Yellow is the Colour of Sunshine: a summer of simplicity

Acclaimed Leeds-based Children’s Theatre company Tutti Frutti return to York Theatre Royal with perhaps their most relatable show yet. For this offering, there is no fairytale source material, no mythical creatures – only the simple tale of two young children making friends. The simplicity of Yellow is the Colour of Sunshine is where its beauty lies. Continue reading

Photons and Phantoms: A York Tour

ot-off-the-press Science Communication company Theatre of Science presents their debut production, Photons and Phantoms: A York Tour. A perfectly paced promenade between several spots in the city centre – “where possible, avoiding both tourists and the smell of wee” – company founder and teacher-performer Lara Stafford leads a growing crowd of curious minds of all ages through the streets, illuminating secret historical facts and anecdotes to delight and inspire the whole family. Continue reading

Little Miss Sunshine: musical review

A musical adaptation is inevitably a big departure from the raw dramedy of the original Little Miss Sunshine, Michael Arndt’s touching film of 2006 that deals with grief, loss and self-love. Chasing away the ghosts in the corners of the Hoover family, James Lapine and William Finn’s (Book, Music & Lyrics, and Music & Lyrics, respectively) new version of the story shakes off the poignant nuance in favour of a camp showpiece that keeps you at arm’s length, but has the audience in uproarious laughter. Continue reading

Same Same Different: a sense of belonging for the trans-racial adoptee

Writer Naomi Sumner Chan’s new verbatim play Same Same Different diverts from the widely-told adoption fairy tale that follows parents through the process of trying to adopt, where adoption as the happy endgame. Here she examines what happens after the happy ending, the “tainted golden ticket”; how adoptive families sculpt themselves and their unit, and what residual questions remain for – particularly trans-racial – adoptees. Continue reading

SparkPlug: Rod Stewart, racism, and a Ford Capri

“I’ve got two dads. One’s black, so that makes me black, so I’m told.” It is with these words that David Judge begins SparkPlug, his semi-autobiographical account of growing up as a mixed-race child in the eighties and nineties. For the most part, he plays his father (also called Dave), examining  his own childhood through the eyes of a white man, married to a white woman, who is giving birth to a child fathered by a black man. Continue reading

The Princess and the Sprout: Christmas fairy tales for the woke and bookish

Music, magic and mistletoe sprinkle the action of Wrongsemble’s brand new family show; a trio of fairy tales with a twist of Christmas spirit. A tight, resourceful cast put their many talents on display with happy harmonies, mischievous mouth-made foley and merry musical interludes. Continue reading

First Encounters with Shakespeare: The Comedy of Errors

The Royal Shakespeare Company presents First Encounters with Shakespeare, a series of productions for 7-13 year olds across the UK. The Comedy of Errors, directed and edited by Alex Thorpe, comes to York Theatre Royal with over a decade’s experience in bringing Shakespeare’s original text into palatable, engaging versions to children in their communities. Continue reading

My Mother Said I Never Should: Holding back the years

London Classic Theatre’s Artistic Director Michael Cabot revives their nigh-flagship millennial production in this new iteration of Charlotte Keatley’s era-hopping domestic drama, purported to be the most widely performed play ever written by a woman, though it is new to York Theatre Royal. Spanning four generations of women, the play examines motherhood, growing pains, innocence and self-preservation. Continue reading

The Lakes Season: Sense & Sensibility

Keswick-based company Theatre by the Lake are making a new home for themselves in York Theatre Royal this autumn. The rep season opens with Jessica Swale’s adaptation of the beloved Austen classic, Sense & Sensibility, directed by Juliet Forster. Continue reading

Sea Storm in a Teacup: Kindness on land and sea

A lonely child who thinks she isn’t capable of making friends, an audacious first-time hot air balloon pilot and a demanding mermaid desperate to get back home, yet scared of what she’ll find… Continue reading