27 Feb 2017

Another gaze at the Postcodes!

Richard Barry, Steve Cain, Ross Kelly, Victoria May, Daniel Thackeray and Edward Barry
return to the stage with Looking at the Lesser Postcodes.  Photo by Shay Rowan

After its popular premiere in Oldham this January, Looking at the Lesser Postcodes, the new sketch show by Manchester comedy team The Faces at the Window and produced by Scytheplays Ltd in association with Lilaloka Productions and Hat Hair Productions, comes to Manchester in March.

Following the Oldham show, The Faces At The Window have been described by Manchester Salon as “worthy of Monty Python”.  The cast of five writer-performers – Edward Barry, Richard Barry, Steve Cain, Victoria May and Daniel Thackeray, plus director Ross Kelly (all pictured) and musicians Phill Howley and Joel Roberts – will now be bringing their “fast-flowing entertainment” show to the stylish pub and live entertainment venue Gullivers on Manchester’s Oldham Street.

Tickets for the show cost £5 or £4 for concessions and can be bought on the door or booked via WeGotTickets.

2 Feb 2017

The Dead, Live

Hot on the heels of the premiere of Looking at the Lesser Postcodes, Scytheplays Ltd is delighted to announce its next production, and once more it will premiere in Oldham.



The current season of Oldham Library’s popular live@thelibrary strand includes the first-ever performance of this new horror play, which aims to make a new take on the ghost story, taking inspiration from writers like Nigel Kneale, Susan Hill and Stephen Volk as well as the master of the form, MR James.

The Dead, Live concerns a psychic medium called Lawrence Dodds who knows he is really a fake, but who discovers that ‘the world of spirit’ has some surprises in store for him after a someone unexpected attends one of his live shows.

Oldham-based writer Daniel Thackeray has previously written Together in Electric Dreams and parts of the recent sketch show Looking at the Lesser Postcodes, both of which were very popular at the Library, who asked him to write a new play for them.

Lawrence is played by actor and co-host of The Lee/Cushing Podcast, Howard Whittock, who recently worked with Scytheplays in The Year of the Sex Olympics and MR James' Count Magnus. Carly Tarett, also from Oldham, plays Rachael, having previously appeared appeared in Scytheplays’ productions V for Vendetta and The Ballad of Halo Jones.  She is also a writer, and her self-written and performed one-woman shows, such as Sinful and Princess Dee, have been met with great acclaim around the world.


After its initial performances in Oldham, Scytheplays Ltd hopes to take The Dead, Live to fringe festivals around Britain during 2017.

3 Jan 2017

Arise, The Faces At The Window!

Scytheplays Ltd is proud and rather excited to announce its first production of 2017.  In a co-production with Lilaloka Productions and Hat Hair Productions, the company is producing the first performances of a brand-new sketch comedy group, The Faces At The Window.  The show is called Looking At The Lesser Postcodes and will premiere in Oldham, Lancashire on Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th January 2017.


The Faces At The Window comprises five writer/performers: Victoria May (The Butterfly Catcher, Under Manc Wood), Richard Barry (well-known in Manchester as a comic and singer-songwriter), Steve Cain (Together in Electric Dreams, The Best), Edward Barry (A Holiday From What?and Scytheplays' Who@50: An Unearthly Child) and Daniel Thackeray (Together in Electric Dreams, The Haunting of Blaine Manor).

Their show, Looking at the Lesser Postcodes, will be the first in a planned series which will reveal the peculiar and comedic characters lurking near some of the UK's most unremarkable postcodes, showcased in sketches and comic songs in the style of a radio comedy show recording.  Following its debut in Oldham it is planned to take the show to other parts of Greater Manchester and around the country.  Looking at the Lesser Postcodes is directed by Scytheplays regular Ross Kelly (V for Vendetta, Wine of India) and Richard Barry's songs will be accompanied by a full band.

The Faces At The Window (Photo: Shay Rowan)
The performances take place in the Performance Space at Oldham Library as part of Live@thelibrary, a regular and eclectic series of performances at the venue which has found great success since its inception in 2015.  As with all Live@thelibrary events, the performances begin at 7pm.

Tickets can be bought on the door or booked via the Library's Eventbrite page (booking in advance is advised).  In addition to the £5 full-price tickets given on the poster above, £4 concessionary tickets are also available.

14 Aug 2016

The Haunting of Blaine Manor, and other new adventures for Scytheplays alumni!

Although 2016 has proved to be a fallow year for Scytheplays Ltd, with the company bringing out no new productions but continuing with a number of future projects in the early stages of development - it has been an exciting one for the wider community of the company.  Several alumni of Scytheplays productions have been busy throughout the year, with a number of current or upcoming projects worthy of note.


The new play by Joe O'Byrne, the Manchester actor and playwright well known for his Tales From Paradise Heights series of books, plays and films, is an intriguing ghost story, The Haunting of Blaine Manor.  First performed to sell-out audiences and critical acclaim ("top notch" said North West End) at Manchester's Hope Mill Theatre earlier this year, it is about to begin a five-night run at Salford's The King's Arms from Tuesday 16th to Saturday 20th August.  The cast features Together in Electric Dreams' Daniel Thackeray and The Ballad of Halo Jones/The Year of the Sex Olympics/An Unearthly Child's Phil Dennison, plus a voice cameo from Carly (Halo Jones/V for Vendetta) Tarett. More information about the show can be found at the Tales From Paradise Heights website and a trailer for the show is here.

Cast and crew at the second day of recording for Radion Media's The Uncanny Valley.
Photo by Raiye Bersford
Meanwhile last month studio recording was completed at Bolton FM Studios on The Uncanny Valley, a brand new radio fantasy anthology series from Radion Media Limited.  Comprising five different 15-minute strange tales from different writers, the episodes will be broadcast on different days across Halloween week 2016 on Bolton FM and other local radio stations.  Scytheplays' Daniel Thackeray wrote one of the episodes, All in the Head, and directed two of the others, which featured a cast including Halo Jones alumni Morag Peacock, Zoe Iqbal, Adam Beresford and Phil Dennison as well as Sex Olympics/Count Magnus' Howard Whittock and Together in Electric Dreams' Steve Cain. Also directing for the series is Nova Star Hunters' Richard O'Neill, who previously contributed to the sound design of Halo Jones.  The Radion Media Ltd. Facebook page is here.


One-time 'sci-fi fringe siren', being superb as Evey in Scytheplays' V for Vendetta and Rodice in the second production of The Ballad of Halo Jones, Sinead Parker is once again appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year with her comedy partner Katie Norris (pictured above) in the acclaimed hit show Norris and Parker: See You At The Gallows.  Presenting a deluge of surreal and inspired character sketches, the show runs throughout the month of August at the Pleasance Courtyard and booking in advance is well advised as it is repeatedly selling out.  For more information go to the Norris and Parker website.


Finally, the aformentioned Howard and Dan have, again in conjunction with Richard O'Neill through his hosting website Noisy Bark, just launched a new podcast.  The Lee/Cushing Podcast is devoted to the history of British horror cinema and in particular to the many films of screen legends Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, celebrating them in an informed yet light-hearted style.  New episodes will be available one a month from Noisy Bark (a website which supports new content of all kinds and is open to new submission), and the show can also be listened to on YouTube:



The Haunting of Blaine Manor, and other new adventures for Scytheplays alumni!

Although 2016 has proven to be a fallow year for Scytheplays Ltd, with the company bringing out no new productions but continuing with a number of future projects in the early stages of development - it has been an exciting one for the wider community of the company.  Several alumni of Scytheplays productions have been busy throughout the year, with a number of current or upcoming projects worthy of note.


The new play by Joe O'Byrne, the Manchester actor and playwright well known for his Tales From Paradise Heights series of books, plays and films, is an intriguing ghost story, The Haunting of Blaine Manor.  First performed to sell-out audiences and critical acclaim ("top notch" said North West End) at Manchester's Hope Mill Theatre earlier this year, it is about to begin a five-night run at Salford's The King's Arms from Tuesday 16th to Saturday 20th August.  The cast features Together in Electric Dreams' Daniel Thackeray and The Ballad of Halo Jones/The Year of the Sex Olympics/An Unearthly Child's Phil Dennison, and more information about the show can be found at the Tales From Paradise Heights website and a trailer for the show is here.

Cast and crew at the second day of recording for Radion Media's The Uncanny Valley.
Photo by Raiye Bersford
Meanwhile last month studio recording was completed at Bolton FM Studios on The Uncanny Valley, a brand new radio fantasy anthology series from Radion Media Limited.  Comprising five different 15-minute strange tales from different writers, the episodes will be broadcast on different days across Halloween week 2016 on Bolton FM and other local radio stations.  Scytheplays' Daniel Thackeray wrote one of the episodes, All in the Head, and directed two of the others, which featured a cast including Halo Jones alumni Morag Peacock, Zoe Iqbal, Adam Beresford and Phil Dennison as well as Sex Olympics/Count Magnus' Howard Whittock and Together in Electric Dreams' Steve Cain. Also directing for the series is Nova Star Hunters' Richard O'Neill, who previously contributed to the sound design of Halo Jones.  The Radion Media Ltd. Facebook page is here.


One-time 'sci-fi fringe siren', being superb as Evey in Scytheplays' V for Vendetta and Rodice in the second production of The Ballad of Halo Jones, Sinead Parker is once again appearing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year with her comedy partner Katie Norris (pictured above) in the acclaimed hit show Norris and Parker: See You At The Gallows.  Presenting a deluge of surreal and inspired character sketches, the show runs throughout the month of August at the Pleasance Courtyard and booking in advance is well advised as it is repeatedly selling out.  For more information go to the Norris and Parker website.


Finally, the aformentioned Howard and Dan have, again in conjunction with Richard O'Neill through his hosting website Noisy Bark, just launched a new podcast.  The Lee/Cushing Podcast is devoted to the history of British horror cinema and in particular to the many films of screen legends Peter Cushing and Christopher Lee, celebrating them in an informed yet light-hearted style.  New episodes will be available one a month from Noisy Bark (a website which supports new content of all kinds and is open to new submission), and the show can also be listened to on YouTube:



9 Oct 2015

Horrific treats in store!


Manchester is to see a crop of spooky live entertainments emerge in the two weeks around Halloween, and Scytheplays Ltd is pleased to be contributing to the chills.

October 26th-28th and November 2nd and 4th will see Chinatown pub The Seven Oaks play host to a new production of Humpty's Bones, based on the novella by acclaimed British horror author Simon Clark.  A chilling discovery in the remote Yorkshire village of Dog Lands leads the incoming Laird family into a tense confrontation with local history and the hidden power of the moor...  Adapted and produced by Sean Mason (V for Vendetta), Humpty's Bones was first adapted as part of Scytheplays and Lass Productions' 2013 offering, Hotel Midnight ("suitably chilling" said the Fiction Stroker).  The new version will be directed by regular Scytheplays technican Peter M George and the cast includes Catryn Philbin, Lauren Stirrup, Pat Brocklehurst and Andrew Marsden, who also worked with Scytheplays in Hotel Midnight and Who@50: An Unearthly Child.

Tickets for Humpty's Bones are £7.50 on the door (£5.50 concessions) or you can save money by booking online at the following links:

Humpty's Bones - Monday 26th October
Humpty's Bones - Tuesday  27th October
Humpty's Bones - Wednesday 28th October
Humpty's Bones - Monday 2nd November
Humpty's Bones - Wednesday 4th November


Also in Manchester are two spine-tinglingly fun comedy shows.  Top improvisors ComedySportzUK present an improvised horror story in Stage Fright at the King's Arms, Salford on  Friday 23rd October.  Your suggestions will inspire a bone-chilling tale that will make you scream with laughter as the acclaimed team spoof the tropes of horror.  The show begins at 7.30pm and tickets are £3 on the door.

Meanwhile, popular showcase of new comedy writing, The Sitcom Trials returns to Manchester for a Halloween Special at the King's Arms on Sunday 25th October.  Have they found the newAddams Family?  The new Munsters?  The new Garth Marenghi?  Five ghoulish new comedies performed in one night. The future of sitcom will be in the audience's (blood-stained) hands.  Again the show begins at 7.30pm and tickets are £3 on the door.


Howard Whittock, star of The Dead, Live (photo: Shay Rowan)
Finally for this Halloween season, Scytheplays and Oldham Library are presenting a script-in-hand reading of an unusual new play by Together in Electric Dreams writer, Daniel Thackeray, entitled The Dead, Live, on Thursday 29th October at 7pm in the Library's Performance Space.  Martin Barlow is a popular psychic medium who knows he's a fake, but the world of Spirit may hold some surprises for him...  Presented as a work-in-progress, this performance will be free to attend and followed by a Q&A session with the writer and cast in which audience feedback will be very much encouraged.  The cast will include The Year of the Sex Olympics actor Howard Whittock.

18 Sep 2015

Together in Electric Dreams - award-nominated and back on stage soon at Eurocon!


Sir Clive Sinclair (Daniel Thackeray) and Alan Sugar (Matthew O'Neill) - their struggle for
computing supremacy immortalised in this photo by Shay Rowan
The recent North-West mini-tour of Together in Electric Dreams proved extremely popular with audiences in Oldham, Buxton and the show's native town of Manchester.  The show continued to receive mostly very positive notices throughout its run - the word 'mostly' being used in the interests of total honesty, with the Fringe Guru and Manchester Salon giving rather differing appraisals of the piece - and Lass Productions and Scytheplays Ltd are extremely gratified that the Buxton Fringe Awards nominated the play in the category of 'Best New Writing'.


Ross Kelly, Steve Cain and patron at the Greater Manchester Fringe Awards
Photo: Paul Husband
Sir Clive actor and writer of Together in Electric Dreams, Daniel Thackeray, was also surprised and privileged to receive 'Spirit of the Fringe' at the Greater Manchester Fringe Awards, recognising his ability to appear in, work on and support more shows at Manchester's annual fringe festival than is strictly sane.  With typical cool (or else comic ineptitude) Dan was extremely late to the awards party and so the award was received on his behalf by frequent Scytheplays collaborator Ross Kelly and the new Alan Sugar himself, Steve Cain.  Ross was the the director of Hat Hair Productions' Under Manc Wood, in which Steve and Dan also appeared, and which also won an awrad as 'Best Revival/Adaptation'.

Sir Clive (Daniel Thackeray) and Akiko (Jess Lee)
Photo: Shay Rowan
Scytheplays Ltd and Lass Productions harbour plans to bring the show back in a big way in 2016, but before that Together in Electric Dreams is will be performed at EuroCon 2015, held at the No 1 Club, Blackpool between Friday 2nd and Sunday 4th October.  EuroCon is an event for European devotees of classic gaming which has been running annually since 1999, and the Together in Electric Dreams team are thrilled to be able to contribute.  The performance will be held at 3pm on Saturday the 3rd, although please note attendance is only possible for those who have bought a ticket for the overall event (which are excellent value at £20 for a whole weekend of activities).

Steve Cain, Jess Lee and Daniel Thackeray are already gearing up to return to their roles - with Steve due to film special video sequences imminently!

We hope to announce more news about future performance of TOgether in Electric Dreams very soon.