Shrek 1

Reviewed by Casey Gwilliam

Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Shrek came bounding into the opera house this week (literally) stealing the audiences hearts along the way.

In his quest to win back the rights to his swamp, Shrek encounters fairy-tale creatures, princesses and even a talking donkey. Following the same narrative of the 2001 Shrek movie, the stage musical includes many of the iconic lines you’ll remember from the movie, like ‘Not my gumdrop buttons’ and ‘that’ll do, Donkey.’

Shrek proves to be brilliant family entertainment as children were grinning from ear to ear, laughing along with their parents, as well as a few subtle nods to the innuendos Dreamworks are famous for, Shrek proves to be just as popular on stage as it was in cinemas.

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Among audience favourites were Marcus Ayton as the iconic ‘Donkey’ whose performance had everybody in stitches with his incredibly witty portrayal. Samuel Holmes as Lord Farquaad provided comic relief for the adult audience, with references to Brexit and Blackpool that raised more than a few smiles.

‘Story of My Life’ performed by the talented ensemble, was a real stand out moment, with the fairy-tale characters expressing their disappointment at their lot in life, expressing that being a creature “sucks” and dancing around in comical costumes around the swamp.

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‘Morning Person’ was also a huge audience favourite, as the dazzling tap and vocals wowed the audience even featuring some fabulous dancing rats.

The costume and set transported the audience into Shrek’s fabulous fairy-tale world taking every audience member on a magical journey watching Shrek run down the aisle to save his bride, Fiona, had everybody saying , I’m a Believer!

Shrek is a monster hit for all the family, creating just the perfect mix of fairy-tale and real life lessons we could all learn from.

On at the Blackpool Opera House until Sunday 27th May tickets available here.

Interview | Adam Zane | #BeMoreMartyn

Be More Martyn

On the first anniversary of the Manchester Arena bombing, Hope Theatre Company return to award-winning Hope Mill Theatre to celebrate the life of Martyn Hett, with their empowering and inspiring play, #BeMoreMartyn.

First performed in October 2017 to sell-out audiences, Hope Theatre Company have developed the play further to create a unique piece of verbatim theatre using the words and stories of eight of Martyn’s closest friends taking a closer look at what exactly it means to #BeMoreMartyn.

We visited rehearsals where we spoke to writer and director Adam Zane who took us back to last May when he first became aware of Martyn Hett, “When people started to share statuses and tweets that Martyn was missing I started to see his face so much and realised he knew so many of my friends and I soon started realising how things are connected and feel that connection myself, as the days went on I realised in that past year I’d been watching his videos and sharing them on Facebook. I was on the train going down to Brighton as we had a show on at the fringe when I got a message confirming Martyn had been found and I remember just crying on the train but thinking this is ridiculous to be crying over someone you don’t know but I think for me as a gay man who lives in Manchester, who goes to the gay village, he was someone who was obviously loved by so many different people and it really got to me, I felt like we’d lost someone from our community.”

It was when Adam arrived in Brighton for a show that evening he really felt as a Manchester theatre company it was important to mark the heart-breaking news of Martyn’s passing somehow, “A minutes silence just didn’t feel appropriate so we led the audience in a minutes round of applause, because we strongly felt he absolutely deserved celebrating.”

Adam attended Martyn’s funeral in support of his friends and was incredibly touched by just how important Martyn was to so many people, “That’s when I started to hear the most amazing stories; there was a lot of laughter. Michelle McManus was amazing, his boss from Rumpus PR told the most amazing account of Martyn, we were crying with laughter at these incredible stories and I just thought these stories and these incredible memories of Martyn would be beautiful on stage.”

The question what does #BeMoreMartyn mean was the thing that hooked Adam and seeing it trending on Twitter confirmed to him that was what the play needed to be about, “#BeMoreMartyn was trending worldwide and that made me really wonder, what does that mean? What was it about this young man that we should be so inspired by? I was so overwhelmed by the stories Martyn’s friends have told me, how personally they were transformed by this man, it sounds like a really over the top thing to say but he really did do that to people.”

Adam describes how he quickly began forming a picture of Martyn through the generosity of his friends and their willingness to share their own personal memories. “There’s a lovely story in the play where Hannah, Martyn’s roommate says she felt more validated as a human being by Martyn than anyone else in the world and I think that’s what he did, he never tried to change people he just always said ‘be yourself’. Another character says ‘he gave me my life in Manchester’ a lot of the time if people were having a bad time in another city he would say come to Manchester and they would, they would move their lives to be nearer to Martyn so there’s this huge circle of friends all connected via Martyn. To have that openness and generosity of spirit when most of us just go about our day to day lives is something I think about a lot.”

Adam has been mindful throughout the entire creative process to ensure every element of this project has been done with the utmost of respect for Martyn, his memory, his family and his friends and through his work with those closest to Martyn has gained a great knowledge of just how important Martyn was to so many. “We were so nervous about Martyn’s family and friends reaction and we just desperately wanted to do him justice and honour him, when they came out from the show in October they said it was like spending a couple of hours with Martyn again, that for me is what I wanted, I wanted people to feel like they’d had a night out on Canal St with Martyn and that they knew him a bit better. I said to Martyn’s Mum the other day although I never met him I now feel that he’s a really important part of my life. He is continuing to change people in many different ways, he’s absolutely changed me, this year has been all about Martyn really. I feel so honoured and was really amazed at the amount of trust Martyn’s friends and family put in us, they have been so generous in allowing us to continue his legacy.”

The show opens at Hope Mill Theatre on Monday 21st May and runs until Saturday 26th May; from here it heads to Brighton Fringe then to London’s Southwalk Playhouse on 3rd June. Beyond this Hope Theatre Company have great ambitions for the play which celebrates both friendship and living life to its absolute fullest. “We have huge ambitions for this play, for us this is just the beginning, we want to take it across the country, we want to take it internationally, the dream would be to take it to New York, for me the play is also about how a city stands up to a terrorist attack. I think it would be really interesting for New Yorkers to see how a group of Mancunians dealt with such a terrible event and also how they dealt with their grief and of course separate to that can you imagine Martyn Hett’s name in lights on Broadway, how amazing.”

The clear message from #BeMoreMartyn is absolutely celebrating and living life to the full, while being proud of who you are, something Martyn undoubtedly was, Adam explained, “I knew very early on there were so many things to celebrate about Martyn, some things that people may even think are quite small but I feel really are a joy for example how much he unashamedly loved things, he loved Corrie, he loved Michelle McManus, he loved Mariah and he was so proud of the things that he loved. I remember as a child, as a teenager and even sometimes as an adult not admitting to things I like because I don’t know what people might think of that and how ridiculous is that? Why not scream loud and proud about the things that you love. As a gay man and someone who works with you LGBT children in schools I see every month children who are struggling, I know that they can watch this play and think if Martyn could do it then so could I, he can continue to inspire people to be more confident about themselves and I really hope feel empowered by his message.”

Following on from the original production performed at Hope Mill Theatre back in October Adam and fellow producer Mike Lee went back and re-interviewed Martyn’s friends, while the first interviews were very raw the second round of interviews allowed Martyn’s friend an opportunity to reflect, while it’s not a case of moving on, there has been an opportunity for moving forward and a feeling that the message of #BeMoreMartyn is even stronger now, “A character in the play says ‘you couldn’t help but be happy around him and there’s not enough people in the world like that’ that’s why he’s missed so much, he brought so much happiness to so many people and of course he wasn’t always an angel, we’ve got a scene called ‘Sod’ some of the things he did to his friends are hysterically funny. Things he would call them, things he would do to them, living with him, Mariah Carey on at 5am in the morning but they all absolutely adored him.”

People have talked to Adam about Manchester’s incredible response to the Arena attack and are including Hope Theatre Company as part of that inspiring response, Adam feels that “It’s an artist response to something tragic, our aim is for our audiences to leave stronger, inspired, empowered and take away something really, really positive from something that was, really, really terrible.”

#BeMoreMartyn opens on Monday 21st May at Hope Mill Theatre tickets available

Interview | The Charlatans | North By Northwich


By Matt Forrest

If you were to retell the story of The Charlatans, it would rival that of any of the great tragic musicals.  They formed in 1988 and have seen a career with a great deal of incredible highs and crushing lows: sell out tours, 13 albums, several of which went to number 1. Then there’s a story of heartbreak with the tragic passing of founding members Rob Collins and Jon Brookes, and this just scratches the surface. It would be fair to say that the band has faced adversity on several occasions and still managed to not just keep going but stay fresh and relevant.

One area the band have excelled in is there unique approach to self-promotion. Lead singer Tim Burgess is a constant force on Twitter, interacting with fans, holding album parties and hosting competitions and give-aways. Then of course there are the special events hosted by the band. Last year they took over Manchester’s Oldham St and the Lowry Theatre to promote their critically acclaimed album Different Days. This time around they have gone one better rather than a street, the band have taken over an entire town that being Northwich, their very own home town. North by Northwich will see the band play 4 intimate gigs, as well several other events that include: an exhibition of Charlatans memorabilia, various Q & A sessions with Tim Burgess and Gary Neville, in addition there are performances from Galleon Blast and Slow Readers Club.

Today we popped along to a unique opportunity to interview the band where we had 4 minutes 4 seconds, or the length of North Country Boy in which to have a chat.  With the smell of chips in the air, as the event took place at local Northwich fish and chip shop, The Seafarer, it was our chance to see what this event was all about.

First up was keyboardist Tony Rogers.

Opening Night: How are things? Are you enjoying the delights of sunny Northwich?

Tony Rogers: It’s brilliant – a bit like a holiday! Just wandering around, the sun’s out, you get to do what you love in the evening and then get to wander around in the sunshine. A bit like going away for Easter.

ON: Well you certainly brought the weather with you.

TR: Thanks, yeah I hope it stays.

ON: So how much planning goes into an event like this?

TR: An awful lot of planning has gone into this, and I’ve got to be honest I haven’t done any of it! (Laughs)

ON: So, you just turned up to take the credit (laughs)?

TR: Tim (Burgess) and Nick Frasier, you’ve got to give them all the credit and praise because they have done everything from start to finish. I mean, all I’ve done is give them a few bits and pieces for the exhibition, rehearsed a few songs and got some things in order, and that’s it. It’s been easy for me! Hats off to the lads, they’ve done a really good job of it.

ON: It seems each year the band are doing something fresh and unique to promote themselves: Last year the Oldham St take over (Manchester) and now this.

TR: I think when you have been going for as long as we have, (laughs), you find new ways and I think it’s down to the bands to find new ways to promote themselves because record companies are limited. You need them and they’re a necessary evil, but they kind of have a set way of doing things. Record companies use other people’s ideas on their artists and acts. We have always been looking at different ways to promote ourselves. I don’t think we’re a band, which would let them (sic) make all the decisions, because we’ve been going long enough to know what’s needed to be done.

ON: It’s not just a Charlatans gig. This is a mini festival, so what are you looking forward to seeing?

TR: To be honest with you, I’m just looking forward to wandering around and seeing other bands and things like that, but mostly I’m looking forward to playing live, that’s my thing. But I’ll make it to the Salty Dog (a pub in Northwich which is part of the festival) and a few other places.

ON: So, you’re doing 4 nights, with the promise of Thursday and Friday nights having completely different sets. How have you chosen which songs you’re going to play?

TR: We have our usual favourites, and then the first we are going to add in is two new songs. The new EP, Totally Eclipsing had its first play yesterday.

ON: Which is fantastic by the way.

TR: Thank you. Then we had a few requests throughout the years to play some songs that we’ve never ever played.

ON: Would it be too late to get one in? (Laughs)

TR: Not at all. So, there are songs from the very beginning, right through to the latest, so it’s a big mixture really and we’ll just jumble it up each night and add new ones, take older ones out and that’s it. There are a lot of songs; 32 songs we’ve got down to play. So, it’s easy to chose 19 or 20 songs for a set.

ON: What is your favourite to play?

TR: We’re doing I Never Want an Easy Life If Me and He Were Ever to Get There, and I’m loving that.

ON: Well I’m seeing you tomorrow, so I hope you do that.

TR: Good man, I hope we do it for you.

ON: Cheers Tony, it was nice talking to you.

TR: You too.

Immediately after my 4 minutes were up with Tony Rogers, it was on to bass player Martin Blunt.

Opening Night: So, what’s it like to be back home for a week full of gigs?

Martin Blunt: It’s good. I moved here in 1991 and left last year, so I had 26, 27 years living in Northwich – I thoroughly enjoy it.

ON: A great deal of planning has gone into this event. How much of this have you been involved with?

MB: Just the gigs and the exhibition. What happened was, we had the idea back in February to do the 4 shows, and then before you know it other events started to get connected with it and before you know it there’s another 4 venues, some new bands and some older bands. It sort of took on a life of its own.

ON: There’s so much going on, is there anything you’re looking forward to seeing other than your gigs?

MB: My dj-ing on Wednesday.

ON: Well I was going to bring that up. I caught your DJ set at the Lowry, when you did the Oldham St take over, some banging tunes in that.

MB: Cheers, thank you

ON: What tunes doing you like throwing in?

MB: Well you know, you put a few classics in there, and then you put some other good shit around it. (Laughs)

ON: You’re doing 4 nights here, and 2 of the nights you’re doing different sets.

MB: Well saying that Monday and Wednesday, we’re gonna mix it up: it’s The Charlatans juke box over the next 4 concerts.

ON: How do you pick which songs you want to throw in?

MB: By democracy, we talk about it for half hour then I get to choose the songs.

ON (Laughs) So when I found out I was doing this, I thought I’d try something a bit different. So, I asked my girlfriend (who is a school teacher) to ask some of her kids for some questions. They came up with the best question which is, what is like to be a rock star?

MB: You get an extra half hour in bed!

ON: (Laughs) ha ha they’ll love that. Another question they asked was how many instruments do you own?

MB: I used to own quite a lot and then I got divorced, so a lot of those got sold on. I’ve got about 12 basses, I think Mark Collins has got about 34 guitars, but you can only play one at a time can’t you, unless it’s a double neck.

ON: So, the memorabilia for the exhibition, how much is the band’s and how much is fan donation?

MB: There has been some fan donation, but at our studio, Big Mushroom, there was always a far-flung corner, where over the years we used to put some stuff there that’s never really seen the light of day. So, we thought it’s about time it did see the light of day, and then after this it will probably get flung back in the corner of the studio for another 10 years!

ON: I noticed Gary Neville seems to be doing a lot of stuff with the band.

MB: He’s just our stalker. No, its good Gary’s doing that, with all the profits going to the local hospice St Luke’s so fair do’s to the guy.

ON: Have you got any favourite songs you like to play?

MB: We played Bullet Comes and Easy Life on  Monday, which sounded really good.

ON: I’m coming tomorrow night and noticed Forever on the set from last night so hoping for that Wednesday.

MB: Sorry Matt think you’re gonna be disappointed, you should have come Monday.

ON: Fair enough, just made up to have a ticket. Pleasure meeting you.

MB: No problem cheers Matt.

After that it should have been my turn with lead singer Tim Burgess, but like some speed dating events time was against us and I didn’t get my 4 minutes 4 seconds with the mastermind of this unique festival. Just a few complimentary words, a quick picture for the photo album and rather interestingly, I was asked to take part in a documentary about the event. Here’s hoping I don’t get left on the cutting room floor.

For 10 days at least, this sleepy town in the heart of Cheshire is the place to be: even if you don’t have a ticket for one of the four Charlatans gigs there is so much going on that it would be well worth a visit. I finish my day off with a trip to the exhibition and finally a trip to Sprosten Green, because like many a Charlatans gig it was the perfect way to finish!

Blood Brothers

Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Running at Manchester’s Palace Theatre for the next two weeks, Blood Brother’s remains as deeply moving and powerfully relevant as ever.

Willy Russell’s award-winning epic tale tells the tragic story of twin boys separated at birth only to be reunited by a twist of fate, a mother haunted by a dark secret and the heart-breaking reality of social depression. As they boys grow up on opposite side of the track the draw the timeless themes of inequality, social class and mental health struggles remain sadly as relevant today as the day it was written. Despite the though subject matter, Blood Brothers is by far one of the wittiest scripts of any musical with laugh out loud moments perfectly measured against the heartache.

Taking on the lead role is Lyn Paul, who first stepped into Mrs Johnstone’s shoes back in 1997 when she made her musical theatre debut in the West End production. She makes for a compelling and impressive Mrs Johnstone, with a depth of emotion that tugs on your heart strings, making you feel every ounce of her heartfelt pain.

Matthew Craig is exceptional as the ever-present and ominous narrator, a dark and menacing reminder of the shady deeds of the mother’s pact; he has a strong and foreboding presence on stage. With just the right amount of Scouse rasp his harmonies with Lyn Paul are simply beautiful.

Veterans of their respective roles as ill-fated twins Mickey and Eddie, Sean Jones and Mark Hutchinson captivate the audience with performances that will have you howling with laughter one moment and reaching for the tissues the next. Sean Jones gives a masterclass in character acting, lighting up the stay as care-free young Mickey making the journey he goes on, to broken and defeated young man in Act II all the more devastating.

The ensemble cast are impressively strong, delivering Willy Russell’s witty script with fresh energy as they take on multiple roles with gusto. Special mention must go to Sarah Jane Buckley, Danielle Corlass and Daniel Taylor who each shine as Mrs Lyons, Linda and Sammy respectively.

Blood Brothers has the ability to take you on a roller coaster of emotion from joyful highs to heart aching lows. The tear filled finale one of the most moving fifteen minutes of any musical, repeatedly followed night after night by a full standing ovation, a testament to the enduring appeal of this powerful production.

It is a story that will stay with you long after the final curtain, a timeless classic which no doubts cements Will Russell as one of Britain’s best loved and most talented storytellers. It is a show that appeals to all ages from eager school groups to audiences returning for the second, third, fourth visit and more, each and every audience member stunned into silence. The phrase ‘must-see’ is often banded about but in the case of Blood Brothers it is entirely true, a powerful, captivating and entirely moving production.

On at the Palace Theatre until Saturday 26th May rickets available here.

Interview | Michael Peavoy & Eleanor Brown talk Summer Holiday

The Octagon Theatre Bolton is all set for a spectacular summer of joyful adventure as they bring a very special site-specific production of the classic 1960’s feel good musical, Summer Holiday to life.

Telling the story of Don and his buddies as they leave a wet and miserable England behind to head to Europe for a summer of adventure on a double-decker bus, Summer Holiday is an up-lifting celebration of friendship and most importantly fun. There are ups and downs, scrapes and shenanigans and even an American stowaway picked up for the ride.

Co-directed by the Octagon Theatre’s Artistic Director Elizabeth Newman and associate director Ben Occhipinti the production will begin at Bolton’s new interchange before audiences board double-decker buses for a thrilling musical journey ending with a final stop at the Octagon theatre where Don and his pals fun-filled escapades across Europe will conclude in a wonderful celebration of music, friendship and all out adventure.

We caught up with cast members Michael Peavoy  (who plays Don in the production) and Eleanor Brown (who takes on the role of Barbara) during rehearsals to hear a little more about this highly anticipated production which sees the traditional London setting seen at the start of the original film relocated to the familiar streets of Bolton.

Michael explained, “It’s a piece of theatre in Bolton, for Bolton, what happens around the show and the audience watching will influence and be a part of what makes each and every show special. Even in a regular theatre space, unexpected things happen and you’ve always got to be alive to that, it’s what makes going to the theatre so exciting, I guess when you’re doing that outside of a traditional theatre space it makes it even more exciting and unpredictable and so so much fun.”

Both Michael and Eleanor are enormously excited about the unique staging of this innovative production. Eleanor said “We’re so excited, we’ve been out to the interchange to see where the performance space will be it made us realise that while we’ll be performing the interchange will still of course be open and functioning as normal so the people of Bolton will be wandering round and seeing what we’re doing, which will be really, really lovely.” Eleanor added, “The unexpected is the best thing about theatre and with this production we can absolutely expect the unexpected along with a whole lot of fun.”

Eleanor describes her character as ‘a product of the American pop world’. She is desperate to experience real life, she feels her life is orchestrated and engineered by her pushy mother, escaping from her oppressive upbringing she becomes a stowaway on the bus disguising herself as a young boy in order to avoid detection, we then see her go on a real journey, experiencing life and love to the fullest.

In describing Don, the character made famous by Cliff Richard in the 1963 film, Michael defines him as ‘a working class dreamer, who just wants to take his mates on a holiday, he’s a fixer-upper and a problem solver’. Don goes on a similar journey to Barbara, Michael explained there’s so much more to Don, “He really doesn’t know what love is, he’s lived in the generation where people would say things like ‘boys don’t cry’ while maintaining a stiff upper lip, I think he’s fighting against that, he recognises that there’s a big world out there, he’s carrying round the baggage of his family and their ideals for him but he’s really ready to break out of that.”

The cast are now deep into rehearsals with just two weeks until opening night. In reflecting on the process so far Michael explained, “Every single day is just fun and joyful, the music is amazing, the cast are fantastic, all so talented, everyone is just brilliant; we’re all so excited about doing this show. It has a real community feel about it, usually we get to the stitzprobe and that’s when we meet the band but we’ve got live music right from the start from the cast on stage in this production. It’s like you’re in a rock band for a few hours, then you’re in a jazz band for a few hours, then you’re in a musical, it’s awesome.”

Alexander Bean, Michael Peavoy, Barbara Hockday, Luke Thorn and David Heywood -Summer Holiday rehearsal photos taken by Ray%

Eleanor agrees “We are having the absolute best time, the core of the story is the same but there’s some differences in our production, there’s a lot more music in the show, I think there’s something so special about having the music played live, I think it’s something audiences will really, really enjoy.” Michael added, “While the film was a real vehicle for Cliff back in the 60’s and he did large parts of the singing alone, our stage production changes those songs so they become much more ensemble pieces, with different cast members playing instruments as well as singing, it makes for a really beautiful sound and give a real community feel to the piece.”

Summer Holiday featuring classic songs such as Bachelor BoyLiving DollThe Young Ones and, of course, the title track Summer Holiday opens at the Octagon theatre, Bolton on Thursday 31st May and runs until Saturday 23rd June tickets available here.

*Photo credit Ray Jefferson, Bolton Camera Club

The Visitor’s Book

Opening Night verdict ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Written by Sarah Nelson and Oldham Theatre Workshop’s Artistic Director James Atherton. New Musical The Visitor’s Book is an uplifting exploration on the impact of loss, abandonment and ultimately the importance of family and forgiveness.

Mum (Sophie Ellicott) holidays annually with children Jack, Sophie and Betty at Cathy’s (Jo Gerard) Cumbrian cottage. A sanctuary away from the city with clean air, green fields and an endless supply of fresh brews in the pot, problems however travel too and tensions soon rise as grief and confusion take hold.

Eldest in the family Jack is desperate for answers, a chance discovery however leads him to search for something else entirely when a strangers message in the Visitor’s book captures his imagination, offering a much-needed focus for his grief.

The play spans several years with scenes and stories beautifully interwoven. Younger and older versions of the children seamlessly move in and out of scenes as lies are uncovered and truths are told. The static set, a cosy living room within the holiday cottage allows the cast to move freely from one scene to the next, often inhabiting the stage at the same time to great effect. Slick direction ensures the clear narratives develop at just the right pace to both engage and entertain.

Sarah Nelson and James Atherton’s excellent writing ensures each character is entirely believable, from the moody teenager to the ‘holding everything together’ Mum to the baby of the family who entertains and amuses with her adorably quirky ways. There are many laugh out loud moments, moments you’ll entirely relate too as well as moments you’ll be gulping away the lump in your throat.

In Hope Mill’s intimate space there is no room for error and this hugely talented cast demonstrate superbly just how powerful and incredibly entertaining honest and heartfelt theatre can be. Each and every cast member giving their all.

Sophie Ellicott delivers a strong performance as Mum, warm and loving she embodies the role perfectly. Young and older Jack, Tommy Douglas and Jabez Sykes are both exceptional as anger and frustration is channelled into hopeful determination. The score is excellent allowing for some beautiful harmonies wrapped up in incredibly well observed lyrics delivered note perfect by the cast. Madeleine Edmondson and Poppy O’Brien shine performing their hilarious duet, big voices and even bigger personalities.

The Visitor’s Book is ultimately a story of hope, forgiveness and the real importance of family. This hugely entertaining production has the ability to both touch you deeply and entertain you enormously. Full of heart, deeply moving, beautifully told and superbly delivered, a joyous success.

On at Hope Mill Theatre until Friday 11th May, tonight’s performance is SOLD OUT but follow @Visitor_Book and @OTWOldham for further information.

Toast | Rehearsal images released

First look images from the rehearsal rooms of world premiere stage adaptation of Nigel Slater’s Toast have been released today.

Toast, which is a Week 53 commission adapted by Henry Filloux-Bennett and directed by Jonnie Riordan will vividly tell the story of Nigel Slater’s childhood through the tastes and smells he grew up with. Audience members will be invited to sample dishes and tastes which played a large part in Nigel’s life growing up in 1960’s suburban England.

From making the perfect sherry trifle, waging war over cakes through to the playground politics of sweets and the rigid rules of restaurant dining, this is a moving and evocative tale of love, loss and…toast.

On at The Lowry from Wed 23 May to Sat 2 June tickets available here.