Review of ‘Educating Ronnie’ Joe Douglas Unity Works Sat 20th Sept

Many thanks to Narelle Summers for the review of recent performance at Unity Works.

Please feel free to email any other reviews / comments to

What a fabulous one man show Educating Ronnie is?!? A very moving, heart-felt true story of a young man who just wanted to help out another young person in Uganda. I was gripped throughout and found the story fascinating to listen to. Joe held the audience as he revealed the story of the dilemmas he faced. I really felt for Joe as Ronnie was tugging on his heart strings leaving Joe no option but to help out. It made you think what would you do in that situation.

The stage was minimalistic with words from Ronnie being projected on a blackboard at the back. You didn’t need anything else. Joe’s storytelling skills captured the emotions very well. An excellent performance from Joe.


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Understanding the need to support local projects

I am a Drama teacher and run Taproom Theatre for fun. The ethos has always been to make theatre cheap and accessible to all, and to showcase local theatre, along side established theatre from around the UK that might not normally visit Wakefield.
Last week we published a book by YewTreeArts a local theatre company and performed the scripts in a site specific performance in a local pub – for FREE
Our next show was last Saturday; ‘Educating Ronnie’ by Joe Douglas and Gareth Nicholls performed sold out shows at the Edinburgh festival, won a Fringe First award and has had 4&5 star review from national newspapers. We brought it to new local venue Unity Works for £10. It was filled up and there was a great atmosphere.
We made sure everyone involved got paid.
We didn’t manage to cover our costs really – but the events were a success and we are super proud of them all involved. It was definitely worth it.
Mostly we are proud of the people who came out and stuck their hand in their pocket to support in one way or another, it would not happen without a supportive audience – so thank you.

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Educating Ronnie by Joe Douglas

Saturday 20th September

Educating Ronnie by Joe Douglas (Macrobert)

We are bringing award winning theatre maker Joe Douglas to Wakefield with his one man show ‘Educating Ronnie’
This show is brilliant and bowled us over at Taproom when we saw it at Edinburgh Fringe in 2012. Since then it has gone on tour in Scotland last year, and now England this year.

Educating Ronnie was directed and co created by Gareth Nicholls a theatre maker in Glasgow, originally from Wakey so we love it even more.

Tickets are £10 and are available online:, in person at Unity Works itself from Sept 6th, or Wah Wah Records (Wakefield) now!

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Plays and Pints 2014

We are publishing a collection of plays! The book will contain a trilogy of plays written especially for Plays and Pints over the past 2 years by Wakefield theatre company Yew Tree Arts. They all take place in different pubs over the course of an afternoon and are funny and poignant in equal measure.

We are buzzing to be supporting new writing and we are proud to be able to bring the scripts to people through this publication.

The plays are available to perform for free as long as you credit us and would suit any cast from 14+ to professional.

We will launch the book at this event:

Sunday 14th September

Plays and Pints 2014 as part of Long Division Fringe

Taproom Theatre present… ‘On the back of a beer mat’ – a collection of plays by Yew Tree Arts (Wakefield)

We will be staging the three plays by Yew Tree as part of pub crawl around Wakefield beginning at Henry Boons at 12.45 and ending somewhere in Wakefield approx 4pm.

There will be a raffle and some other fun stuff too.

The event is free, though copies of the playscript will be available to purchase. You can also buy the script here:

Plays and Pints 2014!

Plays and Pints 2014!

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Running order for Plays and Pints 2013

Get your tickets for Plays and Pints 2013 at seetickets. Running order on the day will be:

1.00pm: Registration at St Austins Community Theatre, Wakefield

All Day (from 1.30pm): The Soldiers Lament
Join ‘In On The Act’ for a moving journey through the streets of Wakefield. Through immersive storytelling, secrets will be revealed, bringing street corners and back alleys to life as you see the dark tale of Jack Wilkins & Elizabeth Davenport as it unravels and is destroyed by the unseen tolls of war.
A beautiful love story or a vicious murder? You be the judge.

2.00pm – 2.30pm: Yew Tree Youth Theatre “It’s your round” by Sarah Osborne and Gemma Whelan
A series of conversations by ordinary people in an ordinary bar…
For more information about Yew Tree visit

3.10pm – 4.10pm: ‘The Great Dixoni’ by Luke Dickson at The Orangery
Merging contemporary theatre with clowning and illusion, Luke Dickson explores the magical aspirations of his father (Dixoni), a professional magician until his death in 1978. Lively, comedic, involving and occasionally emotional, the show explores the similarities between Luke and his father – the performer present on stage and the performer thirty years deceased. If you like clowning, magic and evocative true stories you’ll love the Great Dixoni.

5.00pm – 6.00pm: ‘Needed: Space’ by Gavin Leonard at Henry Boons
My family name is Rhodes.
Grandad Jim said it was because we had Romani heritage.
We used to travel around. We lived in the open. On the road.

A solo performance by Gav Leonard. A story about housing benefit, hotels, hammocks and the human zoo. A story about moving in, moving out and moving on. It’s a story about home.

7.00pm – 8.30pm: Pie and Peas and Sideshow fun at Secret Venue
Featuring Meat Raffle, Picture quiz, Test your strength, Plays and Pints Poetry, Darts and Dommys and a little bit more.

8.30pm – 9.30pm: ‘Sketch Pests’ by Dog Eared Collective at Secret Venue
Featuring some of the wildest sketches and most anarchic characters from their comedy arsenal, this is a power hour that promises to blow your silly-bone to smithereens.
The Dog-Eared Collective are a sketch troupe of funnymongers championing a wildly anarchic and mischievously surreal brand of comedy. The troupe have a number of critically acclaimed Edinburgh shows to their name and have built a reputation as one of the sharpest sketch groups to emerge in recent years.

‘Give this group a sketch show’ The Sunday Times, Critics Choice 2011

Tickets are available through seetickets. Looking forward to seeing you there!
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Plays and Pints 2013


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Running Order for Plays and Pints 2012

2.00pm – 3.00pm: Registration at The Hop

3.00pm – 4.00pm: The Silky Pair ‘Happy to Help’ at The Hop

4.50pm – 5.15pm: Invisible Thread ‘Les Hommes Vides’  at Henry Boons
Les Hommes Vides is a 20 minute, low tech, charming, eerie and comic performance of slapstick and surreal table-top puppetry and object theatre.  It contains scenes of plank action, eyeless shopping, bouncing puppets, poetry and ‘prizes’. via

5.30pm – 5.50pm: Yew Tree ‘Didn’t come with Matches’  at Henry Boons
The local and incredibly well respected theatre company have created a piece especially for Plays & Pints.

6.00pm – 6.45pm: Pies, Peas, and Interactive Poetry! at Henry Boons

7.15pm – 8.15pmKieran Hurley ‘Hitch’ at The Orangery
“Keiran Hurley tells the autobiographical tale of him hitching a lift to the G8 summit in Italy. Asking questions about compassion, a desire for change and the power structures of the world, this funny and heartfelt piece has received glowing reviews for it’s engaging but thoughtful approach.” via rhubarbbomb

8.30pm – 9.30pm: Gary McNairCrunch‘ at The Orangery
“Crunch is a motivational lecture that investigates the value of people and money and the relationship between the two. Crunch was originally developed with the National Theatre of Scotland and then commissioned by the Oran Mor. Last year Crunch played to sold out audiences at the Fringe and to much critical acclaim and global media exposure.” via

9.30pm – 11.00pm: Rhubarb Bomb Disco

Tickets are available through wefund. Follow our Twitter and Facebook page for more information. See you there!

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