Sunday, June 16

Tag: Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

The Audience – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
North West

The Audience – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

Back in 2013, well before ‘The Crown’ became a Netflix sensation, Peter Morgan wrote ‘The Audience’. This reimagining of the weekly meetings that take place between the monarch and her first twelve Prime ministers was a smash hit in both the West End and on Broadway, garnering Olivier and Tony awards for Helen Mirren in her role as Elizabeth II. Altrincham Garrick Playhouse has now taken up the challenge of producing this deep dive into post war British history, resulting in a sumptuous and informative production sprinkled with excellent performances. The set (Barry Purves) could not be simpler; two chairs on a bare stage - which Equerry (Howard Yaffe) informs us may or may not be Hepplewhite - allow Queen Elizabeth (Ros Greenwood) and her various Prime Ministers to illustrate politica...
Treasure Island – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
North West

Treasure Island – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

As an Easter Holiday child friendly show, the Garrick has produced a version of Robert Louis Stevenson's classic Treasure Island.  This version adapted by the well-respected Bryony Lavery was first produced in 2014.  The basic plot remains the same, but Lavery has taken liberties with both characters and sections of the story.  Jim Hawkins is now female, Jim has a grandmother not parents, characters are missing, new characters are inserted, and the fate of several characters is altered.  The problem with doing this is that while the play bears some resemblance to the original it should be referred to as the Alternative Treasure Island.  Jim and her grandmother run the Admiral Benbow Inn in Black Cove.  One night a man arrives with his sea chest and takes a...
Unravelling the Ribbon – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
North West

Unravelling the Ribbon – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

At a time when life in the real world presents significant strain, spending an evening at the theatre is seen by many people as an opportunity to escape the stress of their everyday lives. Therefore, ‘Unravelling the Ribbon’, a play dealing with a diagnosis of cancer and its effects on the lives of three women may seem a difficult subject with which to tempt people away from the comfort of hearth and home. However, should they choose to do so they will be rewarded with a production that both tugs at the heartstrings and tickles the funny bone despite its dark premise. Director Lou Kershaw takes the helm for the first time in the tiny Lauriston Studio and brings an intimacy borne of personal experience to the story of Rose (Caroline Giles), Lola (Alex Saint) and Lyndsey (Holly O’Malley)...
Vanya – National Theatre Live – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
North West

Vanya – National Theatre Live – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

The latest offering from National Theatre Live screened this evening at Altrincham Garrick Playhouse, and whilst ‘Vanya’ featured an acting performance from Andrew Scott that garnered deserved plaudits during its West End run last year, I found the overall production something to be admired rather than loved. Scott, director Sam Yates and designer Rosanna Vize share equal billing as co-creators alongside writer Simon Stephens, who relocates Chekhov’s tragicomedy to a 20th-century Irish farm, preserving the plaintive sadness of the 1897 original story whilst seeking to shed new light onto the characters through Scott’s inventive interpretation. He plays everyone, differentiating men and women, young and old, with subtle changes of vocal register and body language. His performance is ...
The Vicar of Dibley – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
North West

The Vicar of Dibley – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

Altrincham Garrick Playhouse’s The Vicar of Dibley transported audiences back to the quirky charm of the beloved TV series, delivering an evening of uproarious laughter and heartwarming moments. Directed by Pete Brassington, the production showcased the talents of a remarkable cast of amateur performers who breathed new life into the iconic characters. Meg Brassington shone as the irrepressible Geraldine Granger, infusing the role with wit, warmth, and a touch of sass. Opposite her, Hugh Everett embodied the pompous yet endearing David Horton, while Dan Ellis captured the bumbling charm of Hugo Horton. Helen Swain charmed as the sweet-natured but somewhat dim-witted Alice Tinker, eliciting plenty of laughs with her comedic timing. Christine Perry brought Letitia Cropley to life ...
Let The Right One In – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
North West

Let The Right One In – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

Let The Right One In is an adaptation of a book by Swedish writer John Ajvide Lindqvist of the same title.  It has also been adapted twice into film, one in the Swedish Language and one American produced.  It has also been adapted for the stage twice, once in Swedish and then English.  This is the Jack Thorne English adaptation rather than a translation of the Swedish version.  Unfortunately, the fact it is an adaptation of a complex storyline is all obvious within the first five minutes. The show suffers badly from far too many micro scenes.  In a two-hour play there are probably less than ten scenes that even make it to five minutes long, many are sub one minute.  Between each scene the stage has to go dark allowing for props to be brought on and off the...
The Girl on the Train – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
North West

The Girl on the Train – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

It is with much anticipation that I attended the opening night of The Girl on the Train at Altrincham Garrick Playhouse, after all, Paula Hawkins’ novel is one of my favourite books. An addictive page turner, unputdownable, gripping until the end. Did the play deliver this level of intensity? In places, yes. Firstly, this small cast of seven actors were all first-rate. Ruth Moore as Rachel Watson was incredible. Moore convincingly portrayed the character of Rachel, divorcee, alcoholic on the brink of eviction and certainly at the lowest point in her life. Moore brought much needed light and shade to the role, with a few key funny lines making the audience laugh yet maintaining a level of desperation - a need to be heard, seen and believed. Moore was engaging to watch, keeping the audie...
Best Amateur Production of 2023
NEWS

Best Amateur Production of 2023

We have been thrilled to be invited to review a huge number of amateur productions in 2023, but which was the most popular with our readers. Below are the top 5 shows, we are looking forward to visiting even more amateur shows in 2024. You can request reviews for your society by emailing info@northwestend.co.uk with at least 4 weeks notice. NUMBER 5 – Chitty Chitty Bang Bang at Altrincham Garrick Playhouse. “one of the strongest opening nights of a show I have seen in a long time” https://northwestend.com/chitty-chitty-bang-bang-altrincham-garrick-playhouse/ NUMBER 4 - Betty Blue Eyes at Gladstone Theatre. “a great family show – charming, funny, uplifting and memorable” https://northwestend.com/betty-blue-eyes-gladstone-theatre/ NUMBER 3 – The Wedding Singer – Grange T...
National Theatre Live: Skylight – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
REVIEWS

National Theatre Live: Skylight – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

A cold and wet Sunday evening in November finds me forsaking the warmth of hearth and home in favour of a trip to Altrincham Garrick Playhouse to watch an encore screening of the 1996 Olivier award winning 'Skylight' by David Hare, brought to us by National Theatre Live. Hare is a playwright who is chiefly known for his deftly crafted satires examining British society in the post World War II era and 'Skylight' was first performed in 1996 during a particularly productive period, when new works were seemingly an annual event for the NT in their concrete castle on the South Bank. This revival was filmed at the Wyndham's Theatre in 2014 and features Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan as Tom Sergeant and Kyra Hollis, ex-lovers with memories of a shared passion who have subsequently pursued very...
A Christmas Carol – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
North West

A Christmas Carol – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

The Christmas season is well and truly on now, with Altrincham Garrick’s performance of A Christmas Carol kicking off the festive roster. This production had flashes of theatrical excellence, but sadly there were a number of areas that just didn’t capture the audience in the way director Barry J C Purves would perhaps have wanted. The lead antagonist, Jonathan Black as Ebenezer Scrooge, gave a fantastically nuanced and well-delivered performance - the audience really bought into him in the first act as the well-known miser who struck fear into the heart of the people of Victorian London, yet in the second act you could really believe his redemption after seeing the spirits of Christmas Past, Present and Future. Given the supernatural nature of the story, it was a difficult narrat...