Theatre News

Turbine Theatre announces open-air Thameside season including Hair revival concerts and more

The venue, adjacent to Battersea Power Station, will be presenting a variety of shows in August and September

The cast of Hair
The cast of Hair
© Arlene Phillips: Dan Wooller for WhatsOnStage – Matthew Croke: Wolf Marloh

Exclusive: The Turbine Theatre has revealed a brand new season of socially distanced outdoor shows being performed next to the Thames.

The venue, located by Battersea Power Station, will host a variety of musical revivals, concerts, family-friendly pieces and Shakespeare shows across the three-week run, which commences on 26 August.

Arlene Phillips will direct an outdoor concert staging of award-winning rock musical Hair from 4 to 6 September. The piece has book and lyrics by Gerome Ragni and James Rado with music by Galt MacDermot, and tells the story of a group of anti-war, politically active, long-haired hippies in the 1960s. It has numbers including"Good Morning, Star Shine", "Let the Sunshine In" and "Aquarius".

Casting for the show includes Matthew Croke (Aladdin), Danielle Fiamanya (The Color Purple), Jordan Luke Cage (& Juliet), Grace Mouat (Six), Millie O'Connell (Be More Chill), Jodie Steele (Heathers) and Layton Williams (Everybody's Talking About Jamie).

Phillips said today: "I am thrilled to be directing this small but mighty open air concert of Hair. Now more than ever we need music that lifts our spirits and feeds our souls to remind us that theatre is alive. I believe that a musical with a strong political message is important not just to give us hope, but to inspire a future generation."

The concert show has musical direction by Katy Richardson, design by David Shields, lighting design by Andrew Exeter and sound design by Dan Samson.

Other shows in the Turbine's season include a staging of Horrible Histories' Barmy Britain (26 to 29 August), award-winning family nature odyssey One Duck Down (30 August), The Best of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons (31 August and featuring cast members from Jersey Boys) and a Bard in the Yard experience (6 September).

Power ballads will be the order of the day in rock and pop piece The Final Countdown (8 September), while a special version of Aesop's Fables runs during the same day on 9 September. That evening, a truncated version of Macbeth will be staged, while on 12 September there will be two further shows – a pirate summer pantomime entitled Black Sails and a one-man version of Great Expectations from David Mynne.

On 13 September vintage vocal trio The Femmes will deliver their glamourous show during the afternoon, while that evening a group of musical stars will present a special "Roles We'll Never Play" concert.

Shakespeare's Two Gentlemen of Verona will run on 15 September, while a day later on 16 September vocalists from London's West End shows will present rock hits from shows such as We Will Rock You, Rock Of Ages, Bat Out Of Hell and Beautiful! – The Carole King Story.

Award-winning improv troupe The Showstoppers will improvise their own musical (17 September), while renowned musical group The Barricade Boys will return to live performance (18 September). Finally on 19 September, up-and-coming musical Catfish will be staged in concert for one-night-only.

Artistic director Paul Taylor-Mills said: "I'm always impressed by my artists' ability to make things happen in what has always been a difficult industry to work in. The surprises of 2020 have made this challenge even greater. The Turbine on the Jetty Season is only possible because of the patience, expertise and fearlessness of the incredible companies and artists that have worked with me over the last couple of weeks to get this off the ground. The project is a mammoth undertaking and to say I'm thrilled with the variety of work on offer is an understatement.

"Even against the odds the Turbine Theatre continues to programme classic work in a fresh ways and support both seasoned artists and provide a platform for new voices. Please do come and support us. The arts needs you more than ever, there is no other way of putting it."

Tickets are available through the Turbine Theatre website.

All the outdoor theatre to see this summer