YMT blog

 

Triptych Poems Announced!

29/05/14

Triptych is an utterly unique musical endeavour, created to unearth exciting and emergent musical talent across the UK and abroad. 

Three exceptional female composers (Elizabeth CharlesworthPolina Nazaykinskaya and Laura McGarrigle) have been chosen to create a triad of sublime scores, set to Belfast’s Poet Laureate Sinéad Morrissey's ceaselessly evocative writing. 

The three poems the composers will be using as inspiration have now been announced!

Genetics

Genetics is a simple and touching piece, littered with tender reflections on family, love and legacy.

A Lie

A Lie is an intricately structured ballad, with elegiac ruminations on the deceiving beauty of a long forgotten past.

Pearle

Pearle is the closing poem of the Morrissey’s 2002 collection Between Here and There. It is inspired by a story of a domestic accident suffered by her mother at the age of seven. The poem suggests Morrissey inheriting a pearl from her mother, which stands for a sense of wonder and poetic imagination. Through the symbolic gift she gains a better insight into the interrelationship between time and space, history and place, from her 21st century .

The texts are chosen and the composing has begun. We at YMT could not be more excited by what our talented young musicians will be inspired to create with these stunning stimuli!

Come join us and see these unique pieces come to fruition! Click here to book tickets!

Friday, 15 August 2014 - 7:30pm to Saturday, 16 August 2014 - 2:30pm
Belfast: The MAC

 

Miss Interpreted: "So why do you write these strong female characters?"

21/05/14

This August, YMT will be embarking on an ambitious new project, a cutting-edge musical experience investigating the changing face of womanhood and gender expectations in the 21st century - Miss Interpreted.

For some thoughts on that state of equality within the arts we turn to Joss Whedon, American screenwriter and director.

He is best known for his trademark fantasy/sci-fi series’ Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Firefly, as well as the outlandish mini-series Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog. Additionally Whedon co-wrote Pixar’s Toy Story and the meta-horror flick The Cabin in the Woods.

Most recently he has directed the critically acclaimed adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing following mere days after completing his most extravagant project to date The Avengers Assemble, the third highest-grossing film of all time.

Whedon’s career has been epitomized by his razor-whited dialogue, homicidal treatment of beloved characters and the abundance of “strong” roles he writes for women.  

In a 2006 speech for the organisation Equality Now, Whedon addressed the question he had been asked more than any other, a question that has come to define his work over the last two decades. He gives an abridged account of the various responses he has found himself giving to this repetitive inquiry:

“Why do you always write these strong women characters?”

Interview 1:

“I think it's because of my mother. She really was an extraordinary,
inspirational, tough, cool, sexy, funny woman. And that's the kind of woman I've always surrounded myself with”

“Why do you write these strong women characters?”

Interview 5:

“Because of my father. My father and my step-father had a lot do with it, because they prized wit and resolve in the women they were with, above all things, and they were among the rare men who understood that recognising somebody else's power does not diminish your own”

“So, why do you write these strong women characters?”

Interview 12:

Well, because these stories give people strength, and I've heard it from a number of people, and I've felt it myself.

“Why do you write these strong women characters?”

Interview 41:

Cause they're hot.

“But these strong women characters…”

Interview 50:

“Why are you even asking me this?

How is it possible that this is even a question? Honestly? Seriously? Why did you write that down? Why aren't you asking a hundred other guys why they don't write strong women characters?”

“So... why do you write these strong women characters?”

Interview 50 Continued:

“Because equality is not a concept. It's not something we should be striving for. It's a necessity. Equality is like gravity. We need it to stand on this earth as men and women. And the misogyny that is in every culture is not a true part of the human condition. It is life out of balance, and that imbalance is sucking something out of the soul of every man and woman who is confronted with it.

We need equality. Kinda now"

“So, why do you write these strong female characters?”

Interview 51:

“Because you're still asking me that question”

 

Like Joss we at YMT believe that the art the theatre community creates can reflect the inequality we accept, and we should never stop uncovering and questioning that.

To watch Joss Whedon’s unabridged speech Click Here!

Miss Interpreted
Saturday 16 August 2014 - 7:30pm to Sunday 17 August 2014 - 2:30pm
Halifax: Square Chapel.

Click Here To Book Tickets!

 

 

In The Heights

In The Heights - Review by Alice Clemens

20/05/14

***** (5 Stars)

Southwark Playhouse, London - Friday 16 May, 2014

In The Heights at the Southwark Playhouse is outstanding.

The production is an explosion of colour and fun. Under the direction of Luke Sheppard, the cast are incredible. The story follows Usnavi, played brilliantly by Sam Mackay, whose parents moved from the Dominican Republic to create a new life in Washington Heights, New York. The relatively sparse but colourful set is brought to life as the action unfolds and the audience meet the characters that impact on Usnavi’s life as they all struggle to make lives for themselves.

The hilariously sassy Daniela, who owns the local beauty salon, is portrayed perfectly by Victoria Hamilton-Barritt and has the entire audience in hysterics after every line or movement. With standout company numbers such as “Carnaval del Barrio” and “Alabanza” the infectious, Latin-infused music, written by Lin-Manuel Miranda, isn’t a genre typically heard in musical theatre and that’s what makes it so refreshing.

The entire production is so full of energy and it's so obvious that the cast are loving it as much as the audience. It feels so honest and that is down to the passion that every member of the cast clearly has for this musical. I thoroughly enjoyed the show, as did the rest of the audience who made it clear as we leapt to our feet during the blackout before the music had even ended!

The vocals are flawless, Drew McOnie’s fast-paced choreography is perfectly executed and I’ve already booked tickets to see it again. This is a production that is NOT to be missed!

In The Heights is playing at the Southwark Playhouse until 7 June. Buy your tickets here: http://southwarkplayhouse.co.uk/index.php/the-large/in-the-heights/ 
 

5 Creepy Origins of Grimms' Fairy Tales

16/05/14

Of course, we all know those famous Grimms' fairy tales like Cinderella and Rapunzel, but mostly we've read or seen the Disney versions. The real Grimm tales are much darker and more frightening - some so frightening that we rarely hear or see them.

YMT's Summer Skills course in Belfast gives you the chance to discover and create a whole new world of scary tales, ones that could be set in Belfast city centre on any Saturday night or in the lonely mists of the Sperrin mountains or on a deserted island in Strangford Lough....

In the spirit of scares, YMT would like to give you a spooky insight into the parts of the Grimm stories that you were never told…

Snow White

We all remember Snow White and her entourage of dwarfs: Angry, Slappy, Manic-depressy and so on. The moral of the story: When it comes to enchanted fruit never buy local. It doesn’t matter how juicy the organic insomnia apple looks, you’d probably be better off at Sainsbury’s.  

The Original

At the end of the story the evil queen is punished; what the Disney version failed to mention was the method of punishment. A pair of glowing-hot iron shoes are brought forth with tongs and placed before the Queen. She is forced to step into the burning shoes and dance until she drops dead! Why can no one take an innocent poisoned apple joke anymore?

Hansel and Gretel

Two children lost in the woods far from home. They find themselves imprisoned within a gingerbread cottage by an evil witch, seeking to fatten them up with all manner of delicious sweets. Presumably they didn’t think to chew their way to freedom through the bathroom wall. Regardless they return joyfully to their family with the witch’s wealth and type-two diabetes. Hooray!

The Original

An important omission from the tale is that when a great famine settles over the land, the children’s abusive stepmother decides to take them into the woods and leave them there to die because they eat too much.

Cinderella

Impractical footwear, obsessive dance partners, running for the midnight tube home, Cinderella has all the hallmarks of magical and most likely messy night out. God knows we could all use a pumpkin cab home, especially after a few too many mystic brews.   

The Original

The gruesome detail removed from the original story is that in the evil sister’s eagerness to fool the prince they actually cut off their toes and parts of their heel to fit into the glass slipper. Turning the shoe red with their blood.

Rapunzel

In the next tale our heroine is having the mother of all bad hair days; Rapunzel is definitely not the person you want to be dancing next to in a club. But all this fails to put off our valiant prince who sees her as the ultimate girl next door… next tower?

The Original

On the prince’s penultimate rescue attempt he unknowingly climbs up Rapunzel’s severed hair, cut by the villain Mother Gothel. She tells him he will never see Rapunzel again. So he jumps out the window in despair and is blinded from the thorns below.

Little Red Riding Hood

"Goodness, what big eyes you have Grandma!"
"The better to see you with"
“No, seriously they’re like twice the size Grandma"
“I’m wearing my contacts”
“And what big hands you have!"
"The better to hug you with"
“Because they look a lot like paws to me”
“Carpal tunnel syndrome”
“And the fur?”
“You like my new gloves then? Come closer and see them”

The only way this story could work in reality is if the young girl already had an exceptionally hairy grandmother…

The Sequel?

The Brothers Grimm actually wrote second part to Little Red’s story. It involved the girl and her grandmother trapping and killing another wolf, this time anticipating his moves based on their experience with the previous one. The girl did not leave the path when the wolf spoke to her, her grandmother locked the door to keep it out, and when the wolf lurked, the grandmother had Little Red Riding Hood put a trough under the chimney and fill it with water that sausages had been cooked in; the smell lured the wolf down, and it drowned.

Don't forget to book your Summer Skills course in Belfast NOW!

Which Musical Town Should You Move To? Pros and Cons

13/05/14

Ankh-Morpork, the Discworld’s most notorious town is steeped in decadent squalor, with a corrosive aroma that would put most landfills to shame.

This is the setting of YMT’s stage adaptation of Terry Pratchett’s side-splitting novel, Soul Music. The town is the prime destination on the Disc, where many intrepid explorers go to seek fame and other people’s fortunes.

Enter Imp Y Celyn (literally translated ‘bud of the holly’) and his ensemble ‘The Band with Rocks In’ who begin taking the city by sonic storm. Soon a host of new bands spring up:

• We're Certainly Dwarfs (They Might Be Giants)
• The Whom (The Who)
• Lead Balloon (Led Zeppelin)
• Insanity (Madness)
• The Surreptitious Fabric (The Velvet Underground)

The city reverberates with the sound of tortured strings and the smashing of Stratocasters.

In tribute to Pratchett’s infamous Ankh-Morpork, YMT helps you decide which musical town is right for you. Leave behind the rain and rising rent; move to a city where there’s music in the air.

Sweeny Todd

The smoke blackened spires of a grim Victorian London where murderous butchers and bakers stalk the streets. 

The Pros:
• Gothic ambience
• Several specialist eateries
• Good standards of grooming amongst remaining city residents
The Cons:
• Cat abductions on the rise
• High rate of shaving related deaths
• Not suitable for vegetarians

 

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

A small snow clad town encircling a mysterious factory; a sweet scent hangs in the air promising hidden delights behind firmly locked gates.

The Pros:
• Rapidly expanding confection industry
• Generous employers
• Everlasting gobstoppers
The Cons:
• Industrial candy floss fogs
• Oompa Loompa stag parties
• Absurd dentistry bills

 

Bugsy Malone

Prohibition era America. A city awash with bootleg booze, controlled by sparring mobsters with a penchant for pie. 

The Pros:
• Trilbies
• Classy speakeasies
• Discounted pies
The Cons:
• Mob wars
• High dry cleaning bills
• Not suitable for lactose intolerant residents

 

Chicago 

A glamorous metropolis where fame, fornication and murder go hand in hand.   

The Pros:
• Stylish prison inmates
• Killer cabarets
• You’re only ever one shot away from stardom
The Cons:
• Murderous lovers
• Corrupt courtrooms
• Another captivating killing might lose you your limelight

 

The Wizard of Oz

An enchanted land filled to the brim with technicolor characters and strange, fantastical creatures.

The Pros:
• Well-maintained highways
• Excellent standard of hygiene (courtesy of munchkin spa)
• You’re the tallest person in town
The Cons:
• Evil witches
• Farmhouse related injuries
• Flying monkey infestations

It’s a difficult decision, so before you make the move come visit YMT in musical Ankh-Morpork this August!

Thursday, 28 August 2014 - 7:30pm to Sunday, 31 August 2014 - 7:30pm
Rose Theatre Kingston

Book your tickets here!

 

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