WHAT’S ON APRIL: Grid Iron and Stellar Quines present Bingo! A new musical comedy – an unforgettable night out
Grid Iron Theatre Company and Stellar Quines Theatre Company present Bingo!, a new musical comedy focusing on lives of six characters and one fateful night at the bingo. Bingo! tours Scotland in March and April 2018.
Every week more than 2 million women pour into local bingo halls across the UK, each one hoping that all elusive HOUSE will change their fortunes forever. Daniella’s one of those women. Except she isn’t just hopeful. She’s desperate. She needs Lady Luck to smile down on her tonight. She’s done a bad thing. No, a really bad thing and if her card doesn’t have those winning numbers, she’s going to have to resort to desperate measures to take home that prize money.
With cracking original songs, a lot of banter and cheeky humour, Bingo! is co-written by Anita Vettesse & Johnny McKnight, with music by Alan Penman and directed by Stellar Quines’ Artistic Director Jemima Levick.
Cast of Bingo! includes stars of British stages and television such as Louise McCarthy (Daniella) of BBC’s Scot Squad and Two Doors Down, Wendy Seager (Mary) who played Susan in Killing me Softly and featured in Still Game, Barbara Rafferty (Joanna), star of River City, Brave New World, Rab C Nesbitt and The Last King of Scotland film, Jo Freer (Ruth) who starred in Dundee Rep’s Sunshine on Leith as well as River City, Darren Brownlie (Donny) known from Dundee Rep’s Witness for the Prosecution and BBC Scotland’s Scot Squad as well as Tron Theatre’s pantomime and Jane McCarry (Betty), Still Game’s Isa and Scottish pantomime star who also played Dolly in Tony Roper’s The Steamie and featured in Rab C Nesbitt.
Bingo! reflects the current state of affairs for many people living in the UK, for whom a visit to a bingo hall is both a night out and a financial plan. Brought to Scottish stages by two award-winning Edinburgh-based theatre companies: site-responsive specialists Grid Iron and Stellar Quines, who celebrate the diversity of women and girls, Bingo! promises to be a show that entertains and provokes.
Bingo! receives its world premiere at Assembly Hall in Edinburgh. The show then goes on tour to venues around Scotland, including Stirling, Ayr, Musselburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.
Jemima Levick, Artistic Director of Stellar Quines said: “As one of Scotland’s longest serving touring companies, Stellar Quines’ work is created to inspire women & girls, and the men that know them. We realise that women and girls come in different shapes and sizes and with a variety of tastes and expectations, so our programme of work aims to respond with broad appeal.
Every time I read Bingo! or hear it read aloud, I am reminded of just how brilliant women are. It’s a play about comradery, friendship, parenthood, and strength in numbers, but also about hope, and ‘that’ fantasy that we all have – of how our lives might change with that big win. It’s a play that never fails to take me by surprise, it makes me laugh and cry.
We are particularly delighted to be co-producing alongside our long-time colleagues, Grid Iron. It’s a collaboration that’s based on many of the qualities of this play, so we’re thrilled to be on that journey with them.”
Judith Doherty, Co-Artistic Director of Grid Iron said: “Grid Iron have been talking to Jemima about Bingo! for quite some time so, when she took over the helm at Stellar Quines, it seemed the perfect opportunity to bring together two Edinburgh companies who share a mission to provide strong roles for women on and off stage. Anita and Johnny have written a truly cracking script and I would bet on it that we’ll hear people humming Alan’s music as they head down the street after the show.
Although Grid Iron are best known for site-responsive work, this is far from the first time we’ve toured work for the stage and indeed, isn’t our first musical either. We’re really looking forward to taking Bingo! out on the road and are delighted to be travelling with Stellar Quines.”
Sharon Burgess, Assembly Managing Director said: “Assembly are thrilled to be working with two such prestigious Scottish Theatre Companies to present work at Assembly Hall out with the month of August. We very much look forward to hosting the world premiere of Bingo! in March next year.”
Assembly Hall, Edinburgh: 6-7 March 7.30pm (previews) and 8-17 March 7.30pm (not Sunday 11th), 10 & 17 March 2.30pm (matinees)
Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling: 22-23 March 7.30pm, 23 March 2.30pm (matinee)
Ayr Gaiety Theatre, Ayr: 27-28 March 7.30pm
The Brunton, Musselburgh: 31 March at 2pm and 7.30pm
Tron Theatre, Glasgow: 12-14 April at 7.45pm
Eden Court, Inverness: 19-21 April 7.30pm, 21 April 2.30pm (matinee)