Want to experience the spine-tingling excitement of live theatre just a short hop from home?
Classic plays, modern works and even a powerful musical are on the bill starting this week (6 February) at the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA) in Talgarth Road, Barons Court, which receives financial support from Hammersmith & Fulham Council.
Residents can get discounted tickets to the series of spring events thanks to a new, enhanced community engagement programme for local people provided by LAMDA in partnership with the council.
The collaboration will open up many aspects of LAMDA’s work, performance and training activity to residents at the world-leading drama training facilities.
It forms part of the council’s aim to make the borough one of the country’s leading destinations for the arts as outlined in its new Arts Strategy.
The core aims of the Arts Strategy include:
- Destination: Boost the local economy by developing and promoting a thriving borough for the arts
- Creation: Support people to create and produce excellent art of all kinds
- Inclusion: Give residents from a wide range of backgrounds more opportunity to experience and participate in artistic and cultural activity
“LAMDA are a great example of the already thriving art scene in the borough and we want to make it even better,” said Cllr Andrew Jones, H&F Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration. “We want to make H&F into one of the best artistic hubs in the country.”
Kicking off with productions of After the Dance, set on the brink of World War II, and Henrik Ibsen’s masterpiece Hedda Gabler, adapted by Brian Friel, the LAMDA spring season will bring eight plays to the stage.
The season also includes performances of the iconic musical Cabaret, set in 1930s Berlin as the Nazi Party begins its rise to power, while Shakespeare’s heartbreaking comedy Twelfth Night showcases the academy’s exploration of the Bard’s work.
Torben Betts’ modern play Muswell Hill, which premiered in 2012 and shares the story of a disastrous dinner party taking place in North London while an earthquake ravages Haiti, is a look at the disconnect between affluent and poor in society.
A total of 52 graduating students from LAMDA’s professional acting degree courses will share their talents with audiences during the run of performances from 6 February to 14 April.
Professional directors have collaborated with the graduating class to bring the theatrical works to life, including Joanna Read, who is LAMDA’s principal, Dublin-based director Ronan Phelan, and Philip Breen, who has worked with the Royal Shakespeare Company and Royal Opera House.
“At LAMDA, we find the best young actors, directors and theatre technicians and nurture their talent through our challenging training,” explained Joanna.
“These professionally directed shows are an essential part of their development and a unique opportunity for you to see them, right here in Hammersmith & Fulham, at the beginning of their careers.”
Among other plays set for the spring season is We Are Three Sisters, by playwright Blake Morrison, which explores the lives of Charlotte, Anne and Emily Brontë through the text of Anton Chekhov’s play, Three Sisters.
Meanwhile, Noël Coward’s biting comedy Hay Fever takes a sharp look at the games people play to avoid reality, while Samuel D Hunter’s A Bright New Boise shares the relentless world of the employees of a craft store in the American west.
H&F residents can take advantage of £7 tickets for all performances, as well as over 65s and under 18s, students, and those in receipt of Job Seeker’s Allowance.
British film star Benedict Cumberbatch has been appointed as the new President of LAMDA as he takes over from Timothy West, who stepped down after 31 years in the role.
“Having trained at LAMDA, I am thrilled to have been appointed as its new President,” said Benedict. “It will be an honour to watch the next generation of actors, directors and technicians blossom and grow into outstanding creative artists and theatre professionals through the exceptional training provided by LAMDA.”
In 2013, Benedict launched LAMDA’s fundraising campaign for its new building which opened in spring 2017.
LAMDA’s new home in Talgarth Road – with its ten rehearsal/training studios, three public performance spaces (The Sainsbury Theatre, The Carne Studio Theatre and the LAMDA Linbury Studio) and screen and audio suite – unites all of LAMDA’s world-leading training facilities on one campus in Barons Court.
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