Mother Courage And Her Children

The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester; Wednesday 13th February, 2019

 

The year is 2080. Every nation that humanity created has now gone – all that remains are grid squares, huge blocks of land that are both battle ground and prize as the Red and the Blue Armies wage war in an attempt to methodically seize control of each zone.

In amongst the carnage, a mother and her three children roam the vast expanses of what was once known as Europe. Armed only with a solid sense of pragmatism and a keen eye for a business deal, Mother Courage buys and sells her way through the war, determined that neither she nor her children will will be victims of a conflict that has clearly broken the spirit of so many others.Read More »

The Animals And Children Took To The Streets

HOME Theatre, Manchester; Thursday 7th February, 2019

 

At number 3 Red Herring Street in the lousiest, grottiest part of town, there lies a cockroach-infested tenement block known as the Bayou Mansions – a dreadful, filthy old hovel inhabited by no-good seedy tricksters and lowlife perverts.

But as frightful as these unsavoury occupants are, their repugnant exploits pale into insignificance compared to the horrors of what happens at night – for that’s when the animals and children take to the streets.Read More »

2084

Manchester Central Library; Tuesday 5th February, 2019

2084_3

Tuesday, April 4th, 2084. Comrade #6079 (Smith) is a docile Level 2 Records Administrator and member of the Outer Party in the Ministry of Truth, Oceania.

#6079 has a specific job function – to obediently adhere to whatever truths the Inner Party wishes to promote, specifically by adjusting and amending historical documents to match the prevailing paradigm.

Whoever controls the past controls the future: whoever controls the present controls the past.Read More »

Trial By Laughter

The Lowry, Salford; Tuesday 29th January, 2019

 

In December 1817, a relatively obscure Fleet Street writer and bookseller named William Hone found himself unexpectedly summoned to court to face grave charges of seditious libel and blasphemy.

Hone was facing the prospect of ruin in the form of bankruptcy and a lengthy jail term. Furthermore, there was even the threat of forcible exile to Australia – a one-way ticket which, in those days, was nothing short of a death sentence.

Hone stood his ground though – representing himself in court he set about convincing the jury of his peers that he was guilty of nothing more than criticising the morally deficient manner in which both government and monarchy were conspiring to rule over the populace.Read More »

The Turk

The Lowry, Salford; Saturday 26th January, 2019

 

 

Deep in the hold of a 19th Century cargo ship, a desperately fatigued old man prepares for the coming of his death – old age and illness have joined forces to create a formidable nemesis which he knows he can now no longer challenge.

The crew grow ever more concerned for his well-being – he’s locked himself away for six days and he shows no sign of emerging, even though the vessel is less than a day away from reaching port.

But he has only two concerns as he wearily accepts his inevitable fate: twelve bottles of fine wine and the constant torment of his travelling companion – the silent and menacing being known only as The Turk.Read More »

The Producers

The Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester; Wednesday 5th December, 2018

TheProducers

 

Dress it up, re-word it, set it out in any font and typeset that you like: the scene listing and plotline summary of Mel Brooks’ The Producers reads like something out of a Daily Mail headline article.

Originally created in 1967 as a film, the stage production is a lift-and-shift of the original story line and concept – namely that of a failing New York theatre producer’s bizarre plot to get rich quick by deliberately staging a bad play. The transition to a stage version faithfully adheres to the original story line and adds a very large portion of big-band musicality, along with plenty of showbusinessy razzmatazz.Read More »

All You Need Is LSD

The Lowry, Salford; Tuesday 6th November, 2018

 

In 1938, crazy-mad scientist Albert Hofmann was trying to solve the puzzle of troublesome fungi that were destroying wheat crops when he accidentally snorted mushroom dust. He  famously ended up so tripped off his tits that it took him six hours to cycle home.

Hofmann’s accidental creation, LSD, is famed for its hallucinogenic properties; typical side effects include the ushering in of altered thoughts and distorted feelings. And that might be a fairly accurate summary of what theatre audiences will be left experiencing after watching Told By An Idiot’s production of All You Need Is LSD.Read More »