Last week the Tower Theatre took the drastic and unprecedented step of closing its doors in order to assist in slowing the spread of covid-19, a new disease the effect of which is not yet clearly known. The big question everyone is asking is when will I be able to get back on stage?
The Tower works at its best when it works together and supports one another. Going forward the Tower has one sole agenda and objective to get the theatre operating viably as soon as possible for the benefit of its members and wider audience. This announcement is to keep you as informed as best as possible as to what steps the Tower is taking to meet that objective. During the past week, I, along with other core teams, have been working towards re-programming the 2020/21 artistic year. There have been discussions with individual directors as how best to achieve this objective.
Paris 2020 – The Merchant of Venice The cast and crew of The Merchant of Venice have agreed to cancel this show and re-schedule it for Paris 2021. I am delighted that Paris has agreed the dates for the 2021 production (30th May 21 to 7th June 21). My thanks to Peter and his cast and crew for being understanding in this difficult situation given that they were all but ready to perform.
Minack 2020 – The Great Gatsby The Minack management intends, where possible, to continue performing their summer 2020 artistic programme. The Great Gatsby falls towards the end of this programme (31st Aug to 4th Sept). They, along with the Tower, agree that hopefully we will be out of this current situation by the end of August. So as announced last week, The Great Gatsby will be performed at the Minack in August 2020 unless advised otherwise. We hope that rehearsals for Minack will begin later in the summer when restrictions are lifted. The director will be in touch with the cast and crew to discuss. The London run will be re-scheduled for later in the year.
The remainder of the 20/21 artistic year To try and give directors, casts, and crews as much certainty as we can in the current climate we are discussing various options. These options will be discussed with individual directors and will be communicated to the wider membership once we have more clarity. Please feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions.
Thank you for your continuing patience, cooperation, and support.
A Question and Answer session chaired by the director of “Sweat”, Ian Hoare, with Dr Nicole King (who lectures in American Literature & Culture at Goldsmith College, University of London) and Dr Theresa Saxon, (a founder member of the Institute for Black Atlantic Research at the University of Lancashire).
Many congratulations to Helena Cashmore, Chairman of the Tower Theatre Company, and her husband Gareth on the birth of their first child. Julius was born at the end of January and all three are reported to be doing well.
Artistic Director Martin Mulgrew is pleased to announce plans for the Autumn
As January finally clears off, and our wonderful production of A Passage to India, directed by Simona Hughes is set to open (Wednesday 5th February) what better time to announce the remainder of 2020’s artistic programme.
“Wanted: Women to traffic drugs. That’s the job. There’s cash, international travel, a chance to make it big. Risks include violence, betrayal, incarceration, death.”
Auditions for Mules will take place on 10, 12, and 14 March at the Tower Theatre – for more information, please see the audition notice here, RSVP, and submit your contact and other details via the online form.
Mules is a ‘no holds barred’ tale of disparate (and at times, desperate) young women who get caught up in the international drug trade as drug couriers or “mules”, whether to escape poverty and victimhood or to acquire wealth and power in a world where they are systematically excluded.
Mules was commissioned by Clean Break Theatre Company and premiered at the Royal Court Upstairs in April 1996. Winsome Pinnock is an award-winning British playwright, described in The Guardian as “the godmother of black British playwrights”.
This Wednesday saw a huge milestone being reached by long term performer on the Tower stage Tom Tillery. It was 60 years to the day since he stepped out to play a Venetian Lord in Othello in a 1959 production. Tom’s appearance in Tower’s latest show, Sam Holcroft’s Rules for Living marks his 170th production.
After the show’s curtain call Artistic Director, Martin Mulgrew, stepped forward to congratulate Tom on his many years with the company and to present him with a commemorative plaque. Company chairman, David Taylor, also presented Tom with a framed photo of some of his many roles. Tom joked, “I’ll leave it in my will”. The cheering audience rightly gave the veteran actor a standing ovation.
Rules for Living has had incredible reviews and outstanding comments from the audience. So do try and catch Tom in his Diamond Jubilee performance which plays until December 7th.
The Tower’s current production of “Beauty Queen…”, directed by the formidable Colette Dockery, continues to get rave reviews:
“[T]his production…demonstrates a theatre company with a revitalised energy, settling into its new home with…plays that show a level of ambition on which the company is determined to deliver” Read more at Cultural Capital