A history of water in the Middle East by Sabrina Mahfouz

British Egyptian Sabrina Fahfouz grew up with ambitions of being a spy. She has two passports, speaks two languages and has a cultural understanding of two very different countries. But it when it came to applying for MI6, it turned out she wasn’t quite British enough.

So now she’s on her own intelligence mission – to explore who really holds the power in and over the Middle East. In a world long obsessed with access to oil, will water soon become the natural resource that dictates control, or has it been all along?

Directed by Stef O’Driscoll, the production journeys across twelve different countries using theatre, poetry and music to share stories of women across the region. From the British imperialist ownership of natural resources, to the environmental urgency of the present, water has shaped lives, policies and fortunes – and it will shape all our futures.

On show at the Royal Court Theatre from 10 October to 16 November. Tickets from £15-£25. Book yours here.

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The Chelsea Awards – The Results!

The winners of the inaugural Chelsea Awards were announced at a ceremony at the Saatchi Gallery on 8 October. The judges; Susan Dolton, Mayor Will Pascall, Cllr Alison Jackson, Reverend Cannon David Reindorp, Jo Malone CBE, John Simpson and Hugh Seabon, whittled down hundreds of nomination to a shortlist showcasing the very best of the Chelsea community.

The winners, and shortlisted were:

Only in Chelsea – a business that brings something unique to the area.

Shortlist: Chelsea Physic Garden, Sloane Square News Vendor

Winner: John Sandoe Books. The judges said: “Home to more than 30,000 titles, Sandoe is much more than a bookshop but an event space for talks with authors and book launches – this row of 18th century shops is a real treasure.”

 

Community Hero – an organisation or person that has benefitted the community through their actions.

Shortlist: Anne Hopewell-Ash, Royal Hospital Chelsea

Winner: The Kensington & Chelsea Foundation. The judges said: “This independent charity works to help disadvantaged local people across the borough, ensuring donations go to grassroots concerns where they are need most.”

 

Cultural Champion – an organisation or person that has enriched Chelsea’s culture.

Shortlist: Cadogan Hall, Saatchi Gallery

Winner: The Royal Court Theatre. The judges said: “A champion of emerging talent with a programme supporting aspiring writers, more than 120,000 visitors watch at the Royal Court every year.”

 

In Good Taste – someone who has made Chelsea delicious

Shortlist: The Chelsea Fishmonger, The Sea, The Sea

Winner: Partridges: The judges said “Since 1972, Royal Warrant Holder Partridges has been much more than the local grocer, innovating and supporting the wider area. They also created the ever popular food market at DOYS each Saturday, a hub for 70 small, high quality producers.”

 

Community Collaboration – businesses who have joined forces for the greater good.

Shortlist: K&C Art Weekend, Local Ambassadors

Winner: Glass Door. The judges said: “Offers shelters and support to those affected by homelessness across SW London. Its Sleep Out in Duke of York Square each year sees the community forces to raise hundreds of thousands of pounds which funds shelters throughout the winter.”

 

Masters of Craft– an Artisan who elevates the everyday to the extraordinary

Shortlist: The Deck, Manolo Blahnik

Winner: David Mellor. The judges said: “Currently celebrating his 50th anniversary on Sloane Square, Sir Terence Conran has called him ‘Britain’s greatest post-war product designer’.”

 

Future Forward – a company innovating to meet tomorrow’s challenges.

Shortlist: Blanc, Daniele de Montby

Winner: The Fashion School. The judges said: “teaches sustainable fashion through workshops sharing their wisdom of sewing, inspiring the next generation how to design ethically with zero waste.

 

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Pity

The latest play to land at the Royal Court in Sloane Square is Rory Mullarkey’s new play which asks whether things are really getting worse, and if we care.

 

A normal day. A person stands in the market square watching the world go by.

There’s ice cream. Sunshine. Shops. Some dogs. A wedding. Bombs. Candles. Blood. Lightning. Sandwiches. Snipers. Looting. Gunshots. Babies. Actors. Famine. Fountains. Statues. Atrocities. And tanks. (Probably).

Tickets are from £12, book yours here.

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The Royal Court receives four Olivier Awards

At Sunday night’s Olivier Awards, ‘The Ferryman’ received Best New Play, Best Director (Sam Mendes) and Best Actress for Original Cast Member (Laura Donnelly), while Killology by Gary Owen won Outstanding Achievement in Affiliate Theatre.

‘The Ferryman’ had its world premier at The Royal Court in April 2017 and due to overwhelming success, transferred to the West End. Including current cast members, Rosalie Craig and Owen McDonnell, the play closes at the Gielgud Theatre on 19 May, before opening on Broadway in October. Don’t miss your last chance to see it in London, book here!

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