Cracking reviews for macrobert’s panto

Jackie and the Beanstalk is up and running and well it’s just pure magic! Receiving 4 star reviews from both The Herald and The Guardian there really is no excuse not to come along…

a panto with its finger on today’s pulse” Mary Brennan, The Herald, read full review here

If anyone still thinks panto is a throwback to a misogynist past, they need to take a look at the macrobert’s glorious giant-slaying romp” Mark Fisher, The Guardian, read full review here

an entertaining, intelligent celebration and deconstruction of the traditional Scottish pantomime.” The Stage, read full review here

a lively, rollicking show, with plenty of fine panto qualitiesThe Scotsman

Writer, director and star of this year’s panto, Johnny McKnight tells Stirling Observer;

“Well for me, when setting about writing this year’s panto, my first issue was that, traditionally, Jack and the Beanstalk is usually very male-heavy in terms of casting: Dame, Jack, his brother, the baddie, the baddie’s sidekick,”

“I really wanted to try and push more females into the story.” Read more of the interview here.

Make sure you get your tickets and see this hilarious, magical, raunchy and festive pantomime and fill your family full of festive happiness 🙂

Jackie and the Beanstalk runs until 7th January 2012


Guest blogger – Treehouse Manager about creative dance opp…

Can’t wait for “Seasonal” –  creative dance workshop to start! – this will be a fun hour each session for the children to unleash their creativity through dance!

Working with Rosina will be a blast – lots of fun and heaps of energy! This week will be a great opportunity for the children to work alongside not only Rosina Bonsu but other dancers from Reid Kerr College. This workshop was inspired to begin with by the treehouse garden project. For anyone who doesn’t know the treehouse garden is a small space below the treehouse window which with help from treehouse staff, children and a green fingered macrobert duty manager was transformed into a great quiet, peaceful, tidy and nurtured space where the children from treehouse regularly plant and grow!
When the “insert title” project was launched treehouse staff jumped at the opportunity to work with Rosina – having worked together in the past we knew any children involved in any of her workshops would have an exciting fun time learning from one of the best! “Seasonal” will incorporate music from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and will capture the children’s imagination and creative ideas for dance and movement.  Roll on Tuesday 26th July!

Our fancy new treehouse garden

The lovely people at Stirling University gave our treehouse a fab little plot of land at the back of the building and we have eventually managed to get it all dug up, planted and looking just braw, with the help of a few little ones ofcourse!

Our treehouse will be making sure that the plants are watered, fed and kept happy and the children in the treehouse will be able to help with their little watering cans as our treehouse staff will take them out, help the kids water the plants and let them watch over time as their little plants turn bloom into beautiful, colourful flowers.

Check out what’s on at our treehouse and meet the team here.

You can also sign up to receive a monthly e-newsletter for our treehouse and children’s events here.

Meet the team for One Little Word

M6 Theatre Company will be visiting macrobert this weekend with the beautiful One Little WordOne Little Word is a show especially created for young children, and contains only one spoken word. We meet two characters who play together, exploring a new space, new objects, dressing up and taking turns – but struggles arise when one of them wants to be the only captain of the ship! One Little Word is a beautiful and gentle story of friendship, power struggles and creative play.

Meet the team behind the wonderful show:

Creative Team Biographies

Andy Manley – Director

As an actor, deviser and director, Andy has been involved with many of the children’s theatre companies in Scotland. His directing credits include work for Catherine Wheels, Scottish Opera, Macrobert Arts Centre, Shona Reppe Puppets, M6 Theatre Company and Polka Theatre. Most recently he has created the multi award winning White for Catherine Wheels Theatre Company. 

Gilly Baskeyfield – Rehearsal Director

Gilly graduated from Hull University in 1985 and lives in Marsden with her family.  Her performing career has included theatre, television and stand up comedy. Gilly has worked extensively with M6 on a range of projects as performer, workshop facilitator and director.  Dot and Gilly worked as co – directors on M6’s innovative, multi sensory theatre installation ‘Jaz and Flo’ and on M6’s last production – ‘Sunflowers and Sheds’.  Gilly was in the original cast of One Little Word and has been with the project since its earliest days.  She is delighted to be rehearsal Director for this tour.
Tayo Akinbode – Musician/Sound Composer

Tayo wrote his first musical score 1982 and since then has worked with numerous companies as composer or musical director. Previous credits include: Haunted, Royal Exchange; Our Day Out, The Sheffield Crucible; Maid Marion, Bristol Old Vic; Mother Courage, Nottingham Playhouse/Eclipse; If Music Be The Food Of Love, Mine’s A Jam Butty, BBC Radio; The Virtual Body, Granada TV; Othello, RSC; Sleeping Beauty, Liverpool Everyman.

Tayo recently composed music for The Bacchae at The Royal Exchange Theatre Manchester following his return from China as composer for the outdoor spectacular Aqua for Oct East and is very happy to be working with the M6 team in Rochdale once again.

Adam Carrée – Lighting Designer

Adam studied lighting design at Rose Bruford College graduating in 1997.  Since then he has worked as a freelance lighting designer.  This is the third show he has worked on with M6; previous productions are Danny, King of the basement, Best Friends and Sunflowers and Sheds.

Previous lighting designs include: Faust for Burning Cat Productions, Flavio for Early Opera Company, RSVP with Philine Janssens for The Place Prize, Rites/Before Night Falls for Company Chameleon, The Cat Who Ran, and The Tempest for Unicorn Theatre, For The Best with Mark Storor and the Unicorn Theatre, Sutra, and Babel (Olivier Nominated) with Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui and Antony Gormley.

Cast Biographies

Luke Walker

Luke has worked with M6 Theatre Company since 2007 on several shows including Danny, King of the Basement, Small Change, Sunflowers and Sheds and the previous tour of One Little Word.  Previous credits include work for Northern Broadsides, Bolton Octagon and NTC Theatre Companies.

Luke also writes plays including Mind the Gap, which he wrote and performed in (nominated for a Manchester Evening News Award for Best New Play) and Make Believe. Luke is currently working on another couple of plays which may or may not see a stage one day!
Eve Robertson

Eve is excited to be back at M6 with One little word after a successful autumn tour of Sunflower and Sheds. Other credits include:

Road & Spring & port wine, Bolton Octagon.  Macbeth, A Midsummer Nights Dream, Blue Remembered Hills, Feelgood Theatre productions.  Mortal Ash, Oldham Coliseum.  The Snow Queen, Theatre by the lake & Chester Gateway.  A Midsummer Nights Dream, The New Vic, Stoke.  Hindle Wakes, The Royal Exchange.

Education work: Newfound Theatre Company, Oldham Coliseum, Brief Candle, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Hull Truck.  TV credits: Emmerdale, Peak Practice, Casualty, A&E, and Coronation Street.

One Little Word

Friday 27 – Sunday 29 May 11.00am & 2.00pm
approximately 35 minutes
Suitable for ages 3+

Tickets £6 / £5

More info and online booking here

Circus and physical theatre performance in pictures…

Flick-Flack-Fly!  Diving, dancing and controlled falling feature in this new show Chouf Ouchouf, a performance like you’ve never seen: a highly skilled and witty display of the energy and joy where the performers go in search of Tangier’s urban beating heart….

Chouf Ouchouf, Arabic for  ‘see and see again’ is a collaboration with Swiss artists Martin Zimmermann and Dimitri de Perrot and weaves together contemporary performance and traditional Moroccan acrobatics to evoke the danger, joy and urgency of a Moroccan medina… Just check out these outstanding photos and get yourself a ticket!

Sat 16 April 8.00pm & Sun 17 April 3.00pm
Tickets £12/ £9 conc /£6 U18’s and students

More info and online booking here

It will be Fe Fi Fo – Fun this Christmas

We are delighted to announce that this year’s family pantomime will be Jackie and the Beanstalk which is also written, directed and starring everyone’s favourite panto dame Johnny McKnight!

This year Stirling Stella is at crisis point – Fairy Mary Christmas has been kidnapped by the evil Giant Sleigh-Stacks robbing the entire pantosphere of their Christmas Spirit. Only one band of merry revelers from Skinto-Row can save them – Dave Dot Von Trott and her two daughters, the beautiful (but rather dim) Jilly and everyone’s favourite tom-boy, Jackie. However the double-dipper recession means that none of them can afford the airfare to get to the Giants Castle to save the day. Will they be forced to sell their beloved cow Daisy Moo-Moo to soar skyward? Will Dame Dot ever pay her rent money in time to the dashing Count Monty Bisto? Will Jackie ever find her one true love? Will the spirit of Christmas ever return to the pantosphere?

Our recently appointed Artistic Director, Liam Sinclair is really looking forward to his first commissioned pantomime. ”The whole team at macrobert is very proud of our fantastic pantomime and the great talent of our young performers. Our production leads the way in Scotland in the involvement of so many young people and this year we will have over 30 people in the young cast, drawn from our macrobert youth groups and from right across Central Scotland. It is genuinely heart-warming to see all generations in the audience having fun together and I am looking forward to working with Johnny McKnight and his fantastic team on what will be another superb production.”

With this in mind, if you or anyone you know aged between 10 and 17 who enjoys singing, dancing and acting want to get involved in our young cast then get in touch and register for an audition!  To register for an audition please email Amy McCallum with name, date of birth, address and telephone number by Friday 22 April. Full details for the audition will be confirmed in advance. Spaces are limited, so booking in as early as possible is recommended.

Circus and physical theatre hits macrobert…

macrobert will be holding the Scottish premiere for Chouf Ouchouf, a physical theatre/circus performance, directed by Zimmerman & de Perrot and performed by Collectif Acrobatique de Tangier, this stunning, acrobatic show is perfect for the whole family, come along and join us for this magical piece…

About the company:

Collectif Acrobatique de Tangier
Weaving together traditional Moroccan acrobatics and modern performance in a poetic exploration of North African culture, Collectif Acrobatique de Tangier delight audiences with their incredible ability and skills. Building on centuries of traditional Moroccan performance honed on the beaches of Tangier, this family company display the tricks of their forefathers with a raw, youthful energy.

Dimitri de Perrot
Dimitri de Perrot was born in 1976 in Neuchatel, Switzerland. After matriculating from the Kunstgymnasium in Zurich he developed further as a self-taught musician and composer. In 1998 he turned his attention to the theater, and began to work as a director.

Martin Zimmermann
Martin Zimmermann was born in 1970 in Winterthur, Switzerland. After an apprenticeship as a set designer, he graduated, with honors, from the Centre National des Arts du Cirque (C.N.A.C.) in France. Following his return to Zurich in 1998 he began to work as a choreographer and director.

There is a full list of the company’s awards at

What the press say:

A new show performed by Collectif Acrobatique de Tangierwith an insouciant brilliance, they fill the stage with multiple back-flips, dizzying cartwheels, perilous human pyramids and vaulting trampoline stunts …. everyone was spellbound” The Guardian on previous show Taoub

In a new piece by Zimmermann & de Perrot The mix of skill, sleight of hand is irresistible, and the piece has a gleeful magpie tendency – thieving from absurdism, popular cartoons, surrealism and modern dance” The Guardian on their recent LIMF show Oper Opis at Barbican

About the show:

Weaving together contemporary performance and traditional Moroccan acrobatics in a poetic exploration of North African culture, Chouf Ouchouf reflects the daily life in the Medina in a witty and highly skilled show for all ages over seven.

The Medina, the old quarter, where it’s ten to a house, and a hundred to the narrowest street. Shout or you won’t be heard; push to the front or never be seen. Life and colour lies round every corner, animals and cigarette hawkers fill the squares. The city is unruly, chaotic, but no matter the world there are men of power, and beneath the clamour and fights of the market are the whispers of its other life. Dusk falls like a shutter, then the night. Silently the walls open, and amid the maze-like streets and along the rooftops figures move on secret agendas. What, or who, is in the bag?

Returning to the UK with a show about what they know best – their home – the Collectif Acrobatique de Tangier collaborate with Swiss artists Zimmerman and de Perrot to capture the danger, joy and urgency of life in Tangiers. Those who saw the Collectif’s last production, Taoub, will find the group maturer, stronger, yet with the same rough charm, and the same rich language of vernacular acrobatics – passed from generation to generation – that is as natural to them as song. Here they move through a set that floats apart and reassembles to represent the many faces of a bewildering and exciting landscape, taking in the old and the nearly new in search of the city’s beating heart.

Saturday 16 April 8.00pm
Sunday 17 April 3.00pm
approximately 1 hour 15 minutes
Suitable for ages 7+

Tickets £12 / £9 conc / £6 U18’s & students
Book online or call us on 01786 466666


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