There must be a part of everyone that enjoys a good Ghost story – huddled around a fire in the dark with friends, trying to make each other jump and scream. Considering that and being so close to Halloween this production is well timed in coming to Leeds as tonight, first and foremost two actors presented us with just that - a terrifying ghost story! Susan Hill’s The Woman In Black has continued to fright and delight audiences for nearly 30 years after it was first adapted by Stephen Mallatratt into a play, but it is not only a great ghost story, but look a little closer and it is also a masterpiece of theatrical storytelling.
When We Are Married is a comedy written by Bradford born J B Priestley and first premiered in 1938 at London’s St Martin’s theatre. Cleckleywyke, a fictional village in Bradford, is the place chosen for the comedy and is set at the beginning of the 20th Century and during the Edwardian era. This is where many have prospered financially and socially from the ownership of factories and mills and its production.
The latest joint project by The John Godber Company and Theatre Royal Wakefield is the comedy tragedy This Might Hurt, which is currently undergoing it’s 17 venue UK tour. Godber has a tendency to focus his work on subject matter that anyone can relate to easily and here is no different, as the focus is upon the NHS and two stories which in part are sure to be familiar to the majority of tonight’s audience.
For anybody who knows me, it’s no secret that I have had a strong dislike to the musical Cats for many decades. For me I just never understood it as a musical, its bizarre concept of how, on one special night of the year, all Jellicle cats meet at the Jellicle Ball where their wise leader, Old Deuteronomy, choose which cat will go to the Heaviside Layer and be reborn into a new life. Jellicle cats, or simply the Pellicles, are a type of feline mentioned in T.S. Eliot’s book “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, which Andrew Lloyd Webber thought would be the purr-fect basis of a musical, as Lloyd Webber has stated that the book on which he based the musical is one of his childhood favourites. The book itself was written in 1939 but it was decades later, in May 1981, when Cats first made its West End Debut, following the following year on Broadway.
When The Mousetrap first opened in 1952 in London’s West End nobody, not even Agatha Christie herself, would have predicted it would still be running over 60 years later. With over 26000 performances and counting, the play has cemented itself as part of the “must do” list when in London alongside Madame Tussauds and the Tower of London. This 60th anniversary tour allows local audiences to see what all the fuss is about and, indeed, it is a joy to see a packed house at Theatre Royal Wakefield enjoying this first class production.
The very word reinvention can hide a multitude of theatrical sins but a genuine revolutionary like Charlotte Bronte would have no problem with anyone adapting her material in a search for originality.
But whether Bronte would have been happy with Linda Marshall Griffiths’ radical - but flawed - ‘reinvention’ of her later novel of loss and desolation is debatable.
BalletLORENT, a Newcastle based dance company, brings on tour this well known story of Snow White. Carol Ann Duffy, a Poet Laureate, writes this adaptation, keeping faithful to the original Grimm’s tale and emphasising the key themes.
Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins - all household names - all legends in Rock and Roll. See the story behind the hits and how these four stars made rock n’ roll history.
“See the story behind the scandal”
D.H Lawrence’s controversial classic was first published privately in 1928 in Italy and in 1929 in France and Australia. An unexpurgated edition was not published openly in the UK until 1960, and became a banned book when it was the subject of a watershed obscenity trail against the publisher Penguin Books. Penguin won the case, and quickly sold three million copies.
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