Little Revolution: Of Radio Waves and Morning Raves

July 28, 2014 by

Joe Hill-Gibbins, Alecky Blythe and other members of the Little Revolution cast take a first-week-of-rehearsals field trip to the community where the play was born. Photo: Rebecca Hill

“Apologies for the face paint–we’ve been early-morning raving.”
- Alecky Blythe

In her first installment of weekly updates from the Little Revolution rehearsal room, Almeida Associate Director Rebecca Hill takes us inside the world of verbatim theatre.

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Mr Burns: Talkback

July 25, 2014 by



Mr Burns Cast | Photo Manuel Harlan

On Tuesday, 8 July 2014, we invited our audience to stay behind for a Q&A with Assistant Director Whitney Mosery, Music Director and performer Mike Henry and actress Justine Mitchell. Here’s what they had to say…

Audience Member 1: Can you tell me about where the play was before?

Whitney Mosery (Assistant Director): There was an original production at Playwright’s Horizons in New York City and then it was in a theatre in Washington DC, I believe Signature but don’t quote me on that.

Audience Member 2: I was wondering if you felt that you had to “de-Americanize” it at all.

Whitney Mosery: Actually not at all. I think there were certain levels of detail that we as a cast (because they were predominantly British) investigated more than perhaps an American might because they might be second nature to an American. The dialect differences between North and South and the locations where all of the various members of the group say that they originate from at the beginning of act one. Some say they come from New York, some say Baltimore, Sam says he’s from the South but kind of doesn’t give any more detail. But actually I can’t think of anything that we changed to make it more British-friendly. I think The Simpsons as an idea and as a story and as a construct is universal. The re-laying from memory; I think that’s quite universal, quite human – none of that was changed at all.  And all the details actually, even though some of those have been so specific that they would’ve only been picked up on by an American, they were left in because that’s in the fabric of the piece. That’s what gives it a sense of reality to this deeply, deeply textured fictional world which feels utterly high stakes and significant because of those things.
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Mr Burns: The Look of Apocalypse

July 24, 2014 by

An integral part of Tom Scutt’s design for Mr Burns are the makeup looks, especially in Act III. Each night, Hair and Make-up Supervisor Jessica Plews works with the cast to execute the looks backstage. We sat down with Jess to get the history on what’s happening in some of Manuel Harlan’s brilliant behind-the-scenes photos:



“Act I, we’re basically getting them all grubby, especially Demetri (Gibson) because he’s been traveling across the country. He’s kind of the worst in Act I, which is hard to see but we still do it because it adds to character.”


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Little Revolution: Cast Announced

July 18, 2014 by

We’re delighted to announce the cast for Little Revolution, Alecky Blythe’s new verbatim play directed by Joe Hill-Gibbins. Joining the playwright as performers are Ronni Ancona, Imogen Stubbs and Clare Perkins, together with Melanie Ash, Bayo Gbadamosi, Lloyd Hutchinson, Rez Kempton, Barry McCarthy, Lucian Msamati, Michael Shaeffer and Rufus Wright.

The cast of Little Revolution (from top left):

The cast of Little Revolution (from top left): Clare Perkins, Imogen Stubbs, Alecky Blythe, Barry McCarthy, Bayo Gbadamosi, Rez Kempton, Lloyd Hutchinson, Michael Shaeffer, Lucian Msamati, Melanie Ash, Ronni Ancona, Rufus Wright.

Inspired by the 2011 London riots, Alecky’s first London play since her award-winning London Road at the National Theatre captures the voices and stories of one community in North London and excavates the tensions beneath the surface of modern city life.

Staged in a transformed Almeida space that puts the audience at the heart of the action, Little Revolution plays from 26 August – 4 October. For more information, or to book tickets, click here.



Young Friends of the Almeida: Last Words You’ll Hear

July 15, 2014 by

The Young Friends of the Almeida will perform Last Words You’ll Hear, directed by Whitney Mosery, at this year’s Latitude Festival.

Do you have a dream that you can’t interpret? Do you stay up at night haunted by nightmares you don’t understand? Then you’re in luck, because the Young Friends of the Almeida want to invite you to witness something magical.

The world premiere of Last Words You’ll Hear, devised and performed by The Young Friends of the Almeida and directed by Almeida Associate Director Whitney Mosery, is coming to Latitude Festival from 18 – 20 July. Taking inspiration from Strindberg, Jung, Prometheus and PostSecret, the show challenges the assumption that self-defining has replaced self-reflection. Here, Young Friends Sarah King and Jack Haynes share the inside scoop:
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Mr Burns: Audience Responses

July 9, 2014 by

As Mr Burns continues to spark debate, we captured some audience responses fresh from the auditorium. See what they had to say:

Mr Burns plays at the Almeida until 26 July 2014. For more information, or to book tickets, click here.

Mr Burns: Recommended Reading

July 3, 2014 by

Anne Washburn’s imaginative Mr Burns is inspiring widespread discussion among audiences, on everything from nuclear power and post-apocalyptic survival to storytelling, culture and the process of mythmaking. If its ideas are still rattling around in your head, here are a few books – recommended by the playwright herself – to check out.

The Stand the stand
by Stephen King

Anne says: “A vast novel about an engineered superflu which wipes out almost all of humanity; the initial procedurally interesting decline of a civilization, and the mechanics of living in the aftermath of the plague gives way to an epic battle between good and evil. I adore this book and have read it a lot. The first time when I was 16, the last when I was rehearsing for a month in Washington DC and found an unedited (not recommended) version in my rental apartment. God and Satan make for tricky protagonists, and the novel peters out a bit, but it’s great good fun for a good long while and the first third, in particular, is a beautifully detailed portrait of just-pre-Regan-era America.”

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Mr Burns: Tech in Pictures

July 2, 2014 by

Before an Almeida production begins preview performances, the creative team hold technical rehearsals to put all of the sound, lighting and assorted technical elements of the show together. During the tech process, the team establish cues, make adjustments to special effects, and iron out other technical details. Below is a visual tour of the Mr Burns tech, courtesy Manuel Harlan.


Deputy Production Manager Aggi Agostino, Company Stage Manager Maris Sharp, Director Robert Icke, Associate Director Whitney Mosery and musician Fi Digney in tech. Image: Manuel Harlan

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Mr Burns: Designing the Future

June 27, 2014 by

In a blog post responding to the myriad reactions to Mr Burns, Andrew Haydon writes, “the design here, especially of the final act, feels absolutely central to how we even begin to read this production.”

He continues: “How it looks is pretty much the entirety of the information we’re given about how far this culture has progressed (or regressed) since the apocalypse 82 years earlier. It’s the key to the production’s ideological take on what the script means, and indeed the outward manifestation of their optimism or pessimism about human ingenuity.”

Below, Designer Tom Scutt shares his early concept sketches for the look of the characters in Act III of Mr Burns, along with some insight on his inspiration for each:


“Simply imagining what a Greek chorus of the ghosts of Springfield would look like! The use of the fake-grass Hawaiian hula skirts was a bit of a revelation.” Image (c) Tom Scutt

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Mr Burns: Stories That Survive, Part 2

June 25, 2014 by
The cast of Mr Burns. Photo: Manuel Harlan

The cast of Mr Burns. Photo: Manuel Harlan

Some stories have existed for centuries, weathering wars, political unrest, technological advancement and social change. Many have been preserved and distributed through oral traditions, a few have evolved with their tellers and the times – and all continue to capture the imagination of audiences today.

Part 2 of 2. Read Part 1 Read the rest of this entry »


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