Creating A Scene – capital projects for New Wolsey Theatre

Client – New Wolsey Theatre Project/Role – Capital Projects Director Creating a Scene is an ambitious £3 million capital project which will see the transformation of Theatre Square and the refurbishment of New Wolsey Theatre itself. The project continues despite the challenges of Covid19, with New Wolsey 2 due to open mid September and the revamped New Wolsey Theatre in November 2020. About Creating A Scene The New Wolsey has for many years now sat on a much loved but largely declining site. It’s a site full of its own history and civic pride – the former home to the Council, Police and Magistrate Courts. It’s a key gateway into the town for many. Together with developer Charterhouse, and architects WGPA New Wolsey are building a new vision for this site. Whilst the overall vision will take 5 to 10 years to fully realise we are mid way through what you might call the first phase (Creating A Scene). These ciritcal first steps are vital in unlocking the full vision for the whole site. Creating A Scene includes: -the creation and fit out of a brand new participation facility called NW2 -the development of a new public space called Theatre Square -reimagined, with a new outdoor performance space at its heart. -the refurbishment of the existing New Wolsey Theatre building – a brand new front of house experience, more comfortable seats – a world class welcome to match the world class art on our stages. Overall this phase will enable …

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The Chronicles of Atom and Luna – a new project from Murray Lachlan Young

Client Collaborative project with Murray Lachlan Young. Being delivered by Funnelwick Limb Role – Creative Producer The Project We launched the project to the public on October 15th 2020 We’ll release the first iteration of the story as a series of story casts from 30 November 2020, more digital content will follow in Spring 2021 followed by the launch of the play and book in either Autumn 21 or Spring 22. To be the first to find out about the project sign up for the newsletter at Funnelwick Limb The Story Our heroes, Atom and Luna, (left home-alone by their mother) are saved from starvation by the arrival of the magical child-minder Iffly Sney.  But Iffly falls terribly ill and only the twins can save him. They must seek out the mysterious Old Mother Red-Beard.  And so begins a journey deep into the heart of the forest that will change their  lives forever. The team Lead Artist – Murray Lachlan Young Director – Nina Hajiyianni Designer – Bek Palmer Digital enabler – Paul Long and MBD Ltd Music by Paul Hartnoll Development Performers – Joe Allen and Simone Lewis Co-producers – Action Transport Theatre and Eastern Angles BSL Interpretor – Kate Labno Digital Assets – Warehouse Digital

The Ballad of Maria Marten – national tour 2020, Autumn 2021

In Spring 2020 – together with Eastern Angles and Stephen Joseph Theatre in the Round – I successfully toured THE BALLAD OF MARIA MARTEN by Beth Flintoff.  Following that success we are looking to tour the show again in Autumn 2021 – details of that here on the show mini site

Our goal was to develop a high-quality production and to reach as wide an audience as possible, with a particular focus on audiences outside of the East region.

The Spring 2020 tour visited 3 venues , 17 performances playing to audiences in excess of 4,000.  The show played to significant critical acclaim:

**** Flintoff restores dignity to Maria Marten…unexpectedly joyous” The Guardian★★★★
“***** Extraordinary, brilliant and powerful” Charles Hutchinson Press ★★★★★
“A thrilling and poignant retelling” Grapevine Magazine
“It is vital, layered and empowered, a beautiful piece of theatre” ★★★★
“This is a gem of a production” – Yorkshire ON Magazine
Photo (c) Tony Bartholmew

The sizzle

‘It’s been a year since I died and still nobody has found me’

Summer. 1827.  In a Red Barn Maria Marten awaits her lover.  A year later her body is found under the floor of the barn in a grain sack, barely identifiable.

Maria’s story sent shock waves throughout the country.  The Red Barn Murder (as it became known) was national news, inspiring writers and filmmakers down the ages.  The sort of gruesome tale that had all the hallmarks of a classic crime drama – a missing body, a country location, a disreputable squire and a village stuck in its age old traditions.

But in all this hysteria Maria’s own story gets lost.  Until now – Hal Chambers and Beth Flintoff’s spine tingling retelling rediscovers her story, bringing it back to vivid, urgent life.

Picture Credit Tony Bartholmew

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Nina – a story about me and Nina Simone

Producers: Rikseatern, Sweden and Unity Theatre “Josette Bushell-Mingo blows the roof off with this searing look at the life of Nina Simone” — Caroline McGinn (Time Out) A live stream of the concert part of Nina a story about me and Nina Simone will take place on Tuesday 23 June at 6pm UK time.   To view go to I worked on Nina – a story about me and Nina Simone from its first R&D through to its UK tour as UK Producer. To date the show has played over 100 performances, nearly always sold out- October 2016 Liverpool, UK (world premiere) November 2016- March 2017 – Sweden July 2017 – Young Vic (London) August 2017 – Traverse (Edinburgh) December- January 2018 (Stadsteatern, Stockholm, Sweden) January-March 2018 UK tour visiting Salford, Exeter, Leicester, Keswick, Birmingham, Hull and Liverpool ‘A searing tribute restarts Simone’s revolution’ The Guardian ‘Josette Bushell Mingo blows the roof off with this searing look at the life of Nina Simone’ Time Out London ★★★★★ The Scotsman ★★★★★ Broadway Baby ★★★★★ Afridiziak ★★★★ The Times ★★★★ The Stage ★★★★ The Guardian ★★★★ Time Out London Key Dates: Nina will be touring again in Autumn. Dates to be announced soon Web Links: More info:This was my piece for the UK tour programme about the development of Nina: Unity Theatre – Liverpool’s small scale theatre with big ambitions – was a huge part of Josette Bushell Mingo’s early career, and in so many ways, creating Nina has been a …

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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

Little Rock

Client: Malmo Theatre (Sweden) and other UK partners tbc Imagine armed troops blocking you from going to school. In 1957? In 2019? Little Rock is the second of my current projects with Dritero Kasapi (director of Nina – a story about me and Nina Simone) supported by an Arts Council/British Council International Artists Development Award. Little Rock is a co-production with Malmo City Theatre, using a similar process to the one used to develop Nina –pan international creative teams, R&D in UK and Sweden, show being rehearsed and created in Sweden and playing in both countries. The work’s starting point is the Little Rock crisis in the fall of 1957. Governor Orval Faubus ordered the Arkansas National Guard to prevent African American students from enrolling at Central High School. 70 years later one of the Little Rock nine recalls what happened, sharing her story with a child little older than she was then. Dritero Kasapi is being joined by Iranian writer Behrand Behjdou to tell this special story. Development period: First R&D in Malmo, Autumn 18 Second R&D in UK, Spring 19 Opens Malmo, Autumn 19 Plays the UK in Spring 20 What we are looking for: UK Partner venues

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

Client – Collaboration with Murray Lachlan Young and Nina Hajiyianni Role – Creative Producer The Mystery of the Raddlesham Mumps was launched on April 11th 2019.  Told across performance, book, audiobook/recording, VR, and tablet the work has been on (so far) three tours.  Its Spring 2020 tour was halted as a result of Covid19, however we hope to return to many of our canceled venues in Spring 21. Despite the disappointment of lockdown the team have been busy developing their next show – ATOM AND LUNA.  More details of that show can be found here. The current tour booking period for The Mystery of the Raddlesham Mumps is 10-21 February 2021.   Tour booking document is below. Listen to the full show on soundcloud here, visit the show’s own mini site here or try out our interactive educational resources here THE CREDITS Written by Murray Lachlan Young Performed by Murray Lachlan Young with Simone Lewis or Joe Allen Music by Arun Ghosh Set by Bek Palmer Associate Director Scott Hurran Lighting by Julie Kearney VR and tablet game by MBD Ltd Impact Study by Essex University Company Stage Manager Thomas Vowles (Autumn 19 onwards) or Esther Malkinson (April 2019)   Reviews – ’10 out of 10′ The Guardian ‘infectious gothic humour ….deliciously devillish’  The Stage Exuberant spoken word is brought to even greater life with charming, quirky performances – Everything Theatre ‘a glorious gothic tale in the style of Tim Burton and the Borthers Grimm….a real theatrical treat’ Colchester Gazette and‘a magical …

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