London bound play at Ropery Hall

Barton upon Humber based Duckegg Theatre Company is staging a new play at the town’s Ropery Hall on Friday, September 28 in readiness for a short run at London’s Pleasance Theatre and a northern tour next year.

The play Aid Memoir by Dr Glenda Cooper draws on the writer’s extensive experience as a former BBC and national newspaper journalist.

“The point of the play is not to excoriate aid workers or journalists – most of whom do their best when covering these stories – but to challenge us, the public about our attitudes to aid,” she said.  “The fact remains that we give more money to disasters that are easy to understand, have a well-known celebrity or a photogenic picture – too easily dismiss who we think is unworthy. So next time you watch a disaster unfold on screen – as it is currently in South Sudan, Syria or Colombia – ask yourself what if that crisis was in Southend, Sunderland or Croydon? Would we see a difference?”

Produced by Barton educated Haley Muralee, of Duckegg Theatre Company, Aid Memoir takes a suitably Northern slant, but its a message that will resonate across the country.

As Haley explained:  “The play really spoke to us, not only in terms of it being set near us in Cleethorpes, but also in terms of what the feeling is in our community post-Brexit. The young people in our youth theatre strongly feel there is a generational divide in terms of the feeling towards immigration in the area, and this is something they wanted to tackle head on through their arts work. The cast features

two professional actors working alongside four members of the youth theatre, as well as a member of the youth theatre assistant directing the production.”

Duckegg Theatre Company which has a base at The Ropewalk is dedicated to the creation and touring of new writing with young people at its heart. Its  most recent production achievements include “Leave Hitler to Me, Lad” (UK Tour and West End), Peter Pan (UK Tour) and The Safe Zone (Northern Tour).

Its education department – the Acting School – is a thriving community of more than 500 young people from across Yorkshire and the Humber taking part in regular theatre classes, professional productions, LAMDA examinations, the Arts Award and projects.

This play looks at the patronising attitudes taken to those who have found themselves in humanitarian crisis. Are some disasters more ‘worthy’ than others?

It starts at 7.30pm and tickets cost £8 and concessions £6.  Advance tickets can be bought online at www.roperyhall.co.uk, in person from The Ropewalk’s Craft Gallery or by calling 01652 660380.

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New programme at Ropery Hall

The new season at Barton upon Humber’s Ropery Hall gets underway early next month with the return of the 3hattrio playing the distinctive sounds of  American Desert Music.

The gig, on Thursday, September 5, heralds the start of four months of non-stop music, comedy, theatre and film at the Maltkiln Road venue.

Included in the programme are old favourites such as Snake Davis, playing with his band in September and then returning on the last Sunday from September to November with invited guests as well as playing out 2019 with his band Alligator Shoes.

Other highlights include comedy in the form of Angela Barnes with her sell-out Edinburgh Fringe Show, Rose-Tinted and Tom Binns and his alter-ego Ivan Brackenbury as well as the Barnstormers Comedy Club.

Hue and Cry will be touching down at Ropery Hall in October as part of the group’s 30th anniversary celebrations while the Budapest Café Orchestra will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in November.

There’s a strong representation of theatre too and one production, 12 Silk Handkerchiefs, Songs & Storytelling, is particularly close to home as Reg Meuross’s moving work of social and political history, inspired by Brian W. Lavery’s book The Headscarf Revolutionaries, opens a window on Hull’s Hessle Road fishing community and fighting fishwife Lillian Billoca’s successful campaign for improved trawler safety in the aftermath of the 1968 Triple Trawler Disaster.  Reg’s powerful songs are interwoven with narration from Brian W. Lavery and rare archive footage from the time the ships went down.

As well as Night Terrors with Gerard Logan, based on the spine-tingling tales of the supernatural from E.F. Benson’s brilliant collection of ghost stories, and Shackleton’s Carpenter telling the tale of the ill-fated voyage by the explorer to Antarctica, Robert Ross, comedy historian, will be saluting perennial Christmas treats in an affectionate celebration.  Expect Laurel and Hardy, The Two Ronnies, Morecambe and Wise and more!

There’s also monthly quiz nights and a film programme of matinees and evening screenings.

For all of the autumn programme go to www.roperyhall.co.uk

By janetuplin |

John Otway and the Big Band 

From the age of 9, John Otway knew he wanted to be a pop star but had to wait until 1977 and the rise of punk before his dream of fame and fortune would finally become a reality. Having caught the eye of the producers of the BBC’s Old Grey Whistle Test, Otway’s performance on that show would grab the attention of the watching audience. Otway, ever the showman, decided to jump on to the amplifier of his colleague during a performance of Bob Lind’s Cheryl’s Going Home. (Un)fortunately for Otway, he misjudged his leap and sent Wild Willy Barrett’s amplifier tumbling as he crashed down straddling the box under the amp.

Sales of Otway’s sixth single, the half-spoken love song Really Free increased dramatically and reached number 27 in the UK Singles Chart. An appearance on the BBC’s flagship music programme Top of the Pops, where Otway & Barrett were introduced by Elton John later, Otway was finally a star. It would however, be his greatest success for some time.

Despite numerous attempts to get back into the charts, Otway would have to wait 25 years for his next taste of chart success. In 2002, Otway achieved what he desired the most – a second hit. A concerted publicity campaign saw Otway reach number 9 with the disco pastiche Bunsen Burner and a second appearance on Top of the Pops.

To celebrate his 60th birthday in 2012, Otway produced his debut movie titled Otway the Movie: The Story of Rock n Roll’s Greatest Failure that was voted the 2nd best film of the year in a poll of its readers conducted by The Guardian newspaper.

Following a successful Kickstarter campaign, Otway took his band to the Caribbean island of Montserrat to record a new album, Montserrat. The album would be the first to be recorded on the island by an international artist since The Rolling Stones recorded Steel Wheels in 1989. Produced by Grammy-award winner Chris Birkett and recorded at Olveston House – the former home of Sir George Martin, it was released to critical acclaim in May 2017.

By richardhatfield |

Snake Davis and his Alligator Shoes

A big nine piece brassy, saxy and soulful band playing music that grabs your heart and moves your feet.

The original, first and never forgotten ‘60s soul band formed by Snake, with Dave Bowie and Mark Creswell back in 1979 in Leeds, rises from the ashes playing Motown, Stax, Atlantic, Junior Walker, Otis Redding…

From Curtis Mayfield’s ‘Move on Up’ through Smokey’s ‘Tears of a Clown’ to Sam and Dave’s ‘Hold on I’m coming’ and Yvonne Elliman’s ‘Stay with me Baby’. Dance-floor-fillers, classic songs, played with commitment passion and love. 

PUT ON YOUR DANCING SHOES

THIS IS A STANDING GIG

By richardhatfield |

Catfish Keith   

Cutting-edge blues singer, songwriter and bottleneck slide guitarist Catfish Keith has established himself as one of the most exciting country blues performers of our time. Catfish’s innovative style of foot-stomping, deep delta blues and American roots music has spellbound audiences the world over.  He has reinvented the guitar with great power and artistry, and brings a rare beauty and vitality to his music.

A three-time Blues Music award nominee for ‘Best Acoustic Blues Album’, both Catfish’s Honey Hole and Mississippi River Blues albums were considered for three Grammy nominations. Catfish has 17 chart-topping albums to his credit, and packs houses all over the world with his dynamic stage shows. A 2008 inductee into the Iowa Blues Hall of Fame, the 40 year veteran has performed thousands of gigs, toured the USA, UK and Europe, headlined major music festivals, and appeared with legends John Lee Hooker, Ray Charles, Robert Cray, Koko Taylor, Taj Mahal, Leo Kottke, Jessie Mae Hemphill, Johnny Shines and many others.

Handing down the tradition, Catfish continues his lifelong journey as one of the brightest lights in acoustic blues and roots music.

“Catfish lays down a foot-stomping groove…one of the most exciting guitarists of any genre”  Acoustic Guitar

By richardhatfield |

12 Silk Handkerchiefs

Reg Meuross Presents 12 Silk Handkerchiefs, Songs & Storytelling

Reg Meuross’s moving work of social and political history, inspired by Brian W. Lavery’s book The Headscarf Revolutionaries, opens a window on Hull’s Hessle Road fishing community and fighting fishwife Lillian Billoca’s successful campaign for improved trawler safety in the aftermath of the 1968 Triple Trawler Disaster.

Joined on stage by Hull musicians Mick McGarry and Sam Martyn, Reg’s powerful songs are interwoven with narration from Brian W. Lavery and rare archive footage from the time the ships went down.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England

“Meuross has achieved something rare and important… and he has done so with great sincerity and emotional depth.” Folk Radio UK

“Powerful and moving songwriting” The Telegraph

By richardhatfield |

Angela Barnes

Angela Barnes: Rose-Tinted

Following another sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe, Angela Barnes (Live at the Apollo, Mock The Week, BBC 2’s Insert Name Here, BBC R4’s The News Quiz and host of The Comedy Club and Newsjack on BBC R4Extra) is back with her brand new show Rose-Tinted. With stand up and stories, Angela is trying, really trying, to look on the bright side of life.

“Feels like a sure-fire bet the instant she utters her opening lines.” The Scotsman,

“She’s just a gloriously down-to-earth, straight talking and extremely funny comic” The Guardian

“The pace is fast, the material strong and the delivery perfect” Chortle

By richardhatfield |