2015 in review

Tomorrow is New Years’ Eve, and will mark the end of Dangerous To Know’s first full year as a company.

It’s been a blast so far, seeing us launch our first full-length funded production, enjoy five-star reviews and make new and exciting connections that will no doubt blossom further in 2016.

Keep an eye on this site for news of things to come, and, just because we’re sentimental like that, we’ll leave you with our annual blog report.

If you’re interested in working with us next year, just email dtkmanchester@gmail.com and introduce yourself.

Happy New Year!

An excerpt of the report:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,200 times in 2015. If it were a cable car, it would take about 53 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report.


2015 in review

Feedback!

Well, now that we’re just about ready to send a summary of our activities over the last few months whizzing back to the Arts Council, we thought we’d share with you a few choice comments from our audience feedback forms. We’re not big-headed, we just appreciate that our audiences have excellent taste!

“A very well written, well produced and well performed piece.”

“Very professional and very enjoyable.”

“We loved it! Beautiful.”

“Sam Redway’s performance of Branwell was superb – he did “drunk” very well indeed. I particularly liked Caroline Lamb’s Emily, stomping on set in search of powder for her musket.”

“Fantastic. Brilliantly written. Moving.”

“Totally absorbing!”

“Exceptional performance from all – well written and acted. Tears and laughter – well done!”

“A detailed and honest performance with a multitude of emotions portrayed. A beautiful insight into the lives of such a notable literary family, the sorrow and hardships behind the brilliance!”

“Original and dynamic storytelling. Beautifully written and acted. Thanks.”

“A terrific play, actors & script. More please!”

“Brilliant play. I look forward to more.”

Congratulations to Team Percy for achieving these brilliant results, and many thanks to our audiences for your overwhelming support! In response to those calls for more, do keep an eye on this site, along with our Twitter account (@DTKManc) and our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/DangerousToKnow) as the New Year will bring new opportunities for us, and new ways for you to get involved!

Thank you all once again. Happy Holidays, and we’ll see you next year!

Sam Redway - IMG_4105ED


Feedback!

First review is in!

On Wednesday night, Dangerous To Know opened our doors to the public for the first performance in our run of The Dissolution of Percy and, as is always nerve-wracking, we invited press and reviewers to tell us what they thought of our work!

Brontë Sisters

Now Frank Hill, a reviewer for RemoteGoat, has delivered, and we are absolutely thrilled.

Under the heading “Gripping, original Branwell Brontë drama”, he writes:

“There’s a painting of the Brontë sisters, posed woodenly around a small table, with a figure standing behind them smeared out of all recognition. This figure was the artist himself, their brother Branwell, who had defaced his own image in some bout of self-loathing. As a student I was fascinated by this ghost-like image hovering ominously in the background, so was particularly interested to see a new play at The Kings Arms, Salford where Branwell takes centre stage.

I knew Caroline Lamb’s drama (‘The Dissolution of Percy’) was going to be interesting when one of the sister’s asked where her powder was. Instead of entering with objects from her boudoir she came onstage carrying a gun. The material in question was gunpowder. That’s when I realised this was going to be an unusual perspective on the Brontë women and their much-neglected-by-history brother.

The play began at an unusually stable period in Branwell’s life when, thanks to the efforts of his sisters, he had obtained a post as tutor to the Robinson’s family’s son. All seemed well, but it soon became clear that he had not forsaken his spendthrift, drunken ways and stories of his behaviour reached the ears of Mr. Robinson. Although not one to smooth over troubled waters, Branwell managed to retain his position, only to then embark on an affair with the mistress of the house, Lydia.

Branwell was a dreamer, trapped in the fantasies of childhood stories and a great admirer of Lord Byron. But without that poet’s panache and fame, being ‘mad, bad and dangerous to know’ could be disastrous. Detached from reality, narcissistic, and drawn to alcohol and laudanum, it became the task of his sisters to save Branwell from himself. But had he already reached the point of no return?

The play is about unfulfilled ambition, self denial and desire. It’s well written and tightly structured with fine performances (I’m sure the few occasions when actors spoke over each others lines will soon be ironed out).

Alison Flevill, Marcella Hazell and Caroline Lamb brought Jane (Ed. read “Emily”) , Anne and Charlotte vividly to life and Jane Allighan’s sensitive portrayal of Lydia showed a character desperate to survive in a world where wealth and poverty were frighteningly close neighbours – particularly for women in Victorian England.

Sean Fitton provided solid support with characters ranging from Rev. Brontë to Branwell’s drinking partner John.

But the play stands or falls on the portrayal of Branwell himself, and Sam Redway gave a riveting performance as the vulnerable, selfish, frustrating artist. To give just one example of his skill – I have seen some terrible interpretations of drunkenness on stage – by some renowned actors. It’s extremely difficult to do well and Sam managed to pitch it perfectly, getting the nuances just right. A great performance throughout, and director Helen Parry must take credit for that.

An unusual subject then, focussing on characters usually ignored by history and thereby also creating a new perspective on the famous sisters themselves. Excellent.”

Thank you, Frank! It’s wonderful to get this type of feedback for an inaugural production. We hope our work continues to impress for the rest of the run, and for the play’s future life!

If you would like tickets to the production, we highly recommend booking in advance via the link below.

BOOK NOW!


First review is in!

Opening Night!

The Dissolution of Percy opens TONIGHT at 7:30 at  the Kings Arms in Salford, M3 6AN.

Come along and see the wonderful work we have done! The rehearsal process has been both a labour of love and a real hardy slog for every member of the company.

Book your tickets in advance to save time at the box office and to ensure that you get a seat! Below is the direct link for THIS EVENING ONLY:

Book Here!

And now, introducing the cast (in order of appearance):

Jane Allighan as Lydia

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Seán Fitton as George, John and Patrick

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Alison Flevill as Anne and Drake

Headshot

Sam Redway as Branwell

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Marcy Hazell as Charlotte and Leyland

Marcy For Web (8 of 10) copy

Caroline Lamb as Emily

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And here we are talking about the production on the radio! Our little segment is just after 34 minutes in:

Dangerous To Know: The Dissolution of Percy on All About Art

We have thoroughly enjoyed working together to bring you something we are truly proud of. We look forward to welcoming you into our audience!

See you soon x


Opening Night!

Our Beautiful Flyers!

We thought we’d share these lovely things with you. We’re dead chuffed with them!

We’re well into rehearsals now, and the production is shaping up to be a corker! Seats are limited for our performances in Salford (4th – 7 November) and Haworth (14th November), so you’d best CLICK HERE to get booking your tickets! We wouldn’t want you to miss it!

The Dissolution of Percy Flyer 2015

Image © George Hill Photography 2015

The Dissolution of Percy Flyer Back 2015


Our Beautiful Flyers!

Brilliant News!

George Hill Photography (41_

The Dissolution of Percy has been offered full Arts Council funding!

Book your tickets to see it in all its glory at The Kings Arms Theatre in Salford or Parkside Social Club in Haworth!

CLICK HERE to book your tickets in advance, or risk missing out!

You can also follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more updates!


Brilliant News!

More exciting news on the way!

First, an apology.

Artistic Director Caroline was just returning from a lovely holiday and fully intended to give the low-down on our fab event at Wardle & Jones bookshop in Scarborough when disaster struck. Her trusty communicator/recording device/life-source, made by a company christened after a fruit that will remain nameless, broke. For the third time. So no lovely pictures or Palme d’Or winning videos quite yet, but they are soon to come. Watch this space. Suffice for now to say that the event went very well, and numerous people left newly intrigued about the life of Anne Brontë, and determined to read her work. The shop itself is a gorgeous, cozy little place on Bar Street that sells brownies so delicious they bring a tear to the eye. Highly recommended. Again, further details to come when we can do them justice with still and moving visuals!

HOWEVER, we have some BIG news about our new production coming up this November that we are bursting to tell you! Keep your eyes peeled and get booking for our productions in Manchester and Haworth as soon as you can!

Pillar Photo Cropped Pillar portrait


More exciting news on the way!

Fundraising walk: Final day

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TRAILER / INFO / CAMPAIGN

We had an early start, and set off from Haworth with the sun beating down upon us as we set a course for the final point in our journey: Sowerby Bridge, where Branwell Brontë once worked as a clerk  on the railway.

It isn’t just the Brontë connection that causes me to be fascinated by Haworth – it’s the fact that, visually, it has changed so little since their time, and the thought that a number of its inhabitants can boast local ancestry stretching back before the time of the famous literary family.

VIDEO: “MYSTERIOUS” HAWORTH

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The names used in the area also suggest their link to the town’s history. The Haworth Free School may once have welcomed Branwell into its tutelage, but for some reason – be it his highly strung personality, the mental or physical health issues that many now suggest that he had, or something else – he could only have attended for a few months before being withdrawn for home-schooling.

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I got the chance once again to pass over the lovely West Yorkshire Moors, though the terrain wasn’t always on my side.

VIDEO: DAD JOKE

Though I did make a couple of friends along the way. The locals of West Yorkshire are friendly whatever their species!

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As is always the way with the North, one kind of weather didn’t seem to be enough and, suddenly I found myself battling gale-force winds as I made my way through Wainstalls.

VIDEO: BIT WINDY!

Eventually, signs for Luddenden Foot, where Branwell briefly enjoyed a promotion to the position of clerk in charge, lifted my spirits someone despite the sweltering sun, as my destination was getting ever-closer:

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However, I knew my legs and feet wouldn’t hold up for much longer, and was grudgingly grateful that this was the final ten miles of my 130 mile journey. I decided to write a short song to commemorate the quest as I hobbled along. (Warning: suggests a naughty word!)

VIDEO: CAROLINE’S TOTALLY ORIGINAL COMPOSITION

Trivia: Caroline holds Grade 8 with distinction with the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music. Seriously. It’s on her Spotlight and everything. The fraud.

I was overjoyed to arrive in Sowerby Bridge in good time, and found a wonderful welcome awaiting. This fab display really made it all feel a bit special, and was particularly poignant as this was the final date of my readings tour:

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Audience members were arriving a good fifteen minutes before the start, and, once I began, all seemed highly interested in the subject and started some really interesting discussions after the talk was finished. Sowerby Bridge library really seems a vital part of its community, and this seemed evident in the numbers that attended the event.

At the end, I packed away my things with a degree of sadness, because, though I was looking forward to heading home for a good rest, I knew I would miss this project hugely. I hope to put on some more readings in the near future (there is one lined up for 8th July at 7:30, at the Kings Arms in Salford), but it was the combination of those and the walking that really made this an experience to remember.

The adventure had also left its mark on my trainers, which evidently decided that enough was enough and have now been given last rites.

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You have served me well, trainers. You will be remembered.

VIDEO: TRIBUTE TO MY TRAINERS

So it’s over now! A few really exciting opportunities have arisen from this venture, and we have big plans for the next couple of months before The Dissolution Percy hits the stage at the Kings Arms in Salford from 4th – 7th November and for one night in Haworth at the Parkside Social Club on 14th November.

So keep an eye on our website and Twitter feed (@DTKManc) for updates. In the meantime, please do take a look at the below link for The Dissolution of Percy‘s trailer, further information about the production, and for the chance to donate to our exciting new company! Please share the information wherever you can – any assistance is hugely appreciated.

TRAILER / INFO / CAMPAIGN


Fundraising walk: Final day

Our Crowdfunding Campaign!

Thanks for your patience.

After a slight hiatus, The Dissolution of Percy’s Indiegogo Campaign is up and running!

Using lovely footage from the gVisions Media shoot as well as some of the company’s own (many thanks to our very own Charlotte Brontë, Marcy Hazell!), we’ve put a little video together to help show you a little taste of the production. You can see it by clicking on our campaign link below.

If you contribute over £10, you will receive a lovely handmade Brontë peg doll representing a character or member of the Brontë circle of your choice. Over £20 and you will be able to attend a private preview of the production for donors only. Over £50, and the company’s Artistic Director, Caroline Lamb, will meet you in either Haworth or Manchester (your choice) for a one-to-one discussion about the production, its themes and the creative process.

Caroline will also be striking out on a large-scale trek to raise awareness of the production and this campaign, covering over 130 miles and visiting numerous venues to deliver readings of Brontë poetry and prose along the way.

No Coward Soul is Mine
Caroline

Please find the full venue list below and remember to donate and/or share information about the company and its campaign anywhere and everywhere you can!

LINK TO CAMPAIGN

Current Venue List for Caroline’s Readings Tour:

The Black Cock Inn, Broughton-in-Furness – Saturday 20th June – 14:00pm

Kendal Library, Kendal – Sunday 21st June – 12:00pm

Cowan Bridge Village Hall, Cowan Bridge – Sunday 21st June – 19:00pm

Halifax Central Library, Halifax – Tuesday 23rd June – 17:30pm

The Cardigan Centre, Leeds – Wednesday 24th June – 20:00pm

The New Inn, Thornton – Thursday 25th June – 20:00pm

Cobbles and Clay, Haworth – Friday 26th June – 18:00pm

Sowerby Bridge Library, Sowerby Bridge – Saturday 27th June – 14:00pm

Follow the company on Twitter (@DTKManc) and use the hashtag #nocowardsoulismine to tweet about this adventure!


Our Crowdfunding Campaign!

Work in development: The Dissolution of Percy

Branwell has tried and tried and tried. He has missed his calling and his genius has faded. He drinks too much, maybe, and can’t quite shake himself free from his own imagination. But he still has Lydia.

Lydia has had enough. Gnawed by loneliness and physical frustration, immobilized by her station, companionship and release must be had, and soon. An afternoon or two in the company of her son’s young tutor might be enough.

Charlotte has a plan. Her younger sister stays up late into the night, hunched over papers. If this is what she thinks it is, something might be beginning. But perhaps it is of no importance.

A searing critical exploration of the cruel gender politics that destroyed a man, made a villain of his lover and chained his sisters to a life they despised, The Dissolution of Percy tackles the controversial events surrounding the final few years in the life of Branwell Brontë. Reflecting on our surprising lack of moral evolution between the nineteenth century and the modern day, the play plunges its audience into a world balanced in stark counterpoint between high, violent passions, steady, grim pragmatism and gallows humour.


Work in development: The Dissolution of Percy