Holding the door open How mentoring is providing crucial routes into theatre and helping emerging creatives stay in the game

Focus, pages 26-27

‘Children’s imaginations are fired by exposure

to Shakespeare’

RSC’s Jacqui

O’Hanlon Big Interview,

pages 12-14

Real-life drama Dramatising the stories of living people comes with a great responsibility. We go inside the process of James Graham’s Punch

Opinion, pages 10-11

‘It just goes to show that if you hang around long enough, it all comes your way eventually’ Richard Cant page 29

THESTAGE.CO.UK

E.CO.UK

Fighting for the future of theatre since 1880

MAY .

J O H A N P E R S S O N

The Cherry Orchard

Rev iewed this week in The Stage

Our critics on all the latest shows, including The Cherry Orchard, The Buddha of Suburbia and Dugsi Dayz p15-21

The Buddha of Suburbia

ST E V E TA N N E R

Dugsi Dayz

Laughing Boy

I O

I G L

C E S A R E D E G

I ST R A M K E N TO N

T R

Stage-door safety: stars call for improved security

KATIE CHAMBERS

West End actors have called on theatres to follow Broadway in installing physical barriers outside stage doors, with performers including Hadestown’s Melanie La Barrie and Hamilton’s Joel Montague reporting growing incidents of “uncomfortable” interactions with audiences.

They said Broadway-style barriers should be “normalised” alongside other, stricter measures to protect actors from negative experiences at the stage door.

Their pleas follow a social media post by La Barrie informing her fans that she would be taking a temporary break from appearing at the Hadestown stage door after being persistently “grabbed”.

Speaking to The Stage, La Barrie emphasised that it was a small minority of fans whose behaviour caused her to take a break from visiting the stage door, calling her Hadestown stage-door experiences “overwhelmingly positive”.

La Barrie said: “I know that nobody’s being malicious. I know that the fans are just being enthusiastic and that some of

Melanie La Barrie Joel Montague

MARC BRENNER

DANNY KAAN

them have come from abroad to see the show, or see me specifically.

“I want musical theatre fans to always have that kind of enthusiasm. But I was starting to get uncomfortable with how the interactions were going.”

La Barrie also highlighted “systemic” issues with stage door gatherings, noting that despite the barriers provided at London’s Lyric Theatre, an “overflow of electric bikes parked there and illplaced Portaloos” made it “difficult” to enforce safety.

Continues on p2; Editor’s View, p6

Playwrights join leadership team at Royal Court

MATTHEW HEMLEY

Royal Court boss David Byrne has appointed four associate playwrights – including Ryan Calais Cameron and Mike Bartlett – who will become part of a “collective leadership” model and develop the London venue’s artistic programme.

The Royal Court said appointing the associates – who also include Vinay Patel and Nina Segal – would put the venue “in the hands of playwrights”.

It follows concerns that the organisation was making redundancies in the literary department, which at the time prompted the theatre to insist that its “commitment to supporting writers remains at the centre of all we do”. The appointment of the associates chimes with that sentiment.

All four associates join Gillian Greer, associate playwright and dramaturg, who joined the organisation earlier in this year.

Continues on p2

I S

A N D R E A S L A M B

Judi Dench Actor backs Old Vic time capsule burial Page 4

Opera in crisis Leaders say sector’s issues go beyond funding woes Page 5

Lyn Gardner Artists shouldn’t shoulder burden of tough times Page 7

Calder calling Inside the beloved independent theatre bookshop Page 28

Want a new job? Vacancies in Manchester, London and Dubai Pages 24-25