An enthusiastic audience, which included several college students and local school pupils, enjoyed this truly original Shakespeare production! Two gifted and energetic actors played 15 different roles between them; amorous suitors, sullen maidens, depressed servants, and a dog! With minimal props, considerable charm, humour and great physicality, audience members were themselves drawn into the Bard’s convoluted tale, much to their fellow spectators’ delight. Yet another RadVentures night to remember.
(A Village Ventures event)
‘Fantastic! Totally different from any other music event we’ve been to’
‘Send me to Istambul and show me how to dance’ – the belly is willing!’
‘The ‘Oud’ was really lovely to listen to’
‘I think I’m a world music fan …. after tonight’
8th May 2009
The four virtuoso musicians that make up ‘El Andaluz’ played to a packed Grange Hall on a balmy Friday night. Attab Haddad with his 12-string Iraqi ‘Oud’ (the original Lute that gave birth to the guitar); Karim Dellali, master of the ‘Tambor’ drum, Hamid Bouri, bassist, and Frank Biddulph, violin took their audience on an exotic musical magic carpet ride. Their distinctive repetoire both charmed and excited the audience. The band played melodies, many with centuries-old roots, from Southern Spain to Turkey, to Egypt, on to the Sahara, to Algeria and back again. Their repetoire included exotic Andalusian Nuba’s, mystical desert chants, chaabi celebration music, and irresistible belly dance numbers. And … an unexpected break-out of real, live belly dancing from a group of sinuous ladies in the audience, eager to show off their skills, added to the atmosphere. The applause was deafening and the encores exuberant; a great RadVentures night out for all.
(A Village Ventures event)
‘Haven’t seen anything quite like it – good! Something new for Radcliffe again – aren’t we lucky’
‘Really enjoyed the second half. Ithink we weren’t sure how much we were supposed to join in. Fun though’
‘Great night- I shed a tear or two.’
‘It was good to see more young people coming along to these RadVentures events.’
The Singing Sous Chefs:
… a capella song meets alternative cabaret
22nd January 2009
A trio of highly individual entertainers took a receptive audience through space and time’right up to present-day! President Obama joined Ramases and Captain Scott in a quirky interpetation of high points and curious events in history – liberally sprinkled with splendidly tuneful a capella singing, amusing ‘cod’ acting and three-part ‘harmonic’audience participation …. this Grange Hall Radcliffe community lah’lah and oooh oooh’ing was of undeniably poor quality – but at least everyone had a go!!! (a Village Ventures event)
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?’
‘I liked the cartoon man, he was really clever. I draw cartoons in school.’
‘If they’re all like that in Barnsley maybe we should be twinned with them!’
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”
“Bloody marvellous, don’t know whether to sing or cry-best not do either”
“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”
“I had no time for Country music until I heard Magic Car”
Melvyn Bragg and Howard Goodall’s award-winning musical, on national tour again, thrilled a capacity audience at Grange Hall. The New Perspectives Theatre Company production was excellent, with great set design, lighting, splendid costuming, wonderful music, sturdy singing, acting, and foot stomping dance numbers.
It followed a story spanning two generations of a farming and mining family during the early years of the 20th century. Honest, emotional, fiercely passionate and funny, it offered something for everyone in the packed hall. (A Village Ventures event)
We’ve never been to see a ballet before but we’ll go again if it comes back to Radcliffe. Always thought it was a bit too poncey for me.”
“I always like to watch ballet on the telly but it was totally different being there.”
“Just shows you that the word ‘ballet’ works for more people than you think. A great idea. You’ll be putting on the ‘small symphony orchestra’ next I suppose at this rate”
Magic Car Americana band
July 20th 2007
Magic Car’s great vocalist held together a band that covered a range of country styles and built an intimate atmosphere.
‘What a fantastic night, and that chap on the Kora was magnificent”
“If this is world music, I’m a convert – at 73”
The Small Ballet, REVIEW
Thursday April 26th 2007
Six ‘Small Ballet’ dancers hot from Netherlands State Ballet, Cuban Ballet and other major companies entertained a near-capacity audience at Grange Hall. They performed a varied programme on a specially designed performance ‘mat’ supported by professional sound and excellent lighting.
The five different dance ‘sets’ ranged from an update of the ballet favourite ‘Harlequin & Columbine’ to warm, sensual Cuban rhythms, featuring Ramon Diaz, who trained in Havana, and whose British fan base grew considerably following his Radcliffe performance – a wonderful, beautifully controlled dancer.
Audience feedback confirmed that whilst some of the music score was ‘challenging’ the quality of movement, creativity, costuming, outstanding strength, artistic dance skills displayed and ensemble work won the audience over completely. (A Village Ventures event)
“Interesting idea, made me think about asylum seekers differently”
“Good set – I laughed a bit – thought it was a bit gloomy for a comedy”
World Music – Seckou Keita Combo
Thursday February 15th 2007
One of the most popular events hosted by RadVentures, Seckou Keita wove together the best of Afro-Mandinka soul music, drawing musicians from Senegal, Italy, Egypt and The Gambia. The atmosphere was joyous. Young, middle-aged and older audience members were delighted by novel sounds, and youngsters danced happily through the bistro tables conga-style. Another sell-out event, the band, which is on international tour with a string of successful CDs to their name, has kept in touch with RadVentures.
They tell us that Radcliffe was one of their best UK gigs. See Seckou Keita site:www.seckoukeita.com (A Village Ventures event)
A new piece of writing by a local playwright, the play was a comedy about war, displacement, asylum and compost heaps. The theatre company played at the Edinburgh Fringe before coming to Radcliffe. (A Village Ventures event)
Nimbus with Karen Tweed
The best of European and traditional English folk music. (A Village Ventures event)
The Kremlinaires Russian Big Band Cabaret
The Kremlinaires, the ‘Commissars of Cool ‘and world leaders in Soviet Swing and Bolshevik Boogie kept a good size audience hugely entertained. Led by Chris Haigh on the fiddle, the band was his most recent, ambitious and completely inexplicable venture to date!
The seven-piece Soviet Swing Band mixed Russian Folk with 40s Swing. The audience wasn’t quite sure what to expect as they seemed hard to categorise, but the combination of humour, theatrics and excellent songs won them over. As well as Chris’s fiddling,there were combinations of vocals, accordion, guitar, clarinet, sax, drums piano and bass.
The band has appeared everywhere; from village halls to jazz fests and private parties. (A Village Ventures event)
Shifting Sands Theatre Company