Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran

HOME Theatre, Manchester; Wednesday 23rd October, 2019

RichKids_4

Two years ago, writer, director and performer Javaad Alipoor dived deep undercover into the darkest corners of the internet in a bold quest to understand what was driving the online radicalisation of young men

Rich Kids: A History of Shopping Malls in Tehran is the second part of what will eventually become a theatrical trilogy – one which seeks to assess the impact of humanity’s head-first tumble into the digital age. Read More »

Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Or Much Ado About Nothing

The Waterside Theatre, Manchester College; Thursday 10th October, 2019

BlahBlahBlah_1

 

“Hi, my name’s Caitlin Mollie Jane Marsh and tonight I’ll be playing the role of Ryan Lea”

From the very beginning, it was clear that Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Blah, Or Much Ado About Nothing was going to be wild. The programme notes hinted something strange was afoot, the introductions by the cast confirmed it: they were all going to be playing each other – not playing roles from *hakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing but actually playing each other.Read More »

Beryl

The Octagon Theatre, Bolton; Monday 23rd September, 2019

Beryl_1

 

Beryl Burton – a Yorkshire lass, born and raised in Leeds in the late 1930s: she was a wife at the age of 17, a mother by the age of 18; yet somehow, despite chronic health problems from an early age, this most unlikely of prospects went on to become one of the most successful and dominant female sports stars that the world has ever known.

Beryl by Maxine Peake tells the awe-inspiring story of how a chance meeting with a young man wearing strange cycling shoes sparked the genesis of a sporting legend who went on to win close to one hundred domestic and world titles in a successful racing career that endured for decades.Read More »

We’ve Got Each Other

HOME Theatre, Manchester; Thursday 19th September, 2019

(c) Alex Brenner

 

Tommy used to work on the docks. Union’s been on strike: he’s down on his luck, it’s tough.

So tough.

Gina works the diner all day. Working for her man: she brings home her pay, for love.

For love.

Paul O’Donnell is a genius, he’s got a great idea: he’s going to put on a musical – a full-scale theatrical extravaganza with gratuitous deployment of jazz hands, sparkly fingers, confetti cannons – the works. There’ll be a cast of thirty five musicians and dancers, it’ll be two-and-a-half hours long with an interval of twenty minutes – huge sell-out crowds will flock to the West End to see it.

There’s one big problem though: no one’s stumping up the cash to make it happen.Read More »

Red Dust Road

HOME Theatre, Manchester; Thursday 12th September, 2019

Red Dust Road  National Theatre of Scotland / Home Edinburgh International Festival

 

Originally published as a book in 2010, Red Dust Road is Scottish Poet Laureate Jackie Kay’s autobiographical account of the life-long search for her biological parents: a Scottish mother who worked as a nurse in the 1960s and a Nigerian father who was studying at Aberdeen University.

Tanika Gupta’s stage adaptation is an assembly of multiple scenes that span fully five decades from the 1960s onwards. The random sequencing is such that these scenes aren’t delivered in chronological order. Hence, as the show progresses, what slowly begins to form is a fascinating, jigsaw-like rendering of the Jackie Kay story with all its attendant intrigues.Read More »

The Jumper Factory

HOME Theatre, Manchester; Wednesday 11th September, 2019

The Jumper Factory - HOME, Young Vic. Photo © Leon Puplett (02878)

 

Six very angry looking men are sat on stage, staring down the audience. This is a war of attrition, who will back down first? Each one is oozing arrogance, evidenced by the outrageous manspreading on display, as well as a nonchalant leer which suggests that these guys are just not arsed.

The six men are prisoners – inmates of HMP Wandsworth – but this is no ordinary story of life behind bars; The Jumper Factory is arguably much more about the drawn-out agonies of disconnection from the outside world.Read More »

Jerry Springer: The Opera

Hope Mill Theatre, Manchester; Tuesday 13th August, 2019

JerrySpringer_2

It ain’t easy being me:

billions of voices,

making all the wrong choices;

then turning around and blaming me.

 

Nearly three decades have passed since The Jerry Springer Show burst off American cable channels and became a massive and instant TV hit across the world. The simple formula for creating entertainment out of ordinary people airing their dirty laundry in public still holds an elusive X factor that imitators have never quite matched.Read More »