Sunday 17 July 2016

Review: Putting The Band Back Together in Sunderland

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Another Ground Breaking Production

Putting The Band Back Together
Sunderland Summer Streets Festival
17th July 2016
Photo: Stephen Oliver
Photo: Stephen Oliver
The premiere of Unfolding Theatre’s Putting The Band Back Together is another thought provoking piece. For some, if they pick up that unloved instrument, it will be potentially life changing. The show couples the North East’s most engaging actor, Alex Elliott; rising star Maria Crocker and real music star Ross Millard from the Futureheads with a houseband comprising of local musicians.

Photo: Stephen Oliver
Alex plays a frustrated ex-musician that used to be in a band and he muses over what his life has become. Maria is the complex set of emotions that each musician battles with. She also explores the top 10 reasons that musicians quit playing.

Photo: Stephen Oliver
A life changing event means Alex gets in touch with his old musician friend, played by Ross. They consider putting the band together. For old times sake.  Whilst they still can.

Photo: Stephen Oliver
Now Unfolding Theatre have form when it comes to genuinely life changing theatre. If you were to ask us about how the North East Theatre Guide started then we’d usually start on the chapter about the Jowheretogo what’s on  Radio Show on NE1FM. But a small number of people out there will be aware of the prologue that had us watching Unfolding Theatre’s Best In The World at Northern Stage. It had us thinking so we went again to the Arts Centre in Washington. At that point I realised I had made a massive mistake with my new ‘dream’ job and quit. After picking up a simpler role I found I could be much better at my job and with my family – I was ‘Best In The World’ now. Plus with all of the extra time on my hands I could go to the theatre and music gigs that I’d previously had to miss out on – hence we started the radio show and blog.

Photo: Stephen Oliver
Is this show going to change us? Too damn right it is. As soon as I finish writing this I’m going to pick up that guitar that I’ve not touched in ages. The
Sunderland house band play a range of instruments and had fun making a public performance. This band will change from show to show as it tours. The dancers from the Gemma Hackett School of Dance added youth and glamour to the grand finale – a nice touch.

Photo: Stephen Oliver
Putting The Band Back Together is a fine piece and acts as a tribute to every live band that once gave it a go. It is a celebration of why live performance is best. Go and see it & then pick up your old instrument – it has missed you.  

This review was written by Stephen Oliver for Carliol Photography ( Follow Jo on twitter @jowheretogo, Stephen @panic_c_button or like Carliol Photography on Facebook .

Tour dates:

Photo: Stephen Oliver
Every performance features a House Band of ex-players. Fancy joining? Email Find out more, and watch 'Learn the Music' videos here.

22 September, 8pm, Arts Centre Washington as part of Sunderland Stages
28-30 September, 8pm, Northern Stage, Newcastle
28-29 October, 8pm,Waterside Arts Centre, Sale, Greater Manchester
3-5 November, 8pm, Salisbury Playhouse
11 November, 8pm, Lincoln Drill Hall
12 November, 7.30pm, Trouble At Mill, Farsley, Leeds (tickets on sale soon)
27 January, 8pm, Attenborough Arts Centre, Leicester
More tour dates to be announced.

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