to welcome back productions that were postponed due to the pandemic as well as offering opportunities for other actors and creatives.

Continue reading Autumn Season Announced!

Covid Closure – Subscription Extension

17th March 2021 was the one year anniversary of the day we closed our building due to Covid.

To thank all Friends and Members who have continued to support us throughout this difficult period, everyone who has renewed their subscription between 17th March 2020 and 17th March 2021 will automatically receive a free full year extension.

Two years for the price of one!

For example, if your membership would normally expire in July 2021 it will be extended for free until July 2022.

Due to Covid restrictions, we have been unable to provide our usual range of services to Members and Friends. Last year the Management Committee decided to extend subscriptions (Members and Friends) automatically after lock-down for those who continued to support us.

Here are a couple of examples of how the scheme works:

  • If you paid your annual subscription just after lock down started on 20th March 2020, your expiry date will be 20th March 2022 instead of 20th March 2021 – giving you a free years membership.
  • If you paid your annual subscription just before lockdown started on 15th March 2020 you would have been due to renew on 15th March 2021. If you did renew on 15th March 2021, your membership expiry data was automatically extended from 15th March 2022 to 15th March 2023 – again giving you a free years membership.

This mechanism ensures all members and friends will be treated in exactly the same way and everyone will receive one whole year free subscription irrespective of the point in the year at which they pay their subscriptions.

We are grateful for all the support we have received and if anyone wishes to pay as usual between 17th March 2021 and 17th March 2022, we will gratefully receive the subscription as a donation.

New Artistic Direction Team appointed

Martin Mulgrew steps down

After seven years on the Artistic Team, including four as Artistic Director, Martin Mulgrew has stepped down from the post.

Rather than having a single Artistic Director, as in the past, the Management Committee has appointed a team of three to take over from Martin. This comprises Ruth Sullivan, Simona Hughes and Angharad Ormond. They say :

We are honoured to have been appointed as an Artistic Team, taking over from Martin and the excellent job he and his AADs have done in leading the company’s artistic direction over the last four years, and in particular overseeing the transition period as we moved into our new home. We know we have a huge task ahead, with our first challenge being to help the company recover from the impact of the pandemic and supporting all directors and casts that were due to perform last year. We are keen to create a range of opportunities to reconnect with all our Members and Friends, and will spend the first few weeks of our tenure mapping out our plans for the months ahead. We are also developing our vision for the future, when the pandemic is behind us, with lots of exciting new initiatives that will help the company grow and blossom. We look forward to sharing more with you very soon. 

Martin Mulgrew writes : “It has been an honour and privilege to have helped shape artistic policy for the best part of a decade. I would like to thank all those who have been members of the Artistic Team over the time I have been Artistic Director.
The Tower is a special place and it is terribly sad to see the current situation theatre faces but I have no doubt next year the Tower will bounce back even stronger.
My successor inherits a number of productions for which we already hold the rights which will see us well into 2021. I look forward to seeing them and wish my successor all the very best for the future”.

David Taylor (outgoing Chairman of the Tower’s Management Committee) writes : “Martin has done a great job for the Tower Theatre over many years. He and his artistic team have programmed a terrific variety of plays which have entertained and challenged us in many ways but especially in leading the company into its new home.”