Tag Archives: Stooged Theatre

COCK by Mike Bartlett presented by Stooged Theatre Newcastle

I saw my life branching out before me like the green fig tree in the story …

I couldn’t make up my mind which of the figs I would choose. I wanted each and every one of them, but choosing one meant losing all the rest…” Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

From time to time major decisions have to be made, ones that will irrevocably change the rest of our life.  Sometimes for some lucky appealing people it can be between different potential partners and that is a perennial winning formula for dramatic tension. Who is going to be the chosen one and who is going to lose the object of love? Or lust.

COCK, written by Mick Bartlett dives into that formula with a contemporary nod to the LGBTI community of attempting to pigeonhole people according to their sexuality.

John, the only character in the play with a proper name, breaks up with his live in stockbroker male partner, M, meets female divorced teacher’s assistant, W, has fabulous heterosexual sex for the first time then decides that he wants M back but is still besotted by W and all she has to offer. Continue reading COCK by Mike Bartlett presented by Stooged Theatre Newcastle

STOOGED THEATRE PRESENTS PUNK ROCK BY SIMON STEPHENS @ CIVIC PLAYHOUSE NEWCASTLE

 

Georgia Hicks-Jones, Jerry Ray, Paul Predny, Charlotte De Wit Photo Glen Waterhouse
Georgia Hicks-Jones, Jerry Ray, Paul Predny, Charlotte De Wit Photo Glen Waterhouse

When you were at school where did you fit? Were you one of the nerds, a jock, an insecure loner, a leader, badass, bully, bullied, teachers pet or just disinterested and desperate to leave. I used to call them Tribes of the Playground – all the sets and sub sets of the weird societies that the school system throws together in an adolescent survival of the fittest.

The 7 main characters of Simon Stephen’s PUNK ROCK initially appear to represent some of the stereotypes of teenagers on the cusp of final exams and ultimate adulthood. Set in a Grammar school near Manchester in England, it could easily have followed down the path of the The Breakfast Club with a message of acceptance and understanding of difference and unlikely friendships between the brainiac, the tough natural leader, the insecure girl, the hot chick, sweet but troubled boy, the jock and the new girl. Continue reading STOOGED THEATRE PRESENTS PUNK ROCK BY SIMON STEPHENS @ CIVIC PLAYHOUSE NEWCASTLE

EQUUS @ The Civic Playhouse

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Two questions:-

1. Who has ridden a horse, bareback, smelt it, felt its muscles and sweat and looked into its large brown eyes?

2. What is “normal”?

Once our relationship with animals was integral to survival and transport and a strong connection with animals was normal. We now all hurtle around in various forms of mechanised metal boxes and cylinders, quite removed from the amazing animals that were once essential to daily life. Now an encounter with a horse, with any beast of burden really, has gone. They are quite exotic for most people and in many cases, objects of fear.

Peter Shaffer wrote EQUUS after reading a newspaper report about a 17 year old boy who blinded six horses with a hoof pick, using it to create a fictional account of what might have caused the incident and along the way explore the opposing forces of rational thought and ecstasy or passion.

Continue reading EQUUS @ The Civic Playhouse

Checklist for an Armed Robber – Stooged Theatre

Angie Diaz and Callan Purcell in Checklist for an Armed Robber - Stooged Theatre
Angie Diaz and Callan Purcell in  CHECKLIST FOR AN ARMED ROBBERY- Stooged Theatre

Terrorism – the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes. This highly emotive noun evokes strong responses in our current political climate and Stooged Theatre’s production of Vanessa Bates CHECKLIST FOR AN ARMED ROBBER resonates with the passions and desperate thinking that hurtles individuals and groups into extreme acts of aggression. What does it take to motivate individuals and groups to perform acts of terror involving innocent and unwilling victims?

Set in October 2002, the script was inspired by newspaper stories: one, known as the Nord-Orst siege, where an Islamist Chechen group took over 800 theatre patrons at the Debrovka theatre in Moscow for 3 days, demanding Russian troops leave Chechnya and end the war. The other was an attempted robbery of a single young female shop assistant in a bookshop in Newcastle. Continue reading Checklist for an Armed Robber – Stooged Theatre

THE MERCHANT OF VENICE

 Tim O'Donnell as Bassanio, Scott Eveleigh as Salanio and Glen Waterhouse as Antonio. Photo - Mat Lee
Tim O’Donnell as Bassanio, Scott Eveleigh as Salanio and Glen Waterhouse as Antonio. Photo – Mat Lee

The first recorded performance of The Merchant of Venice was 10th February 1605. The themes of racial and religious hatred, money, marriage and mercy all still reverberate as soundly today as they did in 1605.

The context has undoubtedly changed; the 17th century fission between Christianity and Judaism resonates far less today, but the cold war between two powerful men of money is as fresh and smelly as it has ever been.

STOOGED THEATRE has presented a production that breathes new life into this classic text. With a few theatrical tweaks and contemporary references, THE MERCHANT OF VENICE becomes a media savvy play about money and politics and taking down your political opponents using the law as your weapon. Random pen drops on a newspaper will supply any number of current examples to support that theme.

Continue reading THE MERCHANT OF VENICE

THE WEIR

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Whenever I see a show that involves the characters drinking alcohol I always want to join them and feel quite envious that they are having a grand ol’ time down there and I’m sitting and merely watching. It’s even worse when the set is a very fine rendition of a pub that is really the back room of Brendan’s family house on the family farm in Western Ireland, and is where a few locals meet to discuss their day.  The price of a pint and a whiskey is on the chalk board and when Jack, the local mechanic, opens the play by helping himself and putting the money in the till, I wanted to do the same. Whenever there was an offer of another round of a pint and a small one, I wanted to volunteer a shout.  Particularly when they had settled into an evening of storytelling and we were privy to it all.

Continue reading THE WEIR