Author: Peter Dunbar

Re-Visions, Camden People’s Theatre

“Re-Visions is a strong piece of fringe theatre but can be stronger. After a few more revisions, that is.” The play within a play is a well-known concept for a fringe piece, but has it ever before been performed as ‘meta’ as this? Re-Visions tells a story of a director trying to realistically recreate a […]

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Winners announced for the very first WhatsOffStage Awards!


“These awards are a huge round of applause for all those unsung heroes who make the theatregoing experience the best it can possibly be!”

This post is a little less ‘theatre reviews’ and a little more ‘reviewing theatres’. We at The Phoenix Arts Club recognise the importance that theatre venues have on the overall experience on going to see a show – and we’ve heard some equally entertaining stories from the teams themselves too! Today, WhatsOnStage presented the first ever WhatsOffStage Awards – that’s right! In a small ceremony near Green Park, the venues were taking centre stage and being celebrated for the hard work they do.

In an announcement last month Sita McIntosh, WOS’s Chief Operating Officer, said; “We are delighted to announce the first ever WhatsOffStage Awards this year. We want to celebrate the areas of the industry that don’t always receive the recognition they deserve but which are instrumental in ensuring audiences and communities are able to engage with and enjoy live theatre. These awards are a huge round of applause for all those unsung heroes who make the theatregoing experience the best it can possibly be!”

And the winners are: The National Theatre (Most Accessible Theatre), Hull Truck Theatre (Best Box Office), The Unicorn Theatre (Most Child-Friendly Theatre), The Young Vic (Best Community Theatre), The Other Palace (Best Food & Drink), Hope Mill Theatre (Best Front of House Team), Prince Edward Theatre (Best Stage Door), Victoria Palace Theatre (Best Theatre Facilties), Shakespeare’s Globe (Best Theatre Website) and Hope Mill Theatre (Favourite Theatre).

WOS’s award ceremony was a great success and they hope to see it grow in the coming years. Around 4,000 votes were cast this year by the public.

We at The Phoenix Arts Club congratulate all the winners and, most importantly, every theatre team who without, the show would simply not go on. Now come on down to us and celebrate – we’re open past curtain call after all!

Photos of some of the nominated venues and winners:

Top (left to right): Hull Truck Theatre, The Other Palace, The National Theatre.

Bottom: Hope Mill Theatre

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FIRST LOOK: ‘Come From Away’ London Launch

“New musicals in the West End are few and far between and to have a show as innovative as Come from Away moving in, we are soaring with delight”

A new show is flying into the Phoenix Theatre next year! Come From Away, the Tony Award winning musical, finds a new home in the West End from January 2019. The remarkably true story based on planes being diverted to a small Canadian town due to the 9/11 attacks (collectively bringing with them 7,000 passengers) stars musical theatre sensation Rachel Tucker and a fantastic cast of talents from the UK and Ireland.

The European premiere will be at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin this December before flying over to London’s glistening West End. Music, lyrics and book have been penned by Tony and Grammy nominated writing duo, Irene Sankoff and David Hein. Directed by Christopher Ashley (who won the Tony in 2017 for Best Direction of a Musical), the show is about the tenacity of the human spirit and the kindness shared to those in times of need. Tissues at the ready, folks!

The multiple role show consists of an impeccable cast – Rachel Tucker, Jenna Boyd, Nathan Campbell, Clive Carter, Mary Doherty, Robert Hands, Helen Hobson, Jonathan Andrew Hume, Harry Morrison, Emma Salvo, David Shannon and Cat Simmons. As we were treated to a few numbers from the show at the musicals official launch in Canada House, Trafalgar Square, this ensemble cast show that the West End is in for something very special indeed! Harmonies are tight and the music is universally appealing – especially the final number previewed, “Somewhere In The Middle of Nowhere”.

Come From Away will be produced by Smith and Barnett Theatricals, Junkyard Dog Productions as well as the Abbey Theatre in Dublin, who are credited as co-producer. Rehearsals begin next month and the whole team are eagerly awaiting to take flight.

Sankoff and Hein discussed how they never imagined Come From Away to be as successful as it has been. They assumed the show would be produced by smaller theatre companies and schools due to its subject matter but now with the accolades under their belts, multiple international productions and even a film version in the works, they are very happy to have been wrong.

We at The Phoenix Arts Club welcome our new neighbours with open arms! New musicals in the West End are few and far between and to have a show as innovative as Come From Away moving in, we are soaring with delight.

Photo Credit: Helen Maybanks

Previews begin at The Phoenix Theatre (right above us!) on January 30 with the opening night on February 18 and you can purchase tickets here!

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