New play by Nick Ahad delves into larger-than-life world of British wrestling, to grapple with identity and race in multicultural Britain
The Dukes Theatre and Red Ladder Theatre Company in association with Tamasha presents:
Date and Venue: Saturday 23 March, 7.30pm: Jump Club, Wentworth Road, Barnsley, S74 0JX.
The Civic in Barnsley is taking high quality theatre to unlikely venues, such as working men’s clubs, bringing culture into the heart of communities.
Working with Red Ladder Theatre Company, The Civic is bringing a performance of Glory, set in the eccentric world of British wrestling to Jump Club, a working men’s club that’s been serving the community for 75 years, on 23 March as part of its national tour.
Glory is a new play by writer and broadcaster Nick Ahad (Partition/The Chef Show).
As British wrestling experiences a resurgence across the UK, Glory will immerse audiences into the larger-than-life world of the sport. Set in a decrepit gym in the north of England, the stage at the working men’s club will be a pop-up wrestling ring.
Hosting theatre in non-traditional venues is part of a new three-year community engagement programme by The Civic, Moved By Art.
Jason White, Community Engagement Officer at The Civic, said: “Moved By Art really offers the chance for people in my home town to connect with culture on a really personal and visceral level. The Civic hosts and develops the very best in performance and visual arts and we want the wider community to feel like they are part of it. Moved By Art’s ambition is to take what we do here out to people and make them part of The Civic family.”
Glory sees faded star Jim ‘Glorious’ Glory and amateur wrestlers Dan, Ben and Sami confronting their demons and each other, as their lives collide - inside and outside the wrestling ring. The unique world that British wrestling inhabits provides a backdrop to Nick Ahad’s state-of-the-nation play, as it grapples with race, identity and what it means to be British today.
Playwright Nick Ahad said: “I used to watch wrestling when I was a little boy. I still remember the excitement of seeing Giant Haystacks fight Big Daddy at Victoria Hall in Keighley in the 1980s. But I thought British wrestling was a relic of the past. I couldn't have been more wrong. Wrestling is alive, well - and as entertaining as ever. With larger than life characters and a perfect combination of sport, performance, blood and sweat, it is pure theatre. It is also the perfect arena to explore the Britain we all share today. I can't think of a better place for drama to play out than the inside of a wrestling ring.”
Glory is a co-production by The Dukes Theatre and Red Ladder Theatre Company in association with Tamasha, marking the first collaborative partnership between the three organisations. Directed by Red Ladder’s artistic director Rod Dixon (The Damned United/ Mother Courage and Her Children), it is performed by Josh Hart (Dan), Jamie Smelt (Jim Glory), Ali Azhar (Sami) and Joshua Lyster (Ben).
Tickets for GLORY (£4) at Jump Club are on sale now via The Civic Box Office: 01226 327 000 or online: www.barnsleycivic.co.uk
For information, interviews and to book press tickets, please contact:
Amanda Trickett, press manager for Red Ladder Theatre Company/Glory national tour on firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 07861 223742.
The Dukes Theatre
21 February – 2 March 2019.
Performances: Mon – Sat, 7.30pm
Matinees: Wed 27 Feb 2pm and Sat 2 March 2pm
Tickets: £5 - £16.50, concessions available.
Book via: dukes-lancaster.org. Tel: 01524 598500.
Press performance: Friday 22 February, 7.30pm.
4 March – 6 March, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough, Yorkshire. www.sjt.uk.com
8 March, Grove Hall, Wakefield, Yorkshire. (Red Ladder Local)
12 March, Belle Isle Working Men’s Club, Leeds (Red Ladder Local)
14 March – 16 March, Unity Theatre, Liverpool. www.unitytheatreliverpool.co.uk
19 – 20 March, The Albany Theatre, Deptford, London. www.thealbany.org.uk
21 March, Cast, Doncaster, Yorkshire. www.castindoncaster.com
22 March, The Cluntergate Centre, Wakefield, Yorkshire. (Red Ladder Local)
23 March, Jump Club, Barnsley, Yorkshire (Red Ladder Local)
26 March, Hull Truck Theatre, Hull, Yorkshire. www.hulltruck.co.uk
28 and 29 March, Theatre Clwyd, Mold, Wales. www.theatrclwyd.com/en
1-6 April Albion Electric Warehouse, Leeds, Yorkshire (press night Tue 2 April) www.redladder.co.uk
10 – 13 April Belgrade Theatre, Coventry, West Midlands. http://www.belgrade.co.uk/
For full info and updates on Glory’s national tour, please visit: www.redladder.co.uk. Twitter - #gloryuktour
Nick Ahad is a writer and broadcaster. Nick’s plays include Partition (Leeds Playhouse/BBC Radio Leeds), The Chef Show (Ragged Edge Productions, Stage Performance of the Year Rural Touring Awards 2018), Coming Home Together (BBC Radio Leeds), Muslamic Love Story (DepArts), Second Gen (DepArts), A Muslim, A Jew and A Christian Walk into A Room; My Mum the Racist; Inner Voices (JB Shorts) and Nor Any Drop (Red Ladder/Peshkar). His TV writing includes Emmerdale and an original series developed by BBC Drama and Avatar Productions. He is a presenter for BBC Radio Leeds, has appeared on BBC Breakfast as a cultural commentator and regularly reviews theatre for Radio 4's Front Row. As a broadcaster he has made three hour-long documentaries for BBC Radio on Northern Broadsides, Kay Mellor and a return trip to his father's village in Bangladesh. Former Arts Editor of the Yorkshire Post, he is the Yorkshire Post theatre correspondent, North of England critic for Plays International and his writing has appeared in the Guardian and The Independent.
Red Ladder Theatre Company has established itself as one of Britain’s leading national touring companies, dedicated to producing high quality work which contributes to social change and global justice. It is a champion of new writing, particularly that which challenges or agitates and gives a voice to those who are often unheard on our stages. Recent productions include Red Ladder’s acclaimed 50th anniversary production Mother Courage and her Children; The Damned United (UK tour); The Shed Crew (2017), adapted by Kevin Fegan from Bernard Hare’s novel; Wrong ‘Un, The Life and Soul and Playing the Joker (Red Ladder Local). Through Red Ladder Local, the company takes exceptional new writing into non-traditional environments such as sports clubs, Working Men’s Clubs, social clubs and miners’ welfare halls.
The Dukes is an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. The Dukes receives funding from Arts Council England, Lancaster City Council and Lancaster University. The Dukes is the winner of the 2018 NW Creative Careers Champion Award. In 2017, it won the NW Cultural Education Award for its partnership with Lancaster University and is the current holder of the Northern Soul Award for Best Cinema and The Bay Living Award for Best Arts/Entertainments Venue.In 2016, The Dukes won the UK Theatre Award for Best Show for Children and Young People.
Tamasha is a diverse cohort of bold theatre makers based in London. They foreground emerging and established artists from culturally diverse backgrounds by producing and touring the best new plays, nurturing and training artists and young people through Tamasha Developing Artists and enabling theatre makers to engage creatively with communities and audiences. Successes like East is East, Snookered, Blood and Made in India have won acclaim from critics and audiences alike. www.tamasha.org.uk