Pleasance launches in-house award, The Indies!

The Indies
The Indies

The Indies

In its 33rd year in Venue 33 on the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, the Pleasance Theatre Trust is proud to launch The Indies, a new award celebrating the best shows at the Pleasance as voted by the companies and artists themselves.

The categories for The Indies are as follows:

Best Show Categories

Celebrating excellence across the programme as a whole.

Best Comedy, Cabaret or Variety Show

Best Theatre, Family, Music or Dance Show

Newcomer Categories

Highlighting companies and acts bringing their first full show to The Pleasance.

Best Comedy Cabaret or Variety Newcomer

Best Theatre, Family, Music or Dance Newcomer

Miscellaneous Categories

Best Poster Design

Spirit Of The Pleasance

Each company in the Pleasance programme can cast a single set of votes in the category relating to their own genre.

The Indies highlight not only the best in Pleasance’s comedy and theatre programmes but shine a light on Festival newcomers, staying true to the Pleasance’s mission of supporting new talent in the arts industry. The Award also recognises the best poster design and gives a special recognition to a company who showcased the Spirit Of The Pleasance by going out of their way to help another company or act. This spirit is reflected in the Awards themselves, encouraging companies to celebrate the work of their peers.

The Award is named after Christopher Richardson’s (founder of the Pleasance) beloved dog Indie.

Anthony Alderson, Director of the Pleasance said:

“I’m delighted to announce the Pleasance Indies in our 33rd year. Cultivating a supportive environment where ideas can be realised to their fullest potential has always been a cornerstone of the Pleasance’s mission and the introduction of these awards is a perfect way to both promote this sense of community amongst our artists and celebrate the wealth of creativity in our programme.”

Winners of The Indies will be announced on the Pleasance Twitter (@ThePleasance) account today (Thursday, 24 August) at 3pm.


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Edinburgh Festivals Diary: Day 6

Edfringe Festival Diary-Day 6

It’s 9.45am at Hotel Du Vin, Edinburgh and I am having a coffee with the Times Theatre critic: Ann Treneman. Ann was the Times political sketch writer for 12 years. We are talking about navigating the wonderful arena of theatre.

‘The theatre world is much crazier than the world of politics… Seriously,’ she tells me.

‘Amazing. We must go out for a drink before I fly home,’ I said.

‘Some of us have reviews to write, Carl,’ she replied with a smile.


Ann Treneman

We talked about the various things, shows we’d seen etc, etc and so on.

‘Well, I always think of that terrific Michelle Obama quote: ‘When they go low, we go high,’ she smiles. 

I made my way over to the Traverse for Gary McNair’s one-man piece about the writer’s teen years when he chose Morrissey as a confidante. Letters to Morrissey is the theatre equivalent of a chunky chocolate bar. The audience was mostly male and mostly 25 to 44-years old. I can’t remember much else to be honest.

I head over to Pleasance for Cardboard Citizens’ remarkable version of the TV drama ‘Cathy’. Beautifully written by Ali Taylor, ‘Cathy’ is a new forum theatre show which looks at how life might be like today for the protagonist of Cathy Come Home. The show speaks stridently and is one with that comes with a pain at its heart.


Cirkopolis / Letters to Morrissey

I check my emails.

‘This looks like the kind of thing you’d like to crash,’ it read.

Attached was an invitation to the 2017 Federation of Scottish Theatre – Festivals Reception on Tuesday 22 August at 5.30pm at Dynamic Earth. It soon became clear that Scotland has got it right. The level of joined-up thinking and networking in the room was palpable: bringing the sector together and starting proper conversations. Brilliant.

After giving up on Google maps in this city I finally arrive at the EICC for Quebec company Cirque Éloize take on Fritz Lang’s Metropolis. Cirkopolis is never less than interesting. Dazzling acrobatics build up a remarkable parade of imagery, yet this lively show never quite touches the heart. ‘Entertaining’, is how I would describe this show. In an ideal world, the music wouldn’t be so loud, but nothing in life is ideal.


Anyway, the last show of my Edinburgh Fringe was Toxic Avenger at Pleasance Courtyard. I loved this show at Southwark Playhouse. I didn’t in Edinburgh. The cast are seriously talented and I think it’s the perfect venue and time slot, the show still boasts exquisite performances and is still really well sung. Hopefully some of the dumbed-down changes will be reversed, which includes but is not limited to squirting the audience with a water pistol.

This was my third time in Edinburgh and I don’t think I’ve ever seen the city so busy.

I’ve had a terrific time but now I must go. 

Thank you to the beautiful people of Edinburgh who treated me with such equanimity and friendliness. To all, great thanks.

I’ll be back…





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Edinburgh Festivals Diary: Day 5

Edinburgh Festivals Diary: Day 5
Edinburgh Festivals Diary: Day 5

Edinburgh Festivals Diary: Day 5

A Hangover from the depths of hell ahoy!

My first show was The Nature of Forgetting” at The Pleasance, which, it’s fair to say, is not messing about. The charming production is part of the British Council Edinburgh Showcase 2017 and follows a sell-out run at the London International Mime Festival. I don’t think we’ve seen the last of this lot.

During the afternoon I arranged to meet the writer of the sublime ‘All We Ever Wanted Was Everything’ – Mr Luke Barnes. It all went swimmingly.

As the day marched on I made my way down to the Churchill Studio Theatre for ‘Flight’. A highly imaginative production that is an adaptation of Caroline Brothers’s 2012 novel Hinterland and part of the International Festival. Sadly, though, it was 45 minutes of my life that I’ll never get back. (I mean I would have preferred to have a nap but what can you do).

Thankfully my spirits were lifted at Henry Naylor’s Fringe First winning play: ‘Borders’ at the Gilded Balloon. This is all pretty grown-up stuff, and is done with the rackety humour and invention that we’ve come to expect from Naylor’s work. Very moving.

Later that evening I arrived at Edinburgh Playhouse for Nederlands Dans Theater (Sol León and Paul Lightfoot / Gabriela Carrizo). The slick show contains a gently rippling score by Philip Glass and has some of the finest dancers on the planet in it’s company.

During the interval there was a press drinks reception thing.

‘Having a good Festival season, Donald?’ I asked the Independent dance critic: Donald Hutera

‘Yes! I’m on show 91 now!’, he replied.

‘Jesus wept,’ I exclaimed.

During the second interval it all got rather humid in the Mezzanine bar and Donald decided to strip to a blue vest. At first I thought it was a leotard.

Incredible scenes.

I ended the evening with friends at a bar.

Arriving back at my Hotel I explain the day I’ve had. The staff fall about, and soon after, I fall into bed.

Keeping a daily diary has been more demanding than I would have expected; deploying metaphor and hyperbole; attempting to capture in words the work I’m seeing and the emotions I’m feeling. I’m nearly ready go home. I don’t know how these proper critics do it.

One more day, folks.

On balance, I’ve had more productive days.

Note: Nothing to declare.






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Edinburgh Festivals Diary – Day 4 

Edinburgh Festivals Diary - Day 4

Sunday 20 August 

Edinburgh Festivals Diary - Day 4

Edinburgh Festivals Diary – Day 4

I was happily queuing for ‘All We Ever Wanted Was Everything’ at Summerhall yesterday evening.

‘You’re a disgrace,’ said the boyfriend of a young lady who was in a play I didn’t think was very good.

‘Pardon?’, I asked, puzzled.

‘I watched you at the play the other day and read what you wrote. You call yourself a Theatre Specialist! You’re disgusting’, he replied.

‘Oh! The misogynistic, offensive & borderline homophobic play?,’ I said.

‘It isn’t offensive, you’re a disgrace’, he snapped.

‘Look, I’m more than happy to discuss the play and what I wrote about it after this show?,’ I said.

‘Nah mate. You’re a disgrace,’ he mumbled and stomped off.

The whole encounter was as classy and as subtle as orgy night on Love Island. I’ll try not to lose any sleep.

Very sad. (Translation: not particularly sad because it is, after all, only theatre.)

Sunday was a punishing day. It started at The Pleasance Courtyard: Kafka and Son. The relationship between Franz Kafka and his father is put under the microscope in a solo show that tested my patience. For me, this play falls carelessly into the dreaded theatre deadzone of “lovely but a bit boring”. I just couldn’t emotionally connect with this show. Not awful.

At lunch time I went to the shops and picked up a Matcha Face Mask and a small bottle of New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc. There is a God!

Worklight Theatre’s new show Monster finds Joe Sellman- Leava once again surfing the rollercoaster of the sixty minute mixed-metaphor as he is simultaneously Patrick Stewart, his girlfriend and Mike Tyson calling the shots in the front, rather than the back, seat. His new show examines masculinity in a searingly honest and autobiographical way. Worth a look.

‘All We Ever Wanted Was Everything’ really floated my boat. Middle Child’s gig-theatre show is a life affirming call to arms at the Edinburgh Fringe and really feels like a shot in the arm. The dissection of consumerism and capital culture. Luke Barnes’ play sensationally looks back and ahead at Broken Britain. Outstanding stuff!

Later that evening I head up to The Hub for cabaret star Meow Meow’s take on ‘The Little Mermaid’ for the International. This is a wickedly funny and entertaining 70 minute show that was the perfect way to round off the week. Meow Meow makes performance art with a sensibility that makes you want to head out in search of a dancefloor. (See if any of your friends are around before you go out, though, it’ll be rubbish by yourself.)

‘Tough crowd tonight?’, I said

Seiriol Davies and Carl Woodward

Seiriol Davies and Carl Woodward

‘Bloody Sunday audiences… Pretty bleak crowd tonight‘, said Meow Meow herself, fresh off the stage grazing on wasabi and clutching a half-pint of beer in the after show bar.

‘Well, quite. I had fun though! I thought you did a great job, for what it’s worth’, I smiled. Seriously, What a woman.

The night finished at 5am on the steps by the Edinburgh castle with Seiriol Davies.

Far too much white wine was consumed, I can’t remember much else to be honest.

Note: Fringe Fatigue is setting in – thank God there is a bath in my hotel room. Let’s see what joys tomorrow will bring.





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Edinburgh Festivals Diary – Day 3

Edinburgh Festival Diary -Day 3

Saturday 19 August

Edinburgh Festival Diary -Day 3

Edinburgh Festival Diary -Day 3

My Saturday morning began at the Traverse Theatre for Zinnie Harris’ beautifully devastating ‘Meet Me At Dawn’. Harris’ gorgeous play for the Edinburgh International Festival is a take on the Orpheus and Eurydice myth and sees two women washed up on a beach after an accident at sea. At first I thought I was in for a Waiting For Godot sequel – with all the flourishes you’d expect from a Beckett piece. However, the play evolved majestically, is extremely beautiful and by all accounts ‘worth a watch’.

I made my way up to the EIF Hub with some cookies for the press manager and her team.

‘How are you all?’, I asked mischievously.

‘We’re doing fine… Over half way now,’ she responded.

‘Shall we eat the cookies?’ I asked.

We did.

I did some writing over lunch and ended up sitting next to a classical music critic.

‘Have you seen The Divide?’ I asked.

‘Oh yes,’ he replied. ‘I don’t want to talk about it!’

So there we are.



I made my way to Summerhall with anticipation to Selina Thompson’s ‘Salt’. A play that tackles Europe’s involvement in the slave trade with an iron fist. (This play is fucking great). Genuinely political, satirical, provocative, innovative and completely brilliant. A decadent, astute theatrical triumph and I loved it. This one woman show deserves all the praise.

As Saturday afternoon wore on and the streets filled with boozing, I found myself at The Space on Niddry St for ‘Penthouse. Sober.

A play that started off better than I could have expected and ended up being far worse than I could ever have feared. The blurb says it offers ‘an insight into the world of bankers and the pressure they face that can lead them to take their own lives’. It is clumsy in the handling of the subject matter, though, and in dealing in outdated stereotypes will leave you in a state of delirium. Depressing stuff, but what can you do.

By the end of this 38 minute fiasco (advertised: 55 mins) I wanted to jump off the roof. It’s not very good, i’m afraid.

(Yes I know it’s not polite to dwell on awfulness but know your enemy and all that).

My evening ended at the Churchill Theatre for ‘Krapp’s Last Tape’. Barry McGovern’s performance at Church Hill Theatre confirms him as the leading interpreter of Beckett. This haunting play examines age and memory and lasts less than an hour; ideal.

Overall — a good(ish) day.

Plenty of food for thought, readers.

Note: According to my pedometer I did 18, 535 steps (12 kilometres)



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 Edinburgh Festivals Diary – Day 2 

Friday 18 August


I started the day at the Pleasance for The Scotsman’s Fringe First awards – a ceremony recognising outstanding new writing premiered at the Fringe.

The winners are announced each Friday morning. The last time I was in this particular venue, somebody stripped to a thong and sang ‘I Wanna Dance With Somebody’. Anyway, there was plenty of coffee and thankfully the crowd (journo/media types) remained clothed for the duration.

The second group of 2017 winners are as follow:


How To Act 


A Super Happy Story (About Being Super Sad)

The Shape of Pain



(Congratulations to all the winners!)

Rendered Retina / HTWAH

My first show of the day was ‘Form’ by Rendered Retina Theatre Company at 10 Dome. Rendered Retina is made up of the extremely talented Tom Mangan, Alex Mangan & Jordan Choi. As well as the show being wonderful on its own merits, ‘Form’ was good and the crowd reacted quite positively to it, ie they were engaged and laughed in the right places.

Having known the lads for several years, it was exactly how I’d expect it to be: a polished performance, attention to detail, all ‘on point’. Rendered Retina were recipients of the LET Award 2017 and selected to receive a performance slot at the Pleasance, a cash injection of £1000 plus industry mentoring from Les Enfants Terribles. Well done, boys!

I spent the afternoon at my rather nice hotel, mostly hydrating and arranged to meet a friend.

‘Why are you watching that?’, said Lyn Gardner.

‘Aaaaghh!’ I cried, wrestling the tickets out of my pocket. She laughed.

We compared schedules and had a cup of tea.

Later I got chatting to a friendly lady called Annette. We talked about shows and I shared my schedule concerns.

‘Be ruthless’, she said.

‘How so?’, I asked.

‘Your time is limited here — if you have a bad feeling or word of mouth about a show – don’t go. Time is too precious.’

‘Right you are’, I said.

Perhaps this is news to you, but How To Win Against History’ is back at the Fringe. Unfortunately for them and their PR, all their attempts at creating a buzz –  the giant colourful posters, Oberon Books publishing its first musical score, social media blitzing etc – have been generally ignored, which is a shame.

I am of course employing sarcasm for ironic effect because this show is all everyone’s talking about. This musical about a cross-dressing Marquess is certainly at home at Assembly George Square Gardens.

How To Win Against History is astouding and Seiriol Davies is a genius.

Note: I went to bed early with a Moroccan Mint Green Tea with Rose. Bleak.

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Edinburgh Festivals Diary: Day 1 

Day 1 – Thursday 17 July 

Royal Mile

Royal Mile

Edinburgh is right in the middle of celebrating the 70th anniversary of it’s world-famous festivals, the Scottish capital has rightfully become known as the world’s best festival city.

What better time to turn up and get involved?

With my luggage dropped off and a ham sandwich partially consumed I decided to start my Edinburgh odyssey. As is tradition, I wandered through the Royal Mile. The anticipation was high: would I witness three actors kissing while dressed as nuns? Would a performance artist reveal their pregnancy live on the cobbles? Would a comedian frighten a defenceless civilian? Anything is possible.

Whatever was about to happen I had a feeling that there would be surprises (ideally involving Quentin Letts and a glitter canon, but this is just a pipe dream of course).



My first show was at Bedlam Theatre: a gorgeous, 90 seat theatre housed in a former Neogothic church at the foot of George IV Bridge for Seanmhair‘. Director Kate Wasserberg’s production has a sinister aesthetic beauty while the remarkably gifted performers avoid the easy path of desolation. It was a total joy to witness this stunning coming of age story set in 1950s Edinburgh. In every respect, though, Seanmhair is a puzzling production but one that warrants a visit. Cardiff’s The Other Room is not messing around with this one, offering direction from Kate Wasseberg, Hywel John doing the writing bit, neon light strips and opaqueness throughout and, as a result, a renewed sense that — hey, do you know what — Fringe theatre might be alright after all.


Butt Kapinski

Butt Kapinski

Later, a volunteer at the Pleasance Dome Press Office tells me: “Go and see Butt Kapinski; it’s amazing… I went twice.” So I did just that. Kapinski is a cod-detective, a ‘comedy character’ that doesn’t make any sense, but is often engaging. The meta-theatre interactive piece packs a pretty entertaining punch and Deanna Fleysher’s alter-ego relies on the audience *a lot* for LOLs with mixed results. (I’m sure the Pleasance volunteer is a really nice guy and that’s all I have to say about this episode.)


With an abundance of choice in a connected theatre ecology, you’re likely to be influenced by blogs, friends or word of mouth. It’s probably worth pointing out that both Fringe and International Festival have plenty to offer. You should never believe that theatre-going has any rules and if there are any rules, you should break them all.

Note: I ended the evening with a large glass of Pinot Grigio.


Producers celebrate the ongoing success of ‘Big in Belgium’ at Summerhall

£¥€$ by Ontroerend Goed (c) Michiel Devijver

£¥€$ by Ontroerend Goed (c) Michiel Devijver

£¥€$ by Ontroerend Goed (c) Michiel Devijver

Following the huge success of the four previous seasons at Summerhall which have included the award-winning Us/ThemOne Hundred Homes and The Great Downhill Journey of Little TommyBIG IN BELGIUM producers Big in Belgium, Richard Jordan Productions and Theatre Royal Plymouth are celebrating a fifth year at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and Ontroerend Goed today winning a Fringe First for £¥€$ (LIES).

Each of the shows in this season featuring some of the most significant theatre companies from the Flemish part of Belgium have previously been very successful on the European mainland and are now presented for the first time to Edinburgh audiences, some translated and adapted, ready for breaking new grounds in English-speaking territories.

This year BIG IN BELGIUM is also presenting four of its productions within a brand new theatre space adapted for them within Summerhall in association with RBC/Upper-Church.

 Richard Jordan, the UK based Producer of Big in Belgium said, ‘Over the past five years Big In Belgiumhas secured an important position on the Edinburgh Fringe affording audiences the chance to discover some of Belgium’s most exciting theatre artists and productions.  For the artists and companies taking part there is the opportunity to gain a valuable international audience for their work by appearing at the world’s largest arts festival, often leading to further local and international touring and co-productions.  When my colleague David Bauwens and I started Big in Belgium five years ago we had no idea of what would happen in the UK with Brexit.  The season has become an example of the vital role the arts is paying within the country’s current climate, where such sharing if ideas and community has never been more important.’

 Simon Stokes, Artistic Director of the Theatre Royal Plymouth said, ‘The Big in Belgium season allows us to meet and collaborate with key Belgian artist and companies – Belgium being a particularly insightful and challenging artistic leader just now across all the arts disciplines.  It provides a refreshing opportunity to hear a variety of new voices reflecting European traits, styles and concerns.’

Old boyfriend photos, emails, texts, audio recordings and poetry. Struggling with her love life, Julie Cafmeyer experiences orgasms, despair, rejection and heaven. In an intimate setting, and with you the audience, she strives to create a genuine connection. A show that is both vulnerable yet utterly fearless, giving an insight into the heartaches that we all share. More than just another coming of age story, Bombastic Declaration of Love redefines what theatre can be as we are taken along on a journey to find out what it is that we all define as love.

Can art really save the world? Belgian theatre-maker and performer Enkidu Khaled’s award-winning show Working Method is a unique form of creative interaction. His audience is complicit inanalysing and simplifying the complex process of making theatre through artistic expression and reflection. A workshop and a performance all in one, Enkidu combines participatory actions with his own history, emphasizing the power of imagination and during the performance, analyses and simplifies the complex process of making theatre.

Three years ago, Suzanne Grotenhuis won a prize at the Belgian Theatre Festival with her first solo show. The money was meant to be spent on making a new show but realising she couldn’t afford this, bought a plastic ice skating rink and a pair of white figure skates with the money instead.

On Ice tells the story of why a young theater performer decides to buy an ice-skating rink. Why the ice skating rink somehow forms the solutions to a broken heart.

Its a story of loneliness, of bravery, and of complete absurdity.

Multiple Fringe-First winners Ontroerend Goed invite you to get under the skin of the well-to-do, the 1%, the super-rich, the ones who pull the strings, the faces we never get to see when they return to the Fringe with their latest production, £¥€$ (LIES).

For one night, you can take their chairs. You call the shots. You’re in the centre of our economic system.  You shape the course.

And who knows, you might make the world a better place, more fair, more responsible,

because you’ll do things differently, for sure.

 Mireille & Mathieu unpack their paraphernalia at a flea-market. The objects and toys they pick up turn out to be bursting with stories. These little scenes, sometimes gentle and poetic, but more often cruel and comical, follow each other in quick succession. ARM is an introduction to Flemish humour: uncomplicated, excessive, nuts, and surreal – a performance bursting with delightful absurdities, original finds and hilarious scenes about love, violence and playing in its broadest meaning.

 Timeau De Keyser, Hans Mortelmans and Simon De Winne – together known as Tibaldus are one of Belgian’s most exciting and innovative young theatre companies, producing work that is fierce, surprising and thrilling. They have joined with five other actors and dancers to create a bold and radical contemporary reworking of Witold Gombrowicz’s (‘The Shakespeare of Poland’) ground-breaking masterpiece Ivona, Princess of Burgundia the story of a royal family and its household which loses its grip when Prince Filip suddenly becomes engaged to Ivona.

Julie Cafmeyer – Bombastic Declaration of Love

Enkidu Khaled – Working Method

Suzanne Grotenhuis – On Ice

Ontroerend Goed – £¥€$ (LIES)

Mireille and Mathieu – Arm

Tibaldus – Ivona, Princess of Burgundia


Venue:                                                Summerhall, Summerhall Place, EH9 1PL

Julie Cafmeyer

Bombastic Declaration of Love      4 – 27 August at 10.30 (11.30)

(not 7, 14, 21, 28 August)

 Enkidyu Khaled

Working Method                               4 – 13 August at 15.45 (17.00)

(not 7 August)

 Suzanne Grotenhuis

On Ice                                                 4 – 27 August at 14.30 (15.45)

(not 7, 14, 21, 28 August)

Ontroerend Goed

£¥€$ (LIES)                                        4 – 27 August at 18.30 (20:00) and 20.30 (22.00)

(not 7, 14, 21, 28 August)

Mireille and Mathieu

Arm                                                     4 – 27 August at 16.25 (17.15)

(not 7, 14, 21, 28 August)


Ivona, Princess of Burgundia         15 – 27 August at 15.45 (17.20)

(not 17 August)

Box Office:                                        0845 874 3001




The Naked 80s George Square Gardens – Spiegeltent Palais Du Variété 3-16 August

The Naked 80s: a brand new show by The Magnets
The Naked 80s: a brand new show by The Magnets

The Naked 80s: a brand new show by The Magnets

A cappella sextet and vocal harmony super-group The Magnets has returned to the Fringe in 2017 with the premiere of a brand-new show: The Naked 80s. The first themed show for the six-man sound machine, The Naked 80s is the ultimate 80s mix tape from The Magnets, who will be honouring the decade of synths, big snares and even bigger hair with just their voices alone.

Like Pitch Perfect with shoulder-pads, this fast-paced, shape-shifting nostalgia-fest motors from Madness to Michael Jackson, Toto to Tina Turner as The Magnets revisit the music that inspired them. Audiences can revel in all-vocal revivals of classics such as ‘Careless Whisper, ‘Eye of the Tiger’ and ‘Push It’, as they’ve never heard them before. Expect gobsmacking beatboxing, vocal gymnastics, and heaven-sent harmonies demonstrating the sheer versatility of a cappella performance, effortlessly switching scene with inventive choreography and lashings of audience- engaging charm.

The Magnets are a must-see act on the international circuit with a reputation for outstanding festival appearances from the Adelaide Fringe to Glastonbury. The group has performed more than a decade of hit Edinburgh shows, and are celebrating their 22nd anniversary this year. 2017 Fringe performers include sensational beatboxer and UK loop-station champion Hobbit (Beatbox Collective), Duncan Sandilands on bass, high tenors Michael Conway (Jersey Boys) and Damion Scarcella (Flying Pickets), with Matthew McCabe (Gobsmacked!) and the lone Scottish Magnet, Callum McIntosh (from Montrose) singing in the mid-range.

A cappella was hugely popular in the 1980s, with The Flying Pickets, The Housemartins and Bobby McFerrin topping the charts with all-vocal hits. The genre is once again in the spotlight thanks to movies such as Pitch Perfect and spin-off BBC show Pitch Battle, the success of US chart-toppers Pentatonix, and any number of viral a cappella YouTube clips. Consistently one of the biggest selling music acts at Edinburgh Fringe, the success of The Magnets has helped to inspire a new generation of a cappella groups to perform at the Festival, which is now unofficially one of the largest a cappella festivals in the world.

Touring internationally throughout the year, The Magnets have recently returned from tours of China and Australia. They are regularly featured on TV and radio, with appearances on Comic Relief, BBC Radio 1 & 2, MTV, and the popular TMobile ‘Welcome Back’ advertisement, as an a cappella flashmob. The band has supported artists such as Blondie, Bryan Adams and Tom Jones and performed private shows for heads of state, supermodels and royalty, including the Queen, Elle Macpherson, Sir Tim Rice and Sir Ian McKellen.

“All thriller, no filler!” ★★★★★ Adelaide Advertiser

“A sonic phenomenon you have to see and hear to believe” ★★★★ The Guardian

“…a cappella singing straight from the gods… The Magnets are the epitome of cool” ★★★★ Edinburgh Evening News

Web: Web: Twitter: @themagnets

The Revlon Girl comes to Park Theatre following acclaimed run at Edinburgh Festival

The Revlon Girl
The Revlon Girl

The Revlon Girl

Following a critically acclaimed and sell-out tour across Wales last year, The Revlon Girl will come to PARK90 in September after a run at the Edinburgh Festival which is supported by The Arts Council of Wales. Written by composer and writer Neil Anthony Docking, The Revlon Girl is a poignant, heart-breaking and tender new play which explores a terrible episode in Welsh history and tells a story of amazing courage, hope and humour.

Set eight months following the death of 116 children during the Aberfan Disaster of 1966, The Revlon Girl tells the real life story of a group of bereaved mothers who met every week above a local hotel to talk, cry and even laugh without feeling guilty.

At one of their meetings, the women confided how much they felt they’d forgotten about themselves but were too afraid of being judged frivolous to do anything about it. So together they arranged – secretly – for a representative from Revlon to come along one night and give them all a talk on beauty tips.

The Revlon Girl is directed by Maxine Evans, with set design by Eleri Lloyd; lighting design by Chris Barrett and special technical effects by Dan Travers.

Charlotte Gray plays Sian. Her theatre credits include: The Light of Heart, Under Milk Wood, Alan Aykbourn’s Season’s Greetings, A Small Family Business, Taking Steps, A Child’s Christmas in Wales, Pygmalion, The Suicide, An Inspector Calls, The Hub and A Write to Rock (for Theatre Clwyd, Cymru), The Gut Girls, Never Fear Love? (Velvet Ensemble) along with A Red Threatening Sky (Foolish People), A Night on the Tiles (Grassroots Productions), The Tree and The One Sea(Atomic 80 Productions Assembly Rooms). Television credits include: Alys (series regular 1&2), Caerdydd, Afel Druig (S4C) and Stella (Tidy Productions).

Antonia Kinlay plays Revlon. She is currently filming Career of Evil for HBO/BBC. Theatre credits include The Suicide(National Theatre); A History Of Falling Things (New Vic Theatre); Bad Jews (Theatre Royal Bath); Molière (National Theatre Studio/Finborough); The Eternal Not (National Theatre); Arden Of Faversham (The Globe); When Did You Last See My Mother? (Trafalgar Studios); Lady Anna: All At Sea (Park Theatre); The Three Lions (St James Theatre); Arms And The Man (Theatre Clwyd); Mr Whatnot (Northampton Royal Theatre); As You Like It (Theatre Clwyd); Carrot (Theatre 503). Film & Television Credits include: Emmerdale; Mi High; Consuming Passion; Doctors and Broadside.

Michelle McTernan plays Marilyn. Michelle provides the voice of ‘Nib’ in the animation series Bobinogs (BBC). Theatre Credits: The Three Night Blitz, (Joio Productions/ Swansea Grand); Macbeth, Merchant Of Venice, Buoy, Fall Out 84(Pontardawe Arts Centre); Barren (October Sixty Six Productions); Bara Bread (Theatr Gwalia) Granny Annie, Trivial Pursuits, Erogenous Zones, (Grassroots); Flesh And Blood (Sherman/Hampstead Theatres); The Oystercatchers (Swansea Grand/Sherman Theatre); Blue Remembered Hills (Torch), Under Milk Wood, Rosencrantz And Guildenstern Are Dead(Clwyd Theatr Cymru); Twelfth Night, Cymbeline, The Merchant Of Venice (Ludlow Festival). Television & Film: Stella (Tidy/Sky1 HD); Rain (Tornado Films); The Healers (Pooka Films); Midnight (Nowhere Fast); Dr Terrible’s House of Horrible, Tales from Pleasure Beach (BBC); Light in the City (BBC Wales) and the feature film Very Annie Mary (Dragon Pictures).

Bethan Thomas plays Rona. Credits include Channel 4’s Hollyoaks, Linda in the West End production of Blood Brothers, Kitty in Charley’s Aunt (Ian Dickens Productions); Beyond Therapy, Mother Courage, Under Milk Wood, Merchant of Venice, Comedy of Errors, Midsummer’s Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night as well as the Duchess in The Duchess of Malfi. Bethan’s film credits include Be All And End All, Sawn off Santa, Don’t Walk, Hermit, Love Me Love My Dog, The Harmion Tale and, for the BBC, Dear Nobody.

Zoë Harrison plays Jean. Zoë trained at Guildford School of Acting and her theatre credits include The Sound of Music (London Palladium), The Circle (Oxford Stage Company), What a Wonderful World (Lyngo Theatre Company) and Blondel (Pleasance, London). She co-wrote and co-starred in BBC Radio 4 comedy series Jason Cook’s School of Hard Knocks. TV and film credits include EastEnders, Two Doors Down, Doctors (BBC) and Neil’s Party (Twothreefive Productions. Zoë can currently be seen as Young Maria in the feature film Never Let Go on Netflix, and as Rob Brydon’s wife in the P&O cruises commercials.

Director Maxine Evans studied classical acting at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and has worked as an actor, writer, series editor and director in television, film and theatre. She directed Without a Song or a Dance (short- listed Best Director at the Cork Film Festival) Nuts & Bolts (ITV/RTS Award winner) and Rain (a Feature Film Musical also by Neil Anthony Docking) while her writing/series editor credits include Coronation Street, Crossroads and Nuts & Bolts (ITV). She continues to develop new writing for theatre (Goat Street Runners and Who’s Coat Is That Jacket?) and has recently directed a new comedy entitled Storyline. As an actor Maxine appears regularly on television- most notably in BBC’s Call The Midwife and A Song For Jenny and as the indomitable ‘Rhian’ in Sky 1’s hit comedy Stella.

Neil Anthony Docking is a British writer, composer and producer, and has worked in press, radio, film and theatre. Whilst studying music at the University of Westminster he became a columnist for The Guardian and received a BFI Animation nomination for Best Score for Psyche Engine (narrowly missing out to Nick Park’s Wallace & Gromit). His writing credits include: Station Road (BBC Radio Drama), The Throne Room (original play for radio), Bay College, Casualty (BBC), Nuts & Bolts, Crossroads, Emmerdale (ITV1) and has been shortlisted for the BBC Dennis Potter Screenwriting Award. He has written, scored and co- produced the original independent British feature film musical, Rain; written and directed TVCC(Channel 4) and most recently wrote and produced Storyline, an original comedy for online broadcast. The Revlon Girl is his first play for theatre.

Box office: 020 7870 6876*


The Revlon Girl

Venue: Park Theatre, Clifton Terrace, Finsbury Park, N4 3JP

Dates: 19 Sep – 14 Oct 2017

Press night: Wednesday 20 September

Running Time: 90 minutes

Performances: Tue – Sat Evenings 7.45pm, Thu & Sat Matinees 3.15pm

Parents & Babies: Wed 4 Oct 13.00 £15

Prices: £14.50 Previews / £18 Full / £16.50 Concessions/ £13 Child/ £10 Young Patrons
Booking: / 020 7870 6876

*10% telephone booking fee, capped at £2.50 per ticket.