BRIDGET CHRISTIE: WHAT NOW?
Saturday 21 April 2018: Durham, Gala Theatre
Monday 18 & Tuesday 19 June 2018: Newcastle, The Stand
Multi-award winning and highly acclaimed comedian Bridget Christie hits the road in 2018 with her brand new show What Now? Brexit. Trump. Nuclear apocalypse. Environmental catastrophe. But let’s be positive, at least Hugh Hefner is dead! Is rolling news affecting your ability to enjoy the simple things in life? Like baking, gardening and autoerotic asphyxiation? There has to be another way of living that is more enjoyable than this. But can Bridget find it?
Bridget’s last show, the hugely critically acclaimed Brexit show Because You Demanded It, completely sold out its 21-night Leicester Square Theatre run and subsequent UK tour. It won Best Show at the comedy industry Chortle Awards 2017, and was The Guardian’s No.1 Comedy of 2016.
As well as theatres up and down the UK, Bridget will also be doing a run at London’s Leicester Square Theatre, starting on 9th September 2018.
In March 2017 Bridget’s debut stand-up special Stand Up For Her was launched globally on Netflix, making her the first British female comic to have a live stand-up show on the channel. It has also been bought by BBC Brit (Nordic territories) and will be broadcast in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Finland, the Faroes, and Iceland in early 2018.
Her new BBC Radio 4 series, Bridget Christie’s Utopia, will be broadcast on Wednesdays at 1830, from 7 February 2018. The Radio Times said ‘Laugh out loud….This is the funniest thing I’ve heard on radio for years’.
In 2013 Bridget won the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Show with her show A Bic For Her. This show also won the 2014 South Bank Sky Arts Award for Best Comedy, the 2014 Chortle Award for Best Show and a 2014 Hospital 100 Club Award for Performance and Theatre. It was a total sell out in Edinburgh and became the highest selling comedy show at Soho Theatre ever, selling out every night of its 54-night run. Her follow-on show, An Ungrateful Woman, also sold out its entire 52-night run.
Bridget’s debut BBC Radio 4 series, Bridget Christie Minds The Gap, was broadcast in April 2013. It won Best Radio at the 2014 Chortle Awards and a prestigious 2014 Rose D’Or International Broadcasting Award for Best Radio Comedy. It was also nominated for a Radio Academy Award 2014. A second series was broadcast in January 2015 and won a 2015 Chortle Award for Best Radio Programme, for the second year running. Bridget’s upcoming brand new radio series will transmit later this year.
Her 2014 tour, a double bill of A Bic For Her and An Ungrateful Woman, won the 2015 Chortle Award for Best Tour.
Bridget was also nominated for a 2014 British Comedy Award for Best Female TV comic, for her performance on Have I Got News For You.
Her debut book, A Book For Her, was published by Century Random House in hardback in July 2015 to universal critical acclaim, and was reviewed by every UK national newspaper. The book has also just been published in Spain. It was one of the Top 100 Books for Christmas in The Telegraph, the Top Ten Comedy Books in The List, and Book of the Day in The Observer newspaper. It was also nominated for a 2016 Chortle Award for Best Book.
Between October 2015 and March 2016 Bridget had her own hugely popular weekly column in Guardian Weekend magazine, for which she gained a Glamour Magazine 2016 award nomination for Columnist of the Year.
Bridget's last four Edinburgh festival fringe shows have been in the Top 5 best reviewed shows of the fringe, and her last show (Because You Demanded It) was named the top rated comedy show of the fringe by The List magazine.
Press for Because You Demanded It:
***** ‘The most electrifying comedy I’ve yet seen on the Fringe’ The Guardian
**** ‘She’s pulled it off again with a wit and vim that is enjoyable as it is timely’ The Times
***** ‘It’s going to be hard to do justice to just how brilliant this show is’ The Scotsman
**** ‘As ever, Christie wears her great intelligence as lightly as can be, masterfully juggles levity and seriousness, full-blooded passion and twinkly-eyed playfulness.’
The Daily Telegraph
On The Web:
Netflix Stand Up For Her: To view Stand Up For Her: https://www.netflix.com/title/80179907
Saturday 21 April 2018: Durham, Gala Theatre - Box Office - 03000 266600 www.galadurham.co.uk
Monday 18 & Tuesday 19 June: Newcastle, The Stand - Box Office - 0191 300 9700 www.thestand.co.uk
Search begins for outstanding dancers with a learning disability, autism or both
The hunt is on for ten talented dancers with a learning disability, autism or both, to come together to form a unique new dance company.
TIN Arts, a leading inclusive dance organisation based in Durham City, in partnership with Yorkshire Dance, the Leeds-based dance development organisation, are launching a two-year programme called the Talent Hub on Thursday 1 March.
The project is supported by Inclusion North, an organisation dedicated to making inclusion real for all people with a learning disability and their families.
For two months, the Talent Hub will be accepting applications from dancers living in Yorkshire and the North East of England who’d like to “Join George”.
“George” is George Williams, from Thornaby in Stockton-on-Tees, who has worked with TIN Arts for several years. George was the first dancer with a severe learning disability to perform with the National Youth Dance Company and he has been appointed as the first member of the Talent Hub.
With funding from Arts Council England’s Ambition for Excellence Fund and from The Esmée Fairbairn Foundation, the Talent Hub aims to provide a step change for the sector, enabling dancers with a learning disability, autism or both to progress professionally into dance companies or emerge as independent dance makers.
Dancers who would like to be considered for the Talent Hub are invited to submit a video of themselves dancing at yorkshiredance.com/talent-hub/ and to fill out an application form. Applications close on Friday 27 April.
Successful applicants will be invited to take part in one of two dance workshops in May, after which a final selection day will take place in June to pick the final ten members of the Talent Hub.
Over the two years, they will work together with leading choreographers to create new dance work which will be toured nationwide in 2020.
They will also receive individualised ‘wrap-around’ support where they live, alongside intensive periods of training together as a company.
Martin Wilson, Executive Director and co-founder of TIN Arts, says, “We are really excited to be launching the Talent Hub and look forward to finding new talented dancers who wish to forge a career in dance. For us the idea of the Talent Hub has been a long-held ambition so to finally be at the stage of being able to tell everyone about it is a dream come true for us. It really is a once in a lifetime opportunity for any dancer with a learning disability, autism or both so I’d encourage everyone to apply!”
Hannah Robertshaw, Programmes Director of Yorkshire Dance, adds, “The Talent Hub will provide a fantastic opportunity to nurture a new generation of dancers and dance makers. It will provide a step-change in how we support and develop dancers with a learning disability or autism that goes far beyond the current offer. We’re delighted to be working in partnership with TIN Arts on something so ground-breaking.”
Sarah Maxfield, Area Director North, Arts Council England, says “The Arts Council is passionate about ensuring that everyone can have the opportunity to take part in arts and culture and we’ve been working for some time with artists and organisations to develop the sector and its ability to embrace diversity in all forms. So I’m delighted that we have supported TIN Arts and Yorkshire Dance’s plans for a new company for dancers with a learning disability and/or autism though our National Lottery funded Ambition for Excellence Fund programme. I look forward to seeing how both the project and the dancers progress over the next few years.”
The full line-up of ten dancers forming the Talent Hub will be announced in August 2018.
Dancers with a learning disability, autism or both, living in Yorkshire or the North East of England, can apply at yorkshiredance.com/talent-hub/
Durham & Sunderland One Act Festival
Arts Centre Washington
Wednesday 7th to Saturday 10th March 2018
The very first Durham & Sunderland One Act Festival takes place from 7th to 10th March at Arts Centre Washington.
Each year around 25 drama festivals are held around the country as part of the All England Theatre Festival. Amateur drama groups enter these festivals, normally held over three or four days, and on the final day a professional adjudicator decides which group should go forward to the next stage, a regional final, this year to be held in Port Sunlight. From there a winning group will go on to an All England Final, in Stoke, and beyond that to a UK Final, in Stirling.
Until now there has been no festival north of Richmond and Saltburn but this year the 1st Durham & Sunderland One Act Festival will be held, from 7th to 10th March, at Arts Centre Washington. This new festival is being organised and sponsored by Alan Godfrey MBE, who for several years has been an actor and producer with Durham Dramatic Society.
Seven theatre groups are taking part in this inaugural festival, with plays varying from Shakespeare to modern work written specially for the occasion. Washington’s own theatre group will be presenting a specially written piece, ‘Remembrance Night’, by Marie Lovell and John Cairns, while Durham’s well known Dramatic Society will be staging a 2-hander, ‘Grannies’, by Jean McConnell. Alan himself will be producing ‘Night Watches’, a rare chance to see a play by the Durham-born author Allan Monkhouse, who perhaps deserves to be better known in his home county. Other productions include new plays by local authors Tom Casling, Chris Masters and Lee Stewart, all competing for a New Writing Award, while the long established Durham Shakespeare Group will be staging ‘Julius Caesar Part 1’ – if you love Shakespeare but are sometimes daunted by the length, this 50 minute self-contained version might just be the answer!
Matthew Blyth, Audience Development Officer at the Arts Centre Washington added “We are absolutely delighted to host the very first Durham and Sunderland One Act Festival here at Arts Centre Washington. Amateur theatre is an integral part to our cultural landscape and I’m often amazed by the level and dedication, ingenuity and talent that is show by members of these groups. It’s also fantastic to see so many pieces of new writing in the festival!”
There are two plays a night with just one on the Saturday, followed by the awards, which will include trophies for Best Actor and Best Actress, all to be decided by the adjudicator, Sue Doherty – the overall winning play will then go forward to represent the region in the Northern Regional Semi-Final in Port Sunlight – then potentially the All England Theatre Festival Final in Stoke on Trent.
Durham & Sunderland One Act Festival - 7th to 10th March at Arts Centre Washington, tickets are just £5 a night and are available from www.artscentrewashington.co.uk or by calling the Arts Centre Washington box office on 0191 561 3455 .
Durham & Sunderland One Act Festival - 7th to 10th March at Arts Centre Washington, tickets are just £5 a night and are available from www.artscentrewashington.co.uk or by calling the Arts Centre Washington box office on 0191 561 3455 .
England Legends Live!
Tuesday 27 February 2018
now postponed until Tuesday 13 March 2018
The ‘England Legends Live’ speaking event at the Sunderland Empire tonight, Tuesday 27 February 2018, has been postponed to Tuesday 13 March 2018 due to adverse weather conditions.
The hazardous conditions, widely reported in the local and national media, have badly impacted travel to and around the North of England and especially the North East. The promoters wish to apologise profusely to anyone who booked a ticket for the show, and feel that the safety of the guests who are travelling long distances and also the guests watching the show who may have had to negotiate treacherous conditions is of paramount importance, which is why they have taken this decision.
England and Sunderland legends Peter Reid, Kevin Phillips and Chris Waddle regret not being able to make tonight’s show and are already excited and really hope you can join them for their new date of Tuesday 13 March 2018.
All customers will be able to move their tickets over to the new scheduled date of Tuesday 13 March 2018, or if they cannot make it then they can get a full refund from their point of sale.
England Legends Live! are set to take centre stage (Tuesday 13 March 201827 February) at Sunderland Empire with four icons of English football ahead of the World Cup. Join: Peter Beardsley, Chris Waddle, Kevin Phillips and Peter Reid.
With Love From St Tropez ★★★
Newcastle Stand Comedy Club
Sunday 25th February 2018
On a cold Sunday afternoon as the “Beast From The East” was moving in to give us the coldest February in 5 years, Shazia Mirza was here with her tales of warm French beaches, hot Indian tours and dodging sand-flies on Channel 4’s Celebrity Island.
5:30pm is an odd time for comedy sandwiched in between a children’s show and an evening show at The Stand, it felt more like Edinburgh Fringe. Indeed the audience and their reaction had that feel too. There was no support so it was straight into business.
Opening the show is a montage of clips of Shazia, President Trump on TV and Channel 4’s Fatima Manji reading then news coupled with Kelvin MacKenzie's toxic opinion piece after an atrocity in France. Thus the scene is set as Shazia is not just a comic, she has been labelled female Muslim comic. She show then tries to deconstruct the labels. Shazia doesn’t want to talk on behalf any group of people, rather she is, like anyone else, an opinionated individual. Yes, she has faced racist abuse, but that doesn’t mean that she talks on behalf of Muslims. Indeed, as she eloquently put it, Muslims don’t want her representing them either.
|Photo: Martin Twomey|
The hour-long set took apart the various interactions the former-science teacher from Birmingham has had in the post-Brexit vote world. There is not just the person handling her visa application so she could go to India who wanted to know where she came from before she was born. There’s also a mother who demands to become a grandmother and the alpha males on celebratory TV programmes. She surmises which it is the white male who is now out of fashion and is struggling to come to grips with life in 2018 the most.
|Photo: Amelia Troubridge|
Shazia tries to tie society to Mendeleev’s Periodic Table. The trouble is, a chemist myself, I found myself thinking “well that one’s out of date – they’ve filled those gaps in now.” But that would of spoilt one of her jokes. Politics and the Table have a number of things in common. The idea that elements on the left and right of the Periodic Table not getting on is common ground for a science teacher, however pointing out the malleable elements in the centre ground was very funny.
Shazia has lots of funny ideas. She also has a lot of poignant stories to tell and yes, the Guardian readers that she refers to will learn a new perspective on life. Perhaps the late afternoon start didn’t help, however, I couldn’t help thinking the individual parts could be reorganised into a more coherent order with better use made of the Periodic Table as a unifying principle.
Despite the scattering of the stories, the show is funny and entertaining, with Shazia using her dead-pan delivery to great effect.
Review by Stephen Oliver
On The Web:
Fusing hip-hop, theatre, digital imagery, and junk, Alan Clay brings Skip Rap to Stockton
Wednesday 28th March 2018
Fusing hip-hop, theatre, digital imagery and junk- Skip Rap has a kick of reality, a storming soundtrack and an energy that will have you up on your feet.
Alan Clay is 41 years old and has had a 15 year career as an artist touring nationally and internationally but he’s always known what it’s like to be put down, cast aside and written off.
His debut solo show is a defiant and bold piece of theatre that highlights what it’s like to be treated like trash and how you find your way out of the junk. Skip Rap is an angry love song to grit, endurance and creativity.
Hitting the note between Alan’s difficult background and his exceptional successes, Skip Rap explores how these experiences clash and merge and continue to shape his art, his views and his life.
On stage, Alan is joined by acclaimed MC, poet and theatre-maker Testament and made in collaboration with Baba Israel and directed by Iain Bloomfield.
Skip Rap has been funded by Arts Council England, Bradford City Council, Youth Music Foundation and supported by Mind the Gap.
The show runs on Wednesday 28 March at 7pm
It is a Pay What You Decide performance – tickets can be reserved online http://arconline.co.uk/whats-on/theatre-dance/skip-rap
Royal Visitors for the first Live Tales story writing workshop at The Fire Station, Sunderland as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge join in
Pupils at the very first Live Tales story writing workshop in Sunderland were joined by Royal visitors, as the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge officially opened The Fire Station, Sunderland’s new music and arts hub.
Duchess of Cambridge with pupils from Hudson Road
Primary School at a Live Tales session at
The Fire Station Sunderland
Children from Hudson Road Primary School, Sunderland were the first class to take part in a Live Tales workshop at The Fire Station and were creating their story ‘The Adventures of Stuart and Weeni’ when the Royal visitors dropped in, and took a hands on approach to joining in the creative writing session.
Christina Castling, Creative Associate at Live Theatre was at The Fire Station to talk to William and Kate about the Live Tales workshops, and said: “What a wonderful celebration of the opening of The Fire Station and the start of Live Tales in Sunderland. The Duke and Duchess were fantastic with the children - sitting at their level and talking with them enthusiastically about their writing. One of the children wants to frame her jumper because the future King sat on it.”
Prince William with pupils from Hudson Road
Primary School at Live Tales, Sunderland
Live Tales workshops will run from April onwards for Key Stage 2 Classes at the Fire Station, Sunderland, where Live Theatre has a studio as one of the hub’s anchor tenants.
Live Tales workshops are delivered by Live Theatre with the support of volunteers who provide encouragement, one-to-one and in small groups, and help the children to improve their writing and storytelling, whilst volunteer illustrators create drawings to accompany the children’s stories. Anyone interested in finding out more about volunteering opportunities at Live Tales, in Sunderland or Newcastle can come to a FREE Volunteers Drop in event at the Live Tales Studio, The Fire Station, Sunderland on Wednesday 28 February between 10.30 and 12noon. No need to book, just turn up.
Live Tales is supported by a grant from Virgin Money Foundation, and other local foundations including the Barbour Foundation and the Shears Foundation.
FREE Live Tales story writing workshops for Key Stage 2 Classes can be booked for Newcastle for the Spring and Summer terms, and for Sunderland for April to July by calling Live Theatre’s Box Office on (0191) 232 1232. Workshops for Key Stage 3 classes will start at both locations in September 2018. For more information on Live Tales Workshops see www.live.org.uk/livetales
Fundraising show goes on a journey
through the Best of British music
Best Of British
Seaton Delaval Arts Centre
Saturday 24th February 2018
Talented performers from Seaton Delaval and the surrounding areas are coming together to perform a special one off show to raise funds for a community theatre and arts venue.
The Seaton Delaval Arts Centre is a not for profit organisation based in Seaton Delaval, Northumberland ran entirely by volunteers. The building is primarily a community theatre hosting a wide range of performances for residents to enjoy, but it also acts as a venue for dance classes, fitness classes, sports and much more. To raise funds to upgrade and improve the building a special one night show is being performed on Saturday 24th February.
Celebrating the very best of over 100 years of British music, talented members of Seaton Delaval Pantomime Society will singing their way through the decades all the way to the present day. The show is packed with all the best tunes from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, 90’s, 00’s and today with classics from The Beatles, Cliff Richard, Queen, Elton John, Take That, Adele and many more. The singers will be accompanied by a 4 piece band playing every song live onstage. The show also features dance routines from Blyth based Timestep Dance Academy plus nostalgic video clips and flashbacks from the eras.
Stu Bennett, Theatre Director at the Arts Centre said “Our venue has been in operation for over ten years now, which is an amazing feat in todays climate. The brilliant cast have been rehearsing and working very hard to put on a spectacular show that will enable us to raise funds to carry out well needed repairs and upgrades to improve our community building. You can bring your own bottle along plus your dancing shoes for a fantastic evening down memory lane.”
The show takes place on Saturday 24th February at 7.30pm with tickets costing £9.00 available from the Box Office on 0191 237 5460 or online at www.seatondelavalartscentre.com.
South Shields Easter Panto Cast Announced
Peter Plank’s Magical Mystical Egg
South Shields Westovian Theatre
Wednesday 4th - Friday 6th April 2018
Peter Plank’s Magical Mystical Egg an Easter pantomime written by South Shields actor and writer Wayne Miller, has revealed its cast that will be bringing the laughs to the seaside town this April.
Newly formed North East theatre company Walton-Gunn Productions announced earlier this year news of a production to open at The Westovian Theatre in South Shields this Easter. They promised to deliver well known and well-loved panto faces, and they have done just that. This cast has performed to thousands in the North East, with much audience and critical acclaim. Honours they are hoping to repeat in Peter Plank’s Magical Mystical Egg.
Leading the charge as main character Peter Plank is the shows writer and creator Wayne Miller. A name known to many in for his performance as Santa’s Naughty Elf, a show that has been running at The Customs House Theatre in South Shields for ten years now.
Playing Peters love interest the feisty Bonne Belle will be former Newcastle Tyne Theatre panto and musical star, as well as Capital Radio presenter, Jo Jo Hatfield.
Bringing the mystical will be the star of last year’s Snow White at Newcastle’s NE6 Craig Richardson. A well-known face to both North and South Shields audiences, he takes on the role of CrackMee Yup.
Finally, the one who will be guaranteed to bring the boo’s as villain Gannabee Hellon will be Stephen Sullivan. Stephen was last seen gaining praise for his evil turn in Newcastle’s Times Square Panto Jack & The Beanstalk.
With such a stellar cast this Easter panto is hoping to wow its audiences, but also build up its reputation and become a tradition in the lovely seaside town.
The show’s producer and choreographer Stacy Walton say’s, “Being born and bread in South Shields I know the history of the town… and its rich, that also goes for the history of the Westovian Theatre, also known as The Pier Pavilion. Seaside towns are known for their entertainment, this theatre has seen a lot over the years and we hope to build on that. We want people coming to see the show, then coming back many times more. So, we hope Peter Plank’s Easter panto becomes part of the tradition here in South Shields.”
Writer Wayne Miller added, “With the talent we have brought into the show we can promise a good time, good laughs and good company. If those qualities aren’t enough to bring you back for more then what are? The North East boasts a high level of talent, but it also boasts audience that will take you to their hearts and make you part of their yearly traditions. So, we hope this one will be taken to the hearts of our audiences!”
Peter Planks Magical Mystical Egg has been called a cross between Aladdin and The Greatest Showman. A tale of a magical egg that has the power to grant a wish, a wish that could make a dream come true for Peter Plank. A simple lad who only has one goal, he longs to be a great showman on stage…however life isn’t as simple as Peter!
To find out if he gets his wish or the dastardly Gannabee Hellon gets in the way, grab your tickets now and find out for yourselves.
Peter Plank’s Magical Mystical Egg comes to the Westovian Theatre, South Shields from Wed 4th to Friday 6th April with performances at 12:00 & 3:30pm
Royal Shakespeare Company
Newcastle Northern Stage
Until Saturday 24th February 2018
An ambition of anyone who loves the work of Shakespeare must sure to broaden the appeal of his stories without necessarily diluting the gift of his use of language. This is not an easy task, however, director Simon Godwin has certainly delivered. We have already stated that Newcastle’s Northern Stage is having a cracking season and visitors this week are in for a real treat.
Whilst Hamlet is one of his longer plays, it is as good a place as any to start as the play will come across as having a familiar theme and a large number of lines from the play have gained common usage. The tale involves the death of the King and the succession by his brother, Claudius. To make matters worse for the old King’s son Hamlet, his mother Gertrude marries his Uncle. Hamlet decides to avenge the death of his father. If that sounds familiar then it is worth noting that The Lion King borrows liberally from the themes of Hamlet.
Designer Paul Wills has created what initially looks like a simple set but the set quickly reveals openings which enable the continuous flow of the action. It has to be said that this is a very colourful Hamlet, helped in no small measure, by the costume design. It is also a very loud production at times, especially at the start. Percussion work, on stage, from Sola Akingbola and Sidiki Dembele is both visually and aurally stimulating. This show is both bright and engaging. The musical interludes helped separate the scenes from time to time.
Shakespeare’s work is very word heavy. A lot of talking goes on, rather than physical action, and so it is important to have a cast that are both clear in their diction and engaging with the cast. This version of Hamlet is blessed with a superb ensemble cast with no weak links. The players support one another and so the language comes across as natural rather than stilted.
Paapa Essiedu is a revelation in the titular role. He conveys the passion and the anger of a son hell bent on revenge. Clarence Smith has presence as the new King Claudius, Lorna Brown has great strength in her portrayal as Queen Gertrude.
Polonius is the thoughtful and robust advisor to the King and Joseph Mydell nails the role. Mimi Ndiweni shows real passion as his daughter Ophelia. Buom Tihngang presents Polonius’s son as a man with a clear mission towards the end of the tragedy.
Supporting Hamlet are a number of close friends and James Cooney, Esther Niles and Eleanor Wyld are fine supporting actors as Horatio, Rosencratz and Guildenstein respectively. They enabled Paapa Essiedu to really thrive as Hamlet and help make the show a really special experience.
Clocking in at just under 3 hours, plus interval, the action and words have to be engaging or you will lose the audience. The soliloquies were not laboured and were naturally delivered, likewise the dialogue helped make the story accessible.
This is a wonderful body of work that had the audience buzzing with pride as they left the sold-out performance. The Northern Stage provides a great venue for work of this magnitude and I hope to see the RSC back here soon.
Review by Stephen Oliver.
Photos: Manuel Harlan
Venue Contact Details:
Box Office: 0191 230 5151