It has been 42 years since Abigail’s Party first hit the stage back in 1977. Written by Mike Leigh the sitcom style theatre show mocks the stereotypes of British social values. The cast is fairly small with only five characters; Beverly (Jodie Prenger), Angela (Vicky Binns), Tony (Calum Callaghan), Lawrence (Daniel Casey) and Sue (Rose Keegan).
It’s hard to find a greater enjoyment at the theatre than going to see a good farce comedy and they don’t come much more enjoyable than ‘Business Affairs’ written by Jeremy Lloyd (Allo Allo, Are You Being Served) and John Chapman.
I’m worried that not many regular theatre-goers will ‘get’ American Idiot, based on the concept album of the same name by kings of pop punk and the naughties grunge scene Green Day, and written by frontman Billie Joe Armstrong. But it’s the third UK tour, and it’s won two Tony Awards, so we must be safe.
There are some brand new members of Hyde Musical Society taking to the stage this week who may seem a little familiar. Princeton, Kate Monster, Trekkie Monster and a whole host of furry friends opened in Avenue Q tonight and you don’t want to miss this one!
The Crucible is a 1953 play by Arthur Miller. On the surface it is about the Salem witch trials of the 17th Century, but underneath it is an allegory about McCarthyism – a popular pastime in the ‘Forties and ‘Fifties – named after Senator Joseph McCarthy. (He must be so proud; not every senator gets turned into a noun.)
‘Hello, Dolly!’ is a comedy musical, with music and lyrics by the great Jerry Herman. The story follows Dolly Gallagher Levi, a self-confessed “meddler”, ‘some people paint, some sew… I meddle’, as she sets her efforts to find a match for the miserly, well-known half-a-millionaire Horace Vandergelder.
Very often I find that going to see the stage play that’s been adapted to a popular film is usually far better than the film; there’s more emotion and I find it easier to understand a character when it’s right there in front of me; this is definitely the case for Glengarry Glen Ross which after sell out runs on the West End, this Sam Yates’ production of David Mamet’s Olivier Award-winning play has returned for a UK tour and I was lucky enough to catch it at Manchester this week.
JB Shorts started life as an idea between two writers Trevor Suthers and John Chambers to produce short plays written by TV writers with the original venue being Joshua Brookes. Now celebrating its 10th Anniversary JB Shorts has moved to 53Two recreating the ‘dark cellar’ atmosphere that was so popular. This bi-annual event has evolved to include new writers, actors and directors and last night JB Shorts presented their 21st show.
It’s fifteen years since Michelle McManus won Pop Idol. While her pop star career quickly stalled, McManus has forged a career in Scotland as a radio DJ and TV presenter.
For over a century people have been coming from China to make new lives in the UK and From Shore to Shore is their story.
Mary Cooper spent two years talking to the British Chinese community in West Yorkshire to fashion this interlocking tale of three people who came to Leeds through very different routes and have come to this restaurant to share their stories.
When a man walks into a barber shop and sits down in the chair, amidst the banal banter about football and women, he will often unload his worldly worries and confide in the bloke standing next to him with the clippers. The barber shop as a secular confessional was noticed by writer Inua Ellams on the streets of his native Peckham in South London, and he uses the device to explore the attitudes and opinions of black men in the early 21st Century.
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