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Following the recent announcements of its partnership with Amazon Prime Video UK, the UK/Ireland exclusive streaming of BenDeLaCreme Presents’ The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Special, and the BBC Arts ‘Lights Up’ partnership on Natasha Marshall’s Half Breed, Soho Theatre today announces the launch of its live comedy pilots programme, as well as the fourth series of its Comedy Masterclasses, and the addition of four new films to its Soho Theatre On Demand platform.
David Luff, Soho Theatre’s Creative Director, said: “Following a year unlike any other, we reach the festive season with new films on Soho Theatre On Demand and Amazon Prime Video, Natasha Marshall’s Half Breed coming soon to BBC Four and iPlayer via our collaboration with BBC Arts Lights Up season, and more online comedy masterclasses. And thrillingly, with thanks in part to the Cultural Recovery Fund grant, a pilot season of live performances at our Dean Street home for the first time since we closed on Monday 16 March. With a brilliant selection of theatre, comedy and cabaret, this winter get comfy at home or wrap up warm and join us in Soho for a show and a drink. It’s been quite a year but, whisper it, live shows are on the way back!”
Marking the first time the Soho Downstairs space will be open to the public since Soho Theatre closed its doors on Monday 16 March, the Live Comedy Pilots Programme will feature some new and old work from Soho staples, in a covid-secure environment following government advice for Tier-2 venues. Measures will include a one-way system throughout the venue, a socially distanced seating plan with limited capacity, paperless tickets and contactless payments, a phone and online-only box office, as well as the possibility to pre-order drinks when buying your tickets.
Friday 11 December 7pm
Shappi Khorsandi: The Shappi Hour
Shappi Khorsandi is one of the UK’s best stand-up comedians whose TV credits range from Mock the Week to Have I Got News For You, and 8/10 Cats to some obscure history show she’s not sure if anyone watched. Her radio credits are as long as your arm but where she truly shines is live on stage. Thank goodness she’s back, she’s not much good at anything else.
Saturday 12 December 9.30pm
Blue Book Artist Management presents
Huge Davies: The Carpark
From Comedy Central at the Comedy Store, Huge Davies brings his award nominated debut show to London. Expect dark humour, surreal songs, his one-of a-kind wearable keyboard and of course: a carpark. TV appearances include Harry Hill’s Clubnite (Channel 4), Jonathan Ross’ Comedy Club and Out There (ITV), The Now Show (Radio 4), Comedy Central at the Comedy Store, The Comedy Central Chart Show and being the first ever musical battle on Roast Battle UK (Comedy Central). His acting credits include Lazy Susan’s Comedy Short and The First Team (BBC Two).
Wednesday 16 December 7pm
UTC Artist Management presents
Dane Baptiste’s Christmas List (of Issues)
Join Dane Baptiste, one of the most celebrated stars in British comedy, as he reflects on a year like no other. Star of the brand new BBC Comedy Show BAMOUS launching in 2021 and hit podcast Dane Baptiste Questions Everything. As seen on Live at the Apollo, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Sunny D, Live at the Palladium… pretty much all over your TV screen.
With support from the fast rising Toussaint Douglass. Toussaint Douglass is one of comedy’s most exciting and talked about new names and is already making serious waves across the industry. His innovative brand of stand up mixes the personal with the political, whilst adding a uniquely absurdist slant to brilliant comic effect.
Thursday 17 December 7pm
Chambers Management presents
Sindhu Vee: WIP
Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer-nominee Sindhu Vee returns to Soho with an hour of brand-new material. As seen and heard on Live At The Apollo, QI, Have I Got News For You, Sex Education, Things My Mother Never Told Me (…About Lockdown) and The Guilty Feminist Podcast.
Friday 18 December 7pm
Ebdon Management presents
Jessica Fostekew: Hench Version 2.0 – The Re-remembering
Hench Version 2.0 – The re-remembering. With all the Christmas trimmings (code for new bits tucked in, here and there). Absolute powershed and regular host of The Guilty Feminist, Jessica Fostekew explores her big strong strength. Have you ever watched a feminist try and take ‘hench’ as a compliment? It’s like watching a snake eat but funny. Hench was nominated for the Dave’s Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Show, Best Show at the Leicester Comedy Festival and it won best show in the 2020 Chortle Awards, Jess also taking best break-through act. Jess has been seen on BBC’s Live at the Apollo, QI and Richard Osman’s House of Games, in BBC sitcoms Motherland and Cuckoo and BAFTA Award-winning drama Three Girls. She’s also in Michael Winterbottom’s feature film, Greed.
Friday 18 December 9.30pm
PBJ Management presents
Tim Key: Chrimbo Bimbo
Tim Key will be tethering his long-suffering reindeer outside Soho Theatre and nipping in to empty his festive sack all over the floor/audience/place. There’ll be poems of course, stinkin’ sprouts, probably mulled wine, cloves, and other yule garbage. Poems have all been dug back out of Key’s trusty Christmas chest and Key’s tinsel is in tatters. Classic Christmas Fayre. Also, big questions over budget so reindeer may end up being a normal deer or cow.
Saturday 19 December 7pm
Soho Theatre presents
Stand Up with Janine Harouni (Please Remain Seated)
At Janine’s father is a lifelong New Yorker and son of Middle-Eastern immigrants. He’s also an avid Donald Trump supporter. Attempting to reconcile those things makes for one tense Sunday dinner. Catch multi award-winning newcomer Janine Harouni in her debut show about standing up for what you believe in, even if you have to do it really nicely. Winner: Laughing Horse New Act of the Year 2018 and 1/3 of award-winning sketch trio Muriel. Seen/heard on Comedy Central, Comic Relief, BBC Three, and BBC Radio Four.
Saturday 19 December 9.30pm
Chambers Management presents
Catherine Bohart: Live
At the beginning of 2020, Catherine Bohart was busy writing a stand-up show about moving into a new home with her long-term partner and about how life in general was going pretty well. This is not that show. Join the star of BBC2’s The Mash Report for an hour of (mostly) new stand-up comedy. As seen and heard on Roast Battle, 8 Out Of 10 Cats, The Stand Up Sketch Show, Jon Richardson: Ultimate Worrier and The Guilty Feminist Podcast.
Soho Theatre’s digital service, Soho Theatre On Demand, is currently broadening the range of work available so that audiences can continue to see great theatre, comedy and cabaret, and provide a platform for independent artists, theatre companies and practitioners at this time when venues can’t fully reopen. The next batch of releases includes four new films: The Tiger Lillies: Live in Prague (2009), Camille O’Sullivan: Dark Angel, Live at the Olympia (2007), New Perspectives’ The Boss of It All (2020), and OperaUpClose’s La bohème (2015).
A New Perspectives and Soho Theatre co-production
in association with Derby QUAD
THE BOSS OF IT ALL (2020)
By Lars Von Trier
In an adaptation written by Jack McNamara
Presented by arrangement with Nordiska ApS, Copenhagen
Director Jack McNamara
Design Consultant Lily Arnold
Digital Consultancy TECH:SQUAD
Digital Producer Darius Powell
Technical Delivery Officer Adam Crowther
Stage Manager Oran O’Neill
With Angela Bain, Jamie de Courcey, Josie Lawrence, Rachel Summers, Ross Armstrong, David Alade, Yuriko Kotani, Tone Haldrup Lorenzen
The film will be available to rent on Soho Theatre On Demand from 9 December 2020 to 9 June 2021.
Probably The Best Danish Office Comedy in the World. For years the boss has tricked his staff into believing he is simply another co-worker. So when he needs a ‘real’ boss to help close the deal of a lifetime, he hires an actor to play the role. What could possibly go wrong? New Perspectives’ smash hit 2014 adaptation of Lars Von Trier’s cult film was given a full digital makeover, performed live and captured over Zoom in September 2020 when it won an On Comm Award. This outrageous and dry black comedy is led by Josie Lawrence and Ross Armstrong, joined by a host of acclaimed actors and comedians from around the world.
Praise for The Boss of It All (2014)
‘Wonderfully funny’ ★★★★ Exeunt Magazine
‘Sharp and smart’ ★★★★ The Stage
‘Impressively slick’ ★★★★ Time Out
Tim Whitehead Presents
THE TIGER LILLIES: LIVE IN PRAGUE (2009)
All songs written by Martyn Jacques
Directed by David Caleck
With The Tiger Lillies: Martyn Jacques (Vocals, Accordion, Piano), Adrian Stout (Contra Bass, Musical Saw, Theremin, Vocals), and Adrian Huge (Drums, Percussion, Toys)
Camera Operators: Matej Cibulka, Dalibor Fenci
Camera Equipment: Bratri s.r.o.
Film Postproduction: Bratri s.r.o.
Sound Engineers: Vaclav Flegl, Igor Pokorny
Sound Postproduction: Sounderground – Vaclav Flegl
Editor: Jan Danhel
Director of Photography: David Calek s.c.k.
Executive Producer: Kajka Gottwaldova
Producers: Sophie Seashell: The Tiger Lillies
Special thanks to Ondrej Hrab and all at the Archa Theatre, Prague, Tim Whitehead
Copyright and Publishing Misery Guts Music Ltd. 2011
The film will be available to rent 9th December – 9th March
Recorded live at the Archa Theatre, Prague, in 2009, the world-famous punk, street-opera trio The Tiger Lillies perform a legendary concert featuring many of their most famous songs.
The world of The Tiger Lillies is dark, peculiar and varied, with moments of deep sadness, cruel black humour and immense beauty. The unique, Grammy nominated, Brechtian street opera trio tour the world playing concerts and theatre shows such as Poe’s Haunted Palace, The Ancient Mariner, Hamlet and the Olivier award winning West End hit Shockheaded Peter. Their songs cover all the dark aspects of life, from prostitution and drug addiction to violence and despair.
Always with a touch of twisted humor and sharp irony The Tiger Lillies point an implicit accusing finger back at us: what on Earth are we doing, laughing at this stuff? Their music is a mixture of pre-war Berlin cabaret, anarchic opera and gypsy music, echoing the voices of Bertolt Brecht and Jacques Brel. The Tiger Lillies shock, amuse and entertain in a postmodern vaudeville way, with their inimitable in-yer-face shows, where no limit should be taken for granted.
Praise for The Tiger Lillies
‘Martyn Jacques is a charismatic focus. Trudging between his piano and accordion like a man weighed down by supernatural dread – yet his voice is a molten cascade. The execution is impeccable throughout. Phenomenal.’ ★★★★★ The Guardian
‘They create a truly extraordinary atmosphere – a dark gypsy cabaret shimmering with menace. The music is also gorgeously beautiful, tender and delicate. It is hard to do justice to the dark, poetic brilliance of The Tiger Lillies, so the best thing I can advise is that you seek out a ticket for this glorious show’. The Scotsman
‘Serious, humorous and blasphemous, leading one, unsuspecting, to an emotional climax that just reaches in and tears out your heart – a remarkable performance.’ ★★★★★ The Independent
Tim Whitehead Presents
CAMILLE O’SULLIVAN: DARK ANGEL, LIVE AT THE OLYMPIA (2007)
With Camille O’Sullivan (Direction and Music), Feargal Murray (Music Director, Piano, Vox), Malachy Robinson (Double, Electric Bass), Paul Byrne (Drums), Karl Breen (Electric Guitar), Brendan Doyle (Sax, Clarinet, Flute), Mark Adams (Trumpet), and Eanna Hickey (Percussion, Trombone, Dustbin Lids, Kazoo, etc.)
Recorded live at the Olympia Theatre, Dubin in December 2007
Cameras: Graham Cantwell, Fergal O Hanton, Patrick Clarke
Lights: James O’Neill
Sound: Norman Verso
Monitors: John Chisholm, Tommy Furlong
Audio Recording: Andy Knightly
Music Mix: Feargal Murray, Camille O’Sullivan and Dave McCune
Music Master & Film Master: Aidan Foley at Masterlabs
Produced by Camille O’Sullivan
Edited by James Kelly and Saidhbh Ní Dhúlaing at Feenish Productions
The film will be available to rent 9th December – 9th March
Camille O’Sullivan performs a legendary concert at one of her favourite venues, The Olympia in her hometown of Dublin. Dark, sexy, fierce, amusing and mesmerizing Camille transforms each song into an intense, emotional and theatrical experience, inextricably drawing her audience into a world illuminated by the dark and the light. Expect joy and pure passion.
Camille enjoys a formidable international reputation for her stunning vocal performances. The award-winning singer has stunned audiences around the world with her sell-out concerts including the Sydney Opera House, London’s Royal Festival Hall and The Roundhouse. The Telegraph recently voted her one of the top 25 performances of all time on the BBC’s Later with Jools Holland.
Praise for Camille O’Sullivan
‘An artist at the top of her game pushing herself to be better and trusting us to keep up. It’s thrilling to watch’ ★★★★★ The Scotsman
‘She treats every song as an intense emotional journey…hypnotic… such an outpouring of passion you can’t resist being drawn into her web’ ★★★★★ The Independent
‘When she sings it’s as though her breath is soaked in paraffin – one spark, and the whole room would ignite’ ★★★★★ The Daily Telegraph
OperaUpClose presents their Olivier Award-winning production of Puccini’s
LA BOHÈME (2015)
in an English version by Robin Norton-Hale
Librettist & Director Robin Norton-Hale
Original Musical Director Andrew Charity
Tour Musical Director Elspeth Wilkes
Costume & Set Designers Kate Guinness & Lucy Read
Original Lighting Designer Christopher Nairne
Tour Lighting Designer Richard Williamson
With Elspeth Wilkes, Louisa Tee, Anthony Flaum, Tom Stoddart, Sarah Minns, Julian Charles Debreuil, Ali Sutherland, Martin Nelson, Miles Horner, James Schouten, Rebecca Burraway
Film produced by Finite Films
The film will be available to rent 9th December – 9th March.
OperaUpClose presents their hugely acclaimed, 2011 Olivier Award Winning (Best New Opera Production) English version of Puccini’s La bohème, set in 21st Century Soho, and filmed in 2015 at Soho Theatre.
One of the most accessible and moving operas ever written, at the heart of Puccini’s La bohème is the romance between aspiring novelist Rodolfo and immigrant cleaner Mimi, as his friends flirt, fight and struggle to make ends meet around him.
La bohème was OperaUpClose’s first production and opened in 2009. It ran sold out for six months in London and has gone on to win an Olivier Award, three West End transfers, UK tours and a week at the highly respected Ravenna Festival in Italy. WhatsOnStage.com describe the production as a “defining moment” in UK opera.
The comic elements of this hugely popular production heighten its tragic ending, with audiences saying this 21st century La bohème affected them like no other, thanks to its stark relevance to modern day issues. Robin Norton-Hale has created a truly thought-provoking libretto and directs the piece with vigour and pace. La bohème is brought to audiences by a hugely talented creative team along with a young, vibrant and outstanding cast of performers.
Praise for La bohème
‘Madly brilliant’ ★★★★ The Times
‘A masterstroke’ ★★★★ The Guardian
‘A huge artistic success’ New York Times
Soho Theatre is excited to announce the fourth series of its online Comedy Masterclasses. The sessions are held weekly on Zoom, over one day, featuring some of the top performers working in the industry today. Each performer will be looking back at their previous shows to take the audience step by step through their creative process. From developing the idea, to performing on the opening night and beyond, they will be revealing their secrets.
Following three series of successful and sold-out online Comedy Masterclasses, a fourth series will begin on 11th January with Zoë Coombs Marr, as well as Aditi Mittal, Alex Edelman, and drag queens Glamrou and Crystal, with further dates to be confirmed.
Places on the masterclasses cost £50 and are strictly limited to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to ask questions and learn as much as possible in a more intimate online setting.
The Masterclasses will be available to purchase from https://sohotheatre.com/shows/comedy-masterclasses-jan-feb-21/
Soho Theatre, Tigerlily Productions and Talawa Theatre Company production for BBC Arts Lights Up
HALF BREED (2020)
by Natasha Marshall
Half Breed is Natasha Marshall’s semi-autobiographical dark comedy about finding your voice. Created and performed by Natasha Marshall, Half Breed began its life as a poem at spoken word nights and was developed into a short play through Soho Theatre’s Writers’ Lab and Talawa Firsts.
Shortlisted for Soho Theatre’s Tony Craze Award (2016) and the Alfred Fagon Award (2016), Half Breed had its full-length premiere in Scotland as part of Soho Theatre’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2017 programme, co-produced with Talawa Theatre Company. Directed by Olivier Award-winning Miranda Cromwell, the critically acclaimed and UK Theatre Award nominated production went on to its London premiere at Soho Theatre and a UK tour (including Tash’s hometown in the West Country) before performances in Mumbai, Chennai, New Delhi and Bangalore.
Half Breed is part of BBC Arts Lights Up which begins in February 2021, following what has been one of the most difficult winters for the performing arts in history. The season will ‘light up’ stages and studios across the UK by supporting hard-hit organisations and artists, and ensuring that audiences at home continue to have the opportunity to enjoy theatre across BBC platforms. BBC Arts turns the spotlight on theatre as it continues its Culture in Quarantine initiative – bringing arts and culture into the nation’s homes – by partnering with theatres across the country, including Soho Theatre, to produce an unprecedented season of plays for audiences at home.
Half Breed is a Soho Theatre, Tigerlily Productions and Talawa Theatre Company production. It was commissioned for BBC Arts by Jonty Claypole. Director is Miranda Cromwell. Executive Producers are David Luff and Natasha Dack Ojumu.
Soho Theatre is London’s most vibrant producer for new theatre, comedy and cabaret. We pursue creative excellence, harnessing an artistic spirit that is based in our new writing roots, the radical ethos of the fringe and the traditions of punk culture and queer performance. We champion voices that challenge from outside of the mainstream, and sometimes from within it too. We value entertainment, accessibility and enjoy a good show. We are a registered charity and social enterprise and our audiences are diverse in age, background and outlook.
Ordinarily our work plays to live audiences of 250,000 audiences a year in our Dean Street venue, at the Edinburgh Fringe and beyond. Since our temporary closure due to Covid-19 we have re-launched our online platform Soho Theatre On Demand, which hosted the phenomenally successful live recording of Fleabag. We’ve partnered with Amazon Prime Video (UK) for a three-series deal, bringing existing and new comedy shows to the platform (2020-21). We are also working towards the opening of an exciting second venue, a “local theatre with a national profile” in Walthamstow, currently slated to open in 2022.
Soho Theatre’s board is chaired by Dame Heather Rabbatts DBE and the company is led by Executive Director Mark Godfrey and Creative Director David Luff. sohotheatre.com | sohotheatreondemand.com | @sohotheatre
Tim Whitehead (he/him) is a Producer and Agent, managing and developing the careers of internationally renowned performers and taking their work worldwide to the stages of The Sydney Opera House, Public Theatre in New York and The Southbank Centre among many others. He began his career working alongside Executive Director Mark Godfrey at Soho Theatre in London developing their comedy and cabaret programme and has worked extensively in the north, programming and producing for Manchester’s Queer Up North and Trans Vegas Festivals. Tim is the Artistic Director of Happy Valley Pride, a week-long LGBTQ+ Festival and part of the Queer Arts North network.
New Perspectives is an award-winning Nottingham based company bringing unexpected and thought-provoking theatre to audiences in every location, from theatres and village halls, to postboxes, telephones and online. Since 2012, New Perspectives has been led by Artistic Director Jack McNamara whose recent productions include the Stage Award winning The Fishermen by Gbolohan Obisesan (Trafalgar Studios, Assembly George Square Studios and UK Tour) and The Spirit with radical Belgian artist Thibault Delferiere (BAC). Their audio series PlacePrints starring Toby Jones and Juliet Stevenson is currently available on all podcast platforms, and their drama told via postcards, Love From Cleethorpes, is currently being experienced by households around the world.
OperaUpClose is an ambitious, inclusive, touring opera company producing high quality, innovatively staged, unintimidating and affordable English language productions. Working with exciting composers, librettists, directors and performers to create productions which challenge, excite and, where necessary, confront some of the outdated baggage which hampers otherwise great works of art. The company’s mission is to show that opera is a vibrant, living artform that everyone can enjoy and be inspired by. OperaUpClose.com
SOHO THEATRE ON DEMAND
Soho Theatre On Demand shows also available (English subtitles available)
Adam Hess: Adam presents an hour of endearing and hilarious tales of misfortune. Chortle’s Best UK Circuit Comedian 2015 proves his worth with fast paced storytelling about everything from relationships to getting very lost on the Thames.
Aditi Mittal: Indian comedy superstar and all-round good girl Aditi starts by exploring what it means for her to be a trailblazer, win awards for “Fempowerment” and ends up writing a bumbling love letter/confessional to the original “fempowered” woman in her life: her mother.
Dane Baptiste: the multi-award nominated comedian presents an exclusive collection of his favourite previously unseen material spanning the last five years.
Good Girl: Growing up in the 90s, GG and her mates obsess over music, vaginas and witchcraft. But there’s a problem. Living feels too extreme. To be one of the good girls, GG learns to make herself numb, but at what cost?
Groomed: Combining three gripping narratives, a Japanese soldier who refuses to stand down, the inventor of the saxophone and the personal story of a betrayed schoolboy, GROOMED pushes past sensationalist news headlines, and shows the lasting impact of abuse into adulthood.
Jen Brister: Jen uses her hilarious ranting to rail against period poverty, the perimenopause and why her Mum needs to get out of her bloody house.
Jessie Cave opens up her DIY heart in I Loved Her and explains in definitely too much detail her insecurities, jealousies, fantasies and her exact current relationship status via shadow puppetry, masks and her little book of confessions.
The Jinkx & DeLa Holiday Special: The story of two drag queens, Jinkx Monsoon and BenDeLaCreme, who set out to create a classic Christmas TV variety show, but just can’t agree on how. (Also with Mexican Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese subtitles).
Joel Dommett: is a bit of a regular on our TV screens (The Masked Singer for one). He is addicted to smoking breadsticks (a habit from childhood) and has some pretty brilliantly ridiculous stories to tell.
Josie Long: Three-time Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee and cult optimist with her most personal show to date – about love and being outdoorsy as a bear.
Lazy Susan: Edinburgh Comedy Award nominees and hot virgins Lazy Susan present an hour of laidback, inventive sketch comedy. Some of it is about what it means to be a woman these days and some of it is about dogs etc.
Mae Martin: Two-time Canadian Comedy Award Nominee Mae Martin comes back to Soho Theatre with her hugely successful show Us. A clever and innovative breaking down of the labels that we put on others and ourselves.
Nish Kumar: Two-time Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Show Nominee (2015 & 2016), star of The Mash Report (BBC Two) and his very own BBC Radio 4 series, Nish is back at Soho Theatre with a very special greatest hits set.
Pajama Men: Pterodactyl Nights brings together highlights from the kinetic duo’s huge catalogue of classic bits and brand new material, all sewn in with bizarre improvised tangents.
Panti Bliss: The Queen of Ireland, PANTI, invites you into her gender-discombobulating, stiletto-shaped world, exposing the stories behind the make-up – from performance giant to accidental activist – to reveal the National Fucking Treasure she is today. Brilliant storytelling from an icon of the LGBTQ community.
Rhys James: Seen on Mock The Week (BBC Two) and Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central (Comedy Central), Twitter wunderkind Rhys James presents an hour of splash-hit, classic stand-up and definitely cool and not pretentious poetry.
Shappi Khorsandi: Shappi talks about what it means to be addicted to stand-up, to have a father who is more controversial than her and to bring a pudding to a red-carpet event…
The Special Relationship: A grain of cocaine, a digit on a breathalyser, a forged cheque, a DEA sting or murder one? Caught in the transatlantic tango between Trump and May and smugly presented by a gun-toting immigration officer, these are verbatim stories of double punishment and separation.
Each Soho Theatre On Demand show is available for 48-hour streaming, at a cost of £4, unless otherwise noted.