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

Johnny Mcknight talks Christmas

For some people Christmas comes around only once a year, for me Christmas is a year-long event.  Last year’s Sleeping Beauty finished on Hogmanay.  I started work on Snow White on the 3rd of January (obviously I needed a few days to properly celebrate New Year!)  Whenever I sit down to write panto it usually begins with a panic, a blank screen, a handful of doubt and then, hopefully…. a spark of…. something.  This year the spark began with just two lines of dialogue:

WITCH.  Would you like an apple dear?
SNOW.  An apple?  Seriously?  Do you no’ have any Quavers?
Johnny as Fairy Kylie Contrary in last year’s panto Sleeping Beauty.

That’s where it started, Snow White wasn’t to be a simpering princess.  She should be tough, strong, and she’s not interested in some Prince saving her.  But who, oh who, was the Dame?  How do I make the Prince interesting?  And who are the Young Company?  Is it not rather boring if they’re dwarves (and is that even politically correct any more?)
And then the second spark appeared, on the 23rd of January, at the *whispers* Edinburgh Kings.  I went to see the Sound of Music.  And as soon as Maria appeared I thought – that’s her, that’s the Dame – she’s a nun sent to look after Snow White and her brothers and sisters – and they’re not Von Trapps, they’re the De Wharffs.  From there it started to fall into place, which was quite lucky because the first draft was due in before the end of the March.
In April the core creative team get together.  Thankfully Alan Penman (Composer) and Karen Martin (Choreographer) are back on board this year.  I am beyond delighted as I think they are amongst, if not the, best at their game.  Then we started casting.  I don’t know if I’m allowed to reveal who is in it this year (don’t know if the contracts are signed and sealed) but I can say, it is an incredible acting company, and I genuinely can not wait to start.
In May we auditioned the Young Company.  That’s always the hardest part – we had close to 100 people and you can only pick 32.  You’d think being Simon Cowell would be fun, getting to say no to people but it isnt.  If I could I would have everyone on the stage as the talents gets stronger and stronger every year.
Johnny McKnight in Sleeping Beauty 2009
And then the second draft of the script is due before June.
July is talking with the designer, costume designer, pouring over the model box whilst wearing Factor 30 (okay who am I kidding, a rain mate was more likely this July!)
And then in August we start rehearsing with Young Company.  Honestly.  In AUGUST.  I’m singing All I Want For Christmas Is You in August!
September is more rehearsing, finalising tracks, design, choreographic ideas, and panicking that the script isn’t funny enough.
And then in October it’ll be the final draft of script due in, making up my Directors folder before rehearsals (oh and obviously a wee holiday before I start).
And then we’re back, full-time, every day in November rehearsing, sweating, forgetting (our lines) and trying to not bump into the furniture.
And then we’re on.  November and December.  And then it’s Christmas, only this time for everyone.
I’m just really lucky that, for me, it comes around more than once a year.
Sleeping Beauty 2009
Looking forward to seeing everyone this year at Snow White.
Ta ta for now
Johnny x
P.S. watch this space for more behind the scenes of this years Panto!
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