Monday, September 26

Tag: Lyceum Theatre

Habeas Corpus – Lyceum Theatre, Oldham
North West

Habeas Corpus – Lyceum Theatre, Oldham

“I’ve never seen anything like it since I was a locum in Liverpool.” So declares the diminutive Sir Percy Shorter in Alan Bennett’s 1973 farcical exploration of the randy side of Little England, named after the Latin legal phrase that roughly translates to ‘have the body’. Set in the residence of a Brighton and Hove GP, Arthur Wicksteed, the play is a saucy seaside postcard collection of characters and carry ons, each loaded with carnal frustrations and foibles. There’s Wicksteed’s wife, the frustrated Muriel who, neglected by her husband, longs to rekindle a past dalliance with Sir Percy. Her sister, the flat-chested Constance, buys fake breasts in the hope of literally boosting her chance of romance. The Wicksteed’s wimpish son Dennis is convinced he’s dying until his head i...
Red Ellen – Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh
Scotland

Red Ellen – Lyceum Theatre, Edinburgh

The author (Caroline Bird) admitted that ‘this play is one interpretation… there are so many Ellens to choose from’ and in this respect the show lost pace and momentum towards the end, lingering too long on Ellen’s disappointments, professional and personal, as she stumbled, a rattling, over-worked medicine cabinet, towards death; the air of exhaustion at the conclusion of the Second World War was captured well by the blazing row between Ellen (Bettrys Jones) and Herbert Morrison (Kevin Lennon), both true and tragic, but overlooked were her incredible feats and achievements as one of less than a handful of women involved in the government and politics of the era. Scant attention was paid to her involvement with the Women’s Suffrage organisation, hardly mentioned was her first position as ...
Hindle Wakes – Lyceum Theatre Oldham
North West

Hindle Wakes – Lyceum Theatre Oldham

There are a lot of people who would shiver significantly at the thought of a dash up to Oldham (or Owdham to us natives) on a soggy cold Monday night. As a daughter of that fair mill town, I was more than happy to abandon my South Manchester residence and head up t’ th’ills to see the Lyceum’s current production of Stanley Houghton’s Hindle Wakes. Written in the first decade of the 20th Century and just prior to the First World War, this beautifully comic play, which presented one of the first powerful working- class female protagonists, was controversial, shocking and highly contentious amongst both audiences and academics when first produced. Fanny Hawthorn, spirited mill worker and a lass who knows her own mind, spends an illicit weekend away with the boss’s son, who happens to b...
Private Lives – Lyceum Theatre
Yorkshire & Humber

Private Lives – Lyceum Theatre

Private Lives is one of Noël Coward’s best-known and most-produced plays, and it is easy to see why. This two-hour production is absolutely full of snappy one-liners and delightfully stormy relationships. As the play opens, we meet Amanda and Elyot, who have been divorced for five years. Now recently remarried, we find them on the first night of their honeymoons as they discover that they have coincidentally booked adjacent rooms at the same hotel in the south of France... If you want to know what happens next, well, you’ll have to book tickets for the play! Originally starring Coward himself and Gertrude Lawrence, the leading parts are performed here by Nigel Havers, whose theatre company is also co-producing the tour, and Patricia Hodge, supported by Dugald Bruce-Lockhart as Victo...
Christmas Dinner – Edinburgh Lyceum Theatre
Scotland

Christmas Dinner – Edinburgh Lyceum Theatre

They say a child first encounters theatre at Christmas. This year, the jewel in Edinburgh Theatre’s crown, The Lyceum lends its vast cavernous stage and stunning auditorium to Catherine Wheels Theatre Company, one of Scotland’s and possibly the UK’s best theatre company for Children. Armed with stories galore and a never-ending costume box they set to work to entice another hoard of children into the theatre. Writer Robert Alan Evans has dished up an eccentric celebration of why theatre is so important. In fact, it should come with a content warning: this production may make your child fall in love with theatre. The premise is … simple? Lesley (Elicia Daly), a tired and harangued stagehand has had a terrible past two years. Who hasn’t? Grief stricken, she wants nothing more of her Chri...
Tennis Elbow – Pitlochry Festival Theatre and Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh
REVIEWS

Tennis Elbow – Pitlochry Festival Theatre and Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh

The good folk of the Nitshill Writing Circle have gathered together to eulogise the life of writer and painter Pamela Crichton Capers, but the conceit of John Byrne’s first play for 13 years is that their late mentor’s career is one of utter mediocrity at best. This is a companion piece with a gender twist to Byrne’s seventies hit show Writer’s Cramp that explored the life of another mediocrity Frances Seneca McDade. Fans of that earlier work will relish his fleeting appearances in this radio play produced by Pitlochry Festival Theatre and Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh as part of their Sound Stage season. Byrne traces Pam’s life story from her early days as a pretentious schoolgirl in a crummy religious boarding school where we are treated to one of her dreadful poems, and the veteran pl...