Hampstead Theatre’s Associate Company, The Mono Box, has announced the launch of The Monologue Library, audio recordings of renowned artists performing their favourite theatrical speeches. Available on themonobox.co.uk the Library features over 100 speeches by artists such as Sir Derek Jacobi, Denise Gough, Sheila Atim, Gina McKee, Prasanna Puwanarajah and Sir Simon Russell Beale. Speech Share Live monologues hosted by Hampstead Theatre will also be available on the Hampstead Theatre website. The Monologue Library has been created during COVID-19 as a free, creative resource for theatre lovers and artists alike and is available from today.
The Monologue Library will include brand new recordings performed by artists in lockdown such as Vanessa Kirby, Youssef Kerkour, Marion Bailey, Paapa Essiedu, Siobhan Redmond and Gwilym Lee who were all due to perform at Hampstead Theatre this spring as part of The Mono Box’s Speech Share Live events.
Speech Share Live is a public recording of The Mono Box’s podcast, Speech Share. Since becoming an Associate Company at Hampstead Theatre, The Mono Box has recorded a series of Speech Share Lives at the theatre.
Speech Share is hosted by The Mono Box co-founders, Polly Bennett and Joan Iyiola and is an in-depth and engrossing podcast series with some of the UK’s most admired artists, discussing their experience of working within the theatre industry and a production that they have worked on. Each podcast ends with the artist performing their favourite monologue. Some of the recordings in the library were originally performed as part of Speech Share.
Over 100 recordings will feature in The Monologue Library on The Mono Box’s website, leading with a poem read by Riz Ahmed honouring the mood of the time, Sarah Niles’s tribute to frontline workers using the words of Winsome Pinnock, a speech from Thalissa Teixieira from a production which was forced to close when COVID-19 hit, a roar from Clare Perkins to inspire us, and classical greats from Josh O’Connor and Sope Dirisu to remind us of how this is all just history repeating.
Roxana Silbert, Artistic Director of Hampstead Theatre said: “The Speech Share Live podcasts at Hampstead Theatre have been an inspiration to our audiences. We miss them. The collective experience of live performance can’t be replaced but The Mono Box has created a wonderful asset with an extraordinary ensemble of artists performing some of the world’s greatest speeches. Their combined generosity is a real audio treat for any theatre lover.”
The Mono Box, co-founders Polly Bennett and Joan Iyiola, said: “Like many in the entertainment industry these last few weeks, our working lives have rapidly changed and have been left wondering – what now?
We are aware how hard it is to replace the experience of theatre however we still want to connect with people in the way we know how. The creation of our Monologue Library seems like the perfect way to celebrate beautiful writing and performance whilst also hopefully offering some escapism, humour and inspiration during this period of isolation.
We think of it as a big audio love-letter to the theatre community – please jump in and enjoy!”
The Mono Box is a drama training hub and support network for emerging theatre talent, founded by Polly Bennett and Joan Iyiola in 2013. It provides access to unique workshops, new writing opportunities, inspirational live professional events in the UK and digital content to reach artists across the world. It has also created a unique collection of 4,000 plays donated by professional actors, directors and writers working in the theatre industry. The Mono Box has been an Associate Company of Hampstead Theatre since 2019.
Hampstead Theatre closed its building following UK Government advice on Monday 16 March 2020. It is currently presenting #HampsteadTheatreAtHome, a free, digital streaming series launched to support audiences in isolation. In partnership with The Guardian, it is currently streaming #AIWW: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei (2013), the story of the controversial arrest and imprisonment of Chinese Artist Ai Weiwei in 2011. The production will stream until Sunday 3 May, 10pm (BST). Based on conversations between Ai Weiwei and journalist/writer Barnaby Martin (Hanging Man: The Arrest of Ai Weiwei), this production is directed by James Macdonald.
The full list of artists performing in The Monologue Library are:
Ronke Adekoluejo, Stefan Adegbola, Riz Ahmed, Thomas Aldridge, Adjoa Andoh, Gethin Anthony, Sheila Atim, Alex Austin, Marion Bailey, Joe Bannister, Ben Batt, Sir Simon Russell Beale, Max Bennett, Leanne Best, Leo Bill, Nicholas Bishop, Kirsty Bushell, Fiona Button, Richard Cant, Claire Cartwright, Pandora Colin, Alistair Cope, Emma Corrin, Kenneth Cranham, Dona Croll, Liz Crowther, John Dagleish, Les Dennis, Sope Dirisu, Phil Dunster, Laura Elphinstone, Alfred Enoch, Paapa Essiedu, Gershwyn Eustache Jnr, Jake Fairbrother, Patsy Ferran, Dino Fetscher, Denise Gough, Rob Heaps, Georgie Henley, Sarah Hoare, Hazel Holder, Kobna Holdbrook-Smith, Rebecca Humphries, Siu Hun Li, Joan Iyiola, Sir Derek Jacobi, Valene Kane, Youssef Kerkour, Yolanda Kettle, Vanessa Kirby, Danny Kirrane, Natalie Klamar, Joe Kloska, Gwilym Lee, Lauren Lyle, Pearl Mackie, Simon Manyonda, Joseph Marcell, Sam Marks, Joshua McGuire, Gina McKee, Harry Melling, Justine Mitchell, Amy Morgan, Deirdre Mullins, Joseph Mydell, Mimi Ndiweni, Luke Newberry, Arian Nik, Sarah Niles, Pamela Nomvete, James Norton, Josh O’Connor, Theo Ogundipe, Enyi Okoronkwo, Ciarán Owens, Clare Perkins, Martha Plimpton, Imogen Poots, Prasanna Puwanarajah, Karl Queensborough, Siobhan Redmond, Kirsty Rider, Sule Rimi, Rhys Rusbatch, Jenna Russell, Sirine Saba, Sid Sagar, Cherrelle Skeete, Leo Suter, Sam Swann, Thalissa Teixeira, Paul Tinto, Annie Tyson, Olivia Vinall, Anthony Welsh, Susan Wokoma, Gabby Wong, Daniel York and Shane Zaza.