Friday, May 27

FEATURES

Maggie May change minds at Leeds Playhouse
Interviews

Maggie May change minds at Leeds Playhouse

In the UK there are nearly a million people living with dementia, and Leeds Playhouse’s new play Maggie May follows an ordinary woman’s journey through Alzheimer’s Disease. Like so many Maggie is devastated by her diagnosis trying to hide it from loved ones who offer support as she finds a way to live a fulfilling and rewarding life on her own terms. Given the sensitivities of the subject matter that impacts on so many families award-winning writer Frances Poet has worked really closely with people living with dementia to give Maggie an authentic voice as she makes sense of her new world. Our Yorkshire Editor Paul Clarke found out more from Brookside legend Eithne Browne about the challenges and joy of playing Maggie. Tell me a little bit about Maggie? She ran the school ki...
Diversity talk about Connected on tour
Interviews

Diversity talk about Connected on tour

Diversity tells us how Covid amplified the importance of this tour, and how lucky they feel to have such brilliant fans as they talk to our Birmingham reviewer Priya Gupta. Ashley and Jordan Banjo and Perri Kylie tell us on their diversity connected tour the sheer coincidence of their tour is more relevant than ever due to the past couple of years. They also discuss how supportive and dedicated their fan base is. This is a jampacked tour for diversity, with 80 shows in the pipeline. They shared that it feels amazing to be back in jam-packed theatres, being able to do what they love and that getting the crowd’s reaction is something that they have missed. The response has been bigger and better on this tour, and this could be because many of the shows have been sold out. For them it ...
Mikron Theatre Company tell us how they keep relevant and their loyal fans happy.
Interviews

Mikron Theatre Company tell us how they keep relevant and their loyal fans happy.

Mikron Theatre Company’s Artistic Director Marianne McNamara tells us on their fiftieth anniversary how they keep relevant and their loyal fans happy. Not many theatre companies celebrate their fiftieth anniversary, but Mikron Theatre Company have always done things a bit differently which is why they have survived for so long. For a start they tour round the country with the cast living on the company’s own narrowboat named Tyseley, but they have a strong social conscience so commission new work that makes people laugh, and also think a bit about the world around them. Not surprisingly given their longevity they have developed a loyal fanbase who have been happy to dip into their pockets to keep the boat on the water through some hard times and more recently a global pandemic. ...
Red Ladder Local takes theatre to people where they live
Interviews

Red Ladder Local takes theatre to people where they live

If there was one company you might expect to take theatre out of its safe traditional spaces playing to the usual suspects it would be radical mischief makers Red Ladder. Since 1968 this decidedly left leaning company has created work that challenges the way we think about the world, so it’s no surprise they created Red Ladder Local. Like all great ideas it is simple. Instead of just playing big theatres, Red Ladder and other companies take scaled down, but high-quality, productions to non-traditional venues like community centres, pubs and working men’s clubs. It all started when Red Ladder’s producer Chris Lloyd went along to the then Yorkshire Playhouse to see a new short play called Playing The Joker, and he had a lightbulb moment which led years later to the creation of Red ...
The Ultimate Theatre Etiquette Behaviour Guide – Part 1
Blogs

The Ultimate Theatre Etiquette Behaviour Guide – Part 1

OK, so we spent 2 years in our favourite slouchy clothes eating far too much ice cream whilst binge watching everything that every streaming platform had to offer. The Pandemic changed the way we all existed daily, from the moment we got up to the moment we fell asleep, everything changed. Whilst the pandemic is not over, life has started to return to normal, with one of the final industries to get back to a somewhat pre pandemic existence being theatre. However, this return hasn't gone as smoothly for some people, those people just excited to be back out in entertainment venues living their best lives, as they should. The problem is though, it seems like some audience members have completely forgotten about theatre etiquette if the message boards are anything to go by. For the past fe...
A Spotlight on Keith Merrill, Artistic Director of The Salon
Interviews

A Spotlight on Keith Merrill, Artistic Director of The Salon

Ahead of the script-in-hand staged reading of Ghosts at The Other Palace on the 31st March, Caroline Worswick, Deputy Editor of North West End UK, discusses the upcoming show and what the ethos is behind The Salon.  This collaborative support network for upcoming talent also brings the audience a new dimension in theatre entertainment which combines cabaret and theatre for your evening of entertainment. The Salon in its first few shows has attracted international actors to perform for the company with a range of interesting scripts with unique adaptations. To find out more about The Salon and to book tickets go to - https://www.thesalonuk.biz/ and The Other Palace’s website - https://theotherpalace.co.uk/ghosts/ You created The Salon in a basement in New York in 2012, with a plan...
Wrongsemble take the ugly sisters to the people
Interviews

Wrongsemble take the ugly sisters to the people

Wrongsemble take the ugly sisters to the people Traditionally the ugly sisters have been the perennial villains in Cinderella but maybe it’s so quite so simple is the idea behind a new show from Wrongsemble The Leeds based company set themselves up to make work for families, and The Not So Ugly Sisters takes a look at the classic fairy tale from their perspective for the very first time. Written and directed by their founder Elvi Piper, sisters Dolly and Barb are in their northern hair salon as kid sister Cindy prepares to marry her prince charming, but they’ve not been invited to the wedding. This bittersweet musical retelling of a story familiar to every child (and adult) aims to make us think about the sisters in a very different way. The two hander with a new cast is headi...
Musical director Harry Blake talks about Say Yes to Tess at Leeds Playhouse
Interviews

Musical director Harry Blake talks about Say Yes to Tess at Leeds Playhouse

One of the first-time candidates in the 2017 general election was Tess Seddon who stood for the Yorkshire Party in Leeds North East. Not surprisingly given it is a safe Labour safe this political novice didn’t win with her 303 votes, but she has now turned her experiences as a candidate into a musical comedy, Say Yes to Tess. Unexpectedly thrust into the political maelstrom Tess takes her newly formed party’s passion for Yorkshire devolution to the streets, but with the election day looming her play follows the candidate as she starts to question whether she’s doing the right thing. Our Yorkshire Editor Paul Clarke caught up with the show’s musical director Harry Blake to find out more about a show that attempts to make politics fun, and maybe just a bit more accessible. Tell ...
American Idiot set to play Northwich Plaza
Interviews

American Idiot set to play Northwich Plaza

An amateur musical theatre society in Cheshire are currently in rehearsals for the little performed musical American Idiot featuring the music of American rock band Green Day. We spoke to director Louise Colohan ahead of their final weeks in rehearsal. You are back with Mid Cheshire Musical Theatre Company for a third time to direct Green Day’s American Idiot. Did it take long for the committee to convince you that you were the director for this show? Not long at all. I said yes immediately. This is a rare opportunity to create something innovative and special which can redefine how people see musical theatre in the area. Following the success of Evita and Sunshine on Leith I felt this was an amazing challenge for both myself and the society. For those unaware, can you briefly...
MJ: The Musical, a Thriller or just Dangerous?
Blogs

MJ: The Musical, a Thriller or just Dangerous?

So, this week we are going to talk about the age-old question of separating the art from the artist, especially when that artist is Michael Jackson and especially now when a big budget glossy stage musical about his life has just opened on Broadway. In brief, MJ: The Musical tells the story of Jackson preparing for his 1992 Dangerous World tour, it was a big moment for the artist, his Thriller album was ground-breaking, and he was feeling the pressure to live up to his past success, so all effort was going in to make the Dangerous Tour one for the history books. The show splits between the rehearsal room and flashbacks to his past, it shows his relationship with his father Joe, his rise through The Jackson 5, battles with the media, pain pills, perfectionism and more. So far so ordinar...