News
News

Iris Theatre is looking for three passionate individuals who would like to be part of the busy company office as ASSISTANT PRODUCER (x2) or MARKETING ASSISTANT for our upcoming summer productions of Macbeth and Hansel & Gretel. These are exciting, voluntary roles, offering the successful candidates strong experience in theatre producing or arts marketing to further their career as a theatre professional.

For more information about the roles, follow the links below!

Assistant Producer
Marketing Assistant

As these positions are voluntary, they can be fit in around other commitments. Though not full time roles, an involvement of two to three days per weekwould be ideal to gain the best experience. We are looking for volunteers able to start as soon as possible, and the roles will ideally run throughout the summer (until early September), but this can be flexible.

Performance dates:
Macbeth
: 21 June to 29 July 2017
Hansel & Gretel: 3 August to 3 September 2017

To apply, please send your CV and a cover letter (2 sides of A4 max), including clearly your availability to

For Assistant Producers:
Tanja Pagnuco, Summer Producer, Iris Theatre, summer@iristheatre.com
Please insert ASSISTANT PRODUCER as the subject.

For Marketing Assistant:
Paul Virides, Marketing Manager, Iris Theatre, marketing@iristheatre.com
Please insert
MARKETING ASSISTANT as the subject.

Deadline: Monday 27th March 2017, 5pm.
Interviews will be held on Tuesday 4 April 2017.

Mary Evans and Luke Bateman were matched up in Blind Date 2012. They won the Industry Panel Award for that event, and have since gone on to win the Audience Award in our Christmas songwriting competition, Xmas Factor, 2 years in a row.
In early 2015 Iris Theatre commissioned them to write their first full musical together. H.R.Haitch received a two week Arts Council England funded workshop, and after 2 hugely successful concert performances in May this year, we hope to take it to full production next spring.

 “It’s strange to think that a quirky competition I entered on a whim four years ago has had such an impact on my life. Through Work in Progress, I have met a fantastic collaborator and wonderful friend and we have gone on to have many wonderful experiences together. I also met Luke Bateman, but them’s the breaks…”

Mary Evans – Mary Evans

Are you a Composer or Lyricist looking for an exciting opportunity to flex your creative muscles?

blind date past pic 3 blind date past pic 4 Blind Date past pic1 blind date pastpic2

Since March 2011 Iris Theatre has been encouraging and promoting the work of new musical theatre writers through our Workin Process initiative. We aim to run events that inspire new musical theatre work by prompting artists to make a creative response and form new collaborations.

Following the success of Musical Theatre Blind Date 2012, which formed 14 new creative partnerships, we now bring you the next highly anticipated event. Blind Date 2015 will pair up Composers and Lyricists who have not previously collaborated to create a diverse collection of new works for a special concert at St Paul’s Church (The Actors Church), Covent Garden on October 25th 2015. We are interested in hearing from all types of writers; both experienced and those just starting out.

Previous winners, Mary Evans and Luke Bateman, have continued to collaborate and went on to win the Audience Award at our Christmas songwriting competition, Xmas Factor, for two consecutive years. Following their success, Iris Theatre commissioned them to create a brand new musical, H.R.Haitch, presented as a concert performance in May 2015 with the support of the Arts Council England.
“absolutely fabulous, humming tunes all the way home! Loved it! Brilliant!” APM Associates

APPLY TODAY

Based on a successful match, Iris will support collaborators during the composition process. The final songs will be judged by an esteemed panel of experts with a special prize for the best song on the night.

Deadline for submissions is at 6pm Friday 17th July 2015. Late applications may not be considered.

Performers! Are you interested in working on new material? Email us at workinprocess@iristheatre.com

CAST ANNOUNCED

 

Read all about our Twelfth Night company and creatives here.

 

One week in, and we are already knee deep in sheet music, scripts, and #chelfies! Thanks to the genius and hard work of our writer, Mary Evens, and composer, Luke Bateman, our stomachs are permanently sore from continual laughing (and we subsequently thank them for this excuse to continue to evade the gym).  H.R.Haitch’s first week of rehearsal was a success, our talented cast sounding more and more like a choir of angels with each run through.

Each member brings new flavor to the show, from Laura Wickham’s (Victoria) clear vocal tone to the operatic and distinctive Rosemary Ashe (the Queen) to the doe eyed Matthew Pennington (the Prince) to our East end heroine’s oh so charming accent (Chelsea played by Tori Allen-Martin). Honestly, we could not be more proud or excited about H.R. Haitch. but we are constantly being surprised by this crack team. If one were to measure the success of a show by the number of tea bags used to fuel its cast, H.R.Haitch wins the award.

It’s a show! The birth of a new musical
by Mary Evans

As someone who has produced an equal number of musicals and children, not for the first time it occurs to me that the processes have a lot in common. They both start with a bang, they both make me fat and no matter how painful the production, I’m always euphoric with the end result.

My newest arrival is H. R. Haitch, the new comedy musical I am writing with Luke Bateman. As is the way of these things, we told the good news of our baby’s due date by a doctor – Dr Dan Winder of Iris Theatre. It really was a dream commission – an opportunity to write a brand new show produced by this vibrant theatre company in Covent Garden – and thus far, it’s been a very straightforward pregnancy.

H. R. Haitch follows the adventures of East End chef Chelsea Taylor in her quest for the man she loves. The hitch? Her dippy boyfriend Harry is in fact HRH Prince Henry, who has lived his life in secret, shielded from the world’s press by a media embargo that lifts as our show opens on the eve of his 25th birthday. It’s a long way from Barking to Buckingham Palace and Chelsea finds herself caught between two worlds fighting to keep their identity: her father’s traditional East End pub under threat from regeneration; and the Royal Family, whose excess is making them deeply unpopular in these austere times.

As Oscar Wilde quipped, ‘talent borrows, genius steals’. In this case I stole the idea from myself, from a film script I had started to write around the time of the last royal wedding. As much was being made in the media of a “commoner” marrying into the Royal Family, I mused how the media would respond if someone rather less gentrified than the Duchess of Cambridge wed a prince – after all, if Kate Middleton is common, what the flamin’ Nora does that make the rest of us?

But if you are going to bring new life into the world, it is important to pick your partner well. He can never know, but working with Luke is like the perfect marriage – we have a natural chemistry, mutual respect, clearly defined roles and we can sleep with other people. Our relationship began, as so many do nowadays, through a dating site – in this instance Iris Theatre’s Work in Process Blind Date competition back in 2012. Composers and lyricists had to post personal ads for their professional talents and were then paired up. Luke and I were put together and hit it off from minute one – we were fortunate enough to win that competition and the two Xmas Factor competitions that followed it in 2013 & 2014, leading to Iris commissioning this musical.

Going from writing individual songs to a full show is like going straight from your first date to living together. We’ve had to work out a process as we go along (not to mention who’s taking out the bins), but it has been enormous fun doing so. I write book and lyrics, so for the songs I usually write a verse and a chorus, Luke writes the tune and then I lyricise the rest to his music. When I was running short of inspiration earlier in the process, I asked Luke to write the tune first, a request I immediately regretted after a tortured week of twisting my words around his notes – although the two numbers concerned have turned out really well and it was interesting to try a new position. I’ve written the script as we’ve gone along and we act it out between ourselves to see what works – you haven’t lived until you’ve heard Luke play a randy sexagenarian woman…

So as the due date approaches, we are getting ready for the final push – rehearsals start in early May. Our baby is developing nicely and is lucky enough to already have a generous godparent in the Arts Council England, which is supporting the show with funding. Original musical commissions are rarer than primary school places, so we feel very lucky to have the chance to bring one into the world. Will it be a beautiful baby?
Judge for yourselves on Weds 20th and Thurs 21st May at the Actors’ Church, Covent Garden at 7.30:
www.iristheatre.com. We look forward to wetting its head with you.

Tickets are only £10. Buy them here.

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On Friday March 20th Iris Theatre performed Sitting on a Gate from Alice: Through the Looking Glass before Dame Judi Dench at the unveiling of a statue at St. Paul’s Church. After a service in the church, Dame Judi adjourned to the courtyard where she proceeded to cut the ribbon, officially unveiling the Statue of St. Paul on horseback by artist Bruce Denny. In her speech, Dame Judy said that she “hopes [actors] may come to this space for inspiration.” The statue, now an integral part to Iris Theatre, resides nobly  in the performance space of Iris’s Summer productions of Twelfth Night and Pinocchio.

Photo credit: Ben Carpenter

In light of the upcoming summer season, Iris Theatre is pleased to welcome Vik Sivalingam to the summer team as he takes on the role of Director for Twelfth Night. Vik is currently the Resident Director for Made in Dagenham which is showing at the Adelphi Theatre in London. He has worked in theatres across the UK including the Almeida, the Old Vic, the Royal Court, Tricycle Theatre, Southwark Playhouse, Sheffield Crucible, the New Wolsey Theatre and Headlong. No stranger to Shakespeare, Vik was Resident Assistant Director at the Royal Shakespeare Company from 2008-2011 and holds a PG Award in Teaching Shakespeare from RSC and Warwick University. With all this being said, we are delighted to have Vik onboard as captain as we embark on our journey to the magical land of Illyria.

Vik PPP photo

Read on for an exclusive interview with Vik conducted by our own Summer Season Producer, Tanja Pagnuco:

What is your relationship with Shakespeare? Have you directed his plays before?
 
I came to Shakespeare later in life not having read the plays at school and was instantly captivated. Like all new converts, I am secretly evangelical about his work and feel my zealotry justified as he speaks directly to me. The fact that I share this feeling with millions of others is by the by! I am enthralled by his touching the widest range of people through the sheer genius of the plays.
I have directed A Midsummer’s Night Dream, Much Ado About Nothing and Pericles and during my time with the RSC, I was fortunate to work on a number of other plays including Romeo and Juliet, A Comedy of Errors and King Lear.
 
What do you like about Twelfth Night?
 
The decision that Viola takes in a moment of need forces her on a path that impacts on every character not least herself. I love the havoc wreaked by the mistaken identity element. 
 
Tell us about your favourite character in Twelfth Night?
 
All the characters in the play fascinate me one way or another but I would have to admit to a curiosity for Sebastian- a young man who seemingly blithely takes in his stride the events that occur to him. I am looking forward to getting to know him and discovering his penchant for the unusual particularly the alacrity of his agreement to marriage. Fabian is another man of mystery who doesn’t appear till the end of Act 2 and then proceeds to be the one Olivia turns to for a true reading of Malvolio’s letter. Intriguing!
 
What excites you most in directing this show for Iris Theatre?
 
I am excited to discover, reveal and revel in the play and it’s language within the beautifully atmospheric setting of the church and grounds. 

Recruitment for the Iris Summer Season is in full swing. We will be looking for a whole host of Cast and Creatives as we step into the warmer weather.

Keep up to date with our current Jobs and take a look at Volunteering for Iris too.

Have a read at some lovely comments from some of our past cast and creative team.

JOHN HOOF (CONSTRUCTION ASSISTANT)

I have very much enjoyed working with Iris over the summer, in particular getting to work with Nigel Winder and getting the benefit of his lifetime of experience with all kinds of making. The man is a real credit to the company and embodies much of what we could do with more of: as he can tell you himself Iris could do with funding in particular for tools and labour, to make sure we can consistently deliver a set and props which is fully in keeping and fully supporting the incredible acting and directing. That said I think we did remarkably well this year in using the current resources to the fullest. I feel very proud of what I & we made and I continue to learn more about what set building and hence theatre is really about. I look forward to working with Iris again in the future.

MARK HAWKINS (ACTOR)

This summer was my first experience with Iris Theatre and to be given the opportunity to play at St Paul’s Church was both unforgettable and challenging. This unique venue certainly demands a lot from the actor, both vocally and physically, it truly is such an immersive space and really helps to bring Shakespeare to life!
I loved being a part of this year’s Richard III. To play a role I would never have expected to be cast in has been a wonderful learning curve for me and I would relish the opportunity to work with Iris Theatre again.