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

John Shuttleworth’s Back!: comedy preview

When John Shuttleworth last toured in 2017, he was on the brink of retirement. 2016 had wreaked its deathly toll on major celebrities (Rickman, Bowie, Wogan et al.) and Shuttleworth was feeling grimly vulnerable to the reaper’s scythe. We all thought he was packing it all in, that the superstardom he’d always imagined was tantalisingly just out of reach would never be his. Continue reading

Amanda Palmer ‘There Will Be No Intermission’: live music review

“I’m so happy I don’t have to do my show tonight,” breathes Amanda Palmer, the artist who makes no airs or graces about doing “exactly what the fuck you want”. Unflinching in her raw honesty, Palmer opens the evening’s entertainment with an acoustic ukulele serenade from the stage-left box, climbing out like Peter Pan and ambling, grinning, across the stage, taking in the room. She is here to live in the moment, because “the moment is real”. Continue reading

Electrolyte: strongly crafted gig theatre

As the theatre door opens the group are testing their instruments, bantering like close friends. The audience is greeted warmly as they enter, creating the atmosphere of going to see a friend play at an open mic night. Continue reading

In Other Words: theatre review

In the black box studio tucked away under the stairs at York Theatre Royal, Arthur and Jane are already waiting for the audience to arrive, lolling on the sofa and quietly laughing at inside jokes. Written by Matthew Seagar and directed by Paul Brotherstone, In Other Words is achingly familiar. The play combines the little-understood late effects of Alzheimer’s disease with flashbacks to forgetting the milk and dancing in the living room. Memories and reality blend together for Arthur (Seagar) and Jane (Angela Hardie) through shifting light and fluid physicality as they narrate and reflect on their love story together. The pair bring this powerful story to life with precision and heart. Continue reading

Snow Queen: A frozen heart takes time to melt

“Don’t worry, it’ll have a happy ending!” was the whispered assurance of a front row parent to their child mid-way through tutti frutti’s latest production, The Snow Queen. And it does. But not in the way you might expect. Continue reading