HOME   ARCHIVE   GALLERY   SHOP   ABOUT US      
 

 
JOE O’BYRNE WINS SALFORD STAR AWARD FOR BEST PLAY
 

Star date: 21st January 2018

THE HAUNTING OF BLAINE MANOR WINS BEST PLAY

Last year, the Salford Star asked its readers to nominate winners in four categories reflecting Salford's cultural delights – Best Night, Best Performer, Best Play and Best Band.

From the shortlist, Live Events Editor, Ian Leslie, together with Salford Star staff, have decided the worthy winner of the first Salford Star Award for Best Play is The Haunting of Blaine Manor by Joe O'Byrne – a horror masterclass!

Full details here...


Joe O'Byrne wins Salford Star Best Play Award
click image to enlarge

The Salford Star Award for Best Play...

Joe O'Byrne – The Haunting of Blaine Manor

The theatre scene in Salford is as vibrant as ever and countless plays were brilliantly performed throughout the region, as 2017 provided an embarrassment of riches with writers, established and new, showcasing their creative excellence. The GM Fringe was, again, a real triumph and brought theatre to new audiences across a variety of venues.

Salford proved to be a magnet for the arts as writers, performers and actors came from far and wide to grace our stages. Graduates from Salford University were prominent alongside Salford based creatives. Local groups ADP and Scripts Aloud excelled, and were on-hand to assist and encourage the next generation of scriptwriters. A diverse range of styles and stories were featured from comedy to fantasy to musical theatre.

Local interest stories were well represented; Salford Pals, Salford Belles and 'When both Sides Surrender' were all expertly delivered. To put it mildly, we had a difficult decision to make. Ultimately, we agreed on one genre-defying play...

The Haunting of Blaine Manor by Joe O'Byrne expertly enthralled, amused and scared the hell out of the audience. It also featured a twist in the tale that beautifully packaged the play into a mind-blowing bundle. Not content with penning an amazing script, Joe even performed a star turn as the charming yet sinister butler, Grady.

I had a word with Joe and asked him how it feels to win the Salford Star Best Play Award?
"It feels fantastic, and obviously it's an accolade to share with all those who have brought the play to life and have left such a lasting impression on audiences and all the critics who have seen it. Theatre is a massively collaborative effort; the powerhouse performances on stage, behind the scenes creatives, pre-production, art and design, promotion - it's huge. We have such a good time on this though, working with each other and feeling the massive appreciation from the audiences as they are all really getting into it."
 
Blaine Manor is a great play with an outstanding cast. Did it all click from the outset?
"The short answer is 'Yes'! The longer answer is - it's all about the team. It was really important to assemble the right team obviously. I knew who I wanted cast wise, and got them all, Peter Slater, Jo Haydock, Andrew Yates, Ian Curley, Daniel Thackeray - all of them are fabulous at bringing characters to life, and the first run of the show they all absolutely knocked it out of the park.

"Ian had to move on and Phil Dennison stepped in and more than made the part his own. My original sound designer left the production...due to being actually disturbed by the script, having actual nightmares stemming from it. Which told me - yes I had a scary script - but damn, I'd lost my sound designer!

"You can have all the convincing performances on stage that you want, but if the sound didn't live up to it we'd be in trouble. Justin Wetherill stepped up to the plate. The music Justin composed completely captures the mood - the sound effects were going to be the real challenge. It's a very chilling and atmospheric sound design. Oh, and David Heald rides a lighting desk like Han Solo at the controls of the Millennium Falcon - I was determined to get a Star Wars reference in here somewhere.

"Marketing wise I hooked up once again with the digital design genius that is Darren McGinn. I've worked with Darren for years now and he's always the first person crew wise that reads the script. His work on this campaign has been, as always, outstanding with just beautifully rendered trailers and portraits, again drawn from the feel of the script. Darren nails it every time and he really is so under rated in the industry, as in fairness is everyone involved in this production; it's good enough for any West End stage.

"Red Pencil Productions have done a wonderful job filming one of the performances and sharing that with theatre programmers will help me take the play much further. The production is very much in its infancy in terms of performances, some promoter is going to find it and realise that this is lightning in a bottle."

Does appearing in the play add extra pressure?
"No. I thoroughly enjoyed myself from day one. I put my trust in the professionals around me, and I knew what I wanted to do with the character. We all clicked from the first rehearsal, the magic has been there from day one."

What are your highlights from 2017?
"Well there's taking the play on its first tour, which was a huge success, selling out in London two weeks before we got there, as part of the London Horror Festival; having a great time at the Kings Arms in Salford on our second visit there with this play, Lisa Connor and all the staff down there were perfect hosts as ever. Every venue on the tour was fantastic and they were lovely with us.

"On a more personal note my father was diagnosed with terminal cancer in February. My brother and I took him on a road trip to Ireland in March where he had a wonderful time with his brothers, sisters and extended family in Limerick, a chance for him to connect again with the city he was born and raised in, and a great opportunity for my brother and I to connect with cousins we'd more or less grown up with. Dad passed away on the 15th of July; that few days in March - and dad - will always be with me."

Will Blaine Manor be performed again in 2018?
"Yes, of course. We're having too much of a good time and I want to thank all the audiences that have seen it thus far for making this such an epic ride, and of course a big thanks to the reviewers. I have already booked dates for an autumn tour, starting September though we may appear somewhere earlier. Venues in Yorkshire, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and Shropshire are on the map so far, but there will be more added over the next few weeks. I'm looking for Arts Council funding to really give us a decent run in London, fingers crossed. Once again, huge thanks for this award, this will really help us."


For more details of Joe O'Byne's The Hanting of Blaine Manor see previous Salford Star article – click here

The Salford Star Awards

Best Regular Event – Evidently – click here

Best Performer - JB Barrington - click here

Best Band - The Moods - click here


The results of the Best Band and Best Performer Awards will be announced next weekend

Words by Ian Leslie
Photos by Steven Speed

Please enter your comment below:
 
 
 
Giraffe
Salford Star contact
Deli Lama
advertisement
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: IRLAM AND CADISHEAD COMMUNITY SLATE GREATER MANCHESTER GREEN BELT PLANS
You spoke ref. Peel Holdings working with us. Last week it was taking people 2 hourd to get home due to an accident on the motorw... [more]
article: IRLAM AND CADISHEAD COMMUNITY SLATE GREATER MANCHESTER GREEN BELT PLANS
I may not understand the way things work but not once did I see our Mayor stand up & stick up for our cause , all I could see was ... [more]
article: STAR WARS LANDS IN ECCLES TO RAISE MONEY FOR AUTISTIC SOCIETY
i was part of the troop i'm the founder of north staffs stormtroopers i do darth vader and also stormtrooper..was a great day with... [more]
article: COMMUNITY GREEN SPACE CAMPAIGNERS JOIN DEMO OUTSIDE SALFORD CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Ok Ray , lets build 80 or 90 dirt cheap starter flats, and have lots of people living in the land that is surrounded by parkland.... [more]
article: COMMUNITY GREEN SPACE CAMPAIGNERS JOIN DEMO OUTSIDE SALFORD CITY COUNCIL MEETING
Rayofsunshine - You should probably ask that question to the Mayor and his cabinet. However, while I agree with you, I do believe ... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

IRLAM AND CADISHEAD COMMUNITY SLATE GREATER MANCHESTER GREEN BELT PLANS

Star date: 21st January 2019

'DON'T UNDERSTIMATE OUR PASSION'... 'LEAVE US ALONE!'... 'WE'RE GOING TO BE STUCK IN THE MIDDLE OF THE MESS!'

Tonight a Special Community Committee Meeting took place for Irlam and Cadishead to discuss the Greater Manchester Spatial Framework which proposes 1,600 houses to be built in the green belt near Irlam Station.

Passionate opposition speeches from the community covered all issues, from infrastructure to pollution, affordable housing to loss of Grade 1 agricultural land and the unstable site proposed for development. Not one single person present spoke in favour of the proposals.

Full details here...

STAR WARS LANDS IN ECCLES TO RAISE MONEY FOR AUTISTIC SOCIETY

Star date: 21st January 2019

DARTH VADER AND CO RAISE OVER £130 FOR AUSTIC SOCIETY

Star Wars characters landed in Eccles Shopping Centre at the weekend and raised £132 for the Autistic Society of Greater Manchester. Alongside Darth Vader were Stormtroopers, a Wookiee, Jedis and more.

Full details here...

MANCHESTER MELTDOWN 4 AT THE PEER HAT

Star date: 20th January 2019

ROSE AND THE DIAMOND HAND, BANG UP TO THE ELEPHANT, FOUR CANDLES AND MATTHEW HOPKINS

Manchester Meltdown 4
Wednesday 23rd January
The Peer Hat, Manchester

Four ace bands feature in Manchester Meltdown 4 this Wednesday, including two bands, Four Candles and Matthew Hopkins, who played at the Eagle Inn Salford Star Benefit last November. Ian Leslie chats with Matthew Hopkins' Julia about tales of mystery, magic and prostitution.

Full details here...

SALFORD LADY MARGARET MCHALE TURNS ONE HUNDRED AT THE BROUGHTONS

Star date: 20th January 2019

FROM HANKY PARK TO LITTLETON ROAD VIA LANCASTER BOMBERS AND THE 'MONKEY RUN'

Salford's Margaret McHale turned one hundred this week as her six children and relatives gathered for a huge party at The Broughtons Care Home. Born in Hanky Park, Margaret moved around central Salford, to Ellor Street, Warburton Street and finally to Littleton Road, as part of the slum clearances.

A proper Salford lass, Margaret worked on Lancaster Bombers during the war and as a machinist in Strangeways, and, as the family partied with residents and staff, there were a zillion anecdotes that will echo with loads of local families.

Full details here...

NEW SALFORD APPRENTICESHIPS AT ELECTRICITY NORTH WEST

Star date: 20th January 2019

POWER TO THE PEOPLE!

Electricity North West, the region's power network operator, is looking to take on young Salford people and has places for craft apprenticeships, which include overhead line workers and cable jointers, and higher level apprenticeships, which include roles such as design and control engineer.

Full details here...

 



written and produced by Salfordians for Salfordians
with attitude and love xxx