Shuff and Byng

Two of the most famous drag acts ever flash eye lids back stage. A play about gender, about class, about 2 elderly respected gay showmen who in life had seen – and done it all Shuff and Byng is my second project with the writer/director Tony Lidington. It focuses on two ‘giants’ of drag performance history, imagining them meeting back stage one night in a cabaret bar. Rex Jameson (aka Mrs Shufflewick) was a down to earth, plain speaking, working class ‘woman’. She performed in variety halls, pubs, clubs and across the working men’s circuit. Often lewd, and very bawdy, she was adored by the gay community in particular. Dougie Byng was the most glamorous female impersonator of the pre-war era in cabarets such as the Café de Paris, a precursor of Danny le Rue. Risque, but never lewd, he was with Noel Coward on the opening onight of The Vortex and had an affair with the Duke of York. At this stage the project is about research and development – time for Tony and the creative team to research and develop an early draft of the script and to test it with actors and an audience Development period: Research and development in Summer/Autumn 2018, followed by sharings in London and Essex in October 2018 Key Dates: Sharing dates to be announced soon What we are looking for: Venues and promoters from theatres, working mens clubs, variety clubs to come and see the sharing

The Stitch Brothers Patchwork Wonders

Client: Big Imaginations / the hub Jason Singh, Arun Ghosh and Fabric Lenny come together to make a new work for 5-8 year olds and their families Project Weblink: To Follow Writing copy for a show which doesn’t yet exist – and doesn’t even have a title – is always tough- but here’s what we know so far. We know it will be a genre-busting mix of live beat boxing, images, surround sound, words, electronica, jazz, hip-hop and South Asian classical/folk music. We know that the performance will exist in a magical, dreamlike world of sound, words and projections. It will be experimental and abstract.It will be playfull and immersive, inspired by nature, and the world around us. Part music, part theatre, part spoken word…its a potent and innovative mix. We also know that with Arun, Jason and Fabric Lenny all involved the performance is going to be very special indeed! The project actually came out of some work we did at Unity in 2016. That Chrsitmas Unity produced Little Red and the Big Bad Wolf. To run alongside this family show we created an installation The Dark Dark Wood , with various artists invited to come and ‘play’ in The Wood. One of those artists was Jason Singh, who brought with him two fellow improvisers – the jazz clarinettist and theatre composer (increasingly for family work but also for venues like The Globe) Arun Ghosh and the brilliant digital animator Fabric Lenny. Together they created something special. Later that …

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Lonely Hearts Club

by Luke Barnes A quirky, charming and quietly unique coming of age story   Lonely Hearts Club was one of those plays that you read, and could never quite forget. So when the opportunity came to test some new writing as part of Liverpool’s Summer of Love I jumped at the chance to ‘play’ with Lonley Hearts Club. The piece itself was originally written whilst Luke was on attachment to Soho Theatre. It’s fun, joyful, just a little bit silly but with an ever so big heart It’s the story of two boys growing up in Southport. Two boys falling in and out of love – with each other, with their parents, with where they live and with what life offers them. A love story told through an end of pier show – so karaoke, merges into Punch and Judy and on into ventriloquism. The workshop production is directed by Tony Lidington (see also Shuff & Byng) who I first worked with on a weird and wonderful project called Geoquest with the musician Hugh Nankiville and mythogeographer Phil Smith Development Period: Further development at Halifax Square Chapel in September, followed by industry sharings in Essex and London Key dates: Sharing dates to be announced soon What We Are Looking For:Venues and promoters from theatres, working mens clubs, variety clubs to come and see the sharing Web Links: Find out more about Luke Barnes here: Find out more about director Tony Lidington here:  

The Mystery of Raddlesham Mumps Initial Tour – 11th April to  27th April Future tours  – 14th October to November 10th (last minute availability 17-21 Oct and 5-8 Nov) plus SPRING 2020 26th March to 20th April and 14th May to 25th May – booking now! Reviews – ‘a glorious gothic tale in the style of Tim Burton and the Borthers Grimm….a real theatrical treat’ Colchester Gazette and ‘a magical charming world which unfolds before us on stage as [Murray] draws everyone into the colourful saga of the de Faversham Clumps of Raddlesham Mumps’ Norwich Eye andread more audience feedback here. ‘a glorious gothic tale in the style of Tim Burton and the Borthers Grimm….a real theatrical treat’ Colchester Gazette A gothic tale for lovers of Harry Potter, Lemony Snicket and the Hobbit! MURRAY LACHLAN YOUNG (Radio 4, Radio 2 and BBC 6 Music Poet in Residence) presents his thrilling new family performance. After the windswept double funeral of his parents – 7 year old Crispin (or Crispin de Quincy de Faversham Clumps to give hi his full name) inherits his ancestral home – Raddlesham Mumps.  He finds himself in a huge empty house with only an ancient butler for company.  And when that butler, Kenilworth, begins to tell him about the bizarre and hilarious deaths of his deeply eccentric ancestors the story takes flight on darkly comic wings. The Mystery of Raddlesham Mumps is laced with oodles of theatricality, a touch of silliness, a brilliant musical score all wrapped round an utterly compelling story ‘a magical charming …

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Into the Cuckoo’s Nest

Client: Lepus Productions “Give me a girl that will wriggle and will twist; At the bottom of the belly lies the cuckoo’s nest” An intimate show about intimate places in folk song Project Weblink: Martin Green (of Lau and Flit) is a true maverick (as the Lau website has it a brilliant musician, thrilling performer, a free thinking visionary and all round good chap) And Into the Cuckoo’s Nest demonstrates that brilliantly. Martin is working with world-class folk musicians (including Brighde Chaimbeul on pipes) and performance makers, in examining the euphemism, the cuckoo itself and the folklore around it. An intimate show about intimate places in folk song Part performance, part documentary, part immersive theatre Martin Green (LAU) leads a crew of world class folk musicians, theatre performers, film makers and naturalists in examining the euphemism, the cuckoo itself and the folk lore around it. Tales from Ireland, Dartmoor, ancient Greece and the natural world all play a role in what they discover, part dissection of gender in folk song, part journey into hypnotic rituals and the nature of human behaviour. The creative team (see below) includes world class folk musicians with BAFTA award winning film makers and award winning immersive theatre makers creating a genre defying mix of folk music, film and theatre. “I see it in your eyes and it fills me with surprise That your inclination lies in my cuckoo’s nest.” There’s an early opportunity to catch a glimpse of Into the Cuckoo’s Nest at this year’s …

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When Did You Stop Dancing

Presented by What A Little Bird Told Me Theatre The dancing plague; a true story bursting with heart & play Rach wants to tell you a story.  A true story. The story of The Dancing Plague of 1518 started by a lone woman boogying in the streets. A story of 100s of women dancing in the streets.  And not stopping… She wants to tell you in 2018 everybody is welcome on our streets, she spends most of her time feeling safe and that we don’t need a national campaign to tell a girl that she can. But she said she’d tell you the truth.  She’ll do that instead. A show about female uprising, what it means to take a stand; and to stand together. Rachel McBride of What a Little Bird Told Me showed extracts from When Did You Stop Dancing at a Unity scratch night a couple of years, and Ive found myself talking about the show ever since! So it was only natural to continue working with Rachel once I stepped down from Unity! Key Dates: Fri 5th/6th October at 6pm –  Liverpool Unity Theatre Thurs 11th October at 7.30pm – Manchester, The Edge Sat 13th October at 7.30pm – Edge Hill University, The Arts Centre Wed 17th Oct at 7.30pm – Barnard Castle, The Witham Wed 24th Oct at 7.30pm – Wigan, The Mill at the Pier (ALRA) Creative Team Written & performed by Rachel McBride Direction & dramaturgy by Chris Hill Creative Mentoring by Rachel Mars Object …

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