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.
I must admit that I have always loved Michael Jackson but there are good and bad tribute acts and let’s face it, Michael Jackson took dancing to another level.
Ben faced an uphill task to convince me that he could portray this icon both vocally and with his choreography. I am pleased to say that he pulled it off!
The Stretch evolved from last year’s production of a JB Shorts play which was 15 minutes long and has been re-imagined to its current length of an hour. Arts Council England funding has allowed the piece to be developed by TV scriptwriter Joe Ainsworth alongside Director Simon Naylor (MAP – Manchester Actors Platform). The team have sought guidance from HMP Forest Bank whose input has given the play an air of realism as the content is based upon true experiences.
The spiritual home of PADOS (Prestwich Amateur Dramatic & Operatic Society), plays host to ghosts, ghouls and kooks of all types this week, with the arrival of the company's youth production of 'The Addams Family' musical. Derby Hall is a stunning Victorian venue, and as we enter the theatre, atmospheric lighting creates a mood of creepy expectation in the opening night audience.
This piece from late in Arthur Miller’s career isn’t one of his stone cold classics but even a rarely performed work like this is wiser and more humane than most playwrights can manage at their peak.
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