Thursday, July 7

Tag: Joseph Meighan

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’...
Jumpers for Goalposts – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
North West

Jumpers for Goalposts – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

As the football season comes to a close and trophies and league titles are fought for, one wonders if top-flight managers have ever considered ‘taunting the opposition with Enya, possibly T’Pau’ as a legitimate tactic. Jumpers for Goalposts, written by Tom Wells, and in the safe directorial hands of Joseph Meighan, follows the trials and tribulations of the comically named ‘Barely Athletic’, part of a four-team, five-a-side football LGBTQ+ league that coach Viv, kicked out from ‘Lesbian Rovers’ for being too bossy, is desperate to win. As we see her attempts to fire up her team-mates’ competitive hackles, we discover the motivations, personal battles and relationships that may be holding them back from glory. Set within the confines of our team’s locker room, Meighan has assemble...
One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
North West

One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

When Ken Kesey’s debut novel was published in 1962 it was an instant hit and spawned a lauded theatrical production, one of the greatest movies of all time and countless other adaptations. It’s a brave choice then for the Garrick Ensemble to take on One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest for only their second production. A company of 18-to-30-year-old up-and-coming actors from the local area, the ensemble aims to produce a play a year on the main stage at the Altrincham Garrick Playhouse. It’s a chance to see local talent in innovative work before they proceed in their careers. This show certainly has talent in abundance but the ambition to create something fresh may have been lost in the scale and baggage of the story they’ve taken on. Photo: Martin Ogden Randle Patrick McMurphy (Josep...
Frankenstein – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
North West

Frankenstein – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

These are interesting times at the Garrick Playhouse in the leafy south Manchester suburb of Altrincham. Under the aegis of Artistic Director Joseph Meighan, their programming is broadening its appeal beyond the traditional light comedy and murder mystery, into edgier and darker territory. So, we find 2022 kicking off with an absolutely cracking adaptation of the Mary Shelley gothic masterpiece, both chilling and thought provoking and with a simply stunning central performance. Those patrons expecting a hoary old 'Boris Karloff with a bolt through the neck' rendition, would have been disappointed. With Direction and Set Design in the capable hands of Barry J C Purves, this was always going to be a more delicate study on the nature of humanity. By using Nick Dear's 2011 National Theatre...
The Little Mermaid – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
North West

The Little Mermaid – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

Even if you’re not a Disney aficionado, everyone knows the story of The Little Mermaid: Girl meets boy, girl can’t be with boy, chaos ensues, true love prevails. It’s a true Disney classic. However, love story aside, I was very intrigued to see how a story that predominantly occurs underwater would be portrayed onstage, so when the chance arose to see The Little Mermaid at Altrincham Garrick Playhouse, I naturally had to see it for myself. And am I glad I did! With a dream-team of talent spearheading the dressing rooms – from renowned stage director Joseph Meighan, musical director Mark Goggins, and lesser-known at the Garrick (but still utterly fantastic) choreographer Koda Holland-Smith – it’s no wonder this show was a delight from start to finish. Photo: Martin Ogden Whilst...
Curtain Up – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
North West

Curtain Up – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

Described on its promotional literature as “a celebratory evening of musical theatre”, Curtain Up at the Altrincham Garrick Playhouse certainly delivered this celebration in spades. As somewhat of a musical theatre aficionado, I have attended lots of musical medleys in my time – concerts, jukebox musicals, shows, and even films that are an ode to the not-so-humble, completely camp and over-the-top art form that is musical theatre. Anything that promises showtunes and jazz hands, I’ll be there. As a result, in my time I’ve witnessed musical theatre homages that really have ranged from the good, the bad, and the ugly.  However, this one was definitely not the latter – Curtain Up felt like it had something special. This show marks the first full-scale production in Altrincham Garr...
Chatroom – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
North West

Chatroom – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

What would you imagine to be on the agenda for teenagers chatting online? Rating current romantic crushes? How mean mum and dad are for not letting them out past 10?  Whether the fat German kid would be more likely to win Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory over Charlie Bucket might not feature on your list, but it is the first vignette of conversation we’re presented with as we join our six teen stars of Enda Walsh’s one-act play Chatroom. Described as a chilling, blackly comic tale, Chatroom looks at themes of online manipulation, cyberbullying and teenage depression, as relatively innocent conversations dissecting children’s literature and pop music are punctured by the arrival of Jim, a young man struggling with suicidal thoughts. This show marks the first production by the Garri...
The Last Five Years – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
North West

The Last Five Years – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

The award winning The Last Five Years has got to be one of my favourite musicals. With a stunning musical score by Jason Robert Brown, the one act musical requires actors with a broad range both vocally and emotionally to portray the joy, hardship and heartbreak Cathy and Jamie endure throughout. With a tiny cast of just two actors, and directed by new Garrick Artistic Director Joseph Meighan, The Last Five Years is an intimate look at the relationship between two New Yorkers: a writer and an actress The musical follows their love story in a fresh, modern way, as its unconventional structure tells Cathy’s story in reverse and Jamie’s chronologically. You may have seen Hollywood star Anna Kendrick and Broadway sensation Jeremy Jordan in the film adaptation released in 2014, so Ella- ...
FIRST LOOK – The Last Five Years at Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
NEWS

FIRST LOOK – The Last Five Years at Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

The Altrincham Garrick Playhouse have today released the first production images and a trailer ahead of their first opening night in over 15 months tonight. Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years is playing until Saturday 12th June, one of the only musicals to be taking place in the Greater Manchester area this week, not to mention any LIVE theatre! Jason Robert Brown’s Drama Desk Award winning musical, The Last Five Years, is an intensely personal look at the relationship between two New Yorkers; a writer and an actress, who fall in and out of love over the course of five years. Image: Martin Ogden Directed by Joseph Meighan, this modern, One Act musical masterpiece is emotionally powerful and intimate with one of the brightest, freshest scores of the new century. The music...
Romeo and Juliet – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse
North West

Romeo and Juliet – Altrincham Garrick Playhouse

"We are two worlds apart."  Joseph Meighan's melding of 1990s pop culture with the 16th century tale of two tragic young lovers is a bold and innovative take on what is probably Shakespeare's best-known play.  As with much of Shakespeare's work, the story of Romeo and Juliet is timelessly malleable and has been retold in countless formats, including as musicals, opera and on film, since it was written in around 1595. It has been set in any number of time periods and situations with the deep-seated hatred between the Montague and Capulet families reflecting every conflict throughout history, as the cast movingly reference at the end of the play. Everyone knows the plot: Romeo, a Montague, sneaks into a Capulet masked ball and it's love at first sight when he sees the young and be...