Overheard: nuance in the melee

You’re in a cafe; a restaurant; a bar. You start catching snatches of conversation from nearby. Hopes, dreams, private politics, and secret desires of characters from across the Chinese diaspora. A tenuous facade between a restaurant owner and customer, obnoxious un-PC mutterings from the table behind you, an anxious hand-wrangling conversation about something monumentally important. Continue reading

Ten Times Table: a fête worse than death

Directed by Robin Herford, Ten Times Table is the inaugural production of the Classic Comedy theatre company, produced by Bill Kenwright and his team behind other sister compaies: the Agatha Christie, the Classic Thriller, and the Classic Screen to Stage theatre companies – which between them have enjoyed over 15 years of theatrical success across the UK. Somehow, this relic script has long outlived its bedtime and appears to be reaping similar attention. Continue reading

First Time: Staying positive in a negative world

As part of the Visionari Studio Discoveries programme at York Theatre Royal, award-winning theatre-maker and HIV activist Nathaniel J. Hall presents his autobiographical one-man show First Time. Continue reading

Once the Musical: diasporic love raises its hopeful voice

Based on the cult 2006 Irish indie feature, Once tells the uplifting, yearning story of a part-time Dublin guitarist busker (dayjobbing in his dad’s hoover repair shop) who falls unexpectedly in love with a fellow musician. Spanning their fleeting chance connection across five short days, the story sees big changes happen to both of them in little ways. Continue reading

Charles Dickens’ Ghost Stories for Christmas: The Chimes

Fresh from his run at London’s Charles Dickens Museum, James Swanton (Irving Undead; Dracula; Sikes & Nancy) returns his wildly popular rendition of Dickens’ Christmas books to York Medical Society for another sell-out run. Continue reading

Sleeping Beauty: theatre review

York Theatre Royal’s pantomime dame retired last year after 40 years of extraordinary success. Given what Berwick Kayler’s panto must have brought to the theatre’s coffers, I’d imagined this loss sparking a panicky but exciting meeting, with acres of sugar paper dedicated to mapping out the fresh start. How to sell loyal fans a new dame? Continue reading

The Nutcracker by Vienna Festival Ballet: dance review

Presented in the traditional style of a gouache Victorian Christmas card, Vienna Festival Ballet’s The Nutcracker fills the stage in York’s Grand Opera House with the height of Caucasian kitsch. Continue reading

Ballet Black: INGOMA, PENDULUM and CLICK!

London-based company Ballet Black, celebrating their eighteenth year, return to York Theatre Royal following last year’s successful debut with a Triple Bill featuring INGOMA, contrasting dramatic and inventive storytelling in a lively showcase of modern ballets. Continue reading