The Full Monty Review

The Full Monty opened last night to the delight of hundreds of screaming women in the Leeds Grand Theatre audience.

Based on the 1997 hit film, some stage adaptations of a silver screen classic can miss the target set by the original – but hats off to The Full Monty, it did just that.  Retaining the film’s soundtrack that includes songs by Donna Summer, Hot Chocolate and Tom Jones, to provide a version of a story the audience already knows so well.

More a play with music, dancing and, of course, stripping it was poignant at times, touches on some serious issues and absolutely hilarious most of the time

Set in the late 1980s, it tells the story of a group of skilled men laid off from a Sheffield steel mill who aim to raise some much needed cash by mounting a one-off strip show, and is delivered with dry humour and an infectiously upbeat finish.

Two of the men, Gaz (Gary Lucy) and Dave (Kai Owen), are best friends.  Gaz hasn’t quite grown up yet and fails at responsibility, even though he has a 12-year-old son, Nathan (shariing the part are James Burton, Monty Poole, Reiss Ward and Felix Yates), and an ex-wife, Mandy (Charlotte Powell), demanding he pay his child support or risk joint custody.

Dave’s self-image because of his weight and lack of a job is so bad it’s hurting his relationship with his loving wife, Jean (Fiona Skinner).

But the six are not the Chippendales, more oily rags than oiled muscles and how they try and overcome their embarrassment and lack of co-ordination and their,em, deficiencies makes for some very funny moments During their first rehearsal, the six guys can’t dance in sync. While one is pivoting, another is doing something totally different. It’s not until Horse brings up the football that they finally begin to get their moves together. There’s terrific work from Louis Emerick’s Horse – who has a bad hip, Anthony Lewis’s Lomper – who is saved from suicide, Andrew Dunn’s Gerald – who hasn’t told his wife he’s been unemployed for 6 months and Chris Fountain’s Guy, each with their own back stories (or in Guy’s case, an imposing front story in his well-stocked briefs) that have brought them here.

I must also mention Pauline Fleming, playing multiple characters, but her role of Bee who whips down her knickers, baring her backside to all as she pee’s against the Club wall sets the tone for the entire play

Robert Jones’s set astonishingly amalgamates a derelict steel mill, a street, a dole office and a working men’s club. Jack Ryder’s self-effacing direction perfectly tempers laughter and sentiment. His cast is superb: a powerful ensemble of strong characterisations, all finely calibrated around the central father-son relationship so convincingly realised by Gaz and Nathan

Do the guys raise the cash? Do they learn to accept their bodies? Do they repair their relationships with their wives and child? And, do they take it all off?

You’ll have to see the show for the answers to those questions, but it’s definitely a show worth seeing in order to find out the answers to those questions. “The Full Monty” had the audience laughing hard, no matter their age or gender. It has adult content like language and sexual suggestions, but it’s a show you want to attend to let it all go and have a great night. I couldn’t laugh any harder than I did Monday night.

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Candide Review

Bridewell Theatre 23 November – 3 December.  Reviewed by Claire Roderick

Sedos’ reputation as an amateur company with professional production standards is well deserved. Here, they tackle Candide – John Caird’s National Theatre version – with confidence and conviction, creating a show that, although overlong, never loses its sparkle. And let’s face it, any musical with a song about the clap is always worth a look.

Leonard Bernstein’s music is as gorgeous as ever, and Richard Wilbur and Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics gleefully enhance Voltaire’s biting wit. The plot would take longer to explain than the show’s running time, but takes hapless hero Candide on an episodic odyssey through Europe to the New World and back again through war, accidental murders, miraculous survivals and reunions while his lost love, Cunegonde survives on her wits and her feminine charms. The tone is whimsical, brushing over battlefield carnage, religious persecution and murder with a knowing “look at the idiocy of the human race” wink at the audience as Candide tries to reconcile his teacher’s optimistic “best of all possible worlds” philosophy with what he experiences in the world.

The tale is narrated by a sardonic Voltaire (Stephen Russell in full honey voiced mode), who prowls around the stage acting as ringmaster as his creations perform. Russell also plays the optimist philosopher Pangloss, whipping on a pair of daft glasses and morphing into an innocent man-child version of Ade Edmundson. Mark Siddall is sweet as Candide, all wide eyed blinking charm; while Emma Morgan is magnificent as the mercenary Cunegonde – her version of Glitter and Be Gay hit all the (very high) right notes, and was as full of emotional character as any professional performance. Francesca Canty also impresses as the Old Woman. Stepping in at short notice due to illness, Canty revels in her cod Eastern European accent and oozes charisma as she tells terrible tales of her past and guides Cunegonde towards wealth and pleasure.

The company are enthusiastic (some a little too much so) and committed, with fantastic vocals accompanied by the wonderful orchestra – with musical director Matt Gould creating music that would be at home in the West End. Under Michael Smith’s assured direction, the show is crisp and clean, with the choreography being homely rather than thrilling, and the design, keeping to the simplicity of the NT production is effective, feeling just right in the Bridewell Theatre space. Early in the run, the lighting cues needed refining, and the comic silhouette effects didn’t work, but I am sure these hiccups will be ironed out as the run continues.

Sedos’ Candide is stylish and accomplished, full of energy and charm with some outstanding performances. A fantastic way to warm your heart on a cold Winter’s night.

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Million Dollar Quartet Review

Mayflower, Southampton – 22 to 26 November 2016.  Reviewed by Sharon MacDonald-Armitage

It could be viewed that the stars were in perfect alignment that December night in 1956 when Elvis Presley, Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis gathered at Sun Records, Sam Phillips recording studio in Memphis. Often described as the man that created the term Rock ‘n’ Roll there is no doubt Phillips created a moment that will go down in musical history and Million Dollar Quartet is about this moment.

Drawing on hits from the four stars of the day this show interweaves the history of that night plus the background as to how Phillips discovered such talent. With easily recognisable Rock ‘n’ Roll hits such as Blue Suede Shoes, Folsome Prison Blues, Great Balls of Fire, See You Later Alligator, Long Tall Sally, I Walk the Line and so much more, it is easy to see the genius of Phillips in discovering, nurturing and promoting such talents.

Matthew Wycliffe (Perkins) gives a sterling performance as both actor and musician, playing the guitar with consummate ease; he is a natural in the role. Equally, Martin Kaye (Lewis) who has played this role for a number of years in the US is impressive and exciting and although this ‘newcomer’ to the group is exuberant and manic he is a clear favourite with the audience and steals many of the best lines in the show. There is a slightly brooding undertone to Robbie Durham (Cash) who is the quiet one of the four and has the tone and mannerisms of Cash off to a tee. Ross William Wild (Elvis) is clearly the most famous of the four and there is a bristling between him and Perkins over Blue Suede Shoes that is palpable, perhaps justified and perhaps a turning point in both their careers. Amongst this collection of musical talent and be aware these performers are playing their instruments live on stage, is Katie Ray as Dyanne, Presley’s girlfriend at the time. With a superb rendition of Fever, Ray makes herself seen and heard amongst a group of extremely strong males.

Donovan (Sam Phillips) is the link that holds the other characters together and although there are moments when his character is somewhat lost amongst the main four, it is clear Phillips was a force to be reckoned with in the music industry and Donovan reflects this.

Million Dollar Quartet is a guaranteed fabulous night out and clearly evident judging by the audience reaction.

 

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Alan Menken’s musical version of A Christmas Carol comes to LOST

LOST Theatre Company presents:

A CHRISTMAS CAROL
December 19th – December 31st 2016, LOST Theatre

Charles Dickens’ timeless classic gets the full Broadway treatment in LOST Theatre’s production of A Christmas Carol – The Musical, by the Broadway team of Alan Menken (Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid), Lynn Ahrens (Ragtime, Seussical) and Mike Ockrent (Crazy For You, Me and My Girl).

“innovative, entertaining and packed full of vibrant melodies”    The Stage on A Christmas Carol – The Musical

Follow Scrooge on his journey with the ghosts of Christmas Past, Present and Future as he searches for the true meaning of Christmas in this classic transfixing journey. Suitable for all the family, this energetic and fun musical is the perfect feel good theatre show.

“It is done fluidly and — an Ockrent trademark — with considerable humor” Variety on A Christmas Carol – The Musical

This production is co-directed by Mark Magill & Martin John Bristow, and musical direction is by Randy Smartnick. Mark has worked on the London Fringe for 30 years, and during that time has run his own award winning company and worked for over twenty others in a variety of capacities. Since 1989 he has been running LOST, initially as its administrator, then from 2006 as its Artistic Director. Martin studied at both the RSAMD in Glasgow & the Actors Studio Drama School in New York, and has worked on UK tours as company stage manager, stage manager, lighting designer and technician. Randy has directed & produced shows in London & Edinburgh, including Martin Pippin and the Apple Orchard (Edinburgh Fringe and Leicester Square Theatre), It’s A Bird…It’s A Plane…It’s Superman (Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre and Leicester Square Theatre transfer) and the award-winning Flora the Red Menace (Ye Olde Rose and Crown Theatre and Landor Theatre transfer).

“a wonderful performance that will fill you with jolly Christmas cheer” Everything Theatre on A Christmas Carol – The Musical

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‘Wor Stories’ NEWCASTLE’S ARMED FORCES COMMUNITY SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES OF LIFE IN THE MILITARY IN A NEW THEATRE PRODUCTION

‘WOR STORIES’

NEWCASTLE’S ARMED FORCES COMMUNITY SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES OF LIFE IN THE MILITARY IN A NEW THEATRE PRODUCTION

AT NEWCASTLE THEATRE ROYAL WED 7 DEC – SAT 10 DEC 2016

 

Rehearsals are underway for a new production being put on by 30 members of Newcastle’s Armed Forces community.  ‘Wor Stories’ will be performed at Newcastle Theatre Royal from Wed 7- Sat 10 December 2016.

 

The production will be a culmination of a 13 week theatre project run by the Bravo 22 Company, The Royal British Legion’s recovery through the arts programme, and is being delivered in partnership with the Newcastle Theatre Royal and The Drive Project.

 

Written by Gary Kitching and directed by Chris Connel, ‘Wor Stories’ is based on the real life experiences of the 30 men and women taking part in the project, who have all served in the Armed Forces themselves or had family members who have served.  The production will be performed by 11 people, with the other participants taking on roles in script writing, production, technical and set design.

 

“I’m a big believer that the arts are important in any walk of life,” explains Chris Connel. “They expand people’s horizons, helping them to look out from within themselves – because when people are isolated, they tend to look inwards.”

 

Gary Kitching, who has 20 years’ acting experience, including projects with young offenders said: “All of the participants have been incredibly honest with us throughout the whole process.  In order to write the script we’ve asked people to show their vulnerable side, and put their trust in us to tell their stories, which is a huge responsibility.

“I genuinely look forward to coming into rehearsals every day, and am so proud of what the group has already achieved.  The transformation of people from the first day of the project has been amazing.”

 

Wor Stories, follows the Bravo 22 company’s hugely successful theatre and art projects that have run over the past five years. Its debut, The Two Worlds of Charlie F, received standing ovations throughout its West End run in 2012 and went on to tour the UK and Canada. This was followed by regional theatre projects in Buckinghamshire and Plymouth, with the company also running its first art programme in Brighton earlier this year.

 

Phil Web, 58, was a gunner in The Army, and narrates the play. After leaving the Army, Phil struggled with alcoholism, homelessness and unemployment.  Talking about the project, Phil says: “I love it! It’s something to get up for in the morning. I get myself down here on the bus, which takes an hour and a half, but it’s well worth it. I just love it. After the very first session, I left as though I’d achieved something.”

 

Linda Shaw and her husband Dave are also involved in the production, with Dave helping behind the scenes and Linda taking on an acting role.  Dave has suffered with PTSD for over 10 years. Linda says “I like that we talk about our experiences and aren’t being judged. I’m the only partner of a Service man here. A lot of people don’t understand PTSD and I thought it would be good to have my input of what it’s like living with someone with the condition.”

 

Tickets for Wor Stories are available now from Newcastle Theatre Royal www.theatreroyal.co.uk or box office 08448 11 21 21*

*Calls cost 7ppm plus your phone company’s access charge

For more information on Bravo 22 Company visit www.britishlegion.org.uk/bravo22

NB

‘Wor’ is Newcastle dialect for ‘our’, so the play translates to ‘Our Stories’

 

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Flashdance – The Musical on tour

image002-1SELLADOOR PRODUCTIONS

AND

RUNAWAY ENTERTAINMENT PRESENT

THE RETURN OF

 

FLASHDANCE – THE MUSICAL

 

WITH THE ORIGINAL AWARD WINNING

MUSIC FROM THE SMASH HIT FILM

 

ON A UK TOUR FROM 31 JULY 2017

  

 

FLASHDANCE – THE MUSICAL returns to the UK for the first time since 2011, and will arrive at Glasgow King’s Theatre on 31 July 2017 to start a UK tour, finishing in Milton Keynes on 21 July 2018. For full details of tour venues and dates, visit www.flashdanceuktour.co.uk

 

Prepare to be blown away with an astonishing musical spectacle and phenomenal choreography to this iconic score, including the smash hits “Maniac”, “Manhunt”, “Gloria”, “I Love Rock & Roll” and the award winning title track “Flashdance – What a Feeling”. Produced by the award winning team at Selladoor Productions – producers of Footloose, Avenue Q and Little Shop of Horrors – and Runaway Entertainmant – producers of In The Heights, Guys and Dolls and Lazarus, FLASHDANCE – THE MUSICAL is not to be missed!

 

Take your passion and make it happen!

 

FLASHDANCE – THE MUSICAL tells the inspiring and unforgettable story of 18 year old Alex, a welder by day and ‘flashdancer’ by night, who dreams of going to the prestigious Shipley Dance Academy and becoming a professional dancer.  When a romance complicates her ambitions, she harnesses it to drive her dream.

 

Based on the Paramount Pictures film (Screenplay by Tom Hedley and Joe Eszterhas, story by Tom Hedley) Flashdance is an inspiring musical about the power of holding onto your dreams and love against all odds. Flashdance proved a hit with audiences, and remained in the Top 10 Box Office in the States for 15 weeks after release. The original score also proved hugely popular, with the soundtrack album selling 700,000 copies within two weeks of release. The platinum selling hit title track “Flashdance – What A Feeling” won both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe in 1983, with the soundtrack winning the Grammy Award for Best Album of Original Score Written for a Motion Picture or a Television Special in 1984.

FLASHDANCE – THE MUSICAL is produced by Selladoor Productions and Runaway Entertainment.

 LISTINGS

 

FLASHDANCE – THE MUSICAL

ON UK TOUR FROM 31 JULY 2017

 

Performances:                    

King’s Theatre, Glasgow 04 AUGUST – 12 AUGUST 2017

Empire Theatre, Sunderland 11 SEPTEMBER – 16 SEPTEMBER 2017

New Theatre, Oxford 18 SEPTEMBER – 23 SEPTEMBER 2017

Regent Theatre, Stoke 25 SEPTEMBER – 30 SEPTEMBER 2017

New Theatre, Wimbledon 02 OCTOBER – 07 OCTOBER 2017

Empire Theatre, Liverpool 16 OCTOBER – 21 OCTOBER 2017

Assembly Hall Theatre, Tunbridge Wells 13 NOVEMBER – 18 NOVEMBER 2017

Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury, 20 – 25 NOVEMBER 2017

Grand Opera House, York 27 NOVEMBER – 02 DECEMBER 2017

Alexandra Theatre, Birmingham 04 DECEMBER – 09 DECEMBER 2017

Playhouse Theatre, Edinburgh 15 JANUARY – 20 JANUARY 2018

Palace Theatre, Manchester 29 JANUARY – 03 FEBRUARY 2018

Victoria Theatre, Woking 19 FEBRUARY – 19 FEBRUARY 2018

Princess Theatre, Torquay 26 FEBRUARY – 03 MARCH 2018

DeMontfort Theatre, Leicester 26 MARCH – 31 MARCH 2018

Theatre Royal, Brighton 09 APRIL – 14 APRIL 2018

Hippodrome, Bristol 25 JUNE – 30 JUNE 2018

Milton Keynes, Theatre 16 JULY – 21 JULY 2018

 

Website:                         www.flashdancetour.co.uk

Twitter:                           @FlashdanceUK

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Multi award winning musical Sunny Afternoon on national tour

SONIA FRIEDMAN PRODUCTIONS

AND AMBASSADOR THEATRE GROUP

 

PRESENT

 

THE NATIONAL TOUR OF THE

MULTI OLIVIER AWARD-WINNING HIT WEST END MUSICAL

 

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Grand Opera House York

Tuesday 21 – Saturday 25 February 2017

Sonia Friedman Productions and Ambassador Theatre Group present the national tour of the multi-award winning hit West End musical SUNNY AFTERNOON. Recipient of four awards at the 2015 Olivier Awards including Best New Musical and Outstanding Achievement in Music for Ray Davies, the tour of SUNNY AFTERNOON is produced by Sonia Friedman Productions and Ambassador Theatre Group with Tulchin Bartner Productions, Just for Laughs Theatricals/Glass Half Full Productions, Rupert Gavin, in association with Hampstead Theatre and Arlon Productions. Tour schedule below. www.sunnyafternoonthemusical.com

The tour stars Ryan O’Donnell as ‘Ray Davies’, with Mark Newnham as ‘Dave Davies’, Garmon Rhys as bassist ‘Pete Quaife’ and Andrew Gallo as drummer ‘Mick Avory’. They are joined by: Jayne Ashley; Victoria Anderson; Nathanael Campbell; Marcelo Cervone; Tomm Coles; Deryn Edwards; Sophie Leigh Griffin; Sam Haywood; James Hudson; Richard Hurst; Cleo Jaeger; James Lorcan; Joseph Richardson; Robert Took; Alex Wadham; Libby Watts; Michael Warburton; Lucy Wilkerson and Lisa Wright.

Featuring some of The Kinks’ best-loved songs, including You Really Got Me, Waterloo Sunset and Lola, SUNNY AFTERNOON tells the story of the early life of Ray Davies and the rise to stardom of The Kinks.

The Kinks exploded onto the 60s music scene with a raw energetic new sound that rocked a nation. But how did that happen, where exactly did they come from and what happened next?

Set against the back-drop of a Britain caught mid-swing between the conservative 50s and riotous 60s, this production explores the euphoric highs and agonising lows of one of Britain’s most iconic bands and the irresistible music that influenced generations.

Ryan O’Donnell (Ray Davies) most recently appeared in “Sunny Afternoon” at the Harold Pinter Theatre.  His other theatre credits include: “Quadrophenia” at Theatre Royal Plymouth; “Frankenstein” at Royal and Derngate; “Romeo & Juliet” for the Royal Shakespeare Company; “ShadowMouth” at Sheffield Crucible and “Tracy Beaker the Musical” at the Nottingham Playhouse. Ryan was a member of the band Jethro Tull for four years. In 2009 he recorded ‘Matthew and Son’ with Cat ‘Yusuf’ Stevens and the BBC.

Mark Newnham (Dave Davies) most recently appeared in “All or Nothing” at The Vaults Theatre London. His other theatre credits include: “Return to the Forbidden Planet” on UK tour; “Lennon” at the Royal Court, Liverpool; “Bouncers” and “A Passionate Woman” at the Queens Theatre, Hornchurch” and “Hot Stuff” at the Oldham Coliseum.

Garmon Rhys (Pete Quaife) most recently appeared in “Doctor Faustus” at Trafalgar Studios. His other theatre credits include: “The Secret Adversary” at the Watermill Theatre & UK tour and “Regeneration” at the Royal and Derngate and UK tour.

Andrew Gallo (Mick Avory) most recently appeared in “Parade” at the Hope Mill Theatre. His other theatre credits include: “Adam Long’s Dickens Abridged” on UK tour; “Sister Act” at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre; “Saturday Night Fever” at the Theatre Royal Bath and UK tour; “New York City Rhythm” at the Playhouse Theatre and “Hairspray” at the Aberystwyth Arts Centre.

Following a sell-out run at Hampstead Theatre, SUNNY AFTERNOON opened to critical acclaim at the Harold Pinter Theatre in London’s West End in October 2014 and had its final London performance at the Harold Pinter Theatre on 29 October 2016.

SUNNY AFTERNOON has music and lyrics by Ray Davies with a book by Joe Penhall and original story by Ray Davies. It is directed by Edward Hall, designed by Miriam Buether with choreography by Adam Cooper. Lighting design is by Rick Fisher with sound design by Matt McKenzie for Autograph.  Musical and vocal adaptations are by Ray Davies and Elliott Ware based on original Kinks recordings. The Musical Director is Barney Ashworth and the Musical Supervisor is Elliott Ware.

Tickets from £15.25

Box Office: 0844 871 3024

Online: www.atgtickets.com/york

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Panto Is Here – Oh Yes It Is!

image003 (1)

THE ROCK ‘N’ ROLL PANTO BOOGIES INTO THE CITY VARIETIES THIS WEEK

simon-steadfast%2c-dame-trott-and-princess-suisie-sleeping-beauty-in-the-rock-%27n%27-roll-panto-at-city-varieties-music-hall

Dame Taffeta Trott is donning her bloomers, Princess Susie has made her bed and Simon Steadfast is readying to be a hero; the final amends are being made to the costumes, the make-up is perfected and the saxophone, guitars and drums are polished, tuned and ready to go.

It can only mean one thing – Leeds’ famous Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto is about to hit the town.

This year Sleeping Beauty gets the Rock ‘n’ Roll treatment at City Varieties Music Hall bringing festive frolics to Leeds from Saturday 26th November to Sunday 8th January.

“Our Rock’n’Roll Pantos have been extremely popular since they were first introduced in 2011,” says Ian Sime, General Manager at City Varieties. “They have grown year on year and have now become a Christmas tradition for families in Leeds and beyond.”

Billed as a hilarious, high-speed show audiences this year will find themselves singing along to The Eagles, Whitney Houston, Marvin Gaye and Cher to name but a few.

With all the familiar characters, corny jokes and the added bonus of a full-blown, and now legendary, ‘boulder fight’, Sleeping Beauty promises a spectacular show that has something for the whole family.

Sleeping Beauty the Rock ‘n’ Roll Panto is at City Varieties Music Hall from Saturday 26th November 2016 to Sunday 8th January 2017

Tickets are on sale now priced from £14 to £25

Book online at cityvarieties.co.uk or call box office on 0113 243 08 08

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PAUL BARRITT OF 1927 AND VILLAGE UNDERGROUND PRESENT THE WORLD PREMIERE OF CAT AND MOUSE

Paul Barritt of 1927 in association with Village Underground present

CAT AND MOUSE

  • PAUL BARRITT OF 1927 AND VILLAGE UNDERGROUND PRESENT THE WORLD PREMIERE OF CAT AND MOUSE 

  • THE THEATRICAL ANIMATION WILL PLAY AT VILLAGE UNDERGROUND ON 8 AND 9 JUNE 2017

  • TICKETS ARE ON SALE TODAY AT WWW.VILLAGEUNDERGROUND.CO.UK

Today, Paul Barritt of 1927 in association with Village Underground have announced the world premiere of Cat and Mouse, an animation adventure featuring original big screen cartoons, live music and theatre. The collaboration marks Village Underground’s debut foray into producing live theatre and tickets for 8  and 9 June are on sale now at www.villageunderground.co.uk.

Inspired by George Harriman’s hugely influential Krazy Kat cartoon strip (1913-1944), Cat and Mouse is a feature-length, surreal and satirical animation created by Paul Barritt. The composer for the production is Laurence Owen with Siemy Di on drums and percussion and Sam Sallon on keys – together they are The Officer Pup Band. Lesley Ewen provides dramatic narration and Octavia Austin has designed the costumes.

Cat and Mouse sets up a familiar dichotomy and proceeds to navigate extremes of human idiocy from art to war, from technology to industry, from civilisation to love all rendered through the shenanigans of a rodent, a feline and the dogs of law. But who is really to blame in this anthropomorphic chaos, Mr Mouse or Mr Cat? Don’t forget that a good Cat is not a good Cat if he has no bad Mouse against which to be compared…

Paul Barritt, director and creator of Cat and Mouse, said: “Cat and Mouse began when dramaturg Beate Schüler contacted me asking if I would like to do a project based on the music of Harry Partch and George Harriman’s Krazy Kat. I’ll admit, I took the bait and ran with it, off to the left, then zig zagged a little, left side, right side and eventually, we created this rock ‘n’ roll Cat and Mouse with Village Underground. Made of old ‘toons and new tunes, it’s like an art house Itchy and Scratchy where the action spills out into the audience. Expect high octane action, fun and frolics, extreme (cartoon) violence, moments of edification, sadomasochism, a face machine, skeletons, dogs, dancing, and more.” 

Glenn Max, Creative Director of Village Underground, said: “Stumbling elated from the theatre, enchanted and dazed from 1927’s Golem, I immediately wrote to them to express my appreciation for the play suggesting if ever they needed an unusual space, Village Underground could be available to host. I was extremely surprised to receive an email from Paul Barritt a few days later suggesting he might have a piece for us. Upon meeting him it was clear we were in the hands of magician of the theatre. While Village Underground has hosted wonderful theatre productions like Praxis Makes Perfect by National Theatre Wales and welcomed companies such as Sadler’s Wells to our venue, it would take a very special opportunity to move our organisation into the role of producer. Anyone who has experienced 1927’s twisted reinvention of theatre will recognise why their work resonates with Village Underground’s irreverent sensibility. The subversive humour, crafty production and penetrating narratives worked their way into our hearts and now, that inventiveness has worked its way into our home. Cat and Mouse represents the development of Village Underground, now celebrating its 10th year, as a new force in London’s theatre landscape.

There will be two performances of Cat and Mouse per evening beginning at 7.30pm and 9.15pm.Cat and Mouse is supported by Arts Council England. 

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Spamalot Review

Grand Opera House, York.  22 to 26 November 2016.  Reviewed by Marcus Richardson

The local York amateur dramatic group Pick Me Up Theatre are performing at the Grand Opera House in York. The show will be running from the 22nd to the 26th.

The famous Monty Python film was taken from the film Holy Grail and was put on stage in 2004. The production has to live up to the comedy genius’ as the film and the previous productions are highly entertaining to watch with its famous lines and witty jokes, did they do the job? Hell yes, I was laughing so much I started to cry, the actors did a tremendous job, they had roars of laughter from the audience and put on a very good show for everyone.

Emily Ramsden was the lady of the lake and by Jove she was amazing, she stood out from the rest of the cast because she was so funny and she has this incredible singing voice, she has her funny songs like ‘what ever happened to much part’ which I found the funniest part of the whole entire play and she works the diva she well. King Arthur is played by Nick Lewis who had a large demanding role as he was on stage most of the time he handled this pretty well and performed just as, he was always accompanied by his underappreciated sidekick Patsy played by George Stagnell who sings Always Look On The Bright Side of Life, the most iconic song in the play and I think he did a very good job and for sure you will too. My other stand out actor was John Whitney who played Sir Lancelot who was funny in songs like not dead yet, and with his rescuing of a ‘princess’.

The overall feeling of the knight, ooops night, was very good and just a bit of silly light hearted humour that I’m sure you will enjoy .

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