She Stoops to Conquer: A Brilliant Northern Broadsides Production

The last performance of She Stoops to Conquer at the Stephen Joseph Theatre had the audience laughing until the very end.

The production was adapted from Oliver Goldsmith’s (aka James Willington) original play which was first performed in 1773 just one year before his early death.

She Stoops to Conquer is an hilarious story about identity misunderstanding which takes place at the hands of the eccentric character Tony Lumpkin.

Lumpkin uses his eccentricity to confuse Marlow and Hastings who come up North from London for Marlow to meet Miss Hardcastle, Lumpkin’s sister, upon the request of his father.

Jon Trenchard who plays Tony Lumpkin is absolutely brilliant and portrayed the malicious, scheming brother in what can only be described as perfection and without a doubt made the show.

The rest of the cast included the talents of Andrew Price, Oliver Gomm, Howard Chadwick, Guy Lewis and many other actors who all brought to life their respective characters in the best way possible.

The actors who played the servants of the household were outstandingly hilarious and even with few lines they still managed to make their performance watchable.

The performance was produced by the national production theatre company Northern Broadsides and the live music and songs throughout reinforced the talented cast of this production company.

The play used a simple set design that changed during musical interludes and the costumes of each character showed the era in which it was set from the large hair and dresses

The use of dialogue brought to life the North/South divide which, for anyone born and bred up North, will find truly amusing.

Despite this being the last performance of the brilliant play, the theatre was still full which shows the reputation that a Northern Broadsides production has.

She Stoops to Conquer will have you laughing from start to finish and would advise anyone and everyone to watch a Northern Broadsides performance as they are definitely worth a watch.

Theatre Information:

Theatre: Stephen Joseph Theatre

Director: Conrad Nelson

Writer: Oliver Goldsmith

Cast: Andrew Price, Oliver Gomm, Howard Chadwick, Guy Lewis, Jon Trenchard, Andrew Whitehead, Robert Took, Gilly Tompkins, Hannah Edwards, Lauryn Redding, Alan McMahon


Is Hermione Granger the new Dark Lord?

One of the most confusing things that I have ever thought of, but think about it, could goody-two shoes Hermione have potential to be the next Dark Lord?

It is common knowledge that a wizard at Hogwarts is not allowed to perform magic outside of the school until they reach a certain age.

But as soon as Hermione is introduced in the Philosopher’s Stone she performs Oculus Reparo to fix Harry’s glasses.

She hasn’t even been to the school never mind getting put into a house – alarm bells should have been ringing at this point! How did she get away with that?

A source (a big Harry Potter fan) told me that ‘before they start school they can do what they want cos they haven’t been given any rules yet and it’s up to their parents to make sure they’re careful with magic, not Hogwarts’

This then took me on a whirlwind of questions, ‘if the parents are in charge (and muggles in Hermione’s case) then surely they can produce any spells they want, including the deadly curses?’

In which my friend replied ‘but since they haven’t started yet they can’t do much coz they haven’t learnt anything’

OK, I get that… BUT Hermione, who is a Mud-Blood (Yup I said it) then how did she find out about Harry Potter? Surely her parents would not know of ‘the most famous wizard of all time’ so then how did she find out?

This then led me to believe that she must have been doing some in depth research of the Dark Arts before starting and as she is constantly answering questions on all sorts of spells (including the Deadly Curses) it does make one wonder just what does she know.

She desires to be the best witch and will do anything to achieve that goal and she is immediately a rebel for casting a spell outside of Hogwarts.


Watch out for Hermione… She has charateristics of a Dark Lord in her from day one!

Watch the Dark Lord in action from day one:

Oxjam Lincoln 2014 Continues This Weekend

Oxjam Lincoln 2014 continues this Friday for a mixture of music from some of Lincoln’s local bands.

The volunteer-run charity event kicked off with an acoustic evening with performances from Daniel Came and The Black Dolphins and will finish with a more eclectic music evening.

The first two events were held at Bar 67 and Café Portico last weekend and is set to continue the music at the Jolly Brewer and The Collection Café this upcoming weekend.

Ann Worrell, coordinator of Oxjam Lincoln 2014, said “If you like local live music there is no excuse not to come along to support the local music and local venues.

“You’ll get a good night out and your money goes directly to a charity.”

Oxjam is a music festival run by Oxfam volunteers and all the money raised will be donated to the charity and will help with the current Ebola crisis.

Mrs Worrell said that “the dual aim is to promote local music and to promote the work of Oxfam”.

“The money we raise from tickets will go directly to Oxfam who help people who are less fortunate than us, who haven’t got food in their bellies or have not got clean water,” said Mrs Worrell.

Oxjam Lincoln 2014 is the last music event run by the charity this year and Mrs Worrell is hoping to go out with a bang.

“It will be nice to enjoy it and think ‘wow I’ve just done this and that all year and finish off with a bang really,” Mrs Worrell added.

The final event, held at The Collection on October 25, will be an eclectic evening of musical styles and singing abilities.

Tickets for the events can be purchased on the night or before at the venues and all the money will go to Oxfam.

Further details can be found on the Facebook page: or you can email


Has there been a change in attitude towards book to film adaptations?

Book to film adaptations have had their fair share of negative responses and everyone always says ‘the book is better than the film’ and no doubt this is true.

Books bring with them the imagination and allow the reader to create the characters, locations and unhuman creatures in their head then and there.

Film is somewhat seen as a passive activity in which the audience does not participate when watching a film whereas books are seen as active as the reader uses their imagination.

One of the major names in book to film adaptations has got to be the Harry Potter franchise.

I will admit straight away that ‘the books were better than the film’ and the films removed vital parts of the books which gave certain characters more depth.

What I am looking to ask is whether there has been a change in the attitudes towards book to film adaptations?

I recently read that the new film Gone Girl which is an adaptation of Gillian Flynn’s novel of the same name, had its ending changed due to criticism from readers of the book that the ending infuriated fans.

Films have the power to change endings of books to please readers and film goers. There is no doubt about this at all.

Directors/writers/producers can read a book, not like the ending, and change it to how the feel it should end.

Some say that this is bordering on whether it is a book to film adaptation or just a completely new film using similar themes and events.

It does make me wondering whether people will have a different attitude to when they hear that they favourite, or in this case not so favourite, book is being adapted into a film.

Honestly, I enjoy both reading and watching films and would have no problem watching a movie adaptation but will definitely add my opinions at the end.

Maybe, one day in the near future, people will go to see a film and come out saying ‘that was better than the book’.

Maybe I am being optimistic but there is always the chance.

Stage vs Screen: Is It The Way Forward?

Having the chance to see Billy Elliot The Musical broadcast live from the Victoria Palace in London was a truly amazing experience but it did pose the question of whether this was the way forward for the theatre?

Throughout the 2hr45mins production, I kept forgetting I was watching a live stream rather than a film but would get reminded when the cheering from the ‘real’ crowd was heard.

As the streaming had the ability to zoom in and out, it really did make the experience seem more like a movie experience but this did not change my opinion that the concept of live broadcasting is a good thing.

For one thing, it makes the West End productions more accessible for those who are physically unable to get to London and watch one of the many theatre shows.

As well as the tickets to see a broadcast show are considerably cheaper than getting into London, purchasing your tickets and booking into a hotel.

The fact that the tickets and accessibility is relatively easy, it was no surprise that the cinema was full of people of all ages ranging from the elderly to students like myself.

It is no surprise that money is a big issue in both arguments, the fact that it is cheaper for students is a good point yet there is now a risk that there will be a decline in the box office throughout the West End if more shows are broadcast live.

Personally, the concept of broadcasting live adds to the success of shows as Billy Elliot was broadcast to 550 cinemas worldwide rather than just audiences who had the ability to make it to London for the show.

As well as increasing their audience number, the magnificently talented actors who star in these productions also get themselves noticed across the entire world.

What better way is there for an actor to really make a mark on the ever challenging and competitive acting world?

The way the camera was filming the show also allowed the audience in the cinema to identify with the characters like they would when watching a film.

By zooming in on a characters facial expression during a more emotional scene really added to how that character was feeling.

Another benefit of having a live broadcast is that distributors are able then to release the live show on DVD and blu-ray making it accessible for everyone and really that will have an impact on the revenue of the shows.

I have not read anywhere of a show that has been broadcast live not to have complete adoration from both audiences and more and more shows will, I feel, start creating shows in this new format.

There is no doubt that the concept of streaming live has it benefits for sure but are there any negatives?

I have briefly mentioned that people may be concerned that the box office revenue will decline due to live broadcast, however, according the Society of London Theatre overall attendances has increased by 4%, so personally, a concern about box office revenue declining is slim.

One could argue, and I would agree with this, that there is nothing more pleasing than sitting in a theatre and watching an outstandingly brilliant performance.

A theatre production consists of everything from the show itself, the actors, the ambiance plus the theatre as well.

There was no denying that before Billy Elliot began, I was worried that there would not be the same atmosphere but I was indefinitely wrong.

People were clapping along with the audience in the theatre, people were sniffing during the more emotional scenes and laughing during the amusing scenes.

The only really difference was that we were not in a glamourous theatre palace but instead a small dark room with a big screen.

One issue that could see an increase of dislike towards the live broadcasting is what happens if the technology breaks mid-show? It is one of those risks that has to be taken.

Theatre purist will think that broadcasting live will ruin the theatre but as a huge fan of the theatre myself, I will welcome any opportunity I can to see a live show.

People may also argue that technology is starting to take over our lives, and I would agree with that concept, however, technology is something that we all MUST accept and move alongside with it.

There is no doubt that in the near future a fair few more shows will be broadcast live and I personally look forward to seeing as many shows as possible, whether that will be in the theatre or the cinema.

Preview for The Great British Train Robbery: A Tale of Two Thieves

One of Britain’s most notorious criminals will finally be revealed to the world in this documentary about The Great British Train Robbery: A Tale of Two Thieves.

The film interviews Gordon Goody, one of the fifteen men who managed to pull off one of the greatest crimes of the 20th Century.

We are to be transported back to a bygone era with a never-before-seen inside story about the lives of Goody and Ulsterman and how these two men changed each other’s lives.

The identity of Ulsterman has enthralled the world for over 50 years and through energetic editing styles, graphics and an ingeniously composed score, his true identity will be revealed.

Goody was a career thief and his daring exploits were legendary (BBC and Heathrow Airport just to name two), but now he has decided to go fully on the record and reveal all the unknown facts about that fateful night in 1963.

The allusive Ulsterman was a working man and the inside man of the robbery and without him there wouldn’t have been the train robbery that we are all familiar with.

This is not a film about the robbery but instead focuses on the lives of these two men, one who was arrested for the crime and the other who managed to get away with over £2 million.

The Great British Train Robbery will capture the unique characters behind the infamous train robbery and will reveal what Ulsterman spent his money on.

Goody’s story is intercut with the real-time hunt footage for Ulsterman and will feature a high-end dramatic reconstruction of the crime, blended seamlessly with full colour archive footage from the period.

Shot in the style of Michael Caine’s Alfie, this documentary brings to life the swinging sixties and is a story full of improbable twists and turns.

Directed by one of the most sought after British directors in the USA, Chris Long brings to life one of London’s most colourful decades and captures the unique characters of The Great British Train Robbery.

The filmed documentary will be released in cinemas on October 3, 51 years after Goody’s arrest, and will grip you from start to finish.

With over 20 hours of interviews with Gordon Goody, this film will change what you thought you knew about one of the most gripping crimes of the 20th Century.

Check out the trailer here: