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Iris Theatre Announces Winter Season 2020

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The company’s inaugural indoor winter season opens in December with live performances from the Ivor Novello Award-winning classical choir, Mediaeval Baebes.

Iris Theatre Announces Winter Season 2020

Following the announcement this week that Iris Theatre, the resident theatre company of the Actors' Church in Covent Garden, is one of the twelve new beneficiaries of Sir Ian McKellen's 80th Birthday tour, Paul-Ryan Carberry, Artistic Director, today announces its winter season 2020.

Known for its annual summer season of outdoor theatre, the company's inaugural indoor winter season opens in December with live performances from the Ivor Novello Award-winning classical choir, Mediaeval Baebes, performing tracks from their new album, Christmas carols and traditional folk songs. In February, Willow Walk Productions' hit musical St Anne Comes Home, supported by Iris Theatre, returns to The Actors' Church following its successful première in August.

The company also present The Snow Queen, an interactive digital adventure for families. Directed by Natasha Rickman and using innovative new technology, families are able to take part in the story, helping the characters on their adventure.

Iris theatre will also continue its PLATFORM initiative, hosting monthly showcases throughout 2021, championing and supporting artists from a variety of disciplines as they take the next steps in their careers. Previous PLATFORM artists include Reuben Johnson, Dylan Wynford & Nick Hart. The next two PLATFORM events will take place on 29 January and 26 February 2021, with artists and further details to be announced.

In addition, Iris Theatre are pleased to host Potential Difference's Signal Fires event in November, one of a series of productions being presented nationwide this Autumn by the UK's leading touring theatre companies.

As part of an ongoing commitment to supporting early career artists, Iris Theatre's Start:DIRECTING programme offers training, mentoring and placement opportunities for artists of all ages who have a passion for making theatre. The initial cohort of 5 incredible early career directors will receive creative placements across the winter season due to the support of Iris' funders and the winter season companies. Start DIRECTORS are Grace Bussey, Monica Cox, Moe Farah, Jenny Horsthuis, and Larissa Nugroho.

Artistic Director of Iris Theatre, Paul-Ryan Carberry today said, "We are really excited to share with our audience such an eclectic group of artists and events this winter. Despite the difficulties of 2020 we remain determined to not stand still and drive forward with our ambitions for making more opportunities for artists than ever before. We are so grateful for the incredible support we have received this year and we'd also like to say a big thank you to Sir Ian McKellen and to ATG for their generosity towards Iris Theatre; we are honoured to be one of the charities being supported by Sir Ian's recent tour."

Executive Director, Charlotte Lund added, "Iris Theatre strives to provide transformational opportunities for artists and audiences alike whether it is an original, innovative digital performance or Ivor Novello winning musicians, this season certainly offers something for everyone. We hope that whether we are welcoming our audiences back through our doors in person or online that they'll be able to experience the joy and magic of live theatre together."

Social distancing measures will be in operation at The Actors' Church, with tickets available in singles and pairs. All patrons, unless they have a known medical condition, will be required to wear a face covering at the venue. For full details on the measures implemented to ensure audience safety and wellbeing, please visit: www.iristheatre.com

Potential Difference presents

SIGNAL FIRES

The Actors' Church

4 November

Reuniting the creative team of their postponed production Fragments, Potential Difference invite audiences to gather near, while staying afar, in the grounds of The Actors' Church. Light your lantern and search for a trail of clues to invoke and honour performers of the past, present and future. If you see your fellow seekers, signal to them - but don't get too close - or the invocation may dissipate!

MEDIAEVAL BAEBES

The Actors' Church

3 December - 5 December

With lush, ethereal harmonies, the classical chart-topping choir weaves its story-telling magic, performing songs from their new album, the extraordinary '​Prayers of the Rosary'​, Christmas carols from their hit album ​'Of Kings and Angels​' and the uplifting hit title theme for TV's ​'Victoria', alongside traditional folk songs, and innovative settings of ancient and romantic poetry.

The unique and classical chart-topping choir ​Mediaeval Baebes​ was conceptualised and formed in 1996 by musical director, composer and producer Katharine Blake. The group have released 10 studio albums, won an Ivor Novello Award for their performance on the BBC series 'The Virgin Queen' and received 2 Emmy nominations and a Royal Television Society award as the featured artist alongside composer Martin Phipps for the theme tune of ITV's hit TV show 'Victoria'.

December 2020 will see the release of the group's tenth studio album, 'Prayers of the Rosary'. Steeped in the ceremony and melodrama of the Catholic tradition, these original settings of iconic Latin prayers reflect the full spectrum of the divine experience, from the terrifying to the celestial.

Iris Theatre presents

THE SNOW QUEEN: AN ONLINE, STORYTELLING ADVENTURE

Director: Natasha Rickman

Online

19 - 26 December

Press performance: Sun 20 December, 2pm

"When we get to the end of the story, you will know more than you do now"

Stories get delivered to Holly's door and then...she tells them. Easy! Right?

Except today a new story has been delivered but it's freezing cold, so cold in fact that Holly can't even open the pages. She's going to need a bit of help with this one...and that's where you come in!

From the comfort of your home, join Holly this Christmas for a magical, snow-filled adventure, inspired by the classic fairy tale 'The Snow Queen'. Clap your hands, make some magic and join in with the whole family, wherever they are in the world.

Iris Theatre is excited to present this interactive, online, storytelling adventure for audiences aged 4+ and their big people. Using innovative new technology, families will participate in the story, helping Holly in her adventure. Alongside the show, families can download a free activity pack filled with fun games and craft ideas based on the show.

(Performances will take place live on Zoom. More information on this and on our pre-show activity pack can be found via Iris Theatre's website).

Guidance aged 4+

Natasha Rickman directs. Her previous live digital work includes Time Machine: A Virtual Reality and Merry Wives of Whatsapp (Creation Theatre). Her theatre credits include Rhino (King's Head Theatre), Twelfth Night (Rose Playhouse/RSC) and Time Machine (London Library). As associate/assistant credits include Romeo and Juliet (Shakespeare's Globe), Comedy of Errors (RSC), A Little Night Music (Storyhouse) and Shirley Valentine (Bury St Edmunds).

Willow Walk Productions and Iris Theatre presents

ST. ANNE COMES HOME

Written and composed by Jack Miles

Director: Martha Geelan; Musical Supervision: Joe Beighton; Sound Design: Charlie Smith

The Actors' Church

8 February - 14 February

Press night: Tuesday 9 Feb, 7.30pm

Following a five star, sell-out run St. Anne Comes Home returns to the Actors' Church. The new musical is written and composed by Jack Miles and told through original folk music.

London can be lonely. But on the steps of St. Anne's Church two people strike up an unlikely friendship. James has spent years running away from his problems, while Bridget is trapped by hers. Told through original folk music, St. Anne Comes home is a story about community, fear and forgiveness, that explores how reaching out might help us find our way.

Jack Miles is a writer and composer. His credits include The Problem with Fletcher Mott (Drayton Arms Theatre) and Adeline (Edinburgh Festival Fringe).

Martha Geelan's credits as a director include Macbeth, The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night (UK & international tours), The Psychosocial Gathering, The Librarians (Edinburgh Festival Fringe), Wolf (The Bunker Theatre), Spring Awakening: The Musical, Love and Money (Norwich Theatre Royal), Our New Girl (Park Theatre), Between the Sheets, Potato Salad, When I Wake (Waterloo East Theatre) and As You Might Like It (Rosemary Branch Theatre). As Associate Director her credits include Fiddler on the Roof (Menier Chocolate Factory/ Playhouse Theatre), Love in Idleness (Menier Chocolate Factory/Apollo Theatre), The Bridges of Madison County (Menier Chocolate Factory), Agnes Colander (Theatre Royal Bath). Other credits as Associate/Assistant Director include, Indecent, The Lie, She Loves Me (Menier Chocolate Factory), God of Carnage (Theatre Royal Bath), Top Hat, Thoroughly Modern Millie, West Side Story (Kilworth House Theatre) and The Patriotic Traitor (Park Theatre).

Twitter/Instagram: @stannemusical


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