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The Reduced Shakespeare Company are on a UK tour again
The Reduced Shakespeare Company are on a UK tour again
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The heartbreak, humour, passion and desperation of teenagers caught up in the First World War combines with song in a new show at The Dukes in Lancaster on Monday night.

The Muddy Choir takes its audience into the trenches of Ypres and introduces them to three teenage soldiers of the Durham Light Infantry.

The trio form an ad-hoc choir who use singing as a means of escaping the horrors of the front but, when their songs cause a disturbance, they face unwelcome attention from their commanding officers.

The Muddy Choir, which will be performed in The Round at the venue, features close-harmony versions of popular north east folk songs of the period and is suitable for anyone aged 13 plus.

Playwright Jesse Briton said: “In this centenary of the First World War, there’s a particular significance in bringing work to venues that reflects the reality of the war for the millions caught up in it, including so many young people.”

Box office: 01524 598500 or www.dukes-lancaster.org l For review see tomorrow’s Lancashire Evening Post.

Blackpool Grand Theatre hosts a treat for children when the acclaimed Lancashire-based Horse + Bamboo Theatre Company brings their new production of Hansel + Gretel next Tuesday and Wednesday daytime.

The timeless Brothers Grimm tale is brought to life in a visually stunning take on the children’s classic.

Rossendale-based Horse + Bamboo has been making and touring shows for more than 30 years. This production is suitable for age five upwards.

Box office: 01253 290190 or www. blackpoolgrand.co.uk

Following an acclaimed season at Edinburgh Festival Fringe 2014, the Reduced Shakespeare Company are on a UK tour again.

The Complete History of Comedy (abridged) covers comedy through the ages, from Aristophanes and Shakespeare to Vaudeville and Chaplin. Everything between cavemen telling Rock Rock gags to Chris Rock, they leave no joke untold to deconstruct the entire history of comedy in 90 minutes.

The Reduced Shakespeare Company, as a three-man touring franchise, have created nine stage shows, two TV specials, several pilots and numerous radio pieces. At one point they had more shows in the West End than Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Catch them at The Brewery in Kendal next Friday.

Box Office: 01539 725 133 or www.breweryarts.co.uk

The Atkinson in Southport February 8. Box Office: 01704 533 533 or www.theatkinson.co.uk

The Lowry in Salford February 9. Box Office: 0843 208 6000 or www.thelowry.com

Octagon Theatre Bolton May 27. Box Office: 01204 520 661 or www.octagonbolton.co.uk

The Royal Exchange in Manchester is to stage the world premiere of award-winning playwright Rona Munro’s new play Scuttlers – about Manchester’s original gangs – from next Thursday through to March 7.

It is inspired by the Manchester riots of 2011 and stories of all the city’s gangs between the 19th century and today.

Set in 1885, the streets are crackling with energy, youth and violence. As workers pour into Ancoats to power the Industrial Revolution, 50,000 people are crammed into one square mile. In the world’s first industrial suburb, young millworkers form the first urban gangs, fighting over territory with belts, fists and knives.

Rona Munro has written extensively for stage, radio, film and television including the award-winning trilogy of The James Plays for the National Theatre of Scotland, The National Theatre and the Edinburgh International Festival.

Wils Wilson, award-winning director and site-specific theatre maker, directs a production which will also feature a 32-strong community ensemble to play boys, girls and adults from rival gangs.

Box Office: 0161 833 9833 or www.royalexchange.co.uk