For theatre... online, non-professional, amateur
YOUR NEWS – PROMS MAGIC for Cheshire Charity

YOUR NEWS – PROMS MAGIC for Cheshire Charity


Top tenor Russell Watson helped launch the 2021 Hale Barns Carnival when he headlined an evening of Proms favourites.
The Salford-born superstar singer took centre stage in the middle of July to kick off the annual weekend festival which returned bigger and better than ever after being postponed in 2020.
Due to the weekend falling into the Government’s 4-week delay to restrictions being lifted, the carnival went ahead as planned but with a 50% capacity only and all appropriate Covd-safe restrictions in place.
The man dubbed ‘The Voice’ had said he couldn’t wait to return to live performing and entertain Hale Barns audiences – while raising vital funds for charity at the same time.
This year’s carnival took place across the weekend of Friday, 16 to Sunday, 18 July 2021 – with demand for tickets meaning the live music was extended to three evenings for the first time in the carnival’s history.
Alongside Watson, other headline acts included disco legends Boney M – featuring Maizie Williams, Katrina and the Waves and 5 Star featuring Denise Pearson.
But it was the very special Proms with Russell Watson that officially opened Hale Barns Carnival 2021.
The 54-year-old former bolt cutter, who started singing in working men’s clubs in his spare time, is the UK’s best-selling classical artist.
2021 marks the 21st anniversary of his debut solo album The Voice reaching no.1 – a position it held for a world record fifty-two weeks, catapulting the singer to international stardom.
With his band he sang a specially curated set full of Proms classics, including stirring anthems like Jerusalem and Rule Britannia, as well as Puccini’s aria Nessun Dorma.
The Friday night concert supported The Seashell Trust, with all profits from the evening being donated to the Cheshire charity which helps young people with complex needs and communication challenges.
Watson said prior to performing: “When I get onstage at Hale Barns it will be my first live concert for eighteen months. It’s going to be an emotional experience, both for me and for the musicians performing with me.
“I used to live not far away, in Plane Tree Road in Hale, so it’s a really nice place to start performing again. And The Seashell Trust is a fantastic local charity which does important work with young people in the area. Charities have been hit hard in the last year, so I’m also really pleased that money raised on the evening will be going towards it being able to continue providing those vital services.
“Last year was meant to be my 20th anniversary tour, but everything was postponed because of the pandemic. After Hale Barns Carnival I’ll be performing a small number of other outdoor Proms concerts, and then my rescheduled tour will start in the autumn – now marking my 21st anniversary!
“When lockdown started last spring, I gave my voice a complete rest for five or six months, and as a result it’s soaring and feeling really fluid.
“Now I can’t wait to get back on stage and entertain people again. I’ll be performing Proms favourites along with a selection of the repertoire that I’ve recorded over the last 20 years.”
The live concerts were once again complemented by a two-day free Hale Barns Carnival family event on Saturday, 17 and Sunday, 18 July.
The carnival weekend was staged with Covid-safe measures in place, including space and hand sanitizer stations, to ensure a relaxed and safe event for all the family.
Organiser Max Eden from Hale Barns Events said: “Russell was due to perform at the 2020 Carnival which had to be postponed because of the Coronavirus pandemic, so I’m absolutely delighted he’s able to join us this summer instead.”
Facebook: @HaleBarnsCarnival
Twitter:​ @HaleBarnsEvents

YOUR NEWS – Hunger for Performance

YOUR NEWS – Hunger for Performance

By Chloë Abley

In a year like no other, Brighton Fringe invited audiences to escape to the seaside and they flocked: 80,000 tickets were sold for drag, comedy, family, circus, theatre and more.
Both income and ticket sales amount to approximately 46% of the Brighton Fringe 2019 figures. An estimated 170,000 people enjoyed the Brighton Fringe both online and in-person.
The largest arts festival in England, this year Brighton Fringe held 2,501 more performances than in 2019.
Plus in 2021, 630 events (170 digital and 460 in-person) materialised into 7,216 performances for Brighton audiences and those comfy at home.
More venues than ever also joined in across the city with 166 playing host to the most weird, wild and wonderful shows from around the world! The events presented represents approximately 60% of Brighton Fringe 2019 but there was still plenty to choose from with 2,523 in-person and 4,693 digital performances.
Brighton Fringe CEO Julian Caddy comments, “We are hugely grateful to all participants, venues, staff, volunteers, Friends, funders, sponsors and all our other partners for the immense hard work in making Brighton Fringe happen this year. To our audiences, a massive thanks for attending so enthusiastically and also for following the Covid safety guidance. It was such a relief to be back after so long and we can’t wait for 2022. In the meantime, I think we’ve all earned a bit of a break.”
Celebrating the success of the artists who made Brighton Fringe possible, they announced their award-winners in a special July prize-giving. Recipient of the Fringe Review Outstanding Theatre Award was Clean: The Musical while Julie Madly Deeply won the Brighton Gin Cabaret & Variety Award.
Brighton Fringe embraces every art form and artist in its exciting and unusual programme. The open-access arts festival prides itself on welcoming established and emerging artists, supporting those taking their first steps with a variety of bursaries. It offers much-loved returning acts alongside exciting newcomers with comedy, theatre, circus, exhibitions, magic, dance, children’s shows and much, much more.

YOUR NEWS – Wardrobe Ensemble Launches New Festival…

YOUR NEWS – Wardrobe Ensemble Launches New Festival…

By Chloë Abley

The Wardrobe Ensemble will celebrate their 10th anniversary with an ambitious new theatre festival running from Aug to Oct.
Pop-up venue The Mix, designed by Studio Three Sixty, will become The Theatre on the Downs at Breaking Bread on The Downs.
This new venue in Bristol will celebrate the local theatre scene as The Wardrobe Ensemble strives to create opportunities for South West artists and provide a community-focused hub in the city for audiences to enjoy after a year inside. The first shows are now on-sale with more theatre, circus, poetry, family shows to be announced!
Kicking off the festival will be world premiere of The Wardrobe Ensemble’s Winners. In their own inimitable style, this exciting new show explores capitalism and tracks the shift of labour in the history of food from farming to fast food. Directed by Jesse Jones and Helena Middleton, Winners is a rollicking and fantastical look at manipulation, monopoly and money, capitalism and currency.
The Wardrobe Ensemble told us back in July: “We started talking about this idea at the end of last summer as we imagined what might come next for theatre. We knew that the thing we wanted to do the most was to make a new show and perform it to live audiences, and we thought that other companies in the South West might want that too. So, we created this very ambitious project which has had many different permutations along the way as we tried to wrangle it into being. We are so excited (and a little bit scared) to finally announce it and make it happen.
“This is the biggest thing The Wardrobe Ensemble has ever tried to pull off and we still need help. Please do get in touch if you feel able to support us. And if you are a South West artist with something that you think might work at The Theatre on the Downs, let us know – we are still programming the space and want to fill it with as much exciting work as possible!”
As part of The Theatre on the Downs, The Wardrobe Ensemble is offering a brand-new commission of £10,000 for an artist or company based in South West England to develop a new piece of theatre.
Alongside the commission, the successful artist or company will have the option of a programming slot in September and receive one-to-one sessions with members of The Wardrobe Ensemble to support the next steps. Applications are open at:

But you’ve got to be very quick; the deadline is 4 Aug, with interviews due to take place on 17 Aug.

There are still more opportunities to be part of the programming – for more information, check the website:
The Theatre on the Downs is supported by The Wardrobe Theatre, Arts Council England, Backstage Trust and WECA. Ticketing in association with Bristol Old Vic.
The programme is:

Opening Night at The Theatre on the Downs
by The Wardrobe Ensemble
Sat, 7th Aug, 7.30pm
A launch party spectacular with game show The Wardrobe Ensembwheel of Fortune, along with top secret special guests, free prizes of the highest quality and lots of fun and games. Come and celebrate the opening of Bristol’s newest theatre venue!

by The Wardrobe Ensemble
Tue 10th – Sat 28th Aug
“My whole life is about winning. I don’t lose often. I almost never lose.”
Donald J Trump.
A brand-new show and return to live performance from the multi-award-winning company who brought you Education, Education, Education, 1972: The Future of Sex and RIOT. Supported by Arts Council England.


The Star Seekers
by The Wardrobe Ensemble
Wed, 18th – Sat, 21st Aug

Beach Baby
by Wilderbeast
Fri, 27th – Sun, 29th Aug




Wild Swimming
by FullRogue
Tue, 31st Aug – Sat, 4th Sep




Beauty & The Beast
by Living Spit
Tue, 14th – Sat, 18th Sep




Theatre Bristol Assembly: Mistake Boutique
by Theatre Bristol
Wed, 15th Sep


Bicycle Boy
by Helen Eastman & Alex Silverman
Wed, 11th – Sun, 15th Aug




Theatre on the Downs is at: The Theatre on the Downs, Breaking Bread, The Downs, Stoke Road BS9 1FG

Sat, 7th Aug – Sat, 2nd Oct 2021

Tickets: £15 (concessions available).
Available onlin. Just visit here:

Twitter: @WardrobEnsemble
Instagram: @TheWardrobeEnsemble Facebook: @TheWardrobeEnsemble #TheatreOnTheDowns