Theatre News

Natasha Bucknor, Karena Johnson and Sam Jones in new Tonic Celebrates event

The latest Tonic event will take place later this month

Karena Johnson
Karena Johnson
© Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage

The panel for the sixth Tonic Celebrates event has been announced.

The event, which will take place at Hoxton Hall on 21 February, champions female talent in the theatre industry, as well as providing a space for debate regarding current and pressing issues.

The panel will be composed of Natasha Bucknor, executive director of Talawa Theatre Company, Karena Johnson, artistic director of Hoxton Hall, and casting director Sam Jones.

Bucknor most recently oversaw the UK's first all-black production of Guys and Dolls, which relocated the piece to Harlem. Before that, she has also overseen the tours of Natasha Marshall's Half Breed and Theresa Ikoko's Girls in a co-production with HighTide.

Before Johnson was appointed as the artistic director at Hoxton Hall, she was previously artistic director of The Broadway in Barking, director of Loud Talkin’ and spent five years as head of theatre programming for Ovalhouse theatre.

Jones was previously casting director for the Almeida Theatre and head of casting at the RSC, and has also cast a variety of productions at venues including Bristol Old Vic, Bath Theatre Royal, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Royal Court, Gate Theatre, Young Vic, Old Vic, Hampstead, Lyric Hammersmith and numerous West End productions.

The event will be part of Hoxton Hall's all-female season, which begins with the world premiere of new musical Oranges and Elephants. It will be hosted by Tonic Theatre's director Lucy Kerbel, with the floor also open to questions from the audience.

Previous Tonic Celebrates events have been held at venues including The Other Palace, the National Theatre, the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse and the Ambassador’s Theatre, with previous panellists including included directors Phyllida Lloyd and Marianne Elliott, actresses Dame Harriet Walter and Rosalie Craig, Globe artistic director Emma Rice and Tricycle artistic director Indhu Rubasingham.