The Last Waltz,

Play with Music, Quandam Theatre

Oct 30th 2008 


Four talented, experienced  comic actor-musicians on tour, all  with  hearty voices, brought a new style of theatre to Radcliffe – modern European farce, and played to a large and receptive audience. ‘The Last Waltz’ a play with music, followed the shambolic lives of its lead characters; a sparky daughter counselling her parents through a sticky marital patch and a brother with ‘unfortunate warts’, a lovelorn housewife, a ‘rail company jobsworth ‘ in love with rain and all things miserable, and the hero, a signalman on the cusp of losing his job. It may not sound like the stuff to raise a laugh, but it did – lots of it! In an atmosphere of signal bells, cross-rail point changes and rattling train sound effects, the story was peppered with songs ranging from laments and sharp satire to love ballads and lively music hall turns, accompanied by piano, flute, guitar, mandolin, ukelele, wash-board, tea-chest bass, violin and more; all players showed inexhaustable musical skills!  The audience responded with loud laughter, the occasional sigh and giggle, clapping, stamping and whilstling for more.  Another  great RadVentures night out for all!

(A Village Ventures event)  

They were excellent – and they certainly do their homework! How did they know about the lingerie shop and the whipping post?’
Audience Comments
‘I liked the cartoon man, he was really clever. I draw cartoons in school.’
Audience Comments
‘If they’re all like that in Barnsley maybe we should be twinned with them!’
Audience Comments

Ian McMillan  & Tony Husband

May 23rd 2008

This was a true delight – comedy, humour and fun, combining pithy poems from Ian McMillan, Barnsley’s laureate and ‘observer of life’ joining forces with 10-times cartoonist-of-the-year Tony Husband.  Everyone was laughing and enjoying being daft, and the cartoons kept coming at lightning speed.  The audience ended up with an illustrated musical saga of what ‘might ‘have happened one night at Grange Hall at dead of night – involving a TV star fox in stripey socks and corset, owl-hoooooting, the ancient whipping post in use again, strange apparitions hiding behind curtains and a ‘trolley of doom’ gliding back and forth which frightened nobody!  So massively enjoyable was the evening that nobody wanted to leave; the atmosphere was wonderfully warm and friendly, and the entertainers said it was definitely one of their best gigs.  The  140+ RadVentures  audience was  given top marks for enthusiasm, participation – and really bad singing!!!                                                                                                                                (A Village Ventures event) 

“Wonderful and moving. A great night out and we’re only ten minutes walk from home”
Audience Comments
“Bloody marvellous, don’t know whether to sing or cry-best not do either”
Audience Comments
“One of your best events-how do you get so many good people coming to Radcliffe?”
“I wasn’t expecting to go on a night out and go home crying… good though!”
“That music was amazing-couldn’t believe it was just a piano, fiddle and trumpet”
“Let’s have more musicals…”

The Arcadians Quartet


The event was a huge hit and a total sell-out: we could have filled the hall twice over.

The Arcadians musicianship was breathtaking, the atmosphere wonderfully warm, funny, charming, witty and entertaining, and we learned a lot about the history of jazz from the 1920s and 30s and its roots in Folk, Blues and beyond. The jazz guitarists, two of the best in the country, were particularly outstanding.   (A Village Ventures event) 

“The pedal steel guitarist was out of this world”

Audience Comments
“I had no time for Country music until I heard Magic Car”
Audience Comments