Malory Towers: Grade A Girl Power

Where to begin? The present: to a mixture of current and nineties pop songs, this year’s bad guys assemble outside the Head Teacher’s office in a British secondary school. Quickly, character traits and dynamics are established before a pair of girls fighting over a diary sends one into unconsciousness, starting off this adaptation of Malory Towers with an Oz-like dream framework. Continue reading

The Night Watch: our quietest battles

Adapted by Hattie Naylor and directed by Alastair Whatley, The Night Watch is a fairly faithful adaptation of Sarah Waters’ World War II domestic romance novel, co-produced by York Theatre Royal and Original Theatre Company. Continue reading

Irving Undead: Resurrecting the strangest actor who ever lived

This October, deep in the chambers of York Medical Society, a meeting of two minds. Unlikely for its reach across many centuries, and yet inevitable for the kindred nature of the characters in question. If you have ever, or never, hungered to hear from the restless spirit of the father of horror, your time is come. Continue reading

Hetty Feather: uniting generations through the wonder of theatre

With a stirling production crew behind them, York Theatre Royal Youth Theatre present Emma Reeves’ colourful adaptation of beloved children’s author Dame Jacqueline Wilson’s book, Hetty Feather. Continue reading

Billy Shakes – Wonderboy!: weaning onto the bard

Leeds-based company Wrongsemble turn their trademark aesthetic panache to the imagined creative awakening of William Shakespeare, on a pop-up stage in the groundlings pit of Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre in York. The formidable collective of Director Elvi Piper, Designer Antony Jones, Musical Director Rosie Fox and Costumier Julie Ashworth makes for another rich, eye-catching set piece and, for the most part, the story holds the attention of their dutiful audience of very mixed ages, who have ventured out despite the ominously changeable weather. Continue reading

Swallows & Amazons: conquering heroes

Setting the course for a generous canon of children’s adventure stories, Arthur Ransome’s beloved 1930 tale is faithfully adapted by Helen Edmundson and co-directed by fresh swabbie John R. Wilkinson and seasoned seadog Damian Cruden, with a beautiful score by Neil Hannon and masterful musical direction from Kieran Buckeridge. Continue reading

Testament of Yootha: Jolie Laide

Writer-performer Caroline Burns Cooke’s meticulous sixty-minute one-woman show investigates the life and work of the actress Yootha Joyce, most famous for her role as Mildred in seventies sitcom Man About The House. Despite a comparatively short and late-blooming career, Joyce’s prolific contribution to television and her untimely death had a great impact on many people. Continue reading

Sh!t-faced Shakespeare® – Macbeth: classics for the disenfranchised

Sh!tfaced Shakespeare is exactly as billed; classically trained actors performing a serious Shakespeare play, while one of them is seriously drunk. “With one cast member selected at random and given four hours to drink before every show, we present to you classical theatre as it was always meant to be seen.” With a firm belief in making the Bard accessible again after centuries of dry, stiff performances, Magnificent Bastard Productions proudly delight in resurrecting the hen-night-stag-do chaos inherent in some of the plays’ dirtier passages. Continue reading

Something Else: (“and now for ______ entirely different”)

Open Barn Productions present Renae Mae Miller’s sharp new absurdist play Something Else at the John Cooper Studio @ 41 Monkgate as part of the Great Yorkshire Fringe. This striking and vehement fifty-minute script serves an enigmatic cocktail of paracetamol fever dreams, indiscernible package beach holidays and age-old hurts. Continue reading