Sunday, February 25

Tag: Adam Byrne

Christmas Cabaret – Pendleton School of Theatre
North West

Christmas Cabaret – Pendleton School of Theatre

Director Ian Bennett has created a splendid Christmas Cabaret, specifically aimed at the theme of ‘family’. Christmas is a joyous time but can also be a struggle for many, so Bennett didn’t want the traditional Christmas tunes as he wanted the Cabaret to reflect different walks of life but specifically aimed around ‘family’ and the many guises that it takes. Each of the musicals featured tonight show family at the centre - with the dysfunctional family in ‘Dear Evan Hansen’, the adopted family in ‘Les Misérables’, the chosen family in ‘Rent’ and the magical one in ‘Frozen’! I have been privileged to witness many cohorts perform over the years at Pendleton Sixth Form College, with many of their pupils going onto exceptionally successful careers in theatre. The standard of this college’s...
Calendar Girls – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
North West

Calendar Girls – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

The traditional view of that redoubtable British institution, The Women’s Institute (or WI to its friends), is one of middle-class ladies of a certain age baking and knitting in a cosy village environment, far from the struggles of the real world. Subverting this stereotype, a branch from Yorkshire decided to produce an ‘Alternative WI Calendar’ to raise money for a new sofa in the wait room of a local hospital, following the cancer diagnosis of a friend. The twist was that all the ladies appeared in various states of undress whilst posing in a variety of mundane activities. The idea was a runaway success, eventually raising over £3,000,000 for Leukaemia Research and subsequently spawning a successful play, film and this stage musical in 2015. Penned by Tim Firth (Kinky Boots, Neville’...
Find Me – Hope Street Theatre
North West

Find Me – Hope Street Theatre

Based on the true story of Verity Taylor, a young woman with undiagnosed autism, and the family attempting to understand and support her in a system that could not cope with her challenging behaviour, one could be forgiven for thinking this powerful play by Olwen Wymark is a modern commentary on a system in crisis, failing those who need it most. Not the case, I’m afraid. Written in 1976, Find Me depicts a family struggling to cope as they are failed and misunderstood by educators, medical staff, Social Services and the Crown Prosecution Service, the result being the conviction of a 20-year-old woman, institutionalized since the age of 11 years and 5 months, and admitted to a Psychiatric unit at Broadmoor, unable to be released without the express agreement of the Home Secretary. Her crim...