Thursday 5 December 2013

A Christmas Carol - Back for 2013


Bah Humbug, it’s nearly bloody Christmas
Good News! It’s Nearly Christmas! And The Flanagan Collective are returning with their communal dining adaptation of A Christmas Carol.

Two years ago director Tom Bellerby and writer Alexander Wright – the team behind the smash hit folk show, Beulah - sat in a local pub and dreamt up something to fill their festive time. Three years later and their critically acclaimed, sell out production of A Christmas Carol is about to start for the third year running. But this isn’t your traditional story of ghosts wrapped in chains. This version is set in a pub, full of food and drinks and games and singing.

Marley has invited you all around to Scrooge’s house to try and cheer the old miserable bugger up. Needless to say Scrooge is none too impressed to have guests. With just the two actors we weave our way through Scrooge’s past, present and future – with a little help from the audience along the way. The evening includes a two course dinner and a glass of mulled wine, as well as some carol singing (kind of), and some good old parlour games.

‘It’s such an enjoyable show to make. Audiences seem to really buy in to it – in to trying to cheer up Scrooge’ says Tom Bellerby, director. ‘It’s amazing how many people stick around afterwards to have a drink with new friends. It’s such a lovely feeling.’

But this year the show is moving house. ‘We’re off up to The Gillygate pub on Gillygate. It’s a great old coaching house which Brian Furey has taken over’ explains writer and producer, Alexander Wright. Brian plans to close for most of February 2014 and put a lot of love back into The Gillygate, he will reopen with a beautiful rejuvenated pub with updated bedrooms and a brand new beergarden backing on to our city wall with Minster views. Brian has taken with him an award winning Chef, John Griffiths, who’s followed Brian from The Guy Fawkes Inn. He is famous for his Steak and Ale pies and with the help of incredibly talented local food producers his food offering will be the best what Yorkshire has to offer served beautifully simply. When asked to what his intentions are with The Gillygate, Brian’s reply is as simple as he is… ‘To have a bloody good pub!’

The Flanagan Collective is all about good people. Brian has shown the company great support over the last few years, letting them produce work in The Lamb & Lion. ‘Now he’s moved up to run The Gillygate, we’re really excited to move with him. We hope to be able to make a lot of exciting things happen there’ says Bellerby.

This year John Holt Roberts returns as Marley, reprising his role from 2012, and Dan Wood joins the cast as Ebeneezer Scrooge. Holt Roberts has spent some of his year at Derby Theatre, working on their main house production of Kes. Wood is fresh out of Jethro Compton’s critically acclaimed Bunker Trilogy in Edinburgh and London, which transfers to Australia in the New Year.

So with a cheeky wink and a big heart, The Flanagan Collective welcome in the festive season. Expect jolly tasty food, good drink, music, games and one of the best stories told surrounded by friends new and old.

Tickets for A Christmas Carol are £25 which includes a two course meal from award winning chef and a glass of mulled wine. The show previews at The Fauconberg Arms, Coxwold on the 12th Dec before playing at The Gillygate from 13th – 23rd Dec (not 16th) and 27th – 30th Dec. Tickets for all shows are strictly limited, so book early.

For tickets at The Gillygate call 01904 654103
For tickets at The Fauconberg Arms call 01347 868214

Keep up to date with the production and company on twitter via @FlanCol

Keep up to date with all Brian and his plans at The Gillygate on twitter via @TheGillygatePub

Tuesday 26 November 2013

Winter Warmer / Sat 30th / Fauconberg Arms / Four Shadows Theatre and Peter Marshall & The Lomos

It's winter, the nights are drawing in and the air is cold and frosty. 

We want to wrap up in front of an open fire with a good pint of beer and some entertainment to warm our cockles. So we're organising some Winter Warmers.

The first is this Saturday, 30th November, at The Fauconberg Arms in Coxwold. 

We've got the brilliant Four Shadows Theatre and the hilarious Peter Marshall & The Lomos. A night of Theatre, Comedy and Music. What more could you ask for. 


For decades the people of Penhill have kept a mysterious secret. However now they have decided enough is enough and that people should know. Come and listen to the locals sharing their tales about the trials and tribulations of living in the shadow of a giant.

Peter marshall and the Lomos are just 2 men. They can’t change the world. But they can sing songs about beard envy, eggs and hair. Spencer might even bring his kazzoo (not a euphemism) and Pete will try and grow a beard in time for the show.

And, as if that's not enough, we'll be treated to some wonderful music by Four Shadows Theatre at the end of the night. 

So come one, come all to the cosy warmth of The Fauconberg Arms for 7:30pm on Saturday. As it's christmas, it's pay what you think.

Much festive cheer to you!

Wednesday 16 October 2013

Brewhouse Arts Festival / On The Hop - Line Up

The first ever Brewhouse Arts Festival opens on Friday 18th October at York Brewery. It runs for three days. We're working with York Brewery, TakeOver13 and a damn brilliant bunch of artists, provocateurs and all round good folk. 

Bush & McCluskey present their critically acclaimed show, The Loves I Haven't Known. 
Johnny Greenwood present an hour of some of the best classical guitar you're likely to hear. 
Doors at 7pm, entry £5

TakeOver13 present their immersive theatre experience, The Night Of The Barghest. An evening of folk lore, adventure and mystery my by a stellar bunch of collaborators. 
Doors at 8pm, tickets through

We present On The Hop, 10 hours of arts, debates and socialising. 
12noon until 10pm, Pay What You Think with all contributions going direct back to the artists.
The Line Up for On The Hop is below. 

Expect beer, food, arts, chat, music, theatre and most stuff in between. 
This is the first time we've done this. We'd love you to come, to spend some time, and to let us know what you think.

Alex & Neil

#OnTheHop -
Main Bar

13:00 – 14:00 "How was it for you? Or the slow death of the one night stand."

Debate hosted by Tom Bellerby and Iain Bloomfield

14:00 – 14:15 Poetry (Joanne Foxton)

Joanne writes poetry about all things beer related, what better place to share it than a brewery?

14:15 – 15:15 The History of Punk Poetry (Henry Raby)
A work in progress piece to be eventually recorded for radio

15:15 – 15:30 Poetry (Joanne Foxton)

More beer rooted poetry from Joanne

15:45 – 16:45 A ‘Lecture’ on Political Poetry (Henry Raby)

Henry presents a quick crash-course in the history of political poetry. Followed by a discussion of politics in art and activism and arts.

17:00 – 17:15 Poetry (Joanne Foxton)

A final instalment of poetry from Joanne

17:15 – 17:45 Music (Jennifer Jordan)

Jennifer is a solo lady with a guitar and a ukulele who writes rather silly and slightly less silly songs.

17:45 – 18:30 Teatime Debate

A hosted debate, topic tbc

18:30 – 19:00 Music (Stems)

Cinematic classical post-rock, 

19:30 – 20:00 Music (Emily Rowan)

Emily is a singer, piano basher, uke toter and sincere drama queen. She writes pop songs with a cabaret twist.

20:00 – 20:45 Music (Gordy & Fleur)

An aspiring new Leeds based band. Developed from an instrumental trio last summer their innovative sound has evolved from the inside out. Influences creeping in from jazz, blues, funk and soul can be heard from the varying original material and their own take on some familiar covers.

20:50– 21:00 Stand-up (Lewis King)

Lewis is going to do some comedy talking chattery thing.

21:00 – 21:30 Musical Comedy (Peter Marshall and The Iomos)
A musical comedy duo, who, sing songs about beard envy, eggs, and hair.

21:30 – 22:00 Music (Brassneck)

Saxophone quartet, Brassneck, would love to play some Disney tunes, funk and jazz.


Antigoni Katsadima - Poet
Chris Singleton - Poet
Common Ground – Theatre Company
Gavin Repton – Film Maker
Grandma - Storyteller
Iain Bloomfield – Theatre in the Mill, Bradford
Natalie Clark - Artist
Nick Walters – Artist
Richard Oakland – Photographer
Sarah Jewell - Artist
Thomas HadleyWhittler

The Malt Store

12:00 – 14:00 Performance Artist (Llew Watkins)

Story telling and physical movement

14:00 – 14:30 Discussions About Architecture (Patricia Mesquita)

Should we be designing buildings that make the most of our natural resources?

14:45 – 15:15 Silver Dating (Granny)

Grandma’s just been on her first date for around fifty years. She's met her match on an Internet dating site and every mistake a 70 something can make, she does!

15:30  - 17:00 Words with Space (Jamhed Theatre)

Jamhed bring you out of the world, playing with words, space, twister and you if you'll let them. Come... join them... if you want.

17:15 – 17:30 Silver Dating (Granny)

See previous showing

19:00 – 19:30 Our New Show (Bush & McCluskey)

See a new comedy musical brought to life in its embryonic stage.

The Brewhouse

12:00 – 14:00 Performance Game (ReStage)

An immersive, interactive game, which puts the life and ideas of LS Lowry into context.

16:00 – 18:00 Performance Game (ReStage)

An immersive, interactive game, which puts the life and ideas of LS Lowry into context.

Sunday 6 October 2013


20TH OCTOBER 2013. 


ON THE HOP is a new idea between The Flanagan Collective, Neil Arden and York Brewery. We’re opening up the many spaces in York Brewery for a day of new ideas, new conversations and new work. 

And this is an open call to help fill that space.

So here’s how it works.

We have big spaces, little spaces, public spaces, private spaces, focussed spaces, drop in spaces. We want people to fill them with us. We are looking for storytellers, poets, artists, theatre makers, writers, dancers, imagineers, provocateurs, animateurs, directors, producers, film makers, musicians, bands – you name it, if you’ve got something to say then we want to hear from you.

We’re also looking for people to host debates, to give provocations, and to chair discussions. These can be ongoing, super quick, speed dating, in sessions, on paper, in person or however you think that conversation is best structured.

The Pub is a place where people meet, and chat, and talk, and chew the fat, and set the world to rights, and start new things, and meet old friends. The Brewery is the beginning of that chain, so we want to start things here, begin conversations, see new work, have new ideas and meet new folk. Expect good beers and good food, with damn good people.

ON THE HOP is soon. It’s on the 20th October. So we hope any ideas are somehow to do with now; with what’s going on or what’s about to happen. These can be really early scratches, half formed ideas, or first showings of new work. These can be titles for a discussion, a question that you want answering, or a motion you’d like to put to the great and the good. This, we think, is a great place for the arts to meet to social to meet the political to meet the communal. So we’d invite you to come, drink, eat and talk together, bringing some ideas or some work with you along the way. Many festivals take months in the planning, ON THE HOP is rough and ready and raring to go. 

We’ve never programmed a festival by open submission before. We aren’t looking for long, complicated applications. We want to know your idea, about you or your work and about why you’d like to be a part of ON THE HOP. Everything will be Pay-What-You-Think for the audience with all money going direct back to the artists or hosts. There are no hire fees for anything charged to you, but there’s no expenses or fees budget either. All money comes from the crowd watching and goes straight back to you – nothing ends up in our pockets.

So, you want to be a part of it or want to know more? Email your thoughts, ideas and questions, expressions of interest over to Alexander Wright - - by the 11th October and we’ll look forward to talking more.

10 hours. We won’t set the world to rights, but we might get a little bit closer and have a little bit of fun along the way.

Thursday 11 July 2013

BABYLON, Derby Food & Friends. Tuesday.

So this is us in the back of The Fauconberg Arms, having a wee jam after our first BABYLON sharing. 

Since then we've thought, talked, replayed and rewritten bits. 

On Monday we head to Derby Theatre. We were invited by Sarah Brigham to come and be a part of brilliant new DEparture Lounge Festival. We're chuffed to bits. We're performing/sharing on Tuesday night, but we're there for the whole week carrying on developing and honing the show. We've invited lots of local musicians to come and be part of BABYLON with us and the good audience will be called on too. There'll be good food, good drinks and good music with hopefully lots of dancing. 

What's even better, is we get to perform it in here...

...because they've only gone and built a bloody garden on their main stage, like theatre champions. So, Tuesday, romping stomping folky revolution with dinner in indoor garden it is. Deal done.

We also get to play gigs for the rest of the week, which is pretty ace as there are some pretty ace companies there who'd we'd like to try and convince to be in our band for the night - someone put in a good word for us with Chris Thorpe, Little Bulb, Maison Foos and Milk Presents will you?

This is turning out to be such a lovely way to create and develop a show - with lots of people involved in the process and lots of different ways of sharing, performing and rehearsing. If you're able, please come and be a part of the conversation with us - we'd love to know what you think and to sing some drinking songs in to the night with you. Both are important.

So it's Derby, then we'll run a bunch of bar nights in Edinburgh in the early hours, then we have a week at Greenwich Theatre and then...well, two options in the pipeline so maybe London and maybe some Rural Touring. We'd like to do both. We'd like to do more. We'd like to travel around playing in pubs and gardens, wherever all the great people are. If you know any of either or all then give us a shout. Personally I'd like to travel around in an old land rover. 

Hopefully see you on Tuesday. Details here -

@FlanCol / #BABYLON

Tuesday 25 June 2013

BABYLON - after the week

So we had a brilliant week at The Fauconberg Arms. 

We wrote a lot of songs, came up with a lot of ideas and most importantly got a good handle on what the show COULD and SHOULD be. It's by no means there yet - there's lots of story to suss, structure to sort. We need to be bolder with the politics, make it more visually arresting, drive some of the characters harder and be less subtle with some bits and pieces. We need to see more of the action - become more involved in the revolution.

Sharing on Friday was great, very useful to have such a warm audience and to have something to work towards. 

Lots to do and play with - we can't wait to get on with the next stage.

For now, though, here's how a few things looked and sounded. Everything here is from rehearsals or the sharing, recorded on phones. So forgive the quality, or the odd slipped note or tripped line, but it might give you an idea. 

There's another video here...A video of a song called Hold Stronger

Thursday 20 June 2013

BABYLON - Instructions, Friday 21st June

From the joys of writing music, then realising we've got to do some acting too. 
Using instruments as instruments and wheelbarrows as instruments.
Playing outdoors and playing indoors, entertaining people having their lunch in the pub. 

Our first sharing of BABYLON is tomorrow night. 8pm, The Fauconberg Arms, Coxwold. 

Firstly, we'd love you to come, that goes without saying. But here are some things you might need to know...

1) BABYLON is a show about kings and queens and civil wars. It's about a shared history and abour the stuff which we should keep near and dear and take good care of. It's a big story which has 3 main threads - The Election, which is the beginning / The Farmhouse, which is the middle / After, which is the end - these dont necessarily run in chronological order. It's set in the future.

2) Serena plays Hetty, the new queen. 
     Ed plays Ollie, an adviser to the queen.
     Jim plays Billy, a farmer.
     Conrad plays Tom, Billy's brother.
     There is also the Governing Officer of the country, some officials, newscasters and other bits and pieces which the four cast will share between them. 

3) It contains swearing

4) Please DO keep your cameras or phones on. Please DO take pictures, videos and recordings. Please send them to us afterwards and we'll use them to make a little trailer of the sharing. 

5) This is a sharing, not a finished performance. It's free and, if you want to, you can pay what you think afterwards. There will hopefully be some other artists and musicians here too to entertain you. We would like to talk to you all afterwards and see what you thought - please tell us what you thought. We'd like you to have nice evening with each other so please eat and drink and be merry and perhaps sit on a big table with some new people.

Now you can watch this little video for a cheery Thursday morning...

We'll hopefully see you tomorrow evening, 8pm, at The Fauconberg Arms for the very first glimpses of BABYLON. 


Dom, Serena, Jim, Conrad, Alex & Ed

Tuesday 18 June 2013


Day 2 of BABYLON at The Fauconberg Arms in Coxwold is just as sunny and joyous as day 1. We couldn't ask for more beautiful weather, surroundings or hosts. It's just great. 

Now, on Friday we'd like to make a video and we'd like to ask for your help. 

It would be great to capture whatever that night feels like - however the sharing goes, what the music sounds like and what you all think, and what other artists or musicians come and join in. But our hands will be tied, cos we'll be doing all the stuff. So I'd like to see if we can make a crowd sourced video. 

It would be great if across Friday night you're able to to film, record, photograph, write about anything that you think is interesting or useful or exciting. Then if you can send it all to us we'll chop it in to a trailer - evidence of how it's gone this week. Doesn't need to be fancy, can include your thoughts and reactions. Filmed on your phone is fine. 

If anyone fancies this then great. You can send all the stuff to once you've got back to somewhere with internet. 

If you'd like to help us crowd source a BABYLON video, then head to The Fauconberg Arms in Coxwold this Friday for 8pm - we'd be very grateful indeed.

Ta very much.
The Flanagan-gang

Monday 17 June 2013

BABYLON - The Fauconberg Arms

So this morning we all gathered at The Fauconberg arms. Our new show, BABYLON, has official commenced and we're off at full speed. It's a show about Kings, Queen, Civil Wars, people we should care for, those we should have loved harder and held tighter. 

We have had various read throughs and long chats over the weekend. It's play about us, about people and the perhaps the responsibilities we have to be good to each other. Oddly, for me, it's not a play about the beautiful things - that's quite refreshing.

We are:

Me (Alex) - I wrote Beulah and have written BABYLON

Dom - is one of the four artistic directors of Belt Up Theatre, he directed my play The Boy James and he's directing BABYLON

Jim - is composer and sound designer for Tortoise In A Nutshell. He also wrote the music for Beulah with Ed and has toured in the show since the word go.

Ed - runs the brilliant folk & puppetry company, The River People. He wrote the music and performed Beulah with Jim.

Serena - If you've seen Some Small Love Story, then Serena has toured with the show since the original production in 2011. She's also been a key play in no end of Belt Up shows.

Conrad - Conrad is a singer, songwriter and the front man of the circus folk band, Holy Moly & The Cracker's who have graced many a LittleFest and toured If The River Was Whiskey with us.

So today is full of music in the countryside, working in a beautiful country pub in the Yorkshire Moors. We've set ourselves a challenge, we will present a sharing of where we're up to this Friday at 8pm at The Fauconberg Arms, Coxwold. It's free,  you can pay what you think at the end. 

We'd love some friendly faces and plenty of feedback at the end - it's a big show we're making, so we'd love to know what you think.

We're surrounded by instruments, paper and green fields. There's plenty of harmonies flying around, instrument swapping, thumping of drums and plucking of strings. BABYLON is a agogo - we're a-rocking and a-rolling. Pick up your banjos and head to see us on Friday. 

More soon. Keep up with our comings and goings on twitter @FlanCol