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Homegrown theatre comes to town – in a former bank

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A homegrown theatre production is coming to a unique venue in Warrington as part of this year’s Contemporary Arts Festival.

Not Too Tame will be presenting “The Social’ at The Parr’s Bank between November 9-12.



The performance group and award-winning “great night out specialists” are led by Burtonwood playwright Jimmy Fairhurst. Their mission is to break down the barriers to the arts by taking shows out of conventional venues so they jumped at the chance to stage The Social at the recently renovated Grade II listed former Natwest bank in Winwick Street.
Not Too Tame’s show also ties in with the theme of this year’s festival which is about bringing new Warrington talent to the town’s unique and undiscovered buildings.
Jimmy said: “I think it’s going to be a real celebration of the space and we are looking forward to bringing it alive and making it our playground. Our USP is providing a great night out and if you can do that in a beautiful and unique place like The Parr’s Bank, then it is an extra special experience.”
“The Social” is a celebration of the Northern Soul scene and social club culture. It is set in Derby but some of the characters and situations were inspired by Jimmy’s experiences in Warrington.
Jimmy, who has worked with the likes of Game of Thrones’ Emilia Clarke and Ozark actor Peter Mullan and appeared in Mike Leigh’s Peterloo, added: “There are definitely characters from Warrington in the show. There was so much research done on both sides of the peaks about Northern Soul and all the people and stories from Warrington, Wigan, Stoke and Manchester who travelled all over the north to live and breathe that culture.
“There is a little bit of all the aspects of a great night out in the show. There are larger-than-life characters, a crafted and lyrical script with moments of heart and humour and a great big punch of banging tracks and Northern Soul dancing. I always think that you just need to create intrigue and we invite people to come and have a butchers.”
Jimmy particularly hopes those who have been campaigning for a theatre in Warrington support this homegrown performance.
He said: “We need to grow a culture of making live theatre performances work in Warrington, which in turn develops a built-in audience. Theatre can offer a brilliant night out where you can have a drink, be entertained, moved and inspired by people like you telling your stories. If you don’t believe us, just come and see for yourselves.”
The Social is part of this year’s Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival, a diverse programme of events led by Culture Warrington to support the town’s creatives. This time there is also a focus on bringing undiscovered buildings into wider community use.
After the Not Too Tame event, The Parr’s Bank will also be the venue for ‘Parr de Trois’ on November 18. It is a dance triple bill with new work by Joseph Reay Reid, Lauren Tucker and Sarah Bateman choreographed especially for the festival.
Leah Biddle, cultural manager for Culture Warrington, who is leading the festival, added: “This year’s Contemporary Arts Festival is all about Warrington, its community, undiscovered venues and wealth of creative talent, and Not Too Tame’s ‘The Social’ encapsulates this perfectly. It’s fantastic to have Not Too Tame performing in their hometown in such a unique venue.
“The theatre company is renowned for ensuring its audiences have a great night out, and by presenting the show in a non-traditional theatre space they will hopefully attract new audiences, maybe those who haven’t been interested in theatre previously. The Parrs Bank is a stunning venue, steeped in history and there will be an additional opportunity to enjoy another performance in the venue with Parr de Trois later in the month.”
For tickets to The Social or to view the Warrington Contemporary Arts Festival programme visit wcaf.culturewarrington.org/whats-on

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