It never ceases to amaze me how events of the past can still have the capacity to strike a chord with us today. The subject matter of Oldham Coliseum’s current production of Bread & Roses should hardly resonate with the good folk in this part of the world. After all it concerns events surrounding the mill-workers strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts, USA in 1912. Yet, despite the happenings occurring over a 100 years ago, the lessons from those times are as relevant today as they were back then.
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.