Monster Makers: “give ’em something that they won’t expect”

Stephen Dolginoff (Thrill Me: The Leopold and Loeb Story) serves up a jolly, camp romp in his new triple-feature musical Monster Makers, which celebrates the colourful talents behind the most (in)famous classic horror films. Continue reading

Phoenix Dance Theatre: The Rite of Spring & Left Unseen

“The Rite just has to be shocking. If it doesn’t shake you to the core, if it doesn’t make you feel that the guts of the earth are opening up, or at least that the Royal Albert Hall is being immolated in orchestral violence, then the performers just ain’t doing it right.” – Tom Service, BBC Proms 2013 Continue reading

Irving Undead: “a haemorrhage of gaslight”

James Swanton (Double Date; Frankenstein’s Creature) is the master of the one-man show, here finally devoting a captivating ninety-minute feat of physical and emotional character study to his long-time fascination, the Victorian actor Henry Irving. Continue reading

The Beauty Queen of Leenane: theatre at its best

Martin McDonagh’s dark, comic thriller set in 1990 Galway, Ireland, follows great success in the West End and Off-Broadway to appear in a new guise at Hull Truck Theatre, directed by Mark Babych. Tony Award-winning The Beauty Queen of Leenane is an exhilarating character study of 40-year-old Maureen Folan (Siobhan O’Kelly) and her 70-year-old mother Mag (Maggie McCarthy). Continue reading

Black Men Walking: theatre review

Black Men Walking is an Eclipse Theatre Company production directed by Dawn Walton and written by composer, rapper and writer Testament. It is an original, exciting and enlightening piece of theatre, which aims to resurface 500 years of forgotten Black-British history while uncovering the ever-present racism of contemporary Britain. Continue reading

Irving Undead: Resurrecting the strangest actor who ever lived

This October, deep in the chambers of York Medical Society, a meeting of two minds. Unlikely for its reach across many centuries, and yet inevitable for the kindred nature of the characters in question. If you have ever, or never, hungered to hear from the restless spirit of the father of horror, your time is come. Continue reading

Billy Shakes – Wonderboy!: weaning onto the bard

Leeds-based company Wrongsemble turn their trademark aesthetic panache to the imagined creative awakening of William Shakespeare, on a pop-up stage in the groundlings pit of Shakespeare’s Rose Theatre in York. The formidable collective of Director Elvi Piper, Designer Antony Jones, Musical Director Rosie Fox and Costumier Julie Ashworth makes for another rich, eye-catching set piece and, for the most part, the story holds the attention of their dutiful audience of very mixed ages, who have ventured out despite the ominously changeable weather. 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

Testament of Yootha: Jolie Laide

Writer-performer Caroline Burns Cooke’s meticulous sixty-minute one-woman show investigates the life and work of the actress Yootha Joyce, most famous for her role as Mildred in seventies sitcom Man About The House. Despite a comparatively short and late-blooming career, Joyce’s prolific contribution to television and her untimely death had a great impact on many people. Continue reading