Some things are destined to be top draw. Take Happy Days, Samuel Beckett’s famous play that is being produced by the Royal Exchange, directed by Sarah Frankcom and starring Maxine Peake. You have all the ingredients for a recipe for success. A powerhouse theatre house, an award winning artistic director, one of the region’s premier thespians and a play by a playwright that is often celebrated.
“Have you ever read anything by Chekhov?”
It was the damning denouement given by the kind of theatregoers you’d expect to be in the audience watching a play by Chekhov at the Royal Exchange in Manchester. We’d just finished watching a tour de force from RashDash, who had co-produced along with the Royal Exchange a new version of Chekhov’s celebrated play, Three Sisters, and quite frankly it was one of the most memorable evening’s theatre that I’ve had the pleasure to watch in recent memory.
You’d be forgiven to having some trepidation in going to watch The Jungle Book at The Lowry this week. The Children’s Touring Partnership have adapted the Rudyard Kipling tale from his books for a family orientated musical. A bold move considering that there is a more famous Disney version that most people have come to love and cherish. Nonetheless, this Jungle Book version more than stands on its own two feet that appeals to all ages and has you tapping your feet to the show tunes.
We are living in changing times, where the future in this post Brexit and Trump world seems as uncertain as it has ever been. However, it is productions such as Kindertransport that shows us how relevant the past can still be in the present.