Theatre Royal in Wakefield is currently holding its 17th annual drama festival, which comprises of seven different shows performed over seven days. Today marks day 6 of the festival and brings us Alan Aykbourn’s ‘A Chorus of Disapproval’ performed by the Wakefield Little Theatre. WLT was formed in 1948 and is based in Middlestown and they placed second in the Drama Festival of 2016 with their performance of Blood Brothers.
Arguably the most iconic ballet movie of all time “The Red Shoes”, a 1948 post-war film by Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, is based on the Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale and tells the story of an aspiring young ballerina, Victoria (“Vicky”) Page, torn between her dedication to dance and her desire to love. It is somewhat a complex story that ricochets between London and France, and between art and real life.
For every theatre goer a good old farce is a guilty pleasure so it’s no surprise that The Play That Goes Wrong has been a smash hit in this country and has just opened on Broadway.
In these troubled and paranoid times people do want work that challenges the status quo, but just as desperately they want a few belly laughs, which this smart reinventing of the traditional farce certainly delivers.
Based on the 1957 movie with the same title, La Strada, (meaning "The Road"), is an Italian drama by Federico Fellini which tells the story of a travelling "World’s Strongest Man" circus actor, Zampanò. On his travels, Zampanò meets a poverty stricken mother and buys her daughter, Gelsomina, for ten thousand lira. He promises her work with him as his assistant on the road, and she promises to send money to her family.
In its second year and presented by Flaming Star Entertainments Ltd, 'The King Of Britain' British Elvis Tribute Artist Championships took place over a three day event at the Cedar Court Hotel, Wakefield. For Elvis fans everywhere this is an absolute must attend event. The competition is open to professional tributes over the age of fifteen and although 'Elvis' entered the building in all ages, looks and costumes, one thing in common amongst all the competitors is the respect and passion they shared for the great man himself.
Even I, a Richard III virgin, am familiar with the play’s opening words “Now is the winter of our discontent …” and ditto towards the end “My horse, my horse, my kingdom for a horse”.
But everything in between was a mystery to me. Still is, to be honest. But those words, boomed out by the fantastic Mat Fraser, first as the Duke of Gloucester and latterly as King Richard III, ensured a packed Hull Truck audience enjoyed a lively, atmospheric night of pure theatre, on Wednesday night.
Given comic turned writer David Walliams is now Britain’s best-selling children’s author it was only a matter of time before his books were adapted for the stage.
Walliams’ breezy prose, childish humour and simple story structures are perfect fodder for parents looking to introduce their children to the magic of live theatre, but with a dollop of darkness thrown in.
As I spotted the classic 80s car taking prime position centre stage, I got the impression that tonight’s production of Rita, Sue and Bob Too was going to be far from subtle! From the packed theatre I could tell that Andrea Dunbar’s play and film adaptation had a huge following. I started to grow concerned as I could not relate to the numerous articles and anecdotes about life in the 1980s in the programme, as interesting as they were, I wasn’t born until 1989! However, reading the directors welcome article I was interested to hear that the play involved many themes that still resonate today, such as: abuse, sex, unemployment and cuts. Diva Productions are still a very new company in the larger scale so I was looking forward to seeing their take on such a gritty but well-loved tale.
“I used to be The Wife. I used to be The Mother. But now I’m Shirley Valentine again”…..
Bored Liverpudlian housewife Shirley Valentine is preparing eggs and chips for her husband Joes arrival from work (even though he will be expecting steak, after all, “Thursday night is steak night” according to Joe, and whilst doing so talks to the wall about her rebellious school days, even though at the time she didn’t even want to be rebellious, instead she wanted to be more of a model student like fellow classmate, Marjorie Majors – her former class enemy.
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