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BrassNeck Theatre Logo
Footloose the Musical - May 2010
Our House - November 2010
The Producers - May 2011
Bouncers & Shakers - September 2011
RENT - Nov 2011
The Full Monty - May 2012
Calendar Girls - September 2012
Fiddler on the Roof - November 2012
Whistle Down the Wind - May 2013
Avenue Q - November 2013
The Wedding Singer - May 2014
Little Women - November 2014
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee - May 2015
The Addams Family - November 2015
The 39 Steps - May 2016
Spamalot - November 2016
Next ShowsRock of Ages - May 2017
BrassNeck Theatre's first production was Footloose the Musical, performed at Yeadon Town Hall in May 2010. Their most recent production was The 39 Steps, held at Yeadon Town Hall in May 2016, and their next production is Spamalot. It is planned for November 2016 in Yeadon Town Hall. The majority of the company's productions, and rehearsals, take place at Yeadon Town Hall and Guiseley Theatre.
- 1 Reputation
- 2 Future shows
- 3 Previous shows
- 3.1 Footloose the Musical
- 3.2 Our House
- 3.3 The Producers
- 3.4 Bouncers & Shakers
- 3.5 RENT
- 3.6 The Full Monty
- 3.7 Calendar Girls
- 3.8 Fiddler on the Roof
- 3.9 Whistle Down the Wind
- 3.10 Avenue Q
- 3.11 The Wedding Singer
- 3.12 Little Women
- 3.13 The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee
- 3.14 The Addams Family
- 3.15 The 39 Steps
- 4 History
- 5 Controversies
- 6 Notable members
- 7 References
- 8 External links
BrassNeck Theatre's reputation was formed in its two founding theatre companies. The Grove and Rawdon Theatre Company and Stampede Theatre Company were both well known for producing professional standard theatre, with local reviewers often comparing the standard to that of London's West End.
In recent years, BrassNeck Theatre has built on this reputation by successfully staging a wide range of plays and musical theatre, all receiving positive reviews in local media and from audiences. Reviewers often comment not only on the high quality of their acting, singing and dancing, but also on technical expertise with custom built sets and a very high standard of lighting and sound.
BrassNeck Theatre's third production was the Mel Brooks musical, The Producers based on the 1968 film of the same name, performed at Yeadon Town Hall in May 2011. The production earned rave reviews in the Wharfedale & Aireborough Observer, and in the Yorkshire Evening Post. The performance was noted in particular for the scale of the production given the limited space available in Yeadon Town Hall, with one reviewer commenting "To put such a large scale musical on in such restricted stage conditions is a work of genius".
This was BrassNeck Theatre's first play, and was performed in September 2011. The play was a major success, again receiving a rave review from John Burland of the Wharfedale & Airedale Observer.
In May 2012 BrassNeck Theatre staged the musical The Full Monty based on the hit 1997 film The Full Monty, which was a new cast and staging of the musical after one of the founding companies, Stampede Theatre Company, enjoyed great success with the musical in February 2008. This show was again a success, with one local review stating it was "one of the strongest casts ever to perform the show".
In September 2012, BrassNeck Theatre staged arguably their most successful production to date, the play Calendar Girls, based on the film of the same name. The play largely sold out, again to rave reviews.
In November 2012, BrassNeck Theatre made the brave decision to do a brand new staging of the musical Fiddler on the Roof, to be performed at Yeadon Town Hall. This version of the popular musical reset in the Jewish Ghetto in Kraków during World War II, with the occupants using Brechtian techniques to tell the well known story. BrassNeck Theatre stated prior to the show "this is Fiddler as you've never seen it before", which turned out to be the case with an excellent review stating it was "A great show by this extremely talented company!"
Arguably their largest production to date, BrassNeck Theatre's production of Whistle Down the Wind in May 2013 was a great success, earning great reviews in the Gazette & Observer and on website www.pickledegg.info.
The Grove and Rawdon Theatre Company
The Grove and Rawdon Theatre Company were formed in 2002 by the merger of Horsforth Grove Amateur Operatics Society and Rawdon Amateur Operatics Society.
From 2002 to 2009, The Grove and Rawdon Theatre Company staged 16 productions, and became renowned for producing difficult musicals to a high standard. Their shows, including Jesus Christ Superstar, Seussical the Musical, Buddy! and Wizard of Oz, frequently received rave reviews in local papers.
The Grove and Rawdon Theatre Company Productions
The Music Man - May 2002
Swing, Sing and Tango - November 2002 (Cabaret style show)
South Pacific - May 2003
Chicago Nights - November 2003 (Cabaret style show)
My Fair Lady - April 2004
Return to the Forbidden Planet - November 2004
Jesus Christ Superstar - May 2005
Seussical the Musical - November 2005
Spend Spend Spend - May 2006
Buddy! - November 2006
Carousel - May 2007
Bat Boy - November 2007
Jekyll & Hyde - May 2008
Boogie Nights - November 2008
Wizard of Oz - May 2009
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum - November 2009
Stampede Theatre Company
Stampede Theatre Company was founded in 2006, "in response to a growing need for a 'youth based' theatre company in the Wharfedale area".
The theatre company produced 9 musical shows and became well known in the local area for their quality productions, in particular the high standard of their youth members. Like The Grove and Rawdon Theatre Company, their productions earned rave reviews in local news, including their productions of the schools version of Les Miserables, We Will Rock You, and West Side Story.
Stampede Theatre Company maintained that while they had an emphasis on youth, they were not only a youth company, and staged a number of successful productions with an "adult" cast, including The Full Monty and Sweeney Todd.
Stampede Theatre Company Productions
Les Miserables (Schools Version) - July 2006
Cabaret 2006 - December 2006 (Cabaret style show)
Annie - December 2006
Little Shop of Horrors - April 2007
We Will Rock You - July 2007
The Full Monty - February 2008
Back to the 80's - July 2008
Sweeney Todd - February 2009
West Side Story - July 2009
In 2007 the Grove and Rawdon Theatre Company staged the controversial modern-gothic musical Bat Boy. Whilst the production received many positive comments during the performance, there were also a number of complaints received about the content. Val Pennett's review in the Wharfedale & Airedale Observer and Telegraph & Argus stated that while the show was produced well, she thought the content was 'distasteful'. This article gained numerous retaliatory comments supporting the bravery of the Company.
Jekyll & Hyde
Following on from Bat Boy, in 2008 the Grove and Rawdon Theatre Company staged Jekyll & Hyde. A combination of Val Pennett's review of Bat Boy and the fact that many people saw Jekyll & Hyde as an equally 'dark musical', saw ticket sales drop compared to previous years. This provoked Rachel O'Connor to comment in her review of Jekyll & Hyde that people should encourage innovative theatre, and praise the bravery of the theatre company.
'Bat Boy' their latest offering generated much comment but if that put anyone off 'Jekyll & Hyde' then just open your mind and your soul and get along to Yeadon Town Hall before the show ends on Saturday.— Rachel O'Connor, Wharfedale & Airedale Observer
Spend Spend Spend & Boogie Nights
A number of complaints were received after The Grove and Rawdon Theatre Company's productions of Spend Spend Spend and Boogie Nights, as scripted scenes that include sexual content were included in both shows.
Both companies involved in the BrassNeck Theatre were known for having a high standard of membership.[according to whom?] Previous and current members have studied at leading drama schools such as GSA Conservatoire and Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts. Past and present notable members of the theatre include:
- Christian Cooke – performed with Horsforth Grove Amateur Operatics Society in their youth production of Bugsy Malone. Cooke is now a professional actor, appearing in Demons and the 2010 film Cemetery Junction.
- Verity Rushworth – performed with Horsforth Grove Amateur Operatics Society in their youth production of Bugsy Malone. After making her name on Emmerdale as Donna Windsor-Dingle, Rushworth performed in the London production of the hit musical Hairspray as Penny Pingleton before moving to take over the role of Maria in the UK tour of The Sound of Music.
- Peter Grant – performed with Rawdon Amateur Operatics Society in their production of Oliver. Grant is now a professional singer.
- Darcy Isa – performed with Stampede Theatre Company in their production of Back to the 80's. Isa is a professional actress, playing Lauren Andrews in the TV series Waterloo Road.
- Megan Parkinson – performed with BrassNeck Theatre in their production of Little Women and will be appearing in Game of Thrones, Season 7.
- Rachel O'Connor, Rachel O'Connor reviews Footloose The Musical by BrassNeck Theatre at Yeadon Town Hall, Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 28 May 2010
- Rachel O'Connor, 'Buddy The Musical' by The Grove and Rawdon Theatre Company at Yeadon Town Hall, Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 16 November 2006
- Val Pennett, We will Rock You by Stampede Theatre Company at Yeadon Town Hall, Ilkley Gazette, 19 July 2007
- Pam Booth, BrassNeck Theatre's The Procuders Archived 5 April 2012 at the Wayback Machine., NODA Reviews, 18 May 2011
- Rachel O'Connor, BrassNeck Theatre's Our House, Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 25 November 2010
- John Burland, BrassNeck Theatre's Fiddler on the Roof, Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, November 2012
- John Burland, BrassNeck Theatre's Whistle Down the Wind, Gazette & Observer, May 2013
- Pickled Egg, BrassNeck’s polished performance of Whistle Down the Wind, www.pickledegg.info, May 2013
- Rock Of Ages at Yeadon Town Hall Review, BrassNeck Theatre Website - Future Shows, May 2017
- John Burland, BrassNeck Theatre's The Producers, Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 26 May 2011
- Charles Heslett, BrassNeck Theatre's The Procuders, Yorkshire Evening Post, 19 May 2011
- John Burland, BrassNeck Theatre's Bouncers & Shakers, Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, September 2011
- John Burland, BrassNeck Theatre's RENT, Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, November 2011
- Rachel O'Connor, Courageous cast of 'The Full Monty' bare all at Yeadon, Ilkley Gazette, 25 February 2008
- John Burland, BrassNeck Theatre's The Full Monty, Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, May 2012
- Charles Heslett, BrassNeck Theatre's The Full Monty, Yorkshire Evening Post, May 2012
- John Burland, BrassNeck Theatre's Calendar Girls, Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, September 2012
- Charlotte King, Avenue Q at Yeadon Town Hall Review, BrassNeck Theatre Website - Wharfedale Observer, November 2013
- John Burland, Wedding Singer at Yeadon Town Hall Review, BrassNeck Theatre Website - Wharfedale Observer, May 2014
- John Burland, Little Women at Yeadon Town Hall Review, BrassNeck Theatre Website - Wharfedale Observer, November 2014
- John Burland, Spelling Bee at Yeadon Town Hall Review, BrassNeck Theatre Website - Wharfedale Observer, May 2015
- John Burland, The Addams Family at Yeadon Town Hall Review, BrassNeck Theatre Website - Wharfedale Observer, November 2015
- John Burland, The 39 Steps at Yeadon Town Hall Review, BrassNeck Theatre Website - Wharfedale Observer, May 2016
- Val Pennett, A Simply Stunning 'Jesus Christ Superstar' by Grove and Rawdon, Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 16 May 2005
- Val Pennett, The unknown `Seussical' proves a great delight, Bradford & District, 17 November 2005
- Richard Lloyd, Wizard entertainment by Grove and Rawdon, Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 21 May 2009
- Val Pennett, Fine acting can't hide horror of 'distasteful' musical, Telegraph & Argus, 23 November 2007
- Val Pennett, 'Spend' is a difficult show to get into, Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 15 May 2006
- Rachel O'Connor, Grove and Rawdon Theatre Company's Jekyll and Hyde, Wharfedale & Airedale Observer, 15 May 2008
- Stampede Committee,About Us Archived 19 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine., Stampede Website, April 2006
- Val Pennett, ‘Les Miserables’ by Stampede Theatre Company, Ilkley Gazette, 20 July 2006
- Rachel O'Connor, Stampede Theatre Company’s West Side Story, Ilkley Gazette, 16 July 2009
- Rachel O'Connor, Rachel O'Connor reviews Stampede's Sweeney Todd at Yeadon Town Hall[permanent dead link], Wharfedale & Airdale Observer, 5 March 2009
- Peter Grant Official Website, Official website
- "Lauren Andrews profile". Shed Media. Retrieved 28 May 2014.
- Jack Shepherd,Independent Game Of Throne Article, Independent, 4 October 2016