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A new studio theatre, The Playhouse, in the West End of Morecambe has thrown open its doors after months of Covid uncertainty releasing a full programme of events from September to Christmas. From Community Theatre to ‘The Bo Jo Show’, The Playhouse programme looks to be the pinnacle of variety with something for everyone whether that’s as a member of the audience or on the stage. After speaking with Artistic Director, Matt Panesh, it was quite clear the level of excitement had by everyone involved in getting to this point so, without further a do, let’s delve into the up and coming.
Similarly to thousands of establishments across the country, The Playhouse was massively affected by the Pandemic; “we had just opened, managed to run one cabaret night performed by our local West End talent when suddenly that was it”. However, in classic theatre fashion Matt managed to see the good amidst the bad revealing he had “five hundred Playhouse 2020 Calendars made with all the events planned” which of course are “collectors items now…detailing the year that never was!” But now they’re back on track, reopening their doors to eager viewers and performers alike, beginning the year with open auditions for ‘The Snow Queen’ Pantomime that will be running from the 15th to 18th December. Written by local writer, and West End Player, June Metcalfe, ‘The Snow Queen’ is a community project, welcoming all to participate.
As well as ‘The Snow Queen’, The Playhouse will also be hosting Panesh’s own show, ‘The Bo Jo Show’ – a political comedy that looks back over the last couple of years. When asked about the show Panesh expressed that, ‘The Bo Jo Show’ is a solo show like the theatre I was making before I started the Morecambe Fringe, so it’s good to be back writing.”
Following on from ‘The Bo Jo Show’ we have Henry Normal on the 9th October. Normal and Panesh have had several run-ins over the years with Panesh first interviewing him as part of his Beyond Radio Culture Show where Normal offered to play at the Playhouse as part of his National Tour of ‘The Escape Plan’. His other work includes: co-creator of ‘The Royal Family’, co-writer of ‘Mrs Merton’, ‘Coogan’s Run’, ‘Dr Terrible’ and managing director of ‘BabyCow’. Alongside these achievements, Normal also had a budding TV career, retiring in 2016 after receiving a BAFTA Lifetime achievement award; he then went on to write and perform six radio 4 series – retirement clearly treating him well.
For Halloween, we have a new script by David Findlay called ‘Frankula’s Castle’ which “is looking to be immense fun, and a fright night cabaret on Halloween itself.”
Next, a world premiere of a new drama, “Liking Me, Liking You”, written by Sarah Green and running from the 24th to the 26th November. Not long after there’s the New York Times’ “King of Clowns”, Chris Lynam performing on the 11th December. As one of the founders of Alternate Cabaret, this should be a night to remember!
On top of all these exciting events, we shouldn’t forget First Friday of the Month Cabaret Nights. All the Galleries on Yorkshire Street will be opening late on the first Friday of the month for Cabaret with wine, cheese and so on. It should be great fun and a little reminder of the cultural revival that’s happening in Yorkshire Street.
All shows start at 8pm and tickets are available in person from the Morecambe and Lancaster Visitor’s Centres or online from Skiddle and Patronbase. For a student discount, type STUDENT50 when purchasing tickets on Skiddle for 50% off WhipCrack Comedy events at Kanteena during October.
If you are interested in getting involved with any of these events, please contact Matt Panesh at: firstname.lastname@example.org