Like so many things, this past year has been a difficult one for theatres. Up and down the country, ghost lights have illuminated every stage but now, slowly but surely, theatre is back and the show, as they say, must go on.
With this in mind, Southport’s Too Friendly Theatre Company are excited to announce their new venture. If lockdown taught us anything, it was how much we loved what we do, so we were keen to look at new ways to promote and develop creative arts and theatre opportunities in the local area.
Therefore, we are delighted to announce that we will be working alongside Southport’s Bijou Cinema to bring to life Too Friendly’s Bijou Theatre.
The Bijou Cinema is a volunteer led and not-for-profit community interest company who are keen to create a creative arts hub and have joined with us to promote live theatre at their venue on Post Office Avenue in Southport town centre.
This is an incredibly exciting development for the Too Friendly Theatre Company who have been delighting audiences in Southport and the surrounding areas for over twenty years. And never one to rest on our laurels, we are already in rehearsal for our first two productions at the Bijou.
Firstly, for one night only on Friday October 1st, we will be performing our original play “Waiting for Gateaux”. Set at a weight loss club, the play is made up of a series of monologues delivered by the various patrons of the slimming club. Some tell the story of why they have joined, others muse on life outside of the group and range from heartbreak to tragedy to comedy. Think Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads – with cake!
This is an especially exciting show for the Too Friendly’s come back as it was written during the first lockdown when, keen to keep our theatre group alive, we moved like so many others, onto Zoom. Working together, each member of the cast wrote their own script which was then performed virtually with each member offering advice and guidance. Then, all the individual scripts were brought together by linked scenes.
“It was an interesting thing to do” said company member Jen Johnson. “I had never written anything before so, working with the group to craft a character with a story people would want to hear was challenging but exhilarating.”
Secondly, on Saturday 30th October, we will be performing an original Murder Mystery night. Experts at providing entertaining murder mystery evenings, having performed at numerous venues throughout the North West, this Halloween special will leave your spine-tingling and your teeth-chattering. Someone will be murdered and it will be up to you to work out “whodunnit”. But be wary, anyone could be a suspect.
“Murder mystery nights are great fun” explains murder mystery writer Joanne Wasilew, “People have to listen carefully to work out the clues and of course, the Halloween ones are extra special as the cast gets dressed up and encourages the audience too as well! Plus, there are always a few skeletons in the closet!”
Founding member of the Too Friendly Theatre Company, Cliff Gillies said “we are delighted to be welcomed in by the Bijou Cinema and looking forward to creating an arts hub with them. As well as plays and murder mystery evenings, we are creating opportunities for spoken word and poetry evenings, play writing classes and acting courses. It is an exciting time for our company, The Bijou and the arts in Southport as awhole!”
For further information on any of these events or to find out more about the Too Friendly Theatre Company or even if you’re an arts organisation yourself looking for a venue get in too with Too Friendly Theatre Company at our Facebook Page “Too Friendly Theatre” or our website at toofriendlytheatre.co.uk
Tickets for both events will be available from the Bijou box office and website from Monday.