Brassed Off: Touring Consortium Theatre Company
Posted on May 31, 2014 by Mike Allcock
May 2014, Lyceum Theatre, Sheffield: Newstead brass were one of the 10 bands which joined the Touring Consortium Theatre Company for their 2014 national professional tour of ‘Brassed Off’.
The tour coincided with the 30th anniversary of the Miners' Strike of 1984, and was directed by Olivier Award winning Damian Cruden and featured John McArdle (Brookside) and Andrew Dunn (Dinner Ladies) in a talented cast, many of which played instruments in the band scenes, including Clara Darcy playing the flugel horn in the role of Gloria.
Newstead brass, and musical director Duncan Beckley, were closely involved when the 'Brassed Off' film first transferred to the stage in 1998, playing for the Nottingham leg of that professional tour. The band were therefore delighted to be asked to play for this new production in Sheffield in the final week ‘on tour’ before transferring to the Bolton Octagon for a short ‘resident’ season.
Each week of the tour (Nottingham, Bradford, Darlington, Cheltenham, Dartford, Wolverhampton, Blackpool, Coventry, Edinburgh and Sheffield) featured a different local band with the production receiving excellent reviews throughout the country.
These are just some of the comments about the Sheffield production, most of which concluded with a standing ovation for the band and cast.
“The audience highlights were the live brass band performances - which managed to contribute equally to the pathos and comedy of the piece. The cast had a great energy, as did the brass band, and engaged the audience's sympathies well.”
“Paul Allen’s adaptation for the stage…gives us all the advantages of live theatre…
And all of this immeasurably enriched by the rich and resonant tone of the Newstead Brass Band, supplemented by members of the cast. This is a play and a concert performance all in one.”
British Theatre Guide
“The brass band performed on stage, played by a combination of the actors and members from a local band, and did a fine job with some uplifting and moving numbers. The play was heavier on the narrative than the music and the only criticism to be levelled was that perhaps the band didn’t play enough throughout the show and especially towards the end.”
Gay UK Magazine