Nigel Slater’s Toast: a sweet treat to pass along

From making the perfect sherry trifle, waging war over cakes through to the gender politics of sweets and the rigid rules of restaurant dining, Nigel Slater’s Toast is a moving and evocative tale of love, loss and… toast. Continue reading

The Woman in Black: the wonder of mischievous light and shadow

Adapted by Stephen Mallatratt and directed by Robin Herford, Susan Hill’s 1983 ghost story The Woman in Black creeps the boards at York Theatre Royal, in a production first seen at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Hill’s home town of Scarborough. Continue reading

Reasons To Stay Alive: theatre review

”Life is waiting for you. Hang on in there if you can. Life is always worth it.” English Touring Theatre and Sheffield Theatres present Reasons To Stay Alive, the first adaptation of best-selling author Matt Haig’s memoir on depression, imagined for the stage by Jonathan Watkins with text written by April De Angelis. Continue reading

It’s True, It’s True, It’s True: “I will say this forever”

Originally commissioned by New Diorama Theatre, Breach Theatre’s multi-award-winning It’s True, It’s True, It’s True is a devised play created with the cast using verbatim court transcripts from the 1612 trial of Agostino Tassi for the rape of baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi; the seven-month trial that gripped Renaissance Rome. Continue reading

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

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

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

Bad Girls The Musical: appropriately disturbing

Set in a British women’s prison, Maureen Chadwick and Ann McManus’ now-thirteen-year-old musical adaptation of their own ITV series returns to York, this time storming the stage at John Cooper Studio on Monkgate, presented with jubilation by local amateur production company NE Musicals. Continue reading