Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society Announces Outcome of Board Elections

 

The Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society has marked the final six days of the 2015 Fringe by announcing the outcome of the elections to the Society’s governing body, the Board of Directors.

The elections were held to coincide with the Annual General Meeting of the Society which took place on Tuesday 25 August at the Balmoral Hotel in Edinburgh.  Anyone is allowed to join the Society and all members of the Society were entitled to vote. This year the turnout in the election was 52%.

Since 2010 the Society has had a constitution in which candidates for the board were able to stand in three categories: show participant, venues and an open category.

In the Show Participant category Harry Gooch was elected over Tamsin Fitzgerald.

In the Venue category Luke Meredith was successfully elected over J D Henshaw and Sam Gough.

Matt Panesh won the election in the Open category ahead of Brian Cleary, Thomas Goodwin, Alister O’Loughlin, Bridget Stevens and Barrie Taylor.

The elections were carried out using the Single Transferable Vote (STV) system of preferential voting and were managed on behalf of the Society by Electoral Reform Services.

Each of the newly elected Board Members will serve a four year term.

 

Urinetown writer returns to St James with Pig Farm

98790Pig Farm, by Tony Award winning writer Greg Kotis (Urinetown), will receive its UK premiere at the St James Theatre later this year.

Billed as a “dark farce”, the 2006 play centres on Tom and Tina who, with just the help of hired hand Tim, are struggling for survival on their remote pig farm.

According to press material: “Pig Farm is a hilarious tale of regular folk, human sludgery and the American dream dragged through the mud.”

Running from 21 October to 21 November, Pig Farm is directed by Katherine Farmer and produced by Dead Posh Productions and Julian Stoneman Associates.

Greg Kotis said: “Every American playwright dreams of having his or her work brought to life on a London stage, and I feel very lucky indeed that this dream is coming true once again.”

Darlington Civic Theatre – Milkshake!

Civic Theatre Hi Res LogoMONKEY BUSINESS ON ITS WAY, MILKSHAKE! STYLE

Fans of Channel 5’s hugely popular children’s TV strand Milkshake! will be thrilled to know that a brand new stage show Milkshake! Live ‘Party Party’, is coming to Darlington Civic Theatre on Saturday 12 September.

This brand new show features lots of Milkshake! friends and two Milkshake! presenters.The show’s stellar line up includes Little Princess, Bananas in Pyjamas, Noddy and Tessie, Pip from Pip Ahoy!, Bello from Jelly Jamm, Chloe from Chloe’s Closet, Tommy and Tallulah from Tickety Toc, Toby and Dolores from Toby’s Travelling Circus and Milkshake’s very own Milkshake Monkey!

This all-new musical extravaganza is bound to have audiences up on their feet, singing along, and jumping with delight! As the preparations for Milkshake Monkey’s surprise birthday party get underway, all the guests are busy with their very special party jobs! But what happens when Milkshake Monkey disappears? The presenters will need the audience’s help to find him in time for the party!

Milkshake! Live ‘Party Party’ features loads of great music – in addition to classic Milkshake! songs there are some brand new ones, some popular children’s favourites and some other well-known hits as well!

Milkshake! Live ‘Party Party’ is the perfect entertainment for families with young children who will get the chance to enjoy a live theatre experience and see their favourite TV personalities up close.

Milkshake! Live ‘Party Party’ comes to Darlington Civic Theatre on Saturday 12 September at 1pm and 3.30pm. Tickets are £12.50 for adults, £10.50 for children and £42 for a family ticket.

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit www.darlingtoncivic.co.uk

REHEARSALS BEGIN FOR THE KENNETH BRANAGH THEATRE COMPANY’S INAUGURAL PRODUCTIONS

PLAYS AT THE GARRICK
KENNETH BRANAGH THEATRE COMPANY

A YEAR OF UNMISSABLE THEATRE

REHEARSALS HAVE NOW BEGUN FOR THE KENNETH BRANAGH THEATRE COMPANY’S INAUGURAL PRODUCTIONS

SHAKESPEARE’S THE WINTER’S TALE WILL PLAY IN REPERTORY WITH NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN RATTIGAN DOUBLE BILL OF HARLEQUINADE / ALL ON HER OWN FROM 17 OCTOBER UNTIL 16 JANUARY 2016

Kenneth Branagh. Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company. Credit Johan Persson (5)Rehearsals are now underway for the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company’s Plays at the Garrick season.The Winter’s Tale will play in repertory alongside the Rattigan double-bill of Harlequinade / All On Her Own from 17 October 2015 until 16 January 2016.

The Winter’s Tale, Shakespeareʼs timeless tragicomedy of obsession and redemption, is reimagined in a new production co-directed by Rob Ashford and Kenneth Branagh following their triumphant staging ofMacbeth in Manchester and Manhattan. Judi Dench will play Paulina opposite Kenneth Branagh as Leontes. Judi Dench will not be appearing in Harlequinade / All On Her Own.Judi Dench. Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company. Credit Johan Persson (8)

The full cast for The Winter’s Tale includes: Pierre Atri (Mamillius), Jaygann Ayeh (Archidamus & The Old Shepherd’s Servant), Tom Bateman (Florizel), Jessie Buckley (Perdita), Vera Chok (Dorcas & First Lady), Jack Colgrave Hirst (Clown), John Dagleish (Autolycus), Hadley Fraser (Polixenes), Adam Garcia (Amadis), Rudi Goodman (Mamillius), Matthew Hawksley (Aegeum), Taylor James (Capnio), Pip Jordan (Shepherdess), Ansu Kabia (Cleomenes), Stuart Neal (Dion), Michael Pennington (Antigonus),Zoë Rainey (Emilia), Miranda Raison (Hermione), Michael Rouse (Gaoler & Mariner), John Shrapnel(Camillo), Kathryn Wilder (Mopsa) and Jimmy Yuill (The Shepherd).

In addition to playing Dame Maud in Harlequinade, Zoë Wanamaker will also perform Terence Rattigan’s dramatic monologue All On Her Own, which has never before played in the West End. In this brief but powerfully atmospheric play, which will be staged every evening prior to Harlequinade, a woman with a secret, alone at midnight in London has a burden to share that is at times both heart-breaking and sinister. Zoё Wanamaker will not appear in The Winter’s Tale.

Rob Ashford. Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company. Credit Johan Persson (2)In the rarely seen comic gem Harlequinade, a classical theatre company attempts to produce The Winter’s Tale and Romeo and Juliet, while the intrigues and dalliances of the company members are accidently revealed with increasingly chaotic and hysterical consequences. Kenneth Branagh will playHarlequinade’s actor-manager Arthur Gosport in addition to co-directing the production with Rob Ashford.

The full cast for Harlequinade includes: Jaygann Ayeh (Second Halberdier), Tom Bateman (Jack Wakefield), Jessie Buckley (Muriel Palmer), Vera Chok (Miss Fishlock), Jack Colgrave Hirst (Tom Palmer), John Dagleish (Policeman), Hadley Fraser (First Halberdier), Ansu Kabia (Johnny), Stuart Neal (Fred Ingram), Zoë Rainey (Wardrobe Mistress), Miranda Raison (Edna Selby), Michael Rouse(Rehearsal Pianist), John Shrapnel (George Chudleigh), Kathryn Wilder (Joyce Langland) and Jimmy Yuill (Mr Burton).

The Winter’s Tale, Harlequinade / All On Her Own, The Painkiller, Romeo and Juliet and The Entertainer make up the inaugural season of work for the Kenneth Branagh Theatre Company.

LISTINGS INFORMATION

Garrick Theatre
2 Charing Cross Road
London, WC2H 0HH
Box Office: 0844 482 9673
Online Bookings: www.branaghtheatre.com
Tickets from £15

No booking fees or transaction fees on any ticket booked direct through branaghtheatre.com, nimaxtheatres.com, direct telephone bookings at the Garrick Theatre and to personal callers at the Garrick Theatre.

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THE WINTERʼS TALE
17 October 2015 – 16 January 2016
Press performance: 7 November 2pm
Captioned Performance: 9 December 7.30pm
Audio Described Performance: 16 December 7.30pm

The Winter’s Tale will play in repertory with Harlequinade. Performances of The Winter’s Tale will be as follows:
17, 19, 20, 21, 29, 30 & 31 October at 7.30pm
31 October at 2.30pm
3, 6, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 24, 25, 26 & 30 November at 7.30pm
4, 14, 21 & 25 November at 2.30pm
1, 2, 7, 8, 9, 16, 17, 18, 22, 23, 31 December at 7.30pm,
2, 9, 16, 23, 24 & 31 December at 2.30pm
2, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15 & 16 January at 7.30pm
2, 9 & 16 January at 2.30pm

HARLEQUINADE / ALL ON HER OWN
24 October 2015 – 13 January 2016
Press performance: 7 November 8pm
Captioned Performance: 10 December 7.30pm
Audio Described Performance: 15 December 7.30pm

Harlequinade will play in repertory with The Winter’s Tale. Performances of Harlequinade will be as follows:
24, 26, 27 & 28 October at 7.30pm
28 October at 2.30pm
2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 11, 16, 17, 18, 23, 27 & 28 November at 7.30pm
11, 18 & 28 November at 2.30pm
3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 19, 21, 24, 28, 29 & 30 December at 7.30pm
5, 12, 19 & 28 December at 2.30pm
4, 5, 6, 11, 12 & 13 January at 7.30pm
6 & 13 January at 2.30pm

 

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Review

Grand Theatre, Leeds – 25 August 2015

Simon Stephen’s stunning adaptation of Mark Haddon’s much loved book has arrived in Leeds and it’s a phenomenal feat of acting, fully deserving of five the Tony Awards, seven Olivier Awards and numerous others

The show manages to be theatrical while remaining entirely true to the spirit of the book. The story is simple in that Christopher’s Special Needs teacher, Siobhan, reads the book he has written about his attempts to solve the mystery of Wellington, a dog that was brutally killed in a neighbour’s garden. They decide to stage it as a play.  As the first-person narrative unwraps, it’s impossible not to become enthralled by Christopher’s quest, and the things it reveals along the way

There are dramatic moments in the play that are almost too painful to watch, not least when Christopher tries to block out his discoveries by playing manically with his model train set. But there is also humour, in fact there were many moments in the play when the audience was laughing.

The production, directed by Marianne Elliott, was funny, clever, gripping and emotional, really drawing on the actors’ skills.

Joshua Jenkins was sensational in the role, managing to reflect Christopher’s sometimes lonely and stressful world and his thought processes while adding humour throughout.  He is unbearably poignant in moments of distress when he lies with his face on the ground and moans, but also movingly captures the character’s courage, his brilliance at mathematics, and his startling perspectives on the world. Christopher can’t bear to be touched – he only allows the most fleeting physical contact with his parents, in which upraised palms briefly connect – and he has a host of other quirks, enthusiasm and dislikes. Jenkins mannerisms and twitches just help to make this a totally believable character

The play is staged in a versatile black box with clever use of projections to create different locations and key images. Christopher uses number patterns to help him feel calmer and these are flashed all over the screen and when a crowded tube station almost paralyses him, he tells himself to imagine a red dotted line on the floor and just follow it, which of course appears on the stage floor.

The set makes use of hidden cupboards and doors and also makes use of the cast themselves as props ranging from a microwave to a very sensual cash dispenser.  Movement Directors Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett from Frantic Assembly ramp up the movement, while designers turn up the sound and churn up the projections to give us a glimpse of the sensory overload that besets Christopher.

But by the end, thanks to Jenkins pained honesty and twitchy awkwardness, as well as his moments of exultant joy, Christopher Boone feels like both a hero and a friend, and the happy ending is rightly justified.

There are a host of excellent and often comic supporting performances, with especially fine work from Stuart Lang  as the anguished father who loves his son but hurts him terribly, and Geraldine Alexander as teacher Siobhan. And some fabulous animal antics from a puppy and Toby the rat

A tale that begins with a dog viciously stabbed with a garden fork can hardly be called sentimental. But Haddon’s novel has a streak of sentimentality running through it.  This is an honest, at times brutally honest, play that shows that Curious is not just a story about a teenager suspected of killing a dog, but a moving tale about emotion, families and coping with life.  Its beautiful and enchanting and must see for everyone (although parental advisory is advised for the generous amount of swearing that takes place)

In Leeds until Saturday 29th August – just make sure you stay to the very end for an amazing  feat of mathematical excellence par excellence

To Do. To Be – Tim Prottey Jones

tim-prottey-jones-to-do-to-be-cdAn all-star line-up has been announced for a new musical theatre album, due to be released on 7 September.

“To Do. To Be”, which is available to pre-order on iTunes and Dress Circle now, features brand new musical theatre writing from Tim Prottey-Jones (Kinky Boots,Once, Superstar) and co-writers Tori Allen-Martin, Nick Smithers, Angela Prottey-Jones, Martin Meehan, Daragh Carville and best selling author, Ali Harris.

The album will include vocals from Amy Lennox (Kinky Boots, Legally Blonde), Emma Hatton (Wicked, We Will Rock You), Alistair Brammer (Miss Saigon, Les Miserables), Declan Bennett (Eastenders, Once), Tyrone Huntley (Memphis, The Book Of Mormon), Zrinka Cvitesic (Once), Evelyn Hoskins (Carrie), Arthur Darvill (Doctor Who, Once), Tim Prottey-Jones (Kinky Boots, Once) and Laura Pitt-Pulford (Seven Brides For Seven Brothers, The Sound Of Music)

They are joined by Joe Tracini (Hollyoaks, Spamalot), Jacqueline Hughes (Wicked), Paul Ayres (Kinky Boots), Ambra Caserotti (Rent), Brian Gilligan (The Commitments), Cameron Sharp (Rock Of Ages).

Andrew Bateup (Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat) completes the line-up having won a nationwide competition to find an up-and-coming artist to perform on the album.

The album will be available on iTunes, Amazon, Dress Circle and at the Theatre Cafe.

 

TAKE A LOOK BEHIND THE SCENES AT DARLINGTON CIVIC THEATRE Darlington Civic

Civic Theatre Hi Res Logo (1)Theatre opens its doors for an exciting and informative look behind the scenes with special Heritage Tours on Friday 11 and Sunday 13 September.

Imagine getting a glimpse behind the scenes of your local theatre – the areas you never get to see as a member of the audience. Stand in the wings and imagine your next big entrance in front of a sell-out audience, get the view of the theatre every actor gets when they walk on stage for the first time, see the technical areas and offices. Add to that the history of secret apartments, the dressing rooms (some of which are known to be haunted) and you have an exciting and informative tour of one of Darlington’s most wonderful and historic buildings.

On Friday 11 September local schools have the chance to offer students the opportunity to learn about entertainment in the early twentieth century, increase their knowledge of practical theatre or practice literacy and numeracy skills through special fact-finding worksheets. Schools should contact Chris Wellings – Audience Development and Participation Officer on 01325 405510 to book. All tickets are free but spaces must be booked in advance.

On Sunday 13 September at 11am families have the opportunity to meet the original manager of the theatre Signor Pepi and take an interactive tour of the theatre including a quick change challenge, try your hand at stage lighting and discover the fascinating history of the theatre.

Also on Sunday 13 September at 3pm there will be a comprehensive backstage tour of the theatre and the opportunity to hear from theatre consultant Dr. David Wilmore on the history of Darlington Civic Theatre, the last surviving part of Signor Pepi’s theatrical empire. There will also be the opportunity to look at plans for the theatre’s upcoming restoration.

To book spaces for the Saturday and Sunday tours please call the Box Office on 01325 486555 – all tickets are free but spaces must be booked in advance.

See Darlington Civic Theatre as you have never seen it before.

The Darlington Civic Theatre Heritage Tours will take place from Friday 11 to Sunday 13 September. Tickets are free but spaces must be booked in advance.

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555

Funniest joke of the Fringe winner revealed

98724Comedian Darren Walsh has won this year’s Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, voted for by TV channel Dave.

Walsh’s gag – ‘I just deleted all the German names off my phone. It’s Hans free.’ – topped a list that also included Stewart Francis, Alun Cochrane and a 12-year-old girl called Grace.

The winner was chosen from a shortlist compiled by a panel of judges, who saw an average of 60 shows each. The winner was then decided by 2,000 members of the public.

Walsh, whose show Punderbolt is his first-ever full length offering, scored an impressive 23% of the public vote.

Grace The Child

Grace The Child is the youngest performer ever to make the list; her show Playground Politics was performed on a bus.

The top 10 funniest jokes of the Fringe:

1. “I just deleted all the German names off my phone. It’s Hans free.” (Darren Walsh)

2. “Kim Kardashian is saddled with a huge arse… but enough about Kanye West.” (Stewart Francis)

3. “Surely every car is a people carrier?” (Adam Hess)

4. “What’s the difference between a ‘hippo’ and a ‘Zippo’? One is really heavy, the other is a little lighter.” (Masai Graham)

5. “If I could take just one thing to a desert island I probably wouldn’t go.” (Dave Green)

6. “Jesus fed 5,000 people with two fishes and a loaf of bread. That’s not a miracle. That’s tapas.” (Mark Nelson)

7. “Red sky at night. Shepherd’s delight. Blue sky at night. Day.” (Tom Parry)

8. “The first time I met my wife, I knew she was a keeper. She was wearing massive gloves.” (Alun Cochrane)

9. “Clowns divorce. Custardy battle.” (Simon Munnery)

10. “They’re always telling me to live my dreams. But I don’t want to be naked in an exam I haven’t revised for…” (Grace The Child)

And here’s a few that just missed out

“I never lie on my CV… because it creases it.” (Jenny Collier)

“If you don’t know what introspection is you need to take a long, hard look at yourself.” (Ian Smith)

“I usually meet my girlfriend at 12:59 because I like that one-to-one time.” (Tom Ward)

“Whenever I get to Edinburgh, I’m reminded of the definition of a gentleman. It’s someone who knows how to play the bagpipes, but doesn’t.” (Gyles Brandreth)

“Let me tell you a little about myself. It’s a reflexive pronoun that means ‘me’.” (Ally Houston)

“Earlier this year I saw The Theory of Everything – loved it. Should’ve been called Look Who’s Hawking, that’s my only criticism.” (James Acaster)

CIVIC THEATRE FILLED WITH THE SOUND OF SILENCE

Civic Theatre Hi Res Logo

The music of Simon and Garfunkel comes to the Darlington Civic Theatre on Tuesday 8 September with The Simon and Garfunkel Story – 50th Anniversary Celebration.

Has it really been 50 years since the most successful Folk/Rock Duo of all time recorded their first number one hit single ‘The Sound of Silence’?

Following it’s West End success at the Leicester Square Theatre, London in February 2015, ‘The Simon and Garfunkel Story’ is currently the biggest and the most successful touring theatre show celebrating the lives and career of Folk/Rock sensation Simon and Garfunkel.

Featuring seasoned West End, award-winning leading man Dean Elliott (Buddy Holly in ‘Buddy – The Musical’) and a full cast of talented actor- musicians, ‘The Simon and Garfunkel Story’ takes you back through the ‘Groovy’ times of the 1960s. It tells the story of both Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel from their humble beginnings as Rock n Roll duo ‘Tom and Jerry’, right through their massive success, dramatic break-up and finishing with a stunning recreation of the 1981 Central Park reformation concert.

Using a huge projection screen, the show features 1960’s photos and film footage whilst a full live band perform all their hits including ‘Mrs Robinson’, ‘Cecilia’, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, ‘Homeward Bound’, ‘Sound of Silence’ and many more!

The Simon and Garfunkel Story is at Darlington Civic Theatre on Tuesday 8 September. Tickets* are £20 and £18.

*All ticket prices include a £1 restoration levy.

To book contact the Box Office on 01325 486 555 or visit www.darlingtoncivic.co.uk

The Simon & Garfunkel Story (Direct from London’s West End)

‘THE SIMON AND GARFUNKEL STORY’

(50TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION)

Civic Theatre

Darlington

Tuesday 8th September 

BOX OFFICE – 01325 486555

Has it really been 50 years since the most successful Folk/Rock Duo of all time recorded their first no1 hit single ‘The Sound of Silence’?

Following it’s WEST END success at the ‘Leicester Square Theatre’, London in February 2015, ‘The Simon and Garfunkel Story’ is currently the biggest and the most successful No 1 touring theatre show celebrating the lives and career of Folk/Rock sensation Simon and Garfunkel.

Featuring seasoned West End, award-winning leading man DEAN ELLIOTT (Buddy Holly in ‘Buddy – The Musical’) and a full cast of talented actor- musicians, ‘The Simon and Garfunkel Story’ takes you back through the ‘Groovy’  times of the 1960s. It tells the story of both Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel from their humble beginnings as Rock n Roll duo ‘Tom and Jerry’, right through their massive success, dramatic break-up and finishing with a stunning recreation of the 1981 Central Park reformation concert.

Using a huge projection screen, the show features 1960’s photos and film footage whilst a full live band perform all their hits including ‘Mrs Robinson’, ‘Cecilia’, ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’, ‘Homeward Bound’, ‘Sound of Silence’ and many more!

With every performance creating a standing ovation, this is an evening not to be missed!

“FANTASTIC” – BBC Radio 2

“AUTHENTIC AND EXCITING” – The Stage

“STORYTELLING AT ITS FINEST – Choice Radio

“WOW! – YOU SOUND UNCANNY!” – Mike Read, Radio 1 DJ

www.thesimonandgarfunkelstory.com