Mark Ludmon examines the year ahead for regional theatre in 2018. Bolton girl Maxine Peake has made her mark on TV and the London stage but she returns to her roots with her second play, Queens of the Coal Age. Based on the true story of four women in Lancashire during the miners’ strike in the 1980s, it will be at the Royal Exchange in Manchester from 28 June to 21 July. Also at the Royal Exchange, Maxine Peake will star in Sarah Frankcom’s new production of Beckett’s Happy Days from 25 May to 23 June. Other highlights coming up at the Royal Exchange include Julie Hesmondhalgh in Kendall Feaver’s new play The Almighty Sometimes and April De Angelis’s new adaptation of Frankenstein. A new production of Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard directed by Michael Boyd, the former artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company, will come to the Royal Exchange … Read more
It was announced today that the critically acclaimed Chichester Festival Theatre production of Michelle Magorian’s classic novel Goodnight Mister Tom will return to the West End for a limited ten week run this Christmas at the Duke Of York’s Theatre. This production was last seen in the West End in 2012/13 has been brilliantly adapted by award-winning playwright David Wood. Now a modern classic, Michelle Magorian’s wonderfully uplifting tale is brought gloriously to life in this magical stage adaptation by David Wood. Set during the dangerous build up to the Second World War, Goodnight Mister Tom follows young William Beech, who is evacuated to the idyllic English countryside and forges a remarkable and heart-warming friendship with the elderly recluse, Tom Oakley, played by David Troughton. All is perfect until William is suddenly summoned by his mother back to London. Winner of the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and commended for the … Read more
Breen squeezes every bit of comedic possibility from the play. The repertory company, so good in the dramatic and enthralling Oppenheimer, prove to be equally skilled in the bawdy comedy department. There are sly asides, vicious insults, dirty double entendres, rowdy gags, silly accent routines, fart jokes, catch-phrase jollity, physical comedy, costume comedy, sight gags, clowning – you name it, it can be found in Breen’s lucid, fast-moving and hugely enjoyable production.