Oh, What a Night!

NadyaMonday 14th Sep was the night of the first public outing of my new play, Nadya, about Stalin’s wife… and what a night it was.

A packed house of friends, family and industry folk responded with effusive enthusiasm for both the play and the magnificent reading by the distinguished cast.

It was a tribute to everyone involved how quickly a ‘company’ sensibility developed and for me the whole day just ‘felt right’.

The actual performance was slick and professional but funny, powerful and moving in equal measure.

The response of the audience to both the play and the performance was universally positive, not to say effusive.

My only frustration is that now we know it really works it will be so disappointing if we can’t take it further.

Thanks again to everyone involved; it was a magical day for me and one I will treasure forever.

Star Cast Photo

Rest of cast

SOME PHOTOS OF THE CAST IN ACTION

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Exec Producer:                        Colin Blumenau
Producer:                                  Lizzie Franks/Nerine Skinner
Director:                                    Sarah Meadows

Nadya                                        Michelle Terry
Stalin                                         Stephen Tompkinson
Baba                                          Phyllis Logan
Uncle Abel Yenukidze             Shaun Prendergast
Sergo Ordzhonikidze              Dominic Mafham
Vecha Molotov                         Rupert Holiday Evans
Marshal Kliment Vorishilov     David Robb
Nikolai Bukharin                      Jamie Foreman
Nikita Khrushchev                   Alistair Donegan
Sasha Andreyev                       Adam Thompson
Polina Molotov                         Chloe Massey
Zinaida Ordzhonikidze            Kathryn O’Reilly
Ekaterina Voroshilov               Lizzie Roper
Kristina Vadimovna                 Alice Fernandez
Elena Fyodorovich                   Nicola Coughan

Stage Directions                      Julie Teal

An Invitation To Attend Play Reading At The Park Theatre

Nadya

I would like to invite all and sundry to a professional reading of my new play, Nadya, which tells the untold story of Stalin’s second wife Nadya Alliluyeva.
This is an epic tale of one of the most extraordinary young women of the Russian Soviet era and one of the few Kremlin insiders who dared to openly oppose Stalin.

I can’t believe it but I am so proud to announce the fantastic cast which includes: Michelle Terry, Phyllis Logan, Stephen Tompkinson, David Robb, Jaimie Forman, Shaun Prendergast and Dominic Mafham…

Star Cast For Mailchimp

And Alistair Donegan, Chloe Massey,Lizzie Roper, Alice Fernandez, Nicola Coughan, Kathryn O’Reilly, Julie Teal and Jim Lavender.

Rest of cast

FULL CAST LIST:

Nadya                                        Michelle Terry
Stalin                                         Stephen Tompkinson
Baba                                          Phyllis Logan
Uncle Abel Yenukidze             Shaun Prendergast
Sergo Ordzhonikidze              Dominic Mafham
Vecha Molotov                         Rupert Holiday Evans
Marshal Kliment Vorishilov     David Robb
Nikolai Bukharin                      Jamie Foreman
Nikita Khrushchev                   Alistair Donegan
Sasha Andreyev                       Jim Lavender
Polina Molotov                         Chloe Massey
Zinaida Ordzhonikidze            Kathryn O’Reilly
Ekaterina Voroshilov               Lizzie Roper
Kristina Vadimovna                 Alice Fernandez
Elena Fyodorovich                   Nicola Coughan
Stage Directions                      Julie Teal

The reading will take place in Park-200 at 18.00 on Monday 14th September at 18.00

If you would like to attend this free reading please reserve your place[s] by emailing your name and ticket requirements to office@theproductionexchange.com

Hope to see you there!
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Park Theatre Logo

The first public reading of my play about Stalin’s wife is taking place at The Park on Monday 14th Sep at 18.00.

Nadya

Wow! It’s really happening. The first public reading of my play about Stalin’s wife is taking place at The Park on Monday 14th Sep at 18.00.

The play reading is being produced by Colin Blumenau’s, Production Exchange, and is being directed by Sarah Meadows.

The cast includes Phyllis Logan (Baba), Michelle Terry (Nadya), Stephen Tompkinson (Stalin), Shaun Prenderghast (Uncle Abel) and Dominic Mafham (Sergio).

I’m so thrilled to have such big names attached to the project. The reading will be followed by a Q+A session with me, the director and cast.

If you would like to attend this free reading please reserve your place[s] by emailing your name and ticket requirements to office@theproductionexchange.com

Nadya is an epic piece of theatre that uses drama, comedy, music and theatrical spectacle to tell the moving tale of one of the most extraordinary young women of the Russian Soviet era – Stalin’s second wife Nadya Alliluyeva who shot herself at the age of 32 rather than submit to her brutal husband.

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I’m directing Hollyoaks!

Well, I’m back in the saddle and from 15th July to the 10th September I’m back directing Hollyoaks – which I last directed back in 2005!

I must say I’m having a ball. It’s all a bit bonkers of course like all soaps, but the cast & crew are so lovely it’s joyous. Bloody hard-work but really great fun. Fingers crossed for many more gigs like this to come!

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Goodbye-ee, goodbye-ee, wipe the tear, baby dear, from your eye-ee…

After seven of the most fascinating and educational years of my life I am delighted to say I am leaving my role as Senior Lecturer at Bath Spa University to pursue my career as a freelance actor/writer/director.

My play The Liberty Tree is on at The Cockpit 24th-27th June. A reading of my play, Nadya, about Stalin’s wife is happening in September in London and in the next few months I hope be taking up a couple of TV writing commissions.

So it’s all go, go, go!

 

A play what I wrote (and directed) comes to London

The Liberty Tree at The Cockpit in London

Wed 24th – Saturday 27th June.

BOOK TICKETS HERE

“Effin’ brilliant. If you haven’t seen it, you better get down to The Cockpit in June or regret it forever!”

BOOK TICKETS HERE

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The Liberty Tree is a rebellious, feel-good, jukebox musical for anyone sick of being overworked, underpaid and powerless.

It’s Agitprop meets the Wizard of Oz and is a hilarious, up-lifting satire on modern Britain.

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Rosa is a young woman working in a Call Centre (the electronic sweatshops of the 21st Century). She witnesses a manager cruelly bullying a colleague but does nothing. A fellow worker, Joe, does intervene and is sacked. That night Rosa is tormented by her cowardice in the face of such injustice. As she sleeps she dreams and when she awakes she is trapped in the grotesque, The Land Of Do What You’re Told. She soon discovers that the only way out of this land of obedience and subservience is to go on a journey to find The Liberty Tree…

The show is playing at The Cockpit in London Wed 24th – Saturday 27th June, after a sell-out run in Bath in May.

The show is performed by students and young activists and is an inspiring night out for all lefties, radicals, socialists, anarchists, trade unionists and fellow travellers.

“I wrote the play as a response to what I perceive as a crisis of political education in the UK. Many young people have not even the flimsiest notions of how we got to be supposedly free citizens in a free country, let alone that it is possible to resist the exploitation they are all too aware they are experiencing in the workplace.”

The Liberty Tree is deliberately aimed at these young people, students and young trade unionists, and is an attempt to address this failure of education but not through lectures and textbooks, but through the vehicle of a large-scale musical which uses drama, music and comedy to demonstrate the political realities of how power is expressed and to extol the virtues of collective political action as a response of the powerless to the abuses of the powerful.


Audiences Responses to The Liberty Tree:

“The best use of swearing in a play ever.”

 “Well done to the cast on an amazing night, didn’t think I would end the evening dancing!!!”

“What a fantastic combination of energy, pace and play in the performances.”

“Visually and sensorially intense, the action reflects a very powerful narrative.”

 “A politically very sophisticated piece of writing but also such great fun!”

“Lively performances, great music, fabulous movement and some truly stunning moments. ‘I shall be released’ under a noose gave me shudders….”

“The Liberty Tree is laugh out loud stuff. Very clever and very funny and very sophisticated politically.”

“The ghosts of Eisenstein, Meyerhold and Piscator come to life.”


“I love its honesty and energy… It is the sort of piece that Stratford East used to do 30 years ago.” 

Nicholas Kent, Founding Director of The Tricycle Theatre, Kilburn.

“What we have here is a great bit of old fashioned Agitprop; a Socialist panto – Wizard of Oz rewritten by William Morris and Ewan MacColl.”

Mike Bradwell, Founder Of Hull Truck.


COCKPIT BOX OFFICE – http://www.thecockpit.org.uk/show/the_liberty_tree

FACEBOOK – https://www.facebook.com/thelibertytreemusical

WEBSITE – http://publicdomainproductions.org.uk/the-liberty-tree/


 

 

 

Nadya – First draft completed

Yay! After 2 years research and trips to Moscow and Georgia, I’ve just completed the first draft of my script about Stalin’s second wife, Nadya Alliluyeva, who committed suicide in 1932. An extraordinary story about an extraordinary woman. Fingers crossed somebody somewhere likes it.

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The statue of Nadya at her grave in the Novodevichy Cemetery in Moscow