A lively and enthusiastic performance from a group of six talented musicians.
She’Koyokh played and sang a rousing selection of klezmer folk music from Eastern Europe, Turkey and the Balkans.
A performance full of zest, well-received by a capacity audience. (A Village Ventures event)
New Images Second Minute
This was a tour de force for three Nottingham Playhouse actors. The drama linked a 2014 soldier working with an archivist on newly discoveredWW1 personal letters with the soldier who wrote them, a long-dead, fresh-faced young infantryman from the Sherwood Foresters regiment.
The plot developed the never changing horrors of war and the agony of those left behind. The WW1 infantryman appeared as a narrator/ghost who filling in the gaps between the reality of war and the sanitised version in letters written home.
The projected backdrop to a simple set featured childlike drawings of battle scarred landscapes, families at home and military comrades. It added to the atmosphere of bravado, terror and tragedy. Snatches from letters revealed how soldiers at the front protected their loved ones from the reality of what was happening to them and their comrades; lions led by donkeys.
The plain, cool, rigid archivist character revealed herself to be the grieving mother
of a son killed in the Bosnian war.
A moving and entertaining night to remember in the anniversary year of the start of the 1914-18 war.
This is an ambitious and original piece of multi media theatre which deals with the impact of family bereavement, as seen through the eyes of an eleven year old boy. An authentic presentation of childhood by the actors is very effectively complemented by the use of film which can more vividly bridge the gap between fantasy and reality, past and present. This is also helped by the use of vintage film footage of Astaire and Ginger Rogers.
Issues of mental health are explored by the development of fantasy arising out of the death of the loved one. Yes, it is a serious piece which works on a number of levels and appeals to both young people and adults… but it also contains many comic moments and many very familiar aspects of childhood. For example, those misinterpretations of adult language which give rise to a totally different meaning and last for a long time before being exposed. We’ve all had those haven’t we? References to Game Boy, Superheroes and Strictly Come Dancing also touch rather familiar notes of our own.
A production which leaves you thinking it over for some time, from a company which is working closely with a number of charities to give voice to their issues. (A Village Ventures event)
Having had a hard week I really was not looking forward to going out in the wind and rain on a Friday night. What a treat I would have missed if I had stayed at home. This performance was hilarious ,touching and informative. Doing a pastiche of Blind Date as the interview for a new wife for Henry was a brilliant touch. Not only was the acting and comic timing spot on but the duo were excellent musicians. Brilliant performance.(A Village Ventures event)
I thought the acting of the lead character was excellent – he really held the whole thing together – it was quite a tour de force. The sets were inventive and the team kept the pace going. My only quibble was with the structure of the play itself. Whilst we learnt a great deal about Hitchcock’s background and character through a number of dramatic episodes, each one as striking as the others, the end, when it came, felt less like a climax than just another episode and I, for one, felt slightly (but only slightly) dissatisfied. Worth seeing though. (A Village Ventures event)
“An intriguing exploration of the troubled mind of the famous film maker.”
“Superb, powerful performances from Martin Miller as Hitchcock and Deborah Kerr as both his mother and his wife.”
Bane 2 :
19th October 2013
It took a bit of getting into but once you were in – into the film noir world – it was pretty good. An American neighbour on the next table was laughing like a drain. She obviously picked up much more on the nuances than me. Anyway, I enjoyed myself. (A Village Ventures event)
“Really good. It was my first visit to a RadVentures theatre night.”
“It needs a pretty sharp actor to take on so many roles at machine-gun speed and the guitarist was excellent too.”
Francesca Millican Slater:
9th May 2013
A very special night of story-telling, off-and-on geneological research, thoughtful obsession and a tantilising tale of Miss Gibbs, the postcard sent to her in 1910, and what happened – or could have happened next! A full house at Radcliffe Hall, a new RadVentures venue, was gripped by Francesca Millican Slater’s story, her considerable theatrical talent, and the curious weaving of her imagination as her idealised Miss Gibbs grew into a larger than life character.Triumph, wrong turns, disappointment and tragedy combined to leave the audience wanting more, a distinct possibility as Francesca plans to give Miss Gibbs and family new life in future performances. (A Village Ventures event)
“A really fascinating experience and the young woman is a very persuasive and charismatic actor.”
“Got a bit mixed up with the going back and forwards in time but a lovely evening. My first one-woman show experience.”
“I’m already going through old postcards at flea markets!”
22nd March 2013
Juliette Kelly at Grange Hall gave her big audience a splendid repertoire of jazz standards and some of her own compositions, accompanied by her award-winning pianist. It was a night of glamour and a great tribute to the Divas of Jazz. (A Village Ventures event)
” Loved her voice, outfit and terrific glam dreadlocks … you don’t see them every day in Radcliffe!”
“A great voice; maybe a smaller venue would have suited the evening better.”
“Fab singing and piano. No wonder she gets good reviews.
The full house at this latest Radventures production must have been wondering how Robert Tressell’s socialist classic novel was to be transformed into a stage play and then how that drama was to be performed by a cast of two. They need not have worried. The play captured the themes of the novel and captured both the tragedy and humour of the plight of the house decorators of Mugsborough. Through adroit changing of hats, the novel’s cast of characters all had their say, the interplay between the personalities and world views of the characters being central to the drama. The cabaret style of seating enabled repartee between actors and audience. A brilliant and inspiring performance! No wonder the production has won rave reviews country-wide. (A Village Ventures Event)
8th March 2012
This trio of highly talented musicians played to a full house at the Grange Hall. They combined virtuoso performances on violin and cello with slapstick humour and some beautiful singing by the female member of the group. Their foray into audience participation during the second half of the performance went down very well and had the audience in stitches. It was an enthusiastic and energetic performance and the trio left the stage to rapturous applause.(A Village Ventures Event)
‘Us folically challenged chaps had our moment in the limelight – excellent!’
What fun, and a great start to the festive season! Tanya and Anna, aka Shoo Shoo Baby entertained a maximum audience at St. Mary’s, which turned into ‘smilesville’ within five minutes of the show. Great audience participation too. Who will forget two follically challenged gents from the floor being drawn on stage but the sultry Tanya, singing to both to the tune of ‘Lady in Red’ … ‘Man with bald head is dancing with me’. Both gents performed to order and thoroughly enjoyed themselves, raising the mirth level even higher. Both performers sang splendidly with a repetoire of standards and festive numbers, including ‘Santa Baby’ and a scary self-penned ‘Stalker’ song. A geologist in the audience had been set up to be the female stalker target and enjoyed the limelight with a healthy blush and great good humour. A great night out in a great little venue. (A Village Ventures Event)
‘Brilliant,very slick and entertaining, and accents great!’
‘We must save this first-class company’
23rd September 2011
Tartuffe lived up to every expectation and more as a hilarious and outrageous 350 year old classic had the audience at Grange Hall giggling, laughing, and charmed by the splendid performers, everyone of them bringing their multiple characters to life. The script, all in verse, was clever and flowed well and, according to an academic specialising in French literature in the audience, one of the best translations and closest to the original that she had seen.
Tartuffe, the religious imposter ‘ bad boy’ of the show, pranced and preened and drew the audience into his devilish plot to fool the wealthy merchant Orgon, to succeed in driving away the son, marry the daughter and seduce the wife. Ater twists and turns with the Company moving and miming in sequence, making full use of masks and otherdisguises to speed the plot along, the famous ‘table scene’considered by many to be the funniest comic set pieces ever written for the stage, really fired up the humour. Tartuffe, three centuries on has relevance that will continue to delight modern-day audiences. And the set and costumes were fantastic! The scandal is that Northumberland Theatre Company has lost its Arts Council Grant; after decades of success in entertaining audiences with top-quality theatre, its future is uncertain ….(A Village Ventures Event)
‘Fantastic musicians and they played music I have never heard before’
‘An unusual mix of sounds and rhythms’
15th April 2011
Three talented young women, each a classical musician trained at top music colleges in London and USA came together as an innovative string trio inspired by traditional music to enthrall the audience at the Grange Hall. The Kosmos repertoire spanned Western classical pieces to Jazz and Gypsy music. Breathtaking musicianship.(A Village Ventures Event)
‘Great singing, sharp suits!’
18th Feb 2011
Two modern day Matrio Lanzas performed some of the world’s most romantic music, in their own unique vocal arrangements. The Opera Dudes comprise a posh former Cambridge scholar and an ex-builder turned international operatic tenor. Tim Lole and Neil Allen combined their musical and vocal pedigrees with an injection of humour and charm. The audience were, in turn, tapping their feet, laughing and having their hearstrings tugged. Both were real charmers and went the extra mile to ensure we all had a great time. (A Village Ventures Event)
‘Haven’t laughed during a country and western set ever before. I think you are supposed to cry aren’t you?’
Hank Wangford & Brad Breath:
28th Jan 2011
Cabaret with Hank Wangford & Brad Breath in ‘No Hall 2 Small’; a funny and highly entertaining show from the medic of mirth and his oppo. Hank, aka Dr Sam Hutt, presented an evening which included original songs and obscure Country classics with quips, tales, with the occasional yodel and rope trick. A show top-full of toe-tappers and tear-jerkers guaranteed to raise the spirits – and create a muscle-spasm or two! (A Village Ventures Event)
‘A splendid night as usual from the RadVentures scheme. Keep it up!’
‘A great night and it just shows you that an old fashioned standard lamp is all you need to light the night when the musician/performers are as good as Brad and Hank.’
A splendid way to kick off the festive season for all the family … a real, lively, community Christmas Ceilidh. The music and dance evening featured the Five Go Off Band playing the very best of Irish/Celtic music in a cafe style environment with an area for convivial dancing, led by the bands’ ‘caller’. The Parish Council ran a pay bar with good beers and other drinks. Everyone attending was treated to a mince pie and glass of mulled wine on arrival.
‘A cracking start to the Christmas season and the Irish musicians played their socks off.’
‘It’s a good way to work up a thirst!’
‘It was good to see everyone from kids to grandparents having a good time together’
Vertigo – The Play:
21st Oct 2010
An intriguing story of obsessive love and the almost-perfect murder, presented by Oxfordshire Theatre Company on tour was quite a mesmerising theatrical experience. Set in France during WW2 before and just after the German occupation, ‘Vertigo’ told the story of Roger Flaviers, a psychiatric patient locked into a cycle of re-living the terrible events of his recent past. The players were all excellent, charming and sinister in turns, beautiful then flawed and tawdry. The flexible set transformed from sombre clinic to lovers’ hotel, and the story had a splendidly unexpected twist which delighted Radcliffe’s fans of inventive theatre and crime stories alike. (A Village Ventures Event)
‘Spectacular theatre and as good as anything you’d see in the West End.’
‘For me it was the best RadVentures event yet bar none.’
‘Totally engrossing and the actors were excellent’
14th May 2010
Six musicians and a flamenco dancer. A bewitching accoustic guitar duo, a walking double-bass, quirky fiddle, wacky percussion and sublime flute made for an evening of music to remember from this Birmingham-based combo. The menu offered warm Jazz, Gypsy, up-tempo Hot Club of Paris numbers (Django Reinhardt and Stefan Grapelli tributes a-plenty) with the ‘new’ flamenco. Smooth and sassy trumpet, flighty violin and raw energy from that favourite traditional dance of the Andalucian gypsies thrilled and excited a capacity audience. Flying, stamping feet, swirling skirts and raw passion from Ana Garcia’s majestic flamenco keep all eyes riveted. The deafening applause and yells for encore showcased a band at the top of their game, with a rare mix of musicianship, empathy and pure enjoyment.
(A Village Ventures Event)
“The flautist was extraordinary – wonderful tone.”
‘I loved the variety and the way they used all those different instruments.’
‘Couldn’t stop looking at her feet’.
15th April 2010
“Gambia” might suggest West African Hi-Life music but the Grange Hall audience were offered a much more eclectic fusion of musical styles! There were influences from South as well as West Africa, with hints of Klezmer, percussion ensemble breaks and free Jazz improvisation. Two drummers, guitar, piano, brass section and driving bass made this the biggest band that Radventures has presented, and the depth of their sound was complemented by the soulful soaring voice of their singer Solomelo. Audience participation was a strong feature of the evening with infectious dancing in front of the stage and a young female percussionist dueting with the band’s Njega Sohna on the African djembe drum on stage. Certainly another musical night to remember for Radcliffe
(A Village Ventures Event)
“A Glastonbury experience – in Radcliffe!’
‘Soul stirring rhythmic fusion of sounds. I loved it!’
‘Wow, this was the first Radventures event where we must have had at least 20% of the audience dancing their socks off’
‘Can’t wait for more cool events like Zubop’
‘What a blast!’
The Dragonfly Tour
Reg Meuross wth Bethany Porter –
5th February 2010
Critics rave about Reg Meuross, known as ‘one of Britain’s finest singer/songwriters. …and they aren’t wrong! Reg on acoustic guitar(s) and equipped with a warm, mellow voice, introduced each of his own numbers with its storyline and influences to an attentive 130+ strong audience. Supported by Bethany Porter on 1790’s mellow cello with crystal clear, sweet harmonic vocals, the duo had the Grange Hall crowd hooked from the opener, and Reg certainly lived up to his reputation as a charismatic and talented 21st century troubadour. Bethany’s solo slots ran through song-stories; the first, a tale of a ‘psychotic landlady’ she managed to survive, and a traditional folk melody recounting the tale of a worldly-wise maiden with an eye for boys. And … the audience was invited to sing along to rather more complex choruses than the norm. Reg assured the crowd that it knocked spots off the community singing at previous venues … or maybe he was just being kind? Altogether a splendid evening which transported the audience through past and recent history, the work of American Artist Edward Hopper, and Elvis … and the impersonator, sporting bible black dyed hair, fake tan and a mean line in spandex, bling-encrusted, slashed-to-the-waist baby-grow’s for grown men! Excellent. (A Village Ventures event)
“Another great evening”
‘I learned something; how unjust WW1 was to the troops … only officers allowed to get shell-shocked, the humble rating shot by a drunken firing squad. History and entertainment,; doesn’t get better really …”
‘What a lovely combiination, guitar, cello and wonderful voices’
‘He , Reg, was a bit undermic’d but apart from that, a great night out again’
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”