New season of rural shows brings national and international flavour to Lancashire

Spot On Lancashire, Spring 2015
22 January – 23 May 2015

Spot On Lancashire are set to launch their spring season of rural touring shows, running from 22 January until 23 May 2015, with professional performers coming from as far away as Canada.

The new season features 19 shows and will provide the usual mix of professional music, theatre, film, cabaret and children’s shows at 23 small-scale, rural venues across the county.

The season opens with a National Theatre Live screening of Treasure Island on Thursday 22 January at Parbold Village Hall. The first live performances will be the stage adaptation of Monty Python star Terry Jones’ children’s book, Nicobobinus, on 14 and 15 February. There will be further children’s theatre later in the programme with The Boy Who Bit Picasso at Calder Vale Village Hall in April before it heads to Accrington Library at the end of May, the final show of the season. Both children’s shows are subsidised by Big Imaginations.

A special Canadian Season will also form part of the programme including two plays, With Cruel Times In Between from Theatre Newfoundland and Melody A Johnson’s Miss Caledonia. There will also be Canadian acoustic folk music from Ian Sherwood who will play four dates across Lancashire in March.

Sherwood is extremely successful in his homeland, having won Contemporary Singer of the Year at the 2013 Canadian Folk Music Awards as well as being named Male Artist of the Year at the International Acoustic Music Awards in 2012.

There will be music from closer to home too with Midlands band Mumbo Jumbo who will play at Tockholes Village Hall at the end of February and the Tom McConville Trio bringing their Pennine folk music to Croston, Grindleton and Cliviger in April.

Theatre features prominently in the programme and as well as the two Canadian plays, Alison Neil’s The Fossil Lady of Lyme will travel to Barnoldswick and Mellor Brook at the end of February, followed by The Shape of Things to Come in Fleetwood and Dorothy’s War in Arkholme, Bleasdale and Bolton-by-Bowland, during March.

March will also see an evening dedicated to Charlie Chaplin at Halton Mill and Accrington Library. ‘Monument To Charlie Chaplin’ involves a short film, accompanied by a performance from theatre company, Kings of England with live music.

Then, in an entirely different production, Circus Geeks will take their unique new show, Beta Testing, about “jugglers and their strange obsession” to Scorton Village Hall on Friday 13 March and Accrington Library on Saturday 28 March.

In May, Chanje Kunda will bring an adaptation of her own book of poems to the stage with Amsterdam, an exciting story of one woman’s search for love, at Barnoldswick on Friday 15 May.

For those who enjoy a laugh, the ever popular Mervyn Stutter will perform his show Utterly Stutterly at three different venues in May. The Flying Pickets founder member will take his sometimes wicked, but always affectionate, sense of humour to Calder Vale, Burscough Wharf and Tosside on the 15, 16 and 17 May.

The season will also include four live screenings of National Theatre productions, Treasure Island, Behind the Beautiful Forevers, The Hard Problem and Man and Superman, which stars Academy Award Nominee Ralph Fiennes. There will also be a screening of Hamlet, featuring Maxine Peake in the title role, coming live from The Royal Exchange in Manchester.

Spot On Lancashire is a county wide service which enables people living in remote and rural communities to enjoy high quality live arts events on their doorstep. This is achieved by working in partnership with over 200 volunteers and popping up in over 50 different small places each year.

Speaking ahead of the season launch, Spot On Director Sue Robinson said:

“Our autumn season was hugely successful last year and we’re looking to build on that in the spring. We’re particularly excited about being able to welcome three different shows all the way from Canada to the county. Once again there’s a real mix of high quality shows with something to suit all tastes and there are some new venues joining us for 2015 too!”

For more information about the shows or to see the full Spot On season programme, visit www.spotonlancashire.co.uk, call Sue Robinson on 01254 660360 or email hello@spotonlancashire.co.uk.