‘Punching The Sky’ Writer/Director.
A brand new play…
In collaboration with *Little Mighty, Leeds; Arcus Studios, Gateshead; Rich Huxley and James Hamilton; Live Theatre, Newcastle, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Leeds and The Lowry, Salford
Some of you may know that I wrote an article for the Culture Vulture website about my young son coming to me having watched some brutal porn and then the media went a ‘bit bananas’. I was in The Independent, the Today Programme, invited to Westminster and onto Newsnight (to name but a few), where I discussed the issues surrounding the accessibility of extreme porn and the way we as ‘grown ups’ deal with this. Punching The Sky was inspired by this experience and examines a personal, national and global reaction to one boy’s admission to his mother.
I am working in collaboration with Newcastle-based Arcus Studios, award winning musicians and composers Rich Huxley and James Hamilton, and 2 performers Dan McCann and Rob Ward, to develop and produce Punching The Sky for an Autumn Northern Tour. Leeds-based Little Mighty are producing.
*Dick Bonham from Little Mighty recently wrote this for the Guardian. It’s worth a look.
ARTISTIC DIRECTOR: CITY VARIETIES YOUTH THEATRE COMPANY, LEEDS.
The City Varieties Youth Theatre Company is for young people aged 8-21 yrs and focuses on developing new performance skills from Variety and Musicals to Contemporary Theatre Practice. The Company is divided into four classes and participants take part in weekly workshops and come together to perform in two full scale musical productions a year at the Music Hall and other historic performance venues in Leeds.
Alice in the News by Charles Way (produced by our 8-10′s).
April 8th, City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds.
Original music by Rich Huxley, Set design and construction by Leeds Art College students.
Kaspar the Wild by Tim Crouch
produced by our Tuesday 11-15′s: July 19th 2014, 7pm.
A scruffy, silent boy is found wandering the streets of the big city. The authorities, at a loss, send him to a sleepy small-town school to start a new life. Kaspar struggles to find his voice as deep seated prejudices are unearthed and tolerance pushed to its limits as school staff and pupils chatter noisily around him, unsure how to handle this delinquent disaster so rudely dropped into their midst.
The City Varieties Youth Theatre Company presents an updated and extended version of this deeply moving, darkly comical ensemble tale, inspired by Kaspar Hauser.
“Crouch’s plays make up one of the most important bodies of English-language playwriting to have emerged so far in the twenty-first century”…
Stephen Bottoms, Professor of Contemporary Theatre & Performance at the University of Manchester
Adults £9.50, Children £7
Family ticket £28 (2 adults + 2 children or 1 adult + 3 children)
Peter Pan the Musical Adapted by Piers Chater Robinson:
Produced by our Saturday 11-15′s and 16+.
July 25th and 26th 2014, City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds.
Musical Director: Rich Huxley, Designer: Scott Thompson, Choreography: Emma Stead and Dawn Holgate.
Set to music, with raw stage combat and beautiful choreography, you’ll find yourself swept away by the classic tale, finding some unique twists and turns along the way. Meet Shadow Wendy and Shadow Peter as they dance what cannot be uttered. immerse yourself in the world of inept pirates, cheeky Lost Boys and fearsom Warriors. prepare to be ‘Hooked’ from the start.
This is Peter Pan as you will never have seen it.
Adults £9.50, Children £7
Family ticket £28 (2 adults + 2 children or 1 adult + 3 children)
Little Shop of Horrors and Summer Snowball 2013
by The City Varieties Youth Theatre, City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds, 26th and 27th July.
Our two Summer shows 2013 went off a treat. The performers and audience were delighted with each other and everyone went off for the summer hols exhausted but happy. Hope & Social were our wonderful pit band and long may THAT relationship continue. I spent 2 weeks in Umbria singing Skid Row.
We are currently recruiting and you can find out information about the City Varieties Youth Theatre here.
PREVIOUS SHOWS: …
VALENTINE. DEC 2012
A beautifully haunting ghost story for Christmas, this brand new show was created and written by the Company. Following a doomed love affair through a hundred years of history, from a turn-of-the-century Music Hall through a live 1940s radio show and beyond, it provided an evening of gentle chills and astounding adventures. Featuring stirring music, stunning puppetry, and a sinister ventriloquist’s dummy, the company stayed within the best traditions of Victorian fireside tales – with a uniquely contemporary twist.
RETURN TO THE FORBIDDEN PLANET. JULY 2012
Our most recent production, Return to the Forbidden Planet was a sell out success, bringing all 70 members together at the very beautiful City Varieties Music Hall Theatre in Swan Lane. The response from parents and public alike was overwhelming.
For further information please contact: email@example.com, telephone 0113 2977043 or go to the City Varieties website.
“All three of the Directors’ creativity, positivity and enthusiasm is infectious and this is evident in the way the group responded to them tonight.”
“I really just wanted to say a massive thank you to the whole team for the showcase tonight, we have been totally blown away by the level of professionalism and it surpassed all of our expectations for a first showcase from a brand new group. It really feels like everyone is having an amazing, fun time and learning a craft without even realising it”
“We are so excited about the July performance and can’t wait to see what the future holds for this super talented group!”
GUEST DIRECTOR/WRITER: CARRIAGEWORKS THEATRE ACADEMY, LEEDS.
Bubble by the Carriageworks Theatre Academy, Carriageworks Main Theatre, Leeds, 27th July.
Bubble also went off fantastically well. I was proud as punch of what was, essentially, a bit of an experiment when it comes to Youth Theatre shows. As Anthony Haddon (AD, Theatre Co Blah Blah Blah) said to me after he’d read the script ‘your mind is a strange place’ or words to that effect, I wasn’t sure how the audience would receive this piece. But I needn’t have worried. People had lots if questions and an after show discussion was chaired beautifully by co-Director Rebecca Jenkins in my absence (I was over a tthe City Varieties breaking down the Little Shop set…)
Yvette Huddleston from the Yorkshire Press wrote a fantastic and informative preview of Bubble here which sums up what it was all about. I hope it has a life after this performance – it deserves it.
“Why live in the real world when virtually everything is in the palm of your hand?”
A new show for and with the Carriageworks Theatre Academy in association with Theatre Company Blah Blah Blah.
Devised by the Academy, written by Lizi Patch and Directed by Lizi Patch and Rebecca Jenkins.
‘Bubble’ is a new play for 35 young actors which explores how our rapidly growing obsession with documenting and sharing our lives online affects our connection with the real world – and how those in power feed the obsession.
Bubble is at The Carriageworks, Leeds on July 27th 2013 at 2pm and 7.30pm
More information about the Theatre Academy HERE
Previous credits with the Academy…
Director: ‘Echoes’, January 2013
Written by Ruth Cooper with the younger Academy members for Leeds Holocaust Memorial Day
Director: LEEDS STORY in association with Leeds Museum. February 2013
Developed and written by Ruth Cooper with the older Academy members
Director/Writer: Spring 2011 Production: ‘Life Turns on A Penny’:
upstairs@thecarriageworks February 5th 2012 (matinee and evening)
(The Carriageworks Theatre Academy 10-13 years. Life Turns on A Penny)
Life Turns on A Penny looks at those moments, micro to global where everything changes in an instant.
The story follows our reluctant protagonist, Gary Rayner as he looks back over the first 45 years of his life – re-visiting key moments where he perhaps could have made a difference but chose not to. How his actions have made him the man he is today and how the pathways we all choose to take in our lives impact on those around us.
Starting with the quote ‘Last night I was a star, this morning I”m pumpkin soup’, (http://www.flickr.com/photos/tomsgardenshed/1814064055/ the group shared ideas about the twists and turns of life, about the power each and everyone of us has to impact on others lives and how, at the end of the day, you can only ever do what feels right at the time.
The show was a resounding success and garnered some fine feedback.
“Thank you so much for last nights performance.
We were all amazed, entertained and provoked!
It was wonderful to see all the cast having such fun and delivering a brilliant play”
DIRECTOR: Summer 2011 Production: ‘The Dripping Riots’:
“She always takes the dripping”“Theft is theft”
“It’s just what cooks do”
It is 1865 and Leeds servant, Eliza Stafford, is imprisoned for stealing 2 lbs of dripping from her employer, Mr Henry Chorley. Working class people in the city are outraged at the “Dripping Injustice” and we witness the good humoured protest descend into a full blown riot with tragic consequences.
Based on a true story, devised by The Carriageworks Theatre Academy, written by Ruth Cooper and directed by Lizi Patch.
The Fuse Theatre Project is aimed at young people with learning difficulties and disabilities working alongside young people from mainstream schools. I run weekly after school sessions supported by local 4Youth youth workers. The project runs in 6 areas across the county in Ryedale, Tadcaster, Richmond, Harrogate, Northallerton and at the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. I now run the Ryedale and Tadcaster groups, having started with the Northallerton and Richmond groups.
Fuse is a great opportunity for young people to meet, work together, form positive relationships and gain skills through participation in professional theatre making and performance. We work towards a public performances in May and July each year.