Reasonable doubt in Twelve Angry Men

Reginald Rose’s 1955 courtroom drama Twelve Angry Men ends its tour in York this week. Taking place in a single room across two hours, we follow the jurors in real time as they debate, argue, fight and vote their way towards their verdict in a juvenile homicide case – some finding that they can’t leave their past experiences and prejudices at the door. The verdict must be unanimous, with a ‘not guilty’ verdict encouraged if they have any ‘reasonable doubt’. Continue reading

Magic Goes Wrong goes down just right: Theatre review

Creators of well-loved The Play That Goes Wrong, Mischief Theatre, team up with the renowned magical duo Penn and Teller to bring us Magic Goes Wrong. Having recently ended its West End run, the show is on tour with a fresh cast of performers playing a motley gang of average magicians putting on a fundraiser to raise money for ‘Disasters in Magic’ charity in memory of Sophisticato’s (the compere’s) father, crushed to death by magical props. Continue reading

Feel-good love and friendship: Footloose the Musical

Sellardoor Productions opens its UK-wide tour of Footloose the Musical to an excitable audience in a packed house at York Theatre Royal. Essentially a feel-good story of love, friendship, and standing up for what you believe in, Footloose is clearly just the kind of toe-tapping tale that York theatre-goers have been craving post-restrictions. Continue reading

Eliott Simpson: (a)sexy and I Know It

Comedian Eliott Simpson brings his show (a)sexy and I Know It to the Great Yorkshire Fringe prior to a run at the Edinburgh Fringe next month. The (a) is aptly placed, as Simpson’s show centres around his asexuality, and society’s response to this oft forgotten and misunderstood minority. Continue reading

Verdi’s Macbeth by English Touring Opera: a classic transcending form

Firstly, I write this review from a theatrical perspective and background, not an operatic one. A lover of Shakespeare and Macbeth, but a novice to this art form; I don’t know my aria from my elbow but I can tell drama when I see it (or hear it) and the English Touring Opera’s version of Verdi’s Macbeth (first performed in Italian in 1847) has it in bucketloads. Continue reading

The Remains of the Day: Save it for a rainy day

This week saw York Theatre Royal hosting the stage adaptation of The Remains of the Day, based on the award-winning novel by Kazuo Ishiguro and perhaps better known for the 1993 Merchant Ivory film starring Anthony Hopkins and Emma Thompson. A tough gig, perhaps especially considering that adaptations should appeal both to the ardent fan and the uninitiated. Continue reading

Nish Kumar: It’s In Your Nature to Destroy Yourselves

Nish Kumar, best known for hosting BBC’s Mash Report and also for his appearances on various well-known comedy panel shows, comes to The Grand Opera House York as part of his most recent 44-date tour. Continue reading

Gypsy Queen: theatre review

Set in the boxing ring and exploring what it means to be gay in the sport, Gypsy Queen, which played in the Theatre Royal studio on Wednesday and continues on tour, is a powerful piece of theatre in more ways than one. Continue reading

The Grand Old Dame of York: A custard bye forty years in the baking

Well, here we all are again back for the annual rubbish at the York Theatre Royal pantomime, but with one big difference – 2018 is dame Berwick Kaler’s final year after forty years of writing, co-directing and starring in York’s most popular panto. There has always been something homely and comforting about hearing those Geordie tones cry out, “Me babbies me bairnes!” once a year – and this year the moment is delayed by a slightly over-long opening where the rest of the cast ponder what panto they will be doing and whether the script has even been written yet. Continue reading