26 Oct 2012

Halo Jones Gets Out - To Thought Bubble, Leeds

Scytheplays and Lass O'Gowrie Productions are incredibly excited to announce that their much-lauded adaptation of writer Alan Moore and artist Ian Gibson's comic book series, The Ballad of Halo Jones, is to be re-staged as part of Thought Bubble, the week-long comic arts festival held in Leeds from Sunday 11th to Sunday 18th November.

Halo Jones was originally published in 2000AD Magazine, most famous as the home of Judge Dredd, from 1984 to 1986 for three adventures, of which Scytheplays' production, written by Ross Kelly (The Year of the Sex Olympics) and Ian Winterton (Baby Jesus Freak, Sherica), adapts the first two.  Halo Jones was originally conceived by Gibson and Moore as an antidote to the violent and testosterone-fuelled adventures common in 2000AD; Halo is an everywoman whose adventure is simply to get through life day-to-day in the hellish far-future environment of 'the Hoop', the lawless and directionless slum and dumping ground for the unemployed of 51st century society in which she lives, while always dreaming of a way out.  Halo's youthful pluck and sense of humour, plus Gibson's beautiful design and the richness of Moore's quirky details and imaginative future-speak, made the series a cult classic and an early step on the writer's journey to becoming the world's foremost comic book author (as creator of V for Vendetta, Watchmen and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen among many others).  Meanwhile the story's strong array of female characters made The Ballad of Halo Jones one of the first comic strips that could be called feminist.

When first performed in January 2012 at the Lass O'Gowrie, The Ballad of Halo Jones received rave reviews (including this extremely detailed one from Forbidden Planet).  The new production, which performs at Leeds' The Library Scream Pub on Sunday November 11th (7.30pm), Monday November 12th (7.30pm) and Saturday November 17th (12.30pm and 2.45pm), retains the key creative team from that show and three of the cast: Zoe Iqbal (Swifty Frisco), Marlon Solomon (Mix Ninegold) and Will Hutchby (Lux Roth Chop).  The very exciting new members of the cast will be announced shortly, but in the meantime a preview of Zoe's performance as Swifty can be seen here.  On that note, now would seem a good time to remember the rest of the original cast who haven't been able to transfer to the Leeds production (such as Michelle Ashton, who has been busy taking her excellent self-written play Fine to London), and to thank them for the brilliant and bold performances which (as can still be seen from the reviews) were so clearly central to making the show the success it was.  To all those actors, we will be doing our best to live up to your legacy, and hope to make you proud!

Tickets for The Ballad of Halo Jones at Thought Bubble will cost £10 on the door, and online sales will shortly be opened through WeGotTickets.  Poster art by Adrian Salmon and graphic design by Daniel Thackeray.

1 Oct 2012

October brings more Electric Dreams

After a successful run as part of the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival 2012, Lass O'Gowrie Productions and Scytheplays are bringing Together in Electric Dreams back to Manchester's Lass O'Gowrie for nine performances throughout October, as part of both the Replay Expo retro-gamers convention and the Manchester Science Festival.  Sadly Naomi Sumner has had to leave the production due to scheduling conflicts, but her role will be taken over by the brilliant Fi Hudson.

This acclaimed comedy-drama tells the (nearly) true story of the momentous dinner date in 1986 between future Lord Alan Sugar and had-been king of the British computer scene, Sir Clive Sinclair, as the two business kingpins each try to secure the advantage while enjoying supper in a traditional Japanese restaurant. Funny and poignant, it's a revealing look at a little-known historical encounter, and a portrait of two apparently very different men who found themselves fighting over the same turf and changing millions of lives in the process.

Tickets can be booked via www.wegottickets.com (click here for a list of all the upcoming events at the Lass) or reserved by telephoning the Lass O'Gowrie on 0161 273 6932.  Tickets are £6 or £5 concessions.

A special matinee, additional to those shown on the poster above, has been planned to coincide with the Replay Expo at 12.30pm on Saturday 13th October.

The other performance dates are as follows:

Wednesday 10th October - 6pm and 8pm
Thursday 11th October - 6pm and 8pm
Monday 29th October - 6.30pm and 8.30pm
Wednesday 31st October (happy Halloween) - 6.30pm and 8.30pm

"Daniel Thackeray... gave an uncanny performance of stern, polite Sinclair, fighting ever so politely to keep his job, while Matthew O'Neill portrayed a charismatic Sugar, before his Sir Alan days. The dialogue was slick and quick... Altogether a lot of laughs and worth a trip down memory lane." - Elaine O'Flynn, Manchester Evening News

"A concept which could have been quite dry and boring has had a brilliant sense of fun and intrigue injected into it... the writing was strong and the two main performers were extremely engaging." - Tracey Lowe, www.thepublicreviews.com

Together in Electric Dreams is based on an idea by Gareth Kavanagh and written by Daniel Thackeray.  Photography by Mina Ahmed and poster design by Mat O'Neill.