Monday 28 February 2011

Crown of Light acoustic Friday March 4th

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Hi there YGG
This Friday March 4th sees two mighty local bands do an Acoustic Special each. LITTLE VEGAS LIES and BLISTER FACTORY for the first time ever! We're very privileged to have achieved this.
From Leeds we're delighted to have LISA MARIE GLOVER appear for the very first time at our events. Check out her website at
Add to this the massive talent of QUIET REBELLION and the launch of the latest album 'Still Talking Scribble' and popular regulars FINOLA, JASMINE KENNEDY and 'MAN IN THE HAT' CHRIS MARTIN and we have another fantastic line up of great artists.
To fit everything in we're going to have to start at about 7:50pm!
As ever entry is entirely FREE and the venue is FAMILY FRIENDLY although we do ask for quietness from the audience during the performances. Friday 4th March 2011. Doors 7pm.
Comrades Club, Regent St, Heckmondwike, WF16 0HD. 01924 403672.

 That's it for yet another great show!

Thursday 24 February 2011

March and April at Otley Courthouse

Mundo Jazz:  A Fairtrade Fortnight Event

Friday 4 March - 8pm  
Tickets £9/£7 in advance, £10/£8 on the door.
Ridiculously catchy tunes, awful dancing and thunderously crass philosophising!  Mundo Jazz are a spoof World Music band whose mission is to teach us about peace, the environment, racial harmony and love. 
“A sort of live, Latino Spinal Tap. Very, very, very funny.” Daily Express

Hickman & Quinn with Broken Ground
Music - Folk
Sunday 6 March - 7.30pm
Tickets: £10/£8 in advance, £11/£9 on the door. 
Double bill featuring twin guitar and vocal harmonies from Uiscedwr’s James Hickman performing with Chris Quinn, plus the excellent acoustic trio Broken Ground.

Rua Macmillan Trio and Ewan Robertson
Music - Folk
Saturday 19 March - 8pm
Tickets: £11/ £9.
Rua MacMillan is one of the most exciting fiddle players of the new generation in Scotland today. 2009 winner of Young Scots Traditional Musician, his playing is a real tour de force.
Spring Jam with Dales Jam
Music - World
Friday 25 March - 7.30pm
Tickets: £7/£5
On a whistle stop musical tour of the globe, the 20+ piece Dales Jam Orchestra touches down in Jamaica, India, Brazil, Cuba, South Africa, the Balkans, Japan, New York and anywhere between, to sample the finest sounds around and deliver them in their own inimitable way.

An evening with the humour of Bob Newhart and Tom Lehrer
Saturday 2 April - 7.30pm
Tickets £10/£8 in advance £11/£9 on the door.
Peter Gill and Andrew Mellor present a fabulous show dedicated to the satirical humour of American comic legends Bob Newhart and Tom Lehrer.

20 x 20 Science Café
Thursday 7 April - 7.30pm
Tickets: £4/£3
Another challenging evening as 3 top scientists explain their theories and you come up with the tricky questions!                                                                              

Liz Carroll and John Doyle in association with SaltaireLive
Music - Folk
Monday 25 April - 8pm                  
Tickets: £11/£9 in advance, £12/£10 on door.
Recognised as two of Irish music's greatest fiddlers and guitarists respectively, this is a rare occasion where Otley is able to welcome musicians from the genuine creme de la creme of their genre anywhere in the world.

Down the Wharfe
Thursday 28 April - 7.30pm
Tickets: £5/£4.
This delightful film records an eclectic trip following a walker down the River Wharfe from it's source to Ilkley - a mix of historic places, local festivals, sport and activities that give a flavour of the Dale stretching from 3000 years ago to the present day. There will be a Q and A session after the film with the Director. Profits to Otley Courthouse.
Freya Abbott Ferguson
Music - Folk
Friday 29 April - 8pm  
Tickets £10/£8 in advance, £11/£9 on the door.   
Jo Freya, Jude Abbott and Neil Ferguson were all part of the Lal Waterson Project and carried on working together on Jo’s first solo album, Female Smuggler.  Freya Abbott Ferguson brings together all their favourite bits from their other bands (Chumbawamba, Blowzabella etc).

Wednesday 23 February 2011

York Settlement Community Players return to York Theatre Royal’s Studio with Henrik Ibsen’s ‘Ghosts’ from Wed 2 to Sat 12 March.

Written in 1881, Ibsen’s classic drama tells the story of widow, Mrs Alving, who is preparing for the opening of an orphanage in memory of her late husband. When her artist son, Osvald, returns to the family home to celebrate the heroic memory of his dead father, Mrs Alving believes she can finally lay to rest the ghosts of the past she is so desperate to forget. However, over the course of one day, dark secrets and unresolved tensions are gradually exposed, bringing to light the strange and complex ties that bind Mrs Alving, Osvald, their maid Regine, her father Engstrand and Pastor Manders. As the story unfolds, we finally discover the shocking truth about Mrs Alving’s late husband.

Acknowledged as York’s premier amateur dramatic society, York Settlement Community Players (YSCP) have recently staged sell-out productions of Chekhov's Three Sisters, Ayckbourn's Joking Apart, Lorca's The House of Bernarda Alba and more recently, the world premiere of the York based musical Black Potatoes. With a history dating back to 1922 and boasting Dame Judi Dench as a former member, YSCP are the first community theatre company to stage Amelia Bullmore’s vibrant new version of Ghosts (which premiered at London’s Gate Theatre in 2007).

Director Andy Love comments “It is 130 years since Ibsen wrote Ghosts and it is hard to imagine the shock it caused at the time. It was roundly savaged by most critics for what they saw as ‘As foul and filthy a concoction as has ever been allowed to disgrace the boards of an English theatre’.

“We have seen much more shocking theatre since then, but seen as a satire on late Victorian moral strictures, the play still has dark, disturbing and contemporary themes: sexually transmitted diseases still ruin the lives of many youngsters, religious inflexibility and general hypocrisy are still encountered and women are still struggling to be heard - thanks to institutionalised sexism.

“Amelia Bulmore’s new version is stark and thrilling; distilling the essence of Ibsen’s original into a modern idiom, whilst still capturing the heart of his humanity. As the ghosts that have haunted this unhappy family are slowly revealed and laid to rest we realise that lies, even lies lived for the very best of reasons, will, with grim predictability, shatter and destroy both the person those lies were conceived to protect and the person doing the lying.”

Ghosts run from Wed 2 to Sat 12 March 2011, 7.45pm (Matinee at 2pm on Sat 12) at York Theatre Royal Studio. Tickets cost £12, £7 students & u25s, £10 concessions and are available from or by phoning the Box Office on 01904 623568.

Events organised by Factory Street Studios in Bradford

Geek poster

Factory Street Studios and File Under Noise Records presents... 

Geek + support.

Geek are an original independent rock band who like to play short songs as quickly as possible. They style themselves like a University Challenge team, and have taken their name to reclaim a term of insult, so that no man, woman or nerd shall ever again have to suffer the indignity of playground jibes.

On Friday 4th March they are playing a special set Live at "Button Mash" which is a gaming event held at Bradford Playhouse with a selection of gaming on a variety of old and new consoles with games including Halo Reach, Call Of Duty Black Ops, Mario Kart and Rock Band.
Entry £4

4th March / 8pm-Late // Bradford Playhouse, 4 Chapel Street, BD1 5DL

Stage Craft Workshop with John White - Speak Easy Blues Band

stagecraftCharismatic front man from Speak Easy Blues Band and Blues Matters Records, John White will be giving a special master class on the art of fronting a band live on stage.

It is often tricky to feel comfortable and confident on stage. This workshop demonstrates the industry techniques that will boost your confidence when performing. It covers the do's and don’ts when on stage and will give you the inspiration you need to interact with the audience in a professional manner from the start to the finish of the gig. A special and unique workshop that Factory St. Studios highly recommends to any performing musician.

Where: Factory Street Studios, 9 Factory Street, Bradford, BD4 9NW

Time: 2pm - 4pm

Only £5, book online now :

Tuesday 22 February 2011

“After Midnight” at the Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond, N Yorkshire, Review. 19th February 2011

After Midnight
 After Midnight the classic Clapton cover band began their 25th Anniversary tour in the fabulous, magnificent Georgian Theatre in Richmond with a full house eagerly awaiting a night of Eric Clapton classics. Begining with “Key to the Highway” they took command of the stage and led us through Clapton with Yardbirds, Clapton with Cream, Clapton with Derick and The Dominos and Clapton with John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers. Indeed, none stop Clapton for a whole wonderful evening.
The intimacy of the theatre allowed both audience and band to interact with the music – handclapping, cheering and  singing along with the group. Swept along with the well-known tunes the interval came all too soon.
During the interval I managed to catch up with Asia Pickup who won 2 tickets in our competition and brought her Grandma with her. Mike Hall was more than happy to have a photograph taken with her and presented her with one of their CDs as an extra treat.
YGG competition winner Asia Pickup featured with Mike Hall
The second half, which they called “Unplugged Clapton” was rather more relaxed but just as exiting and entertaining as their first session as testified by the enthusiastic cheering audience. A truly great evening from a multi-tallented band consisting of:- Mike Hall: Lead vocals and guitar, John Forster: Bass and backing vocals, Paul Warren; Keyboards and backing vocals and newest member (of 4 weeks) Neil Cochrain; Drums
The struggle through the fog to travel from Leeds to Richmond which almost stopped us seeing this band was worth all the effort to get there. It did not seem to matter that the same fog was with us on the way home because we remembered the evening we had just so much enjoyed
Catch the website for a list of venues Well worth seeing!

Monday 21 February 2011

Crown Of Lights St Patrick's Acoustic Night Special Thursday 17th March

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For the first time ever we're going to put on a mid-month Acoustic Night Special to celebrate Irish music on St Patrick's Day itself! (Thursday 17th March)
We've booked the mighty 6 piece MAHOGANY MONKEY from York and Leeds to provide the centre piece to the evening but we're inviting other artists to take part in this celebration of Irish music. It should be a fantastic night. Get in touch if you'd like to perform some Irish songs yourself on the night and we'll make sure you get a spot!
As ever entry is entirely FREE and the venue is FAMILY FRIENDLY. Doors 7:30pm.
Comrades Club, Regent St, Heckmondwike, WF16 0HD. 01924 403672.


To Kill A Mockingbird at York Theatre Royal- Review-11th-26th Feb

This play gripped me from the start and never let go. Everything about this production of Harper Lee’s To Kill A Mockingbird; the deft touch of director Damian Cruden; a wonderful cast performance; the stage setting; is first rate and will have the York Theatre Royal packed over the next few weeks.
The clever use of a projector to evoke memory and reflection by displaying the same scene as on stage but with a time lapse is genius and adds a dark and eerie atmosphere to the proceedings particularly in the opening scenes where prejudice and justice are sharply juxtaposed against each other. Scouts older alternate self is played by Jacqueline Wood who flits through the scenes tying them together seamlessly, her voice adds a narrative observation, a mature reflection that deepens the story’s meaning. Perhaps also the end scene could have benefited from this projector trick as it added such an unearthly feel.
The stage and lighting by Liam Doona and Richard G Jones added subtlety to the story’s mood but at the end it was a little too dark and a perfect moment when the projector would have been a welcome addition. The huge towering tree in the middle of the stage adds to the country feel and the building facades have been built beautifully to represent this era of southern depression.
Set in America’s Deep South during the 1930’s depression, To Kill a Mockingbird takes the viewpoint of Jem Finch played by Matthew Pattimore and Scout Finch played bubbly and irrepressibly by Grace Rowe. Dill, Scouts boyfriend stole many a scene for me, played with such cocky relish and youth by Graeme Dalling. The action opens in their lives of idyllic happy childhood adventures foreshadowing some of the darker themes encountered later in the play and the end encounter with the mysterious Boo Radley played by Matthew Rixon seals this story with a twist,.
When their father Atticus Finch, played by Duncan Preston, defends a young black man falsely accused of raping a white woman their childhood innocence shatters under the realisation that bigotry and prejudice is what rules their small town in Alabama and also within themselves.
The intertwining stories deal with human prejudice and ignorance while the Boo Radley storyline is viewed with a comic twist that culminates in the two crashing together in a truly awe inspiring finale.
The white community know Tom Robinson, played incorruptible and honest by Cornelius Macarthy, is innocent. The onstage Chemistry between Atticus Finch (Duncan Preston) And Sheriff Heck Tate, played by Andy Hockley, is spell binding carrying the audience towards the plays explosive climax which is to be seen to be believed.
Robert Pickavance plays Judge Taylor wonderfully with condescending dismay and disdain as the lies unfold in his courtroom and the odd slip of Scottish accent simply enhanced his performance. The cast’s accents portrayed well a small 1930’s America thanks to Caroline Hetherington (voice coach).
The play exposes a white American community gripped by a fear that rests in their own ignorance. Modern parallels in our own society make this a poignant must see play and the writing is just as fresh nowadays as when it was first produced.
Luke Winterburn
 For Tickets at York Theatre Royal see here

 to Kill a Mocking Bird goes on tour see below

February 28Southampton Mayflower TheatreBuy Tickets
March 7Cheltenham Everyman TheatreBuy Tickets
March 15Theatre Royal NottinghamBuy Tickets
March 21Bromley Churchill TheatreBuy Tickets
March 28Bradford Alhambra TheatreBuy Tickets
April 4New Victoria Theatre WokingBuy Tickets
April 18Theatre Royal BathBuy Tickets
April 25Blackpool Grand TheatreBuy Tickets
May 2Richmond TheatreBuy Tickets
May 9Plymouth Theatre RoyalBuy Tickets
May 16Wolverhampton GrandBuy Tickets

latest news



A supergroup... A collective.... What are they????




Crippled Black Phoenix do NOT have any current members of Mogwai, Electric Wizard, Gonga, Portishead, Pantheist etc etc... CBP are not a "Bristol band" or a "collective"/"project". Our past bands have no importance to CBP and our location has no relevance. CBP are not an exercise in name-dropping.

Crippled Black Phoenix have, in their relatively short life, generated many rumours and script, but whatever your take on it, Crippled Black Phoenix are happily oblivious to it all.

Using a blend of modern amplified and Victorian era equipment, the band have produced a captivating, slow-burning sound that’s both archaic and modern at the same time.

Top five (5) misconceptions about CBP

1. CBP are a Bristol band.
2. CBP are a Mogwai/Portishead side-project.
3. CBP are "post-rock"
4. CBP are a "collective"
5. CBP stands for "Crippled Bastard Phoenix" / "Crippled Back Penis" / "Canadian Border Patrol".
6. There are five (5) misconceptions about CBP

Support from Gallops:


Gallops describe their sound as Black Sabbath being sexually assaulted by Pacman and Steve Reichcomplex glitchy instrumental post-rock soundscapes. I don't disagree.




SEETICKETS: ... nix&P=5938
TICKETWEB: ... interface=
JUMBO: Will be stocked later today
CRASH: Will be stocked later today

New releases:

BRW012 - Chickenhawk - Modern Bodies
BRW013 - Humanfly - Darker Later

Upcoming dates:

26th Feb 2011 Blacklisters & SFAS - Santiago's, Leeds
1st April 2011 - Earth & Sabbath Assembley - The Well, Leeds

6th April 2011 - Crippled Black Pheonix & Gallops - 6th April - Brudenell Social, Leeds
15th April 2011 - Retox (The Locust), Chickenhawk & Humanfly - The Well, Leeds19th May 2011 Narrows & Special Guests - Brudenell Social - Leeds

Friday 18 February 2011

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival 5th, 6th and 7th August


Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival
 5th, 6th and 7th August

Burton Agnes Hall, Burton Agnes,
East Yorkshire, YO25 4NB

Burton Agnes Jazz and Blues Festival returns for a fifth year with another something-for-everyone line-up of artists set over three days in the most beautiful of surroundings.  Set in the grounds of an historic Elizabethan hall, the festival is organised by its sax-playing owner Simon Cunliffe-Lister and jazz singer Saffron Byass.

“This is the only jazz event I know where your arrival is delayed by ducks crossing the road and performers are joined onstage by flitting bats...  Possibly the most enjoyable jazz concert I've ever attended.”
Christopher Hirst, The Independent

Performing at this year's festival is the multi award winning Claire Martin whose 1992 debut album The Waiting Game received rave reviews and was chosen as a Times Album of the Year. Since then Claire has gone on to record and perform with many globally respected artists including Sir Richard Rodney Bennett (whom she toured with to celebrate his 70th birthday), Jamie Cullum, the late John Martyn, Curtis Stigers and even Noel Gallagher to name but a few.
Claire has also opened for Tony Bennett at the Glasgow International Jazz Festival.
“For my money she's not only the finest female British jazz singer of her generation but possibly of all time.”
The Times - Jazz Reviewer
“Nobody does it like Claire Martin – a British singing sensation". The New York Observer

Also performing is jazz, singer-songwriter extraordinaire, and one of the UK’s most sought-after artists Jacqui Dankworth Quartet.
Given her musical pedigree – daughter of Dame Cleo Laine and the late Sir John Dankworth - it’s no surprise that Jacqui is considered to be
“one of the classiest acts in British jazz singing”(The Guardian).
Jacqui continues to make an enormous impression wherever she performs, either with her own band or touring with other prestigious musicians, such as the Brodsky Quartet. From Ronnie Scott’s and the Royal Festival Hall in London to The Jazz Bakery in Los Angeles, she has been wowing packed houses at major festivals and other venues worldwide. Last year she performed with the legendary Marvin Hamlisch in New York to a standing ovation.
“Jacqui Dankworth…. has made it in every sense. She can do a ballad and a gospel number with the same relaxed, easy mastery. Her timing is terrific, she can pack a punch… and she’s buoyed up by a quartet who are marvellous players in their own right….a total delight." Daily Telegraph

This years festival will also see performances from Zoe Gilby Quintet - A young jazz vocalist that has been making a real impression on the jazz scene today, Paul Baxter Silver Septet featuring Alan Barnes, Nicola Farnon Quartet - an outstandingly swinging and propulsive bass player with an outgoing personality to match, Joel Purnell Quartet - Influenced by the American jazz masters of past and present they concentrate musically on a collective approach to melodicity, lyricism, jazz feel and expression in a contemporary jazz setting,  young Blues artist Oli Brown, who brings a freshness and excitement to every performance and is at the forefront of the UK’s new Blues movement, Rob Law Trio who are lead by Rob, an accomplished piano player who has earned himself a reputation as one of the country’s most exciting young artists, and finally, Safari with guest and festival organiser Simon Cunliffe-Lister who will play out their festival.

Many more artists are to be announced over the coming weeks - 
For up to date artists' info please visit

Festival Tickets info

Weekend Advance Ticket: Friday 6pm – 10pm, Saturday 11am – 10pm, Sunday 11am – 6pm
Before 1st July - £40 / After June 30th - £50
Concessions: OAPs, Season ticket holders, students, children 12-15 years (Under 12 FREE with an adult)
Before 1st July £38 / After June 30th £48 
Day Ticket: Saturday 11am – 10pm
Before 1st July - £30 / After June 30th - £35 Concessions £28 / £32
Day Ticket: Sunday 11am – 6pm
Before 1st July - £25 / After June 30th - £30  Concessions £23 / £28
Evening Ticket: Friday 6 pm – 10pm and Saturday 6pm – 10pm
Before 1st July - £20 EACH DAY / After June 30th - £25 EACH DAY Concessions £18 / £23
Camping Voucher: Camping open Friday 3pm – Monday noon. Before 1st July £30 / After June 30th £35
Available online at and from the Festival Ticket Office Tel: 01262 490 324
Or visit Burton Agnes Hall and its courtyard shops.

Held over three days, with performances in the Elizabethan Hall and its beautiful grounds, you can experience the diverse range of laid-back entertainment that inspired the Independent to write that the 2007 Festival was Possibly the most enjoyable jazz concert I've ever attended’.
"...'tis the musical equivalent of a Sunday stroll through the grounds of a stately home… you won't find more beautifully serene surroundings this side of Woodstock for such an experience and just occasionally the music may well surprise you.” All Gigs 2010 review
The large stage on the Main Lawn in the Hall's award-winning grounds is where you’ll see the Festival’s main acts. With rolling fields behind the stage and pristine woodland to the side, you couldn’t ask for a more stunning setting. Inside the Hall, intimate acoustic performances mix with original Elizabethan carvings and French Impressionist art to create an inimitable festival experience. Festivalgoers are invited to picnic in the grounds whilst enjoying the music, and a campsite in the field adjacent to the Hall offers panoramic views of the Yorkshire Wolds, and there are hot shower facilities for those wishing to pitch a tent for a night or the whole weekend. Festival tickets also entitle festivalgoers entry to the Hall and its beautiful gardens, and award-winning local produce is on sale throughout the three-day festival, including the famous Wold Top beer.

Families flock to the Burton Agnes Jazz Festival for the safe, easy-going vibe. Of particular interest to children is a Children’s Corner with play area; 15 acres of magical gardens to explore including a walled garden with maze, jungle garden and giant games; and a woodland walk with forest creatures to find. Face painters and a children’s entertainer will also be on hand during the weekend to keep the children amused whilst you enjoy some of the finest Jazz and Blues music in the most beautiful and tranquil of surroundings.

Wednesday 16 February 2011


Friday 18th February
Pies, Peas & Poetry

Join us for another of Borderline’s famous evenings of poetry – and whatever else the performers decide to do!  There is an open mic session too, where anyone can get up and perform, so bring along your own poem – first come, first served.  Included in the ticket price is a pie & peas supper and the bar will also be open.  Tickets for this evening should be booked in advance via the ACE Centre Box Office.

Doors 7pm   
Starts  7.30pm
Tickets:  £6

Saturday 19th February 
Pocket Money Cinema:    An American Tail  (U)

Fievel is a young Russian mouse separated from his parents on the way to America, a land they think is without cats. When he arrives alone in the New World, he keeps up hope, searching for his family, making new friends, and running and dodging the cats he thought he'd be rid off.  A timeless classic for kids of all ages!
Running time:  80 mins

Screening at 2pm
Tickets: £2 adults, £2 children.

Saturday 26th February 
Pocket Money Cinema:    The Karate Kid (PG)

With outstanding performances by Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan, this remake of the 1984 classic tells the story of 12-year-old Dre Parker.  Dre could've been the most popular kid in Detroit, but his mother's latest career move has landed him in China. He immediately falls for his classmate Mei Ying - and the feeling is mutual - but cultural differences make such a friendship impossible. Even worse, Dre's feelings make an enemy of the class bully, Cheng. In the land of kung fu, Dre knows only a little karate, and Cheng puts "the karate kid" on the floor with ease. With no friends in a strange land, Dre has nowhere to turn but maintenance man Mr. Han, who is secretly a master of kung fu. As Han teaches Dre that kung fu is not about punches and parries, but maturity and calm, Dre realizes that facing down the bullies will be the fight of his life.
Running time:  140 mins

Screening at 2pm
Tickets: £2 adults, £2 children.

And last but definitely not least…..


Saturday 26th February      :          

Synergy360   and   Lights, Camera, Action present the film premiere of West is West at The ACE Centre in support of Muscular Dystrophy UK.   Enjoy a great night and the full cinema experience with friends and family!  
Manchester 1975. The now much diminished, but still claustrophobic and dysfunctional, Khan family continues to struggle for survival. Sajid, the youngest Khan, the runt of the litter, is deep in pubescent crisis under heavy assault both from his father's tyrannical insistence on Pakistani tradition, and from the fierce bullies in the schoolyard. So, in a last, desperate attempt to 'sort him out', his father decides to pack him off to Mrs Khan No 1 and family in the Punjab, the wife and daughters he had abandoned 35 years earlier. It is not long before Ella Khan (Mrs Khan No2) with a small entourage from Salford, swiftly follows to sort out the mess, past and present.
Call The ACE Centre Box Office on 01282 661080 for further details.

From 5.30pm to 10pm
Tickets: £10  Proceeds to Muscular Dystrophy UK


From All of Us at The ACE
Nelson’s best kept secret…

01282 661080

Crown of Lights Dawnraiders and more on Friday 19th February

Click here to enter the website
Join our Simply click hereparty!
Hello again YGG
This IS a not-to-be-missed band night, with three MASSIVE bands and the very, very welcome return of acoustic genius JAMES PRESTON
The lineup is.....

You're gonna want to be there. If you're in any doubt, look em up on myspace / facebook and have a listen. And IN ECHOES have just released their first mighty video and will be GIVING AWAY their Limited Edition EP 'A Race To The Start'! SEE AND HEAR them at and check out the review on them below!

That should do it :o)
Pete xx
P.S Check out our wicked poster design at the end of this newsletter
The Comrades Club
Regent Street
West Yorks WF16 0HD - 01924 403672 
Doors open 7:30pm 
Free Entry! 

If you can find somewhere to display this poster we'll send you a high resolution version to print out. Simply reply to this newsletter and we'll get one sent pronto!

Monday 14 February 2011

The TakeOver Festival returns to York in March ready to explode onto stage.

TakeOver Festival is a York Theatre Royal scheme supported by A night less ordinary, Arts Council England and CPP to encourage young theatre practitioners to get involved in all aspects of the Theatre. During the TakeOver Festival the theatre is run by under 26s, everything from box office management, to program scheduling, and marketing is undertaken by young volunteers.

This year’s group of young volunteers are set to go out with a bang this March as the second leg of the festival concludes a year of hard work, excitement and preparation to produce a top programme offering something for everyone.

This March to open the festival we have brought some of the best shows from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival to York. On the bill we have Operation Greenfield by Little Bulb (four teenagers prepare for Stokely’s annual talent competition, they capture the confusing, awkward and beautifully naïve time of adolescence). This picked up no less than three top awards in 2010: Fringe First Award (one of the Festivals highest accolades), Arches Brick and Total Theatre Awards. Next we have straight from the West End Fitzrovia Radio Hour by Seabright Productions and Fitzrovia Productions (Recreating the unique spirit of 1940’s radio plays. Brilliently evoking a dinner-jacketed age of casual imperialism and stiff upper lips). Fresh off the back of three critically acclaimed London residencies and a sell out Edinburgh Festival run this show…….
To close out the Festival we have another Fringe First winning show, Another Someone by Rash Dash (This is a play all about happiness, Rash Dash look at young people living in a world where ordinary isn’t good enough).
We also boast some completely unique theatre of our own, especially devised for TakeOver Festival. An in house production of Sarah Kane’s last shocking play 4:48 Psychosis will be performed by local young talented actors and directed by TakeOver’s Co-Artistic Director Rhiannon Jackson. (4.48 Psychosis is an insight into the mind of one woman’s struggle with her inner conflicts; this is a deeply personal reflection of the writers own psychological turmoil. An uncompromising modern classic which pulls us into a claustrophobic world of which the only ways out are pills or suicide).
Festival favourites Belt Up Theatre are back and producing a very special version of The Beggars Opera especially for our final weekend (a satirical opera once popular in the 18th century, this is a brand new version of John Gay’s epic story of thieves, lechery and villainy).

This is just the tip of the iceberg for an action packed two weeks of exciting, innovative and unique theatre. To see the full schedule visit the Festivals website at Tickets are now on sale and going fast. To get yours call our Box Office on 01904 623568 or online at

Wednesday 9 February 2011

'Happy Now?' at the Hull Truck Theatre- Review

A sweetly bitter uncomfortable drama, intelligent and funny by the Playwright Lucinda Coxon, ‘Happy Now?’ regionally premièring at the Hull Truck Theatre is skilfully guided by Director Matthew Lloyd, and following Mondays able performance should satisfy a thoughtful audience.
The play opens in a scene of attempted seduction by fellow executive Michael portrayed lecherously playful by George Costigan and creates immediate conflict both internally and externally for Kitty, played valiant and pressurised by Kaye Wragg, and sets a story question and a promise of resolution to the audience. Can our heroine find satisfaction and contentment in her life and be happy now? 
This encounter preys upon Kitty's mind as she struggles to balance personal freedom with family life, fidelity and a demanding job.
The rest of the play mounts pressure after pressure on to Kitty, her husband Johnny, played by Jonathan Wrather with  blind self centredness, puts the school curriculum and misplaced apostrophes before his wife, her children unseen, but heard in the background act brat like, her mother played by George Costigan who takes a double part, acts like a small child exaggerating, needful, selfish  whilst her estranged father is seriously ill, her job has become seemingly overwhelming and her friends relationships are in trouble placing all kinds of stresses on her own marriage, all culminating in a crisis and moment of truth.
Kaye Wragg and George Costigan  Picture by Louise Buckby

The actions largely take place in various rooms and the simple stage setting  including jagged splintered perimeter,  by Kirk production and Harrogate Theatre Scenic Services along with the lighting by Jason Taylor make great use of the Hull Truck's small stage complementing and adding a visual metaphor to the cast's acting. Much of the drama is told through witty dialogue and the players relaxed subtle ordinary body language successfully conveys their relationships with each other giving a feeling you have dropped in on real people.
There are various sub plots that thread around the main theme and further complicate Kitty's life. Carl, Kitty's gay friend played sensitively by Christopher Colquhoun, has relationship problems with his boyfriend. The main sub plot is the marriage difficulties between Miles played with swaggering sarcasm by James Holmes the alcoholic verbally cruel husband of Bea played by Rina Mahoney as the downtrodden invisible desperate wife. These subplots have their own climax's that ask the question Happy Now? as well as contributing to Kitty's own dilemma.
Kaye Wragg and Jonathan Wrather  Picture by Richard Hubert Smith.
Their are some delightful moments in the play where the audience gasp, ripple with laughter or grunt in approving recognition. Perhaps the most audible was when the audience recognised a man was playing the part of June, Kitty's mother, this is the first time in the UK that this part has been played by a male actor as intended by the writer.
The play builds to a climax in a delightful build up of sexual tension and temptation, a frustrated fight scene between Kitty and Michael nicely choreographed by Terry King, force Kitty to make her choice.
This play tackles the familiar  middle-class woman's struggle of family versus professional life seen in numerous television sitcoms. Some will recognise, cringe and laugh at the hurting dilemma of its hassled, harassed heroine. Happy Now? asks just that about  contemporary middle-class life and how to endure it.
It is a thoughtful funny play but for me I could not completely empathise with the plays characters, and I was unsure whether the plays story question had been answered as promised in the opening scene. By the plays end was there change in the Heroine Kitty's life  or an increased awareness in my own? I am not sure but the play continues to make me ponder.

This is a good play and definitely worth seeing, again the Hull Truck Theatre succeeds in its mission of bringing ground breaking drama by today's leading playwriting talents to Yorkshire audiences.
Andrew Sugden
 'Happy Now?' is at The Hull Truck Theatre- 3rd to 26th February
To book tickets, call the box office on 01482 323638 or visit