Mark Shenton Will Host London Interview Series, Featuring Rob Ashford, Nicholas Hytner and More

News   Mark Shenton Will Host London Interview Series, Featuring Rob Ashford, Nicholas Hytner and More
 
Director/choreographers Rob Ashford and Craig Revel Horwood, National Theatre artistic director Nicholas Hytner, producers Bill Kenwright and Michael Codron, actress Janie Dee, musical theatre writing team Stiles and Drewe and veteran theatre school founder Sylvia Young will take part in These Are A Few Of My Favourite Songs, a new live cabaret interview series at London's Jermyn Street Theatre.

Rob Ashford
Rob Ashford Photo by Aubrey Reuben

The season, which will run May 29-June 4, will be hosted by Playbill.com London correspondent Mark Shenton, and will feature performances of songs chosen by the guests performed by recent Helen Hayes Award winner Caroline Sheen. The season benefits the Theatrical Guild, a U.K.-based charity that looks after backstage and front-of-house personnel in need; it is sponsored by ArenaPal, the specialist entertainment photographic agency.

Rob Ashford, who will appear May 29, is currently represented on Broadway with his production of How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying starring Daniel Radcliffe, and in London he is currently co-directing the West End transfer of Broadway's Shrek at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

Craig Revel Horwood, who will appear May 30, has been nominated for Olivier Awards for his choreography of Spend Spend Spend and My One and Only. His autobiography, called "All Balls and Glitter: My Life," was first published in 2008. He is best known for being a judge on BBC's Strictly Come Dancing.

Bill Kenwright, who will appear May 31, runs Britain's biggest independent theatre and film production company, with a constant roster of West End and touring shows that currently include Blood Brothers, The Wizard of Oz, Dreamboats and Petticoats, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Evita, Jekyll and Hyde and The Pitmen Painters. On Broadway, his work has included the Tony-winning productions of Dancing at Lughnasa, Medea and A Doll's House, as well as Blood Brothers and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.

Michael Codron, who will appear June 1, is a veteran West End producer who was responsible for the premières of plays by Joe Orton, Harold Pinter, Tom Stoppard, Simon Gray, James Saunders, Michael Frayn, Christopher Hampton, Ronald Harwood and many others. Last year, "Putting It On," a biography co-written with Alan Strachan, was published to great acclaim, and he was presented with a special Laurence Olivier Award to mark his lifetime achievement. Nicholas Hytner, who will appear June 2, is artistic director of the National Theatre, a post he has held since 2003. His productions there have included Carousel (that transferred to the West End and Broadway's Lincoln Center) and several Alan Bennett plays, including The Madness of George III (subsequently on film), The History Boys (subsequently also on Broadway and on film) and The Habit of Art. He recently directed Hamlet with Rory Kinnear in the title role. Other directorial credits include Miss Saigon (West End, Broadway and worldwide) onstage, and "The Crucible" (starring Daniel Day-Lewis) on film.

Janie Dee, who will appear June 3, first came to prominence in musicals including Carousel at the National and the West End run of My One and Only. She has also starred in the West End in Alan Ayckbourn's Comic Potential, for which she received the Olivier, Evening Standard and Critics' Circle Best Actress Awards (and subsequently Off-Broadway). Other leading roles in plays include West End productions of Ayckbourn's Woman in Mind and Pinter's Betrayal. She is currently appearing at Shakespeare's Globe as the Countess of Rousillon in All's Well That Ends Well.

Sylvia Young, who will appear June 4 (matinee at  4 PM), is founder and principal of the full and part-time theatre school that bears her name. She has taught a Who's Who of British entertainment personalities, from Emma Bunton and Amy Winehouse to Kara Tointon, Denise van Outen and her own daughter Frances Ruffelle, who will join her mother for the event to sing one of Young's favorite songs.

George Stiles and Anthony Drewe, who will appear June 4 (evening performance at 8 PM), are a British composer/lyricist team, currently represented in the West End by Betty Blue Eyes, and on Broadway and Australia by additional songs for Mary Poppins, both of which are produced by Cameron Mackintosh and directed by Richard Eyre. Their long professional collaboration, begun when they met as students, has also included the Olivier Award-winning Honk! (National Theatre), Just So and Peter Pan.

In addition to being London correspondent for Playbill.com, Mark Shenton is theatre critic for the Sunday Express and also writes regularly for the UK trade paper The Stage, including a daily blog. He has previously conducted platforms at the National Theatre and the regular "In Discussion" series of public interviews at the Donmar Warehouse.

Caroline Sheen's musical theatre credits include the title role in Mary Poppins (on tour in the UK and the US, where she recently won the Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Lead Actress for its run at Washington DC's Kennedy Center), Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Mamma Mia! and Les Miserables in the West End and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum for the National Theatre.

For more information on the work of the Theatre Guild, visit www.ttg.org.uk. To book tickets for the season, contact the box office on 020 7287 2875, or visit www.jermynstreettheatre.co.uk.

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