Tag Archives: Shakespeare

Adding to the trophy cabinet!

Sat 31 Dec 2016

What a perfect way to end a very busy year for Cranked Anvil!…

Earlier in the year we produced our very first Shakespeare Season, presenting modern interpretations of Romeo + Juliet, Hamlet, and Henry V, touring them to various venues in the North East. The shows were well attended and very well received, and everyone at Cranked Anvil was immensely proud of them.

So we’re over the moon that the North East Theatre Guide has judged our production of Romeo + Juliet to be the Best in 2016.  (And just as pleased that our production of Henry V took ‘bronze’ in the same category.)

There was a lot of Shakespeare produced in the region this year – especially with it being the 400th anniversary of Shakepeare’s death – so to receive this accolade is particularly gratifying.  Well done to all the casts, crews, techies, and venues, who helped to make it possible and ensure the shows were such a success.  Mention must go to our associate producer, Vanessa Karon, who not only appeared in the productions, but was an absolute rock in the behind-the-scenes production side of the whole tour.  Quite simply, these Shakespeare productions would not have existed without her.

The reviews are in!

Thursday 28 April 2016

The first production in our Shakespeare season, Romeo + Juliet, is growing from strength to strength – and it’s not just us saying that, the reviewers think so too!

We’re getting some wonderful feedback, which is just rewards for all the incredible hard work the cast have put into this production over recent weeks.

Stephen Oliver writes in the North East Theatre Guide:

“A must-see.

This production is a happy marriage of great acting, lively action scenes and a charismatic cast.

The decision to deliver a parochial production has helped liberate Shakespeare’s story and they’ve probably ended up with a show that’s closer to what the Bard intended.”

You can read the full review here.

MITW - paulAnd hot on the heels of this, we talked this morning to Made In Tyne & Wear for their arts & entertainment show The Lowdown.  The lovely Hazel Pude asked director Paul Dunn about his inspiration for the production, how it all came about, and how he put together the cast that have delivered such a great production.

Our Romeo + Juliet, David Jackson and Brogan Gilbert, told the cameras about recently performing with The Globe theatre for the MITW - actorsShakespeare celebrations, and being accepted into not one, not two, but three drama schools – as well as their palpable on-stage chemistry and complete ease and comfort at have to snog each other on a regular basis!

If you haven’t seen it yet, you still have a chance to catch it.  It plays Alphabetti theatre tonight and Friday, then on Saturday night it goes to the Alun Armstrong theatre in Stanley.

If you can’t make it this week, you have a chance to see it at the Customs House on Thursday 19th May, 7.45pm.



R+J opens to enthusiastic audiences

RomeoJuliet David Brogan USE THISWed 27 April 2016

Last night our contemporary Shakespeare 2016 season opened in Newcastle, and the consensus is it was a resounding success!

The cast of 10 played to a good house at Alphabetti Theatre, and the comments and feedback from the audience in the bar afterwards was excellent.

There has been a bit of a buzz about our Shakespeare season so far, with R+J being the first of three shows we’re producing in the Shakespeare Anniversary year, and we’re already putting plans together to make it an annual event, with three more contemporary Shakespeare’s next year.

The press have shown a great deal of interest too – which is always gratifying – with arts and culture magazine NARC saying: “One of William Shakespeare’s most recognisable tales Romeo And Juliet has been imagined and re-imagined in so many different, inventive ways, that it’s always a surprise when someone manages to find a new twist on it. That’s exactly what Cranked Anvil have done though, as the star-crossed lovers have new life breathed into them as opposing football fans across the Tyne Wear divide.”

The cast have been fantastic in this production, and the show simply wouldn’t be what it is without them.  If you’re in the North East, make sure you get your tickets and don’t miss out on this excellent production.

RJ Full Cast
The full cast of Cranked Anvil’s Romeo+Juliet

Will the real Romeo & Juliet please stand up!

Sat 27 Feb 2016

Brogan Gilbert & David Jackson in the title roles
Brogan Gilbert & David Jackson in the title roles

First of all, we must say a huge thanks to our good freinds Jack Young and Amie Jeffels, who helped us out with the photoshoot of our Shakespeare posters recently.  (Which you can read about here.)

But we’re now delighted to announce that the actors playing those parts in April will be the very talented David Jackson and Brogan Gilbert.  And today they met in the rehearsal room and read the parts together for the first time.

The chemistry between them was instant, and we know they’re going to bring these young characters to life in our contemporary production.  So it was great that we managed to capture a little bit of that chemistry in a photoshoot with them, which will soon be on all our posters and flyers.

David was most recently seen on stage at the People’s in Newcastle in their critically acclaimed production, Eight, whilst Brogan has made TV appearances in Wolfblood and The Dumping Ground, as well as appearing regularly on the stage at Live Theatre in the all-girl sketch group Your Aunt Fanny.  Later this year they’ll both be auditioning for drama school, so we’re delighted that they’re working with us before going on to further develop their blossoming careers.

Romeo and Juliet is playing at Alphabetti Theatre in Newcastle, 26-29 April, then two performances at the Alun Armstrong theatre in Stanley on 3o April.  Make sure you book well in advance to avoid missing out!

Shakespeare in pictures!

Mon 25 Jan 2016

The wheels are fully in motion now for our 2016 Shakespeare Season, and yesterday we had a very busy day with three separate photo shoots for the productions.

We’re very happy with the results – and must extend a huge thanks to our models: David Foster, Amie Jeffels, Steven Stobbs, Stephen Sullivan, Jack Young, and Mike Young.  We’re sure you’ll agree by looking at the results below that it was a successful day!

Take a look at our productions page for details of all the shows and when you can catch them.


2016 Shakespeare Season announced

Thur 14 Jan 2016

We’re delighted to announce that, after much planning and preparation, the wheels are now fully in motion to bring our Shakespeare Season to life!

In the first half of this year we will be producing three of the Bard’s most famous and much-loved plays, and touring them to different venues in the North-East – premiering each one at our very own and newly formed Anvil Space in South Shields.

The productions will be exciting, challenging, and very different to anything you will have seen in the past. You can read more about it here.

We’ll also be casting for the season very soon, so if you’re an actor and would be interested in auditioning for us, keep an eye on our casting page.