Opening Up

Five new short plays, curated by David Taylor

At the socially distanced Tower Theatre, from Wednesday June 2nd – Saturday June 5th at 7.30.
Matinée on Saturday June 5th at 3.00.

Tickets are now on sale.

Buy Tickets :

The Tower Theatre opens its doors again with five performances each featuring five plays; a collection of new pieces in which people of diverse ages open themselves up to memories and feelings in tender, funny and moving ways. Some of the Tower Theatre’s stellar talent will bring these life enhancing stories to the stage.

It is also a celebration of live theatre and a chance to see the Tower Theatre in action using Covid-Safe practices. Come and help us celebrate the fact that we can reopen our doors once again.

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The Unknown by Janet South

A couple are waking up after a wild night of partying.  As they sober up, they both realise they can’t remember some crucial details from the night before….

Cast
She : Jasmine Rachelle
He : Samuel Bulgin


Directed by Simona Hughes

The Unknown
The Unknown
The Unknown

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A Lovely Lunch ‘ere by Jeremy Rowe

It is lunchtime, some time in the 1950’s. An elderly man is employed at the door of a restaurant in Bournemouth, encouraging passers-by to come in. Standing there alone all day, he has lots of time to reminisce.

Cast
The Widower : John Chapman


Directed by Ruth Sullivan

A Lovely Lunch 'ere
A Lovely Lunch 'ere

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Behind the Drag by Jessica Irwin

A surprise guest turns up in the dressing room of drag queen Sweet Charity and unveils what’s really behind the glamour and make-up.

Cast
Paul Nudd/Sweet Charity : David Suberu
Melanie : Jessica Irwin


Directed by Angharad Ormond

Behind the Drag
Behind the Drag

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The Sketchbooks by Richard Margrave

About to be interviewed, a woman looks back on her time working in a Parisian fashion house and has to decide whether the dark secrets of her past should be revealed. Is it ever too late to tell all?

Cast
Elise Brodeur : Alison Liney


Directed by David Taylor

The Sketchbooks

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Bridget by Dan Usztan

Becky might have got a date (she doesn’t know if Amma is interested in her, or her take on Sally Rooney). Gill’s praying her husband’s cooking doesn’t leave her in intensive care (why can he only cook chilli?).  A mother and daughter try to keep in touch in the strangest of years. And things might just get stranger yet … 

Cast
Gill : Sue Brodie
Becky : Emily Deane


Directed by Dan Usztan

Bridget
Bridget

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Set design: David Taylor

Lighting: Nick Insley

Stage Manager: Laura Corkell

Technical Support : Laurence Tuerk

Set Construction: Jude Chalk, Peter Foster

Rehearsal photography : David Sprecher

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Wheelchair Users

If you are a wheelchair user, please book via telephone (020 7353 1700) or email the office at least one week in advance to book a wheelchair seat so we can make arrangements to accommodate you. One carer per wheelchair user may attend at no cost if booked at the same time.
Covid Security

We have introduced procedures to make your visit Covid-safe and obtained See it Safely and Good to Go certifications.

We also ask you to help us keep the venue safe by:

  • Not entering the building if you have any Covid symptoms

  • Letting us take your temperature. If it is raised we won’t be able to let you and your party enter and will refund your ticket

  • Checking in to the building using the NHS Covid App and QR code or leaving your name and contact details. By law this now applies to every individual

  • Wearing a mask when in the building unless you are exempt or while drinking

  • Following the direction of stewards while queuing, taking your seats and leaving the building

  • Washing your hands / using hand sanitiser provided

  • Maintaining a social distance from people not in your party

Full details of the measures we have taken to make your visit safe can be found here.

The Unknown

Janet SouthJanet South started writing short plays for the 10 Minutes a Month Playwriting Collective and enjoys the challenge of researching and writing about different themes. She is also co-administrator of the Tower Writers’ Room which runs a regular session for both new and experienced writers to share ideas and build confidence. Janet has appeared in many plays and musicals at the Tower and recently appeared in Gainsborough’s Girls as Mrs Gainsborough, and A Passage to India as Mrs Turton, a rock and parts of an elephant.

Simona HughesSimona Hughes completed her MFA in Advanced Theatre Practice at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and graduated (with distinction) in 2019. She has been a Tower Theatre Company member for 20 years, during which time she has served on the Management Committee and both acted and directed. Directing credits at Tower include Little Nell, Brontë, Love Love Love, Table and A Passage to India. She has also directed short pieces at Theatre 503, Vault Festival, The Bread and Roses and The Pit (Barbican) and has written and directed her own play About 500, which is nominated as an OnComm finalist. Simona has also executive produced a feature film, County Lines, which was recently released on BFI player/Curzon Home cinema.

Jasmine RachelleJasmine Rachelle has just recently completed her first feature film called Intervention, playing the role of Diana, a young Detective Constable. Earlier this year, she was in Penzance for the role of Katie in the short film Grave. Since the pandemic began, Jasmine has performed in radio plays and zoom play readings for the Tower. In 2019, Jasmine played the lead role of Alice in Fix Up. Previously, she played Helen Robinson in To Kill A Mockingbird. While studying for her A Level, she played Scout in Popcorn. Jasmine spent two years training with the Young Actors theatre and performed with Haringey Shed in a variety of productions including Macbeth, The Tempest, Alice in Wonderland and One Thousand and One Nights.

Samuel BulginSamuel Lorenzo Bulgin trained at Identity Drama School. He also attended Anna Scher, 1956 Studios and currently attends Actor in Sessions. He played Danny in the play Motortown at the Tristan Bates Theatre before the lockdown. His most recent film/tv credits include BBC1's Small Axe directed by Steve McQueen and ADR in the James Bond film No Time To Die.
This is his second production with the Tower Theatre, following a zoom play performance of The Chip Woman’s Fortune last year for Virtual Tower.

A Lovely Lunch ‘ere

Jeremy RoweJeremy Rowe was headteacher of The Lyceum School in the City, where he wrote many plays for children. Since retiring, he has been writing novels - his fourth Singing for Spitfires was published in 2020 - and working on some new ideas for plays. In his writing, both novels and plays, he generally investigates historical themes.

Ruth SullivanRuth Sullivan has been a Tower member for 14 years and has performed, directed, choreographed and designed sound for many productions in that time. Her most recent play as a director for the Tower was King Charles III which was a large scale ensemble piece but she does have some experience of monologues, having performed in Happy Days. Since the theatre was forced to close last March she has been part of Virtual Tower and the Tower podcast, both directing and performing. As a Foley Artist she’s usually found in a dark studio, making sounds for TV drama and film (as well as an occasional foray into radio) and regularly works with directors such as Katie Mitchell and Simon McBurney to create and perform live theatre sound. She’s one of the Tower’s new Artistic Directors and is so pleased to be finally back in the theatre.

John ChapmanJohn Chapman works (occasionally) as a freelance education consultant, writer and copy editor. Prior to this he worked at the "chalkface" for rather longer than he cares to remember. He first took to the stage as a schoolboy pretending to be a Greek frog. Decades later he has found himself involved with over 150 productions, though this will be his first monologue performance. Favourite acting roles along the way have been Hector in The History Boys, Norman in The Norman Conquests, Felix in Humble Boy and Mr Micawber in David Copperfield. Most memorable of all was when he got to play Bottom in A Midsummer Night's Dream in the Tower Theatre's collaboration with the Royal Shakespeare Company. His most recent appearance at the Tower was as Falstaff in The Merry Wives Of Windsor. Best directing jobs have been with The Rise and Fall of Little Voice, Lord of The Flies, Glorious! and ten works by Alan Ayckbourn. Most recently he was in the Tower director’s chair for the anarchic Rules For Living. John has always been interested in the world of drama and has served as a panellist for professional stage awards. He has recently expanded his theatre reviewing via his blog 2nd from Bottom and, during the pandemic, has become something of an expert on the subject of online theatre having seen and reviewed a new show every day since April 1st, 2020. During the pandemic he has also kept himself busy by co-ordinating Virtual Tower – an initiative for the company which has mounted over thirty shows online including the OffWestEnd award nominated Metamorphosis In Lockdown.


Behind the Drag

Jessica IrwinJessica Irwin wrote and appeared in I'm Not Alone Anymore as part of Virtual Tower’s New Writing Extravaganza last year. She played Linda in the Woodhouse Player’s production of The Magic Tower. Her play Behind the Drag was previously performed as part of Script to Performance’s Theatripy productions in 2019. She also wrote and produced In a Land of Oz in which she performed as Dorothy for Script to Performance in 2018. She also played Win and Lady Nijo in the Tower Theatre's Top Girls in 2017.

David SuberuDavid Suberu started off as a Jazz contemporary dancer performer doing promotional music videos and as backing dance with various American, British and Chinese pop stars. He performed at the commemoration Concert at Hong-Kong’s Happy Valley in 1997 (celebrating the hand back of Hong-Kong to mainland China) dancing with Zu Pheng and The Brand New Heavies.  David also traveled as a backing dancer with Boney M in Russia and Sinitta doing club promos around the UK and as a dancer in various promotional music videos with George Michael and Toni Braxton. He also performed in his first ever musical, The Producers, with the Tower in both London and Cornwall. Behind the Drag is David’s first ever performance as an actor. He also works as a Fitness Manager and Personal Trainer.

Angharad OrmondAngharad Ormond graduated from Drama Studio London in 2009. She has been a Tower Theatre company member for 6 years and was the recipient of the 2017 Frank Smith award which recognises outstanding contributions from a new member. She has previously served on the Artistic Team as an Assistant Artistic Director, co-ordinating the new directors programme. Angharad both acts and directs for the company, focusing on the latter more over the recent years. Directing credits include Kindertransport, an immersive production of 1984, and a modern reimagining of The Canterbury Tales. Angharad is particularly interested in theatre that pushes the boundaries, both artistically and politically, and she has a passion for multi-modal creations, combining masks, puppetry, movement and live music. During lockdown she co-produced The Tower Theatre Podcast, created a brand-new radio drama, 5 Women, and even returned to performing. Angharad also works as a Clinical Psychologist, which feeds her collaborative and nurturing approach to directing.

The Sketchbooks

Richard MargraveThe Sketchbooks premiered last year on The Other Stage at the Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch starring Alison Liney, directed by David Taylor. Richard Margrave is delighted that the team is reassembled for this reopening programme of plays at the Tower Theatre. His other short plays performed professionally at Hornchurch are The Girl on the Last Bus (2016), Firefight (2016), Life on the Line (2017), Boomerang Kid (2018), Whispers (2019), Lizzie’s Law (2019) and The Ockendon Witch (2019). He was a co-writer on Standing on their Shoulders (2018) and Mummy, What Did You Do? (2019) by Local Girls Productions. A digital version of The Ockendon Witch (available on Scenesaver and YouTube) won an OnComm or Offies Commendation for online shows from The Off West End Theatre Awards in September 2020. He is an alumni of the National Theatre, Queen’s Theatre, Hornchurch and Faber Academy. Richard is a passionate supporter of the arts in East London and south Essex and has chaired ELE Group (East London & Essex Playwriting Group) since 2016. He is a former political adviser and PR consultant who has worked in the UK Houses of Parliament and the European Parliament. He has a PhD in economics from the LSE. He was appointed to the Board of Governors of Anglia Ruskin University in 2017.

David TaylorDavid Taylor's early years were spent tinkering with model theatres and doing school plays but his first directing job for the Tower Theatre (as a very young man) was The Boy Friend in 1975. Since then he has directed and designed and occasionally acted in a wide range of shows. Favourite play productions include Pygmalion, Nicholas Nickleby, My Night With Reg, As You Like It and Lark Rise, and favourite musicals include Mr Cinders, West Side Story, On The Town, Blitz, Valmouth, Sail Away, Guys and Dolls and The Producers. which won the Minack Theatre trophy for the best production of the season in 2014. In 2016, he led the Tower's team in their co-production with the RSC of A Midsummer Night's Dream - A Play for the Nation, which was presented at the Barbican Theatre in London and the RSC theatre in Stratford. His most recent production was Gainsborough's Girls in 2019.

Alison LineyAlison Liney has been involved in amateur drama for a very long time and has been a member of the Tower since 1997. She alternates between acting and crewing shows, most recently playing Mrs. Moore in A Passage to India, Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit and working as Stage Manager on Deposit. Other recent roles include Jean in To Kill a Mockingbird, the Nurse in Antigone, Mrs Wilberforce in The Ladykillers, Q in Handbagged and Mrs Grose in The Turn of the Screw.

Bridget

Dan UsztanDan Usztan has been a member of the Tower Theatre since 2012. He has directed Blithe Spirit, Wolf Hall, Road, One Man - Two Guvnors and After The Dance. He lives in Walthamstow with his partner and a dachshund called Magnus. Bridget is his first play.

Sue BrodieSue Brodie joined the Tower in 2006 and has performed in a number of shows at the Bridewell, Theatro Technis, the Minack and now at the Tower’s new permanent home in Stoke Newington. Her last show, The Thrill of Love, was two years ago and, like everyone at the Tower, she can’t wait to get back into the theatre.

David TaylorEmily Deane is a freelance writer by day. She previously studied drama at school and took part in numerous amateur productions as well as her fair share of dance shows. This is her fifth Tower Theatre production after playing Clare/Louise in Road, a clown in The 39 Steps, Mary Boleyn in Wolf Hall and, most recently, Margaret in Gainsborough's Girls. During the last year, she has also performed in some of the Virtual Tower events.
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The Vaccine Programme : JJvax

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I can’t breathe

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The Poetry Project

Travels Around My Room

Beads of Life

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Travels Around My Room

The Vaccine Programme : JJvax

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Virtual Tower – Season 4

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The Bacchae

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The Vaccine Programme : Pfivax

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Travels Around My Room

The Vaccine Programme : Modvax

Her Inside : Women in the Lockdown

Jubilee Voices

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Air

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The Vaccine Programme : Astravax

Gig Night

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Jubilee Voices

I can’t breathe

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The Parent Project

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Open Auditions : Kensuke’s Kingdom

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Marry Me Now, Love Me Later!, written and directed by Shamila Sulaimane

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Marry Me Now, Love Me Later!, written and directed by Shamila Sulaimane

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Marry Me Now, Love Me Later!, written and directed by Shamila Sulaimane

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Open Auditions : Three Birds

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Play Away

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