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

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

Driving Miss Daisy: quiet power

With a cast of three, Suzann McLean’s Driving Miss Daisy is a short and sweet snapshot of a friendship spanning 25 years and a historical commentary spanning much further. Based on the 1989 film, 72-year-old Daisy Werthan (Paula Wilcox) is horrified when her son Boolie (Cory English) suggests she needs a chauffeur after she crashes her car, yet again. When Boolie finds African-American Hoke Colburn, (Maurey Richards) an instantly kind-hearted and funny character, the scene seems set for a warm family-friendly comedy about an unlikely friendship. 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

Teechers: Northern disillusionment

John Godber’s 1984 play Teechers may be old enough now to work as a teacher at Whitewall high school, but that doesn’t mean the themes of disenfranchisement and dossing about within an inner city, ‘rough’ school no longer ring true in 2019. Durham Gala Theatre (in co-production with York Theatre Royal) breathe life into the play with plenty of Northern charm and enthusiasm. Continue reading

Love Deadline (Desdemona): Love is like the moon

Love Deadline (Desdemona) is a gorgeous one-woman show performed in English by Korean actress Ji Young Choi. Its minimal, elegant aesthetic accompanies a strongly evocative performance which tackles domestic violence, the changeability of love relationships and the sacrifices one is prepared to make for love. 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

The Cult of K*nzo: One of a kind

Directed by Martin Bengtsson and billed as a playful critique of consumer culture through the lens of high fashion, Cult of K*nzo is a riotous, colourful indulgence of enabled, regressive fandom, from the fantasies to the grandeur to the raucous, unadulterated sense of humour of childhood. Writer-performer, multimedia artist Paula Varjack, has the energy of an enthusiastic eight-year-old, her passion for fashion driving her through poignant, peaceful narratives on the history of her icon to deadpan mockery of catwalk dressage folly, to delightfully cutting narration of television ads. Continue reading