Thursday, August 6

North West

The Almighty Sometimes – Royal Exchange Theatre
North West

The Almighty Sometimes – Royal Exchange Theatre

Back in February 2018 the Royal Exchange Theatre showcased the world premiere of Kendall Feaver's The Almighty Sometimes. It had won the Judges Award at the 2015 Bruntwood Award for Playwriting and well deservedly. Anna is eighteen, working and lives at home with her mum, Renee. One night, after meeting him at a party, she brings home Oliver. At twenty-one he's a few years older but they had been at the same school and he had been taught by her mum. Anna likes and trusts him with her secret. She has been seeing a psychiatrist since she was 11 and is on a combination of medication to control her mental health issues. Although her illness is never named, through the play it becomes obvious how serious her mental illness is. But as Anna is beginning to embrace adulthood, she also begins q...
Weekly Watch: Souvenir – Up ‘Ere Productions
North West

Weekly Watch: Souvenir – Up ‘Ere Productions

As Pride Month 2020 draws to a close it’s refreshing to see new writing of this calibre reflecting upon the gay experience and how it affects a person and relationships during a set period of time and change. Up ‘Ere Productions are a new Salford based production company working with local talent to create new work. Souvenir tells the story of sixty year old Iain who having lost his friend of many years decides to take one last trip down to Soho from his native Scotland. This was a trip that both Iain and his friend Kip made on regular occasions. They simply wanted to experience and fully appreciate what it meant to be out in a more open and friendlier environment. Matt Gurr’s script is both sympathetic and insightful and takes into account the changing attitudes of being gay in...
One Good Tree – Up ‘Ere Productions
North West

One Good Tree – Up ‘Ere Productions

By the power of Zoom, we are transported to America’s deep South. Written by Robert Barnett, whose other plays include The Hiroshima Daughter, Olympic Notions and Supply, Luke’s Dad, Reckoning Angel and Colors. He also writes radio drama, one act plays, libretti for opera and musical theatre, indeed he is multi-disciplined and seem to be able to turn his hand to any type of writing. One Good Tree has been produced by a Salford based production company called Up ’Ere Productions, who aim to encourage local talent by performing locally and developing new work. They have adapted their strategy to include Zoom performances which enable them to put on live theatrical productions in their ‘Weekly Watch’. This play tells the story of David Onley (Nathan Lea), who is 15 years old and has ki...
Jason Manford’s Muddle Class – Stockport Plaza
North West

Jason Manford’s Muddle Class – Stockport Plaza

Jason Manford tweeted a video reminding the public that his stand-up special which he took all over the world was on BBC One tonight. He shared that we were in for a “great laugh” and luckily he didn’t disappoint with an hour of refreshing comedy that was warmly welcomed by audiences everywhere who continue to “stay at home”, several months into lockdown. Having seen this man perform live in “Curtains” at Liverpool Empire Theatre back in January and also watching him impressively become ‘Hedgehog’ on ITV’s The Masked Singer, it came as no surprise that his latest tour ‘Muddle Class’ has also been a huge success . This particular show was recorded back in February at Stockport Plaza and Jason opens the show by asking everyone to leave all of their troubles outside, enjoy the magic of th...
The Mountaintop – Royal Exchange Theatre
North West

The Mountaintop – Royal Exchange Theatre

As we continue with closed theatre doors, the Royal Exchange Theatre has stepped forward with a reading of an Olivier Award winning play that was written by Katori Hall. Directed in 2016 at the Young Vic, by the current Co-Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre, Roy Alexander Weise; this play has been reprised with its original cast, to perform a reading to communicate the plays important message, to assist in igniting community spirit. In partnership with Desara Productions and introduced by Katori Hall; the two artists perform the play from their homes. For those who have been watching plays at home for the last few weeks, it is a familiar sight to see actors framed by the computer screen.  In this case there is a background of a motel room to give the mind some ...
Weekly Watch – Up ‘ere Productions
North West

Weekly Watch – Up ‘ere Productions

Up ‘ere Productions are currently holding a Weekly Watch on Zoom to keep theatre alive during the COVID-19 crisis. This week’s offering was two new short plays, Chekhov’s Gun by Anghus Houvouras and Where the Time Went by Jim Spencer Broadbent, both directed by Jordi Williams and linked by themes of mental health issues and the overwhelming feeling of reaching the end of your tether. Performed in the actor’s own homes with no set and the bare minimum in terms of props and costume, the Company deserve credit for pulling this off with what can only have been very difficult rehearsal conditions and the need to devise a whole new way of working. The first play, Chekhov’s Gun, opens with two young men, Stuart (Matthew Heywood) and Jonathan (Alan Lewis) bumping into each other outside of ...