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:
 
 
 
Salford Star Hoodies
Salford Star contact
Deli Lama
advertisement
 
Contact us
phone: 07957 982960
Facebook       Twitter
 
 
Recent comments
article: SALFORD CRESCENT MASTERPLANNERS CONFIRM DEMOLITION OF OLD POLICE HQ
I can remember councillors not all that long ago saying "No more high rise,we want a community back". Seems like they soon forget ... [more]
article: SALFORD CRESCENT MASTERPLANNERS CONFIRM DEMOLITION OF OLD POLICE HQ
Cody you're a cynic. If you are so dissatisfied with the status quo, then why don't you run for Salford Mayor in a couple of year... [more]
article: SALFORD CRESCENT MASTERPLANNERS CONFIRM DEMOLITION OF OLD POLICE HQ
"Salford Mayor Paul Dennett is very keen on affordable housing". If paul Denning is so keen why does he keep letting developers g... [more]
article: SALFORD CRESCENT MASTERPLANNERS CONFIRM DEMOLITION OF OLD POLICE HQ
Hey, Macca. Didn't you get the memo? This is 'progress'! Why shouldn't the Council let developers build expensive apartments for r... [more]
article: SALFORD CRESCENT MASTERPLANNERS CONFIRM DEMOLITION OF OLD POLICE HQ
Why are they building skyscrapers all over ? It isn’t the baby boom of the 1960’s .salfird will become more of a concrete jungle t... [more]
 
 
 
 
 
Days
Hours
Minutes
Seconds
 
 
 

Donate

Help the Salford Star...

all donations welcome

 
 

More articles...

SALFORD ROAD CHAOS LOOMS FOR A YEAR

Star date: 13th August 2018

JOURNEY TIMES TO DOUBLE AS £15MILLION 'IMPROVEMENT SCHEME' BEGINS

On 29th August, the £15million Manchester and Salford Inner Relief Route improvement scheme begins which is set to last a year and double journey times around Regent Road, from Oldfield Road to the Mancunian Way, which will see roads reduced to one lane in places.

The work is expected to have knock-on delays to other routes including around the M602, East Lancs Road and Trinity Way.

Full details here...

SALFORD CRESCENT MASTERPLANNERS CONFIRM DEMOLITION OF OLD POLICE HQ

Star date: 12th August 2018

POLICE HQ ON THE CRESCENT TO BE DEMOLISHED

The imposing old Salford Police headquarters on the Crescent is to be demolished, as confirmed by the Salford City Council and Salford University masterplanners at yesterday's consultation on the future of the area.

Local people at the consultation didn't seem happy about the amount of high rise buildings in the plans, and nothing was said about any affordable housing.

Full details here...

SAVE SALFORD VICTORIA THEATRE MEETING IN LOWER BROUGHTON

Star date: 12th August 2018

THE FUTURE OF VICTORIA THEATRE

Salford Victoria Theatre Trust Public Meeting
Sunday 26th August 1:30pm
St Boniface's Social Club

There's to be a further public meeting to save Lower Broughton's Grade II listed Victoria Theatre, on Sunday afternoon 26th August. Anyone who has any ideas for its future use or who wants to get involved in the campaign is urged to attend.

Full details here...

SALFORD BUILE HILL MANSION UPDATE MEETING TO HEAR OF PROGRESS

Star date: 12th August 2018

BUILE HILL MANSION MOVES SLOWLY FORWARD

Buile Hill Mansion Support Group Meeting
Tuesday 14th August 7:30pm
Height Methodist Hall

After meeting developer Capital and Centric and the Salford Red Devils Foundation, the Buile Hill Mansion Support Group is holding a public meeting this Tuesday to provide updates.

Full details here...

PARTICIPANTS WANTED TO JOIN 15 MILE SPONSORED WALK FOR SALFORD RED DEVILS FOUNDATION

Star date: 11th August 2018

MANCHESTER AIRPORT TO AJ BELL STADIUM SPONSORED WALK

A sponsored 15 mile walk from Manchester Airport to the AJ Bell Stadium is to take place on Sunday 30th September to raise money for the Salford Red Devils Foundation, and Reds fans are being urged to sign up now.

Participants will get free entry to the Toulouse match, a medal and will get to do a lap of honour on the pitch at half time... "We need more fans to pull together to raise money for the Salford Red Devil Foundation" says walk organiser Russell Chesters

Full details here...

 



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