West End Stars Team Up With Drama School Graduates For Bard From The Barn

Natasha Barnes Nathan Amzi and Mark Peachey
Natasha Barnes Nathan Amzi and Mark Peachey

The Barn Theatre have announced the extension and additional cast and creatives for their Shakespeare in lockdown series, Bard From The Barn.

The digital theatre series, which reimagines William Shakespeare’s work to a modern-day setting, will now continue running into July 2020 with over 50 cast and creatives joining the series, including thirty-five 3rd Year drama school students.

The new episodes will see West End stars, such as Natasha Barnes (Funny Girl, Falsettos), Nathan Amzi (Heathers) and Mark Peachey (Dear Evan Hansen), partner with the third-year students to bring new life to the Bard’s most iconic duologues.

Co-producer Aaron Sidwell (EastEnders, Henry V) has said of the extension that “the response to Bard From The Barn has been so incredible that we’ve decided we’re not going to stop there. With our 2nd series Bard From The Barn has become a global creative process with actors joining us from as far as Australia, to work with thirty-five 3rd Year Drama School students.” 

The Barn Theatre’s Artistic Director Iwan Lewis has said that “this series is the epitome of what the Barn Theatre stands for- to bring theatre to new audiences in a fresh, exciting and innovative way. I’m particularly pleased that we are able to create an opportunity for emerging drama school graduates to work with the UK’s leading directors and performers. I hope this will provide them their first step into the industry after their courses and showcases have been cut short due to Covid-19.”

The drama school students come from institutions including ALRA North, ArtsEd, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Drama Studio London, East 15 Acting School, Guildford School of Acting, International College of Musical Theatre, Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art, London College of Music, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, Rose Bruford College, Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama.

Aaron Sidwell also said of the announcement, “Working now in pairs with a director our actors are bringing you a new and fresh look at some of the Bard’s greatest characters. Covering 30 of the Bards plays, every week of the 2nd series will be themed. From Lovers week to Lesser Known Gems week we hope to keep you entertained daily for the next few months!” 

The actors joining the series are: Laurence Alliston-Greiner, Nathan Amzi (Heathers), Natasha Barnes (Funny Girl, Falsettos), Adam Best (Holby City), Jason Broderick (Wicked), Dougie Carter (Sunset Boulevard), Aamira Challenger (Blithe Spirit), Tom Chapman (A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Jessica Dennis (The Habit of Art), Henry Douthwaite (Travesties), Emma Drysdale (Goodnight Mr Tom), Eddie Eyre (The Mousetrap), Sarah Finigan (EastEnders), Joe Frost (City of Angels, Evita), Jordan Ginger, Claire-Marie Hall (The Wicker Husband), Katherine Heath (The Mousetrap), Ffion Jolly, Iddon Jones (Wicked), Blioux Kirkby, Elinor Lawless (King Charles III), Zoe Mills, Perry O’Dea (Motown, Young Frankenstein), Mark Peachey (Dear Evan Hansen), Alex Phelps, Marc Rhys, Colin Ryan (My Brilliant Friend, Wendy and Peter Pan), Dan Smith, Jessica Temple (Peter Pan), Rhys Owen (Only Fools and Horses) .

The third-year graduates joining the series are: Isabelle Anderson, James Burman, Sam Butters, Matilda Childs, Esmée Cook, Laura Cooper-Jones, Isobel Coward, Ian Dunnett, Doxah Dzidzor, Libbi Fox, Joshua Griffin, Miles Griffin, Evangeline Henderson, Teegan Hurley, Dominic Hyam, Matthew Khan, Meg Lewis, Jordan Leigh McMahon, Mark Milligan, Adam Patient, Patrick Quinn, Andreane Rellou, Alistair Rowley, Warren Sauterelle, Dorothea Sawczuk, Rochelle Soares, Georgina Squires, Holly Sutees-smith Ollie Tennant, Phoebe Townsend, Maxim Uys, Molly Vincent, Charlotte Ware, Ciara Wright and Laura-Josephine Williams.

The series, which is co-produced by Hal Chambers, Aaron Sidwell and the Barn Theatre, airs on the Barn Theatre’s Facebook, YouTube and Instagram channels every weekday at 5pm weekdays and the first phase has featured performances from over 30 performers including Tricia Adele-Turner (Dear Evan Hansen), Max Hutchinson (The Woman in Black) and Jasper Cartwright (War Horse).

The series is production managed by Emma Smith with Benjamin Collins as Lead Editor and sound design by Harry Smith.

The series forms part of the Barn Theatre’s Behind The Barn Door live streaming service. Set up in March, when the theatre had to temporarily close following government guidance, the service includes a full recording of the Barn Theatre’s critically-acclaimed 2019 Built by Barn production of William Shakespeare’s Henry V, directed by Hal Chambers and starring Aaron Sidwell (EastEnders, Wicked) and Lauren Samuels (Bend It Like Beckham, We Will Rock You).

The Barn Theatre have launched the virtual concert series to celebrate Britain’s musical theatre composers and to discover more about their creative processes. The series begins with The Barn Theatre Presents: The Music of Daniel and Laura Curtis, which airs on the Barn Theatre’s Facebook, YouTube and Twitter channels on 9th May 2020 at 7:30pm BST

The Barn Theatre Presents: The Music of Daniel and Laura Curtis will see performances from Sabrina Aloueche (Les Misérables, We Will Rock You), Olivier Award nominee Jon Jon Briones (Miss Saigon), Kieran Brown (Titanic, Les Misérables), Brian Cheney (Carmen, Tosca), Maria Coyne (The Phantom of the Opera, Wicked), Alice Fearn (Come From Away, Wicked), Caroline Kay (The Clockmaker’s Daughter), Luke McCall (Les Misérables, Titanic), Nadim Naaman (Broken Wings, The Phantom of the Opera) and Oliver Savile (Falsettos, Wicked).

The Barn Theatre (registered charity no. 1174253), which is facing a loss of £250,000 and possible permanent closure, have launched their SAVE OUR BARN campaign, via their website and social media platforms, to ensure the Barn Theatre’s survival.

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