Wednesday, 23 October 2013

LAWRENCE: Scandalous! Censored! Banned! and The Bridewell Theatre

Welcome back to Access London and Thank You once again for helping to support Access for All to the Arts. This week sees a strictly limited run (one week only) of 'Lawrence: Scandalous! Censored! Banned', the musical, based on the life of D H Lawrence opening at The Bridewell Theatre, in the City (just off of Fleet Street). "Set between 1907 and 1930, Lawrence is a compelling story with an exciting and diverse musical score that captures the spirit and passion of D H Lawrence the man, the writer and the lover." Lawrence was the author of titles that include, Lady Chatterley's Lover, Sons & Lovers, Women in Love and The Rainbow.
From humble beginnings as a Nottinghamshire miner's son, David Herbert Lawrence finally breaks away from the stifling love of his mother, Lydia, and the brooding intensity of his girlfriend, Jessie, to pursue his quest as a writer. This is a story of hope, restlessness and rejection set against a profoundly moving and turbulent public love affair with Frieda von Richthofen, a German baroness. Frieda gives up her children and her comfortable life as a Professor's wife to embark on a tumultuous roller-coaster ride with Lawrence, the working-class genius. Inspired firstly by his life and the people in his home town, Eastwood, Lawrence writes Sons and Lovers, then The Rainbow, then Women in Love. His writing is new and brave, spontaneous and passionate, sexually explicit, and often scandalous! ... it rocks the establishment. Labelled a "peddler of pornography", many of his books are censored or banned - but he passionately clings to his beliefs and struggles on. Finally, penniless and with no hope of his work being published, and even accused of spying for the Germans, Lawrence and Frieda leave England in search of a better life. They travel but never settle for long, with Lawrence constantly drawn to England ... the "country of my heart". When they return in 1926, Lawrence witnesses the miners' desperate fight for fair wages and rights against the might and greed of the wealthy mine owners. This inspires him to write what will become the most daring and notorious novel of its day. As the first edition of Lady Chatterley’s Lover rolls off the press, Lawrence finally collapses from an illness he has been fighting since birth. At the end of a life that saw much of his work censored and reviled, Lawrence - with Frieda by his side glimpses a future where he will at last be recognised as one of the greatest English novelists of the 20th century: “I will rise like the Phoenix from the ashes of my life".
Broadway star, Bart Shatto is reprising the role of Lawrence, following his run in the New Orleans production in 2009. The cast includes, Garth Bardsley, Nick Wyschna, Christiane Noll, Lindsay Hamilton, Diana DiMarzio and Tony Oakley. Performances run from Tuesday 22nd - Saturday 26th October every evening at 7.30. There is also a matinee on Saturday 26th at 2.30pm. Tickets can be booked online HERE
Access Information: The entrance to Bridewell Theatre and Bar is in Bride Lane. Access is over a threshold stone of 10-15cm. Ramps are available and can be placed over the threshold to assist with Access for wheelchair users. Unfortunately, the building itself, and the lifts used to Access the auditorium mean that the Bridewell is not suitable for mobility scooters. For wheelchair users and those who cannot manage stairs, Access from the threshold to the auditorium is via a stairlift (230kg weight load) and to the theatre bar and WC via a platform lift (340kg weight load). The Bridewell is an intimate theatre space and currently doesn't have the use of a hearing loop system. If you are a wheelchair user or need to make use of the ramps or lifts during your visit, it is advised that you telephone ahead to the theatre so that someone can be there to assist you, the theatre can also only cater for 2 wheelchair users for any one performance. The telephone is staffed Monday - Friday on 020 7353 3331. Enquiries about assistance dogs can also be made to the number.

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Strangers On A Train & The Gielgud Theatre

Welcome back to Access London and Thank You once again for helping to support Access for All to the Arts. Next month sees the opening of 'Strangers On A Train' at the Gielgud Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue.
"Two strangers. One conversation. The perfect murder. A seemingly innocent conversation soon turns into a nightmarish and dangerous reality for Guy Haines when he meets Charles Bruno on a train journey. Ahead lies a lethal nightmare of blackmail and psychological torment that threatens to cost Guy his career, his marriage and his sanity. His choice: to kill, or to be framed for a murder he didn't commit. Get on board for the West End's most gripping new thriller, as the classic Strangers on a Train opens at the Gielgud Theatre. Written by Craig Warner and based on Patricia Highsmith's acclaimed novel, inspiration for Alfred Hitchcock's legendary movie, this new stage production stars, Laurence Fox (Guy), Jack Huston (Bruno), Christian McKay (Gerard), Miranda Raison (Anne), Imogen Stubbs (Elsie) and MyAnna Buring (Miriam)."
Access Information: The Access entrance to the auditorium is located through the third side EXIT door on Rupert Street (alongside the theatre). Ask a member of staff at the main entrance to open this for you. There is one 12cm step up into the theatre at this entrance. For wheelchair and scooter users, and those who cannot manage the step, ask a member of staff for the ramp to be placed over this (this is usually done automatically anyway). There is step free Access to row B in the Dress Circle. Seats B5 and B30 can be removed to provide 2 spaces for wheelchair users, with a companion seat next to them. These seats can also be used as transfer seats and for those who cannot manage steps. From here there is 1 step between each row. You cannot see a very small part of the stage from the angle of seats B5 and B30 because of a safety rail in front of Row A. It isn't much of a restriction and shouldn't disturb the enjoyment of the performance.
There is an infra-red system in the auditorium with 12 headsets available – Free hire upon production of ID. Please collect these from foyer kiosk or ask your companion to do so if you cannot manage steps. You will be asked to sign a receipt. It is advised that you check the availability of the headsets before booking, please call 0844 482 5137. Assistance dogs are allowed into the auditorium or alternatively staff are happy to dog sit during the performance. Please let the box office know of your requirements at time of booking as only a limited number of dogs can be in the building for any one performance. There is an adapted toilet in the Foyer bar that can be reached by a side corridor from the Dress Circle. The Foyer bar is step free from the Dress Circle. DFT have a dedicated Access staff member for each performance, so if you have any questions, they should be happy to help.
'Strangers On A Train' opens at The Gielgud on 2nd November and runs until 22nd February 2014. For Access bookings, including discounted seats for those with a disability and a companion, please call the Access line on 0844 482 5137. This will go to DFT's main number, please select the option for The Gielgud and you will then be put through directly to the box office onsite.