Alex Hassell is a veteran of the London stage. Curtain Call have covered two shows with him in the shape of Henry V at The Barbican and Death of a Salesman at the Noel Coward Theatre. But before that, Alex’s career and the people he has worked with is like a “who’s who” of the industry including directors John Dove, Tim Caroll and Gregory Doran and on stage talent such as Dame Harriet Walter, Antony Sher and Mark Rylance.
But there’s a project that Alex has been involved with for the last 10 years, and one that he is intensely proud of (as you can tell when you’re listening to him). The Factory is a theatre company like no other. No sets, no props, no blocking, no set cast, no auditions, open rehearsals...you name the theatrical convention and they are tearing it down.
I went to go see a show, as they say in the business. And that show was “Building The Wall” at The Park Theatre. Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Robert Schenkkan’s hard-hitting piece, imagining a world where, after a terrorist attack set in the very near future, President Trump imposes martial law with all immigrants “legal or otherwise” rounded up and put into internment camps.
This play is exactly the kind of play that I love to watch. Vital and current and one that needed to be written. I got to speak to Angela and Trevor about their thoughts on the play at the Park Theatre, performing in front of major theatre stars, the immediacy of this new piece and what keeps bringing them back to the theatre.
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Earlier in the year, we had the pleasure to visit the incredible show An American in Paris. I don’t think we have covered a show that was so full of triple threats… and maybe even quadruple threats - singing, acting, dancing, and stage management / technicians. There was so little in the way of automation of set pieces coming on, it was dazzling to see so much movement from the company, pushing and pulling, in between incredibly complicated singing and even more complicated dance numbers….
The EU are bringing in regulations that will stop theatres from using bulbs and fixtures that don’t comply with new regulations that is being brought into law in September of this year. And I’m not just talking London and regional theatres, but sports halls, community theatres, lecture halls and more…
Curtain Call co-founder, Matt Humphrey, sat down with multiple award-winning lighting designer Paule Constable to talk about the proposed regulations and explain in simple terms what it means for the industry here in the UK and across Europe.
Read more about the proposals here.