DOWNTON ABBEY: fifth series Christmas Day Special on ITV at 9pm 25th December
Minkie Spiro directs the annual two hour festive special which will air at 9pm on Christmas Day. This year the Crawleys join Lord and Lady Sinderby at Brancaster Castle for the grouse season.
Bea Roberts - Winner of the Theatre 503 Playwriting Award 2014
Congratulations to Bea Roberts, whose play And Then Come The Nightjars has been announced as the winner of Theatre 503's 2014 Playwriting Award. It will receive a production at Theatre 503 in due course - details of which will be announced here.
Congratulations to Matthew Warchus and Guy Myhill on their BIFA wins!
Congratulations to Matthew Warchus and Guy Myhill on their BIFA wins!PRIDE by Matthew Warchus has won the Best British Independent Film 2014, as well as Best Supporting Actor for Andrew Scott and Best Supporting Actress for Imelda Staunton. Meanwhile Guy Myhill’s first feature THE GOOB has won Best Achievement in Production.
SWALLOWS AND AMAZONS opens at Bristol Old Vic 27th November
This Christmas, our much-loved family musical returns after taking Bristol by storm in 2010, a highly-acclaimed national tour and a season in London's West End.Swallows and Amazons, based on the book by Arthur Ransome, is a story of an idyllic era, of endless summer evenings and the beauty of youthful imagination. Follow Captain John and his able crew as they set sail to Wildcat Island on an exotic adventure packed full of piracy, adventure and fun!Adapted for the stage by Helen Edmundson With songs by Neil Hannon
ATLANTIS series II: begins Saturday 15th November, 8.30pm
ATLANTIS returns to BBC 1 this Saturday. The fantasy drama starring Jack Donnelly, Juliet Stevenson and Sarah Parish opens in the midst of a brutal battle for the kingdom of Atlantis. The time has come for Jason to fulfil his destiny - the battle for Atlantis has begun. Written by Howard Overman, the lead director is Justin Molotnikov.
SOME GIRLS Series 3: BBC3 – Starting Monday 10pm
The critically acclaimed comedy series created and written by Bernadette Davis returns to BBC3 for a third and final series. As Viva, Amber, Saz and Holli approach their final term at Greenshoots, they have plenty of mad sassy adventures in store for them.
The Agency and Creative England team up to host LA party
Creative England and The Agency kicked off their week-long trip to LA with a reception at the British Counsul General's Residence. The event aimed to forge new partnerships for UK filmmaking talent on an international level. Amongst The Agency's film projects funded by Creative England are THE GOOB, written and directed by Guy Myhill, and the Alison Deegan penned feature A LITTLE CHAOS. The 160-strong attendees included talent agents, managers, producers, financiers and industry executives including representatives from HBO, Warner Brothers TV, BBC Worldwide and Future Film Group. Stephen Durbridge, The Agency's Managing Director, commented “We are honoured to introduce Creative England to the Hollywood community; their approach to supporting exciting new talent in England is a breath of fresh air.”
THE FALL Series 2: BBC Two, begins November 13th
Written & directed by Allan Cubitt, THE FALL returns for a second series of 6 episodes. Detective Superintendent Stella Gibson (Gillian Anderson) continues her search for serial killer Paul Spector (Jamie Dornan), who seems to be getting even more dangerous. Co-starring Colin Morgan, John Lynch and Aisling Franciosi.
MOVING ON Series 6: BBC One - November 10th-14th daily at 2.15pm
Created and script edited by Jimmy McGovern, MOVING ON returns for another series of 6 daytime episodes. Episodes 1 & 2 star Hayley Mills and Lisa Riley.
PADDINGTON: released in cinemas on November 28th
Paddington Bear returns to the screen in Paul King’s adaptation of Michael Bond’s classic books. Starring Hugh Bonneville, Nicole Kidman, Jim Broadbent, Sally Hawkins, Julie Walters, Peter Capaldi, and Ben Whishaw as the voice of Paddington.
WEST END RECAST 2: Phoenix Theatre – November 9th
West End Recast returns with an all new sensational evening of Musical Theatre madness! Where the Phantom might be female, Annie could be 65 years old and Sweeney Todd could be as nice as pie! For one night only some of the West End's biggest stars are given the unique opportunity to sing songs from roles they have always wanted to play but will NEVER be cast in. Directed by Adam Lenson.
2071: Royal Court Theatre, Downstairs – November 5th to 15th
Writer Duncan Macmillan and director Katie Mitchell have been working with Chris Rapley, one of the world’s most influential climate scientists, to create this new piece of theatre with science at its heart. What do we owe to future generations? And how can we protect our children and grandchildren? Sound design by Ben and Max Ringham.
THE NUTCRACKER AND THE MOUSE KING - Unicorn Theatre, 21st Nov
Ellen McDougall directs E.T.A. Hoffman's magical story to create this wondrous and festive production of an old and favourite title.It's Christmas Eve, 1805. Seven year-old Marie retrieves the sad and broken Nutcracker from under the Christmas tree and promises to look after him. But on the stroke of midnight he comes alive, and after enlisting Marie’s help in his battle with the evil Mouse King, they journey together through strange and fantastical stories until they finally arrive in a secret land made of nothing but candy.Full of magic, mice and adventure, this will be a Christmas show to remember.
FAR AWAY opens at the Young Vic on Friday 7th November
JMK Young Director Award 2014 winner Kate Hewitt directs Carol Churchill’s modern classic at the Young Vic until 29th November. One of the UK's most exciting young directors at work on one of our greatest writers - not to be missed.
Destiny Ekaragha named BAFTA Breakthrough Brit 2014
Destiny Ekaragha has been named one of 2014's BAFTA Breakthrough Brits. The 2014 group was carefully selected by a panel including Richard Ayoade, Mike Newell and Olivia Colman. Destiny's directorial debut feature GONE TOO FAR! is currently in cinemas, produced by Poisson Rouge Pictures and distributed by Verve.
CITIZEN KHAN returns for its third series on Friday!
The BBC’s first ever British Asian comedy returns for series three. Created by Adil Ray and co-penned by Richard Pinto and Anil Gupta, we revisit the “capital of British Pakistan” and reunite with the Khan family. Series begins this Friday 31st October at the new time of 8.30pm on BBC One.
TOAST OF LONDON is back for series two!
After picking up the Rose d’Or Best Sitcom Award, BAFTA nominated Toast of London returns for its second series. Co-written by Arthur Mathews and Matt Berry, the award-winning British comedy will return to Channel 4 on Monday 3rd November at 10:35pm.
A HARLEM DREAM opens at the Young Vic on 20th October
A new show by BirdGang’s Ivan Blackstock with dramaturgy and additional text by Rob Hayes, A HARLEM DREAM is a timeless story of forbidden love and betrayal featuring hip hop dance and a score composed by Mercury Prize nominee Soweto Kinch.Commissioned by Dance Umbrella and co-produced by the Young Vic, the production runs from 20th October until 1st November.
Congratulations to Guy Myhill
Congratulations to Guy Myhill and all involved with THE GOOB, which won the top prize ‘Golden Hitchcock’ award at Dinard’s British Film festival this weekend. THE GOOB was made through the iFeatures scheme and produced by Mike Elliott and Lee Groombridge.
INSPECTOR LEWIS begins on ITV, 9pm Friday 10th October
INSPECTOR LEWIS begins on ITV, 9pm Friday 10th October Nick Renton directs the first two episodes of the new INSPECTOR LEWIS, produced by Chris Burt. Lewis is enjoying retirement until a newly promoted Hathaway asks him to team up with him again. Season 8 begins Friday 9th October, 9pm on ITV.
EAST IS EAST Opening at Trafalgar Studios 10th October
Written by Ayub Khan Din, this much-loved modern comedy classic about growing up in multiracial England, opens this month at Trafalgar Studios. Starring Jane Horrocks as Ella and the playwright himself Ayub Khan Din as George.
OPENING AT THE BFI LONDON FILM FESTIVAL 2014...
We kick off a fantastic run at the festival this year with Peter Strickland’s European premiere of BJORK BIOPHILIA LIVE, the vibrant feature of Bjork’s concert. Peter Strickland has also written and directed his third feature film THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY, which is in Official Competition. Debbie Tucker Green’s SECOND COMING, a fresh new London-set drama, will feature along with A LITTLE CHAOS, an originally scripted drama from first-time screenwriter Alison Deegan. Guy Muyhill directs and writes his debut feature THE GOOB, which was made through the iFeatures scheme and is in the First Feature Competition. ROBOT OVERLORDS, a thriller co-written by Mark Stay, about a robot invasion on earth, will also premiere.
Peter Strickland at the BFI London Film Festival 2014
Peter Strickland’s third feature THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY receives its European premiere at London Film Festival on the 9th of October – the same night that his co-directed BJORK: BIOPHILIA LIVE features as the festival’s Sonic Gala. A one minute short in ‘The Film the Buys the Cinema’ completes Peter’s trio of films at the LFF 2014.
TOAST OF LONDON wins Rose d'Or at Berlin!!
Toast of London, co-written by Arthur Mathews and Matt Berry and produced by Objective Productions, has picked up the prestigious Rose d'Or Best Sitcom Award. The BAFTA and RTS-nominated comedy returns this autumn for a brand-new series on Channel 4.
OUR GIRL begins on BBC One, 21st September at 9pm
OUR GIRL returns to BBC One with a 5-part series starring Lacey Turner as Molly Dawes, an East London girl with few prospects whose life is turned around when she joins the Royal Army Medical Corps. Also starring Ben Aldridge and Iwan Rheon, written by Tony Grounds and directed by Anthony Philipson and Richard Senior.
THE RETURN OF THE SOLDIER - Reviews
The new musical at the Jermyn Street Theatre, directed by Charlotte Westenra, has received unanimously brilliant reviews. Mark Shenton wrote 'anyone who cares about British musicals must go...Charlotte Westenra stages it beautifully'. It plays until the 20th September. 4* The Stage5* West End Wilma4* Theatre Full Stop4* Everything Theatre4* Public Reviews
Full casting announced for CITY OF ANGELS at The Donmar
Full casting for Josie Rourke's production was announced today including Samantha Barks and Katherine Kelly, Rosalie Craig and Hadley Fraser. City of Angels opens at The Domar on the 5th December. The run is currently sold out but additional tickets are due to be released soon!
PRIDE release date announced - 12th September 2014
BBC Films and Calamity FIlms/Pathe have announced that Matthew Warchus' film PRIDE will be released in the UK on 12th September. It’s the summer of 1984 – Margaret Thatcher is in power and the National Union of Mineworkers (NUM) is on strike. At the Gay Pride March in London, a group of gay and lesbian activists decides to raise money to support the families of the striking miners. But there is a problem. The Union seems embarrassed to receive their support. But the activists are not deterred. They decide to ignore the Union and go direct to the miners. They identify a mining village in deepest Wales and set off in a mini bus to make their donation in person. And so begins the extraordinary story of two seemingly alien communities who form a surprising and ultimately triumphant partnership.
CHASING SHADOWS: ITV - starts September 4th at 9pm
Created and written by Rob Williams, this thrilling, new four-part drama focuses on the work of a missing persons field unit charged with tracking down serial killers who prey on impressionable and vulnerable people. Starring Reece Shearsmith, Alex Kingston and Noel Clarke.
MARVELLOUS, written by Pete Bowker, airs this September on BBC Two
Written & executive-produced by the award-winning writer Peter Bowker, this is the true story of a life lived to the full, a man once labelled with 'learning difficulties' whose life defies limitations. This 90-minute film tells the story of Neil Baldwin and is directed by Julian Farino. Starring Toby Jones, Gemma Jones, Tony Curran, Nicholas Gleaves. The film also previews at the BFI on September 8th at 6.15pm.
SPEED THE PLOW begins previews this month at The Playhouse Theatre, West End
Lindsay Lohan makes her stage debut in David Mamet’s 1988 play directed by Lindsay Posner. A satirical portrayal of Hollywood, this high-octane modern classic is filled with Mamet’s trademark wit and mesmerising dialogue. The Associate Director is Adam Lenson.
TOP HAT, directed by Matthew White, continues its UK tour
Winner of 3 Laurence Olivier Awards including Best New Musical. Directed and co-adapted by Matthew White. Calling at Milton Keynes Theatre (until September 6th); Newcastle Theatre Royal (9th – 20th) & Aberdeen His Majesty’s Theatre (23rd – 4th Oct).
ROBOT OVERLORDS at the BFI London Film Festival
You can catch Robot Overlords (written by Mark Stay) at the BFI London Film Festival on the 18th & 19th of October – tickets on sale 18th September! It has been three years since the robot invasion of earth. Sean Flynn has never given up hope that his missing father might still be alive. All humans have been fitted with transmitters to ensure they obey the cardinal rule of the robot empire. An accident at home leads to one of the transmitters short-circuiting, allowing Sean and his friends the opportunity to infiltrate their alien adversaries.
JOCK: SCOTLAND ON TRIAL at the Finborough Theatre
Acclaimed playwright, author and 'Yes' campaign spokesman in the Scottish independence referendum debate Alan Bissett has written a new play for the Finborough. It has four performances between Wednesday 10th Sept and Saturday 13th Sept. It also features an extract from his Fringe show THE PURE, THE DEAD AND THE BRILLIANT, which Time Magazine called 'a stunning piece of theatre'.
ALBION: The Bush – September 12th to October 25th
A new play by Chris Thompson, examining the turbulent rise of the new far right in modern day Britain. Direct by Ria Parry.
CHAPATTI by Christian O'Reilly nominated for 'Best New Play' at the Jeff Awards
Congratulations to Christian O'Reilly, whose play CHAPATTI has been nominated for 'Best New Play' in the Jeff Awards in Chicago. CHAPATTI made its European debut in Galway this July following a critically acclaimed world-premiere run in Chicago in the spring. Produced by Northlight Theatre and Galway International Arts Festival, starring John Mahoney and Penny Slusher, and directed by BJ Jones.
CHEF wins a Scotsman Fringe First
The first 6 winners of the Scotsman Fringe Firsts have been announced - and among them are Kirsty Patrick Ward's production of Sabrina Mafhouz's new show CHEF. 'Kirsty Patrick Ward's direction is as sharp and crisp as a fresh salad' said the Scotsman in their review, and the Independent praised it as 'mesmerising...[it] fizzes with energy'. Jade Anouka plays the title role. It runs at the Underbelly until August 17th.
BOOMERS - BBC1, begins 9pm on August 15th
Richard Pinto’s new comedy BOOMERS has been given its broadcast date – the first episode is at 9pm on Friday 15th August, with a narrative repeat on Mondays at 11.05pm. 'Life is a long journey. If we're lucky, we'll make some friends along the way. If we're unlucky, they'll stay in touch.' It’s got a wonderful cast: Philip Jackson, Alison Steadman, Russ Abbot, Stephanie Beacham, June Whitfield, Nigel Planer. Look out for the teaser trailers on BBC1.
THE DUKE OF BURGUNDY: new feature by award winning writer/director Peter Strickland to receive World
This dark melodrama, financed by Film4 and the BFI, follows the intense and fluctuating relationship between lovers played by Chiara D’Anna and Sidse Babett Knudsen. The project, written and directed by Peter Strickland, is produced by Andy Starke of Rook Films and marks Knudsen’s English language feature film debut.
THÉRÈSE RAQUIN by Helen Edmundson opens at Theatre Royal Bath
THÉRÈSE RAQUIN, adapted by Helen Edmundson and based on the novel by Emile Zola opens this 30th July- 16th August. Set in the backstreets of Paris, the story relays the destruction of an illicit affair, plagued by madness and guilt.
Alia Bano selected for Origin Pictures/Paines Plough screenwriting scheme
Alia Bano has been chosen for a new writing scheme being launched by Origin Pictures and Paines Plough in collaboration with BBC Films. The scheme will support four playwrights in their writing across film and theatre over six months through workshops, mentoring and editorial support.
Guy Myhill’s THE GOOB to premiere at Venice Days 2014
Venice Days 2014 is to host the World Premiere of writer/director Guy Myhill's debut feature, THE GOOB. This visceral coming of age film, shot entirely in Norfolk, was developed through iFeatures and produced by Lee Groombridge and Mike Elliott.
Congratulations to Roberto Oliveri
Congratulations to Roberto Oliveri, one of Screen’s 2014 ‘Stars of Tomorrow’. Roberto has just made his first short, COMPASSION, which earned him this unprecedented and well-deserved nomination.
HONOUR released in US cinemas
Today sees the release of Shan Khan's debut feature HONOUR in 10 cities across the US. The New York Observer's review, out today, says that 'it has an air of authenticity so compelling you can almost smell the spicy odors of Pakistani cooking that permeate the kitchens...Aiysha Hart delivers a mesmerizing performance.'
COMMON: BBC 1, 6th July, 9pm
Nico Mirallegro, Daniel Mays and Jodhi May star in Jimmy McGovern’s new film for BBC One. Set in the north west of England and based on the UK’s controversial Joint Enterprise Law, the ninety-minute film tells the story of a teenager dragged into a murder investigation that threatens to upturn his entire life.
MIND THAT CHILD available on the BBC iplayer now
From writer Vivienne Harvey, this is the first of BBC Radio Scotland’s five newly commissioned radio dramas availavble on BBC iPlayer now. Starring Iain Robertson and last year’s BAFTA Scotland winner 14-year-old Daniel Kerr. When you find out your ex is moving your only son from Inverness to Canada, naturally the next step is to abscond in an ice-cream van and make a desperate dash to try to stop them. http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0480qhz
Lindsay Posner directs Lindsay Lohan in David Mamet's SPEED THE PLOW
Opening in September at The Playhouse Theatre - When a hugely bankable star agrees to appear in a sure-fire commercial hit, film producers Bobby Gould and Charlie Fox are convinced this is the break of a lifetime. That is until Karen (played by Lindsay Lohan), a temporary secretary, derails the dream. When she persuades Bobby to dump the blockbuster in favour of a story which can only be described as box-office poison, Charlie is forced to resort to desperate measures…. This brilliantly satirical portrayal of Hollywood is by David Mamet, the foremost playwright of his generation and the author ofGlengarry Glen Ross, Oleanna and American Buffalo. A high-octane modern classic, Speed-The-Plow is filled with Mamet’s trademark wit and mesmerising dialogue. Director Lindsay Posner has directed more plays by David Mamet in the West End than any other director, including: Oleannawith Julia Stiles and Aaron Eckhart, Sexual Perversity in Chicago with Matthew Perry, Minnie Driver and Kelly Reilly and A Life in the Theatre with Patrick Stewart and Joshua Jackson.
DAMNED by Morwenna Banks and Jo Brand - tonight at 9pm
Tune in at 9pm on Sky Arts to see Morwenna Banks and Jo Brand's new comedy DAMNED. It stars Alan Davies and Kevin Eldon alongside Brand in a beautifully observed portrait of an unloved but heroic profession - the child services department of a social services office. Part of the Playhouse Presents initiative.
Kate Hewitt named JMK Young Director's Award Winner
Congratulations to Kate for picking up the JMK Award for 2014. She'll be directing Carol Churchill's FAR AWAY at the Young Vic in November. Tickets go on sale on 18th June.
Kevin Elyot: a tribute
The Agency is greatly saddened by the loss of Kevin Elyot, who died this weekend. This year marks the twentieth since his landmark play ‘My Night With Reg’ opened at the Royal Court. It went on to win the 1994 Olivier and Evening Standard Awards for Best Comedy and introduced audiences both at the Court and at its subsequent West End run to the wit, delicacy and unblinking honesty that became his trademark. It is a silver lining to know that these qualities will be revealed to a new audience when the Donmar revives the play this summer. Later stage work included ‘The Day I Stood Still’ at the National in 1998 and Mouth to Mouth at the Royal Court and Albery Theatres. His talents soon spread from the theatre into TV, where he again addressed sensitive subjects with a rare combination of nuance and boldness. His subtle character portraits and bold voice both inspired and entertained, especially when speaking out against homophobia, a subject he returned to repeatedly over his career with work like ‘Christopher and His Kind’ for the BBC and ‘Clapham Junction’ for Channel 4. Throughout, he sought to challenge the passive acceptance of homophobia in British culture. The concerns of his recognizable, three-dimensional gay characters shattered stereotypes and galvanized gay and straight communities alike. He will be remembered here as a first-class writer who was as admired as he was respected.