Phill Jupitas to take leading role in Big Society

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Red Ladder Theatre Company presents the world premiere of: BIG SOCIETY! A MUSIC HALL COMEDY 18 JANUARY 2012 - 4 FEBRUARY 2012

Written and Composed by Boff Whalley

Director: Rod Dixon, Designer: Ali Allen, Lighting Designer: Tim Skelly

PRESS NIGHT: FRIDAY 20 JANUARY 2012, CITY VARIETIES, LEEDS

BOX OFFICE: 0113 243 0808

One of the UK’s most loved comedians, Phill Jupitus, is to take on the leading role of George Lightfeather in Red Ladder Theatre Company’s production of BIG SOCIETY! A MUSIC HALL COMEDY. Playing at the newly refurbished City Varieties Music Hall from 18 January – 4 February 2012, BIG SOCIETY! follows the exploits, eccentricities and expletive-related-troubles of an Edwardian Music Hall variety show cast.The musical – a riot of a romp containing twelve brand new songs – is written by Boff Whalley of Chumbawamba, and will feature the band performing in the show. Tickets for the show go on sale today and are available from the City Varieties Box Office on 0113 243 0808 or online at www.cityvarieties.co.uk.

Following the major success of SEX & DOCKS & ROCK ‘N’ ROLL, which toured the UK in winter 2010, BIG SOCIETY! A MUSIC HALL COMEDY is a brand new musical comedy, this time set among the hustle and bustle of a Northern backstage dressing room. Collapsing loudly into the rambunctious and gin-soaked world of Edwardian Music Hall, BIG SOCIETY! follows the on- and off-stage exploits of the cast of a Music Hall variety show. Under threat of closure from the man from the Ministry of Taste, the cast begin to question their loyalties and wonder if they’re really ‘all in this together’. Featuring such treats as Barry and His Wardrobe of Mystery, Marcel the Invisible Monkey and Beatrice the Bird Woman of Berlin, the show is set exactly one century ago in Leeds, in 1912, and promises to be a rip-roaring but relevant outing to the theatre, combining Red Ladder’s renowned provocative approach to theatre with its passion for putting on a good old-fashioned night out.

Phill Jupitus is the longest-serving member of the NEVER MIND THE BUZZCOCKS team and regular panellist on QI (BBC 2). He has recently performed as King Arthur in the UK tour of SPAMALOT, which finished its run earlier this month. Other acting credits include the role of Edna Turnblad in the West End production of HAIRSPRAY! and Nick Reed’s LIFECOACH (Trafalgar Studios.) He launched the BBC’s digital radio channel 6Music in 2002 and was the host of 6Music’s breakfast show until 2007. Phill also regularly appears on I’M SORRY I HAVEN’T A CLUE (BBC Radio 4).

The Big Society! Press Launch is sponsored by 3 Albion Place.

The cast of BIG SOCIETY! is Kyla Goodey, Harry Hamer, Lisa Howard, Phill Jupitus and Dean Nolan. The Big Society Band a.k.a Chumbawamba will be played by Jude Abbott, Boff Whalley, Phil Moody and Neil Ferguson.

Red Ladder is a radical theatre company with 40 years of history; acknowledged as one of Britain’s leading national touring companies producing high quality theatre contributing to social change and global justice.

For further press information and images please call Jane Verity on 07854 759 480 or jane@redladder.co.uk