One of Shakespeare’s most concentrated plays, Black Box Theatre Company’s Othello has spent three riveting evenings on the stage of Lantern Theatre Liverpool ahead of its finale performances at Manchester’s Guide Bridge Theatre. Awarded with a pace that encapsulates the pulsating progression of the text, Black Box’s production seizes the plays primary theme from its first ‘green-eyed’ appearance and advances quickly towards its tremendous, tragic conclusion.
There is a lot to recommend this North West production, particularly its authenticity. Directors Matthew Bowden and Ian Moore are to thank for that, avoiding the temptation of an ‘innovative’, modern adaptation that over-thinks its production and overshadows the existing richness of the text. Set in early 20th century Venice, the piece slots nicely into the chaos of WW1, retaining its social relevance in regards to racial attitude. However, this quiet insinuation is made only by costume; as a sparse set allows the language to, quite literally, do the talking. Two movable dividers and a wooden bench (cleverly morphing into table, bed and – imaginatively – bath) are the only visual stimuli available to the audience. Quite frankly, the actors are captivating enough.
Shakespeare uses the word ‘honest’ 52 times within Othello (yes, I have counted) and Ben Jewell’s portrayal of Iago is nothing if not honest to the Shakespearian depiction of this puzzling antagonist. Sinister, cunning and most importantly, ambiguous, Jewell alludes to Iago’s motives as tenuously as Shakey himself. With his slicked-back hair and measured conviction, Jewell is every inch the ‘demi-devil’.
Lucy Peacock’s Desdemona is equally captivating, aided greatly by her alternate career as lyrical soprano: ‘She had a song of ‘willow’’ and my, she sang it well. Perhaps the most beautiful scene in the production is defined by Peacock’s musical lament, creating a true ‘pin-drop’ atmosphere amongst the audience.
A truly professional performance from all involved, this production is certainly one to catch before the end of its run.
The Lantern Theatre aims to provide a base for young and aspiring writers, local to and studying in
We will meet on a weekly/monthly basis on a Monday at 7.00pm to discuss new theatre in
Liverpool and what we’d like to see be developed and performed in the city and in the Lantern.
As well as discussions on current theatre we will run writing and improvisation exercises to help
members write and develop their own work.
This will all be with the view to creating a series of one act plays where we will give constructive,
critical feedback and analysis.
For more information about The Lantern Theatre or if you have any queries, please contact us on
Here at the Lantern Theatre, we are running a new ambassador scheme involving student’s and graduates from local universities. Within this scheme, the ambassadors help out with front of house duties, administration work, helping companies coming in and out of the theatre, as well as being general ambassadors for the theatre itself and promoting our work here.
The ambassadors are showcasing their first piece of work that they have written, directed and will perform themselves over the Halloween holiday. Book your tickets now to see our ambassadors in action in Rumpelstiltskin: As Grimm As It Gets.
I am currently in my final year studying Drama at Liverpool John Moores University. My interest in the theatre began at the age of 14, when I joined an amateur drama group for a production of Fiddler on the Roof. Since this, I have performed in over ten shows in the Riverside Theatre Coleraine, taking the lead role in Waking Dreams, written and directed by Chris McQuillan. I have a particular interest in acting, dancing and directing, but would like to go on to be a director in the future. I am excited and enthusiastic about this opportunity with the Lantern Theatre, as I can now understand the different aspects of running a theatre.
I’m a 3rd Year Drama & English student studying at Liverpool John Moores University. My interest in the theatre started when I got my first part in a secondary school production of Bugsy Malone, I went on to join youth theatre group ‘The Hampstead Factory’ at the age of 14 and have been apart of small productions ever since. My time at university has seen my interests shift from acting to technical and creative aspects in theatre. To be given the chance to be apart of the Lantern Theatre as an Ambassador and see how a working theatre runs is very exciting opportunity.
I’m currently in my third year at John Moores University studying English and Drama. The arts are something I have a strong passion for and I have been involved in theatre and music for many years now. I’m from Liverpool and I have been fortunate enough to perform at some of the amazing venues the city has to offer. I am dedicated to seeing new and exciting theatre and enjoy devising and creating performances myself.
I’m twenty one and have studied at Liverpool John Moors University for the past two years as part of a joint honours degree in Drama and English. I am passionate about working with drama and the theatre, in particular devising work. I worked with various drama companies and theatre groups in my hometown of Blackpool. I love a challenge and working with new people who are equally as passionate about creating theatre pieces as I am.
My name is Alecia Marshall; I am 22 and the earliest and eldest Ambassador! I recently graduated from the University of Liverpool with an English degree and am very excited to be working with the team at The Lantern. I have a deep rooted passion for theatre, although i am rarely tempted onto the stage myself! As a budding writer, my ultimate ambition is to become a theatre critic and working in The Lantern is broadening my understanding of quality theatre and new talent.
Three spooky events for you ghosts and ghouls this Halloween
This year at The Lantern we’ll be celebrating Halloween in style with three brilliant events
Kicking off on Saturday 27th with a kids craft workshop from The Button Boutique, Monster Messy Mashup promises to be an afternoon of creepy, freaky, ghoulish fun! Activities will include A creepy craft workshop, making Halloween monsters and decorations. Trick or Treat toffee/ chocolate apple decorating. Face painting. Halloween party food including ‘finger’ sandwiches, cupcakes & toenail flavour crisps, all washed down with a big cup of slime or blood!! And frightful party games! Tickets for this great event are just £8.00 and can be booked here >>>> http://thelanterntheatre.co.uk/whats-on/monster-messy-mash-up-27th-october/
Following on with our monster mood on Tuesday 30th October our very own Lantern Ambassadors will be showcasing their adaptation of a classic tale with Rumplestiltskin, As Grim as it Gets. Adapting the classic Brothers Grimm tale, ‘Rumplestiltskin’, into a chilling, on-
stage production that will frighten those of even the strongest disposition;
The Lantern Ambassadors, promise to set the right atmosphere for a truly
Put on your scariest costume and you may be in with a chance of winning
prizes ranging from free theatre tickets to a bottle of wine, whilst the best
ghost story told on the night will be equally rewarded…
With a 2am bar and drinks offers running throughout the night, this is an event
you do not want to miss!
£5.00 or £3.00 for those who come in fancy dress to avoid disappointment book your tickets online now >>>>>http://thelanterntheatre.co.uk/whats-on/rumplestiltskin-as-grim-as-it-gets-30th-october/
And last but by no means least on Halloween itself, join us for A Nightmare on Blundell Street an adults craft workshop which sees
the theatre transformed into a creepy danger dungeon and once you enter there is no escape!
Play our games and you might just make it out alive!
The madness will include:
Voodoo doll workshop…create a doll of your worst enemy and torture them until they die!
Halloween banquet buffet, with ‘finger’ sandwiches, toenail clippings & sweet ‘tooth’ cupcakes
Torture Trick or Treat party games
You and your friend will be joined by frightful actors who will have you screaming with fear!
Dress to impress as the best Halloween costume will win a prize!
Entry to this crazy craft workshop is just £12.00 book your tickets online here >>>>> http://thelanterntheatre.co.uk/whats-on/nightmare-on-blundell-street-31st-october/
The Ragged Trousered Philanthropists
12:00pm – 1:30pm, 1–27 Aug, not 13, Assembly George Square
By Edd McCracken |Published 18 August 2012
One of Robert Tressell’s great tricks with his posthumously published broadside against capitalism was to critique a world-defining system not via tales of bloodshed and revolution, but through a meagre bunch of English painters and decorators. Who needs the travails of Dr Zhivago when you have the grumblings of White Van Man?
No matter what your political sensibility, Townsend Productions’ adaptation of the 1914 book is a riotous joy of a show. Through a heady mix of just two performers, multiple costume changes, puppetry, folk songs, and cartoonish staging it shows how Big Issues are in the weave and weft of even the most innocuous activities.
The mundanity in question is the refurbishment of a grand old house in provincial England. Mr Rushden, a property developer, and his Scrooge-like henchman Hunter, employ and underpay a rag bag bunch to make it habitable, before selling it on. While the top dogs count their massive profits, the workers subsist on lower and lower wages, undercutting one another to ensure another day’s work. All the while they toast their employers. Owen, an artist, is the only one to point out the system’s self-defeating absurdity.
Like the book, it sermonises without apology. One sequence uses a loaf of bread and two audience members to show The Great Money Trick – how workers spend their wages on the very items they produce. The money always floats back to the top, out of the reach of those who need it most.
Thankfully great lashings of humour buoy these moments of Marxist self-importance. Townsend Productions may well have found a way to make Das Kapital funny.
Sessions, led by Tutor, Roger Hill, are held twice monthly in central Liverpool
∞ Participants can attend regularly or just occasionally
∞ Tell stories and learn techniques for remembering or enhancing stories
∞ Ideal for building confidence in acting and public speaking or just for
the pure enjoyment of story
“Rogers’ sessions make you think outside of the box..”
“I thoroughly enjoy attending the group with like minded people who just enjoy telling stories”
“Inspiring, informative and encouraging.”
“Roger is a great teacher. He knows how to bring a story to life and does a fantastic job of seeing and drawing out the unique story teller in each of us”
“Every session offers surprise and insight - I love it! ”
￼Roger Hill has been running story-telling workshops and courses on Merseyside since 2009. He is a theatre director and artist, broadcaster (BBC Radio Merseyside’s alternative music show) and an arts and education consultant. He has travelled widely and counts music, walking, history and architecture amongst his many interests.
Watch This space for news of Comedy Night’s @ The Lantern. Beginning on Sunday 4th March. Line up and tickets will be on the website on Monday.