Grid Iron And Stellar Quines Present BINGO! A New Musical Comedy

Grid Iron And Stellar Quines Present BINGO! A New Musical Comedy

Grid Iron Theatre Company and Stellar Quines Theatre Company present Bingo!, a new musical comedy focusing on lives of six characters and one fateful night at the bingo. Bingo! tours Scotland in March and April 2018.

Every week more than 2 million women pour into local bingo halls across the UK, each one hoping that all elusive HOUSE will change their fortunes forever. Daniella's one of those women. Except she isn't just hopeful. She's desperate. She needs Lady Luck to smile down on her tonight. She's done a bad thing. No, a really bad thing and if her card doesn't have those winning numbers, she's going to have to resort to desperate measures to take home that prize money.

With cracking original songs, a lot of banter and cheeky humour, Bingo! is co-written by Anita Vettesse & Johnny McKnight, with music by Alan Penman and directed by Stellar Quines' Artistic Director Jemima Levick.

Cast of Bingo! includes stars of British stages and television such as Louise McCarthy (Daniella) of BBC's Scot Squad and Two Doors Down, Wendy Seager (Mary) who played Susan in Killing me Softly and featured in Still Game, Barbara Rafferty (Joanna), star of River City, Brave New World, Rab C Nesbitt and The Last King of Scotland film, Jo Freer (Ruth) who starred in Dundee Rep's Sunshine on Leith as well as River City, Darren Brownlie (Donny) known from Dundee Rep's Witness for the Prosecution and BBC Scotland's Scot Squad as well as Tron Theatre's pantomime and Jane McCarry (Betty), Still Game's Isa and Scottish pantomime star who also played Dolly in Tony Roper's The Steamie and featured in Rab C Nesbitt.

Bingo! reflects the current state of affairs for many people living in the UK, for whom a visit to a bingo hall is both a night out and a financial plan. Brought to Scottish stages by two award-winning Edinburgh-based theatre companies: site-responsive specialists Grid Iron and Stellar Quines, who celebrate the diversity of women and girls, Bingo! promises to be a show that entertains and provokes.

Bingo! receives its world premiere at Assembly Hall in Edinburgh. The show then goes on tour to venues around Scotland, including Stirling, Ayr, Musselburgh, Glasgow and Inverness.

Jemima Levick, Artistic Director of Stellar Quines said: "As one of Scotland's longest serving touring companies, Stellar Quines' work is created to inspire women & girls, and the men that know them. We realise that women and girls come in different shapes and sizes and with a variety of tastes and expectations, so our programme of work aims to respond with broad appeal.

Every time I read Bingo! or hear it read aloud, I am reminded of just how brilliant women are. It's a play about comradery, friendship, parenthood, and strength in numbers, but also about hope, and 'that' fantasy that we all have - of how our lives might change with that big win. It's a play that never fails to take me by surprise, it makes me laugh and cry.

We are particularly delighted to be co-producing alongside our long-time colleagues, Grid Iron. It's a collaboration that's based on many of the qualities of this play, so we're thrilled to be on that journey with them."

Judith Doherty, Co-Artistic Director of Grid Iron said: "Grid Iron have been talking to Jemima about Bingo! for quite some time so, when she took over the helm at Stellar Quines, it seemed the perfect opportunity to bring together two Edinburgh companies who share a mission to provide strong roles for women on and off stage. Anita and Johnny have written a truly cracking script and I would bet on it that we'll hear people humming Alan's music as they head down the street after the show.

Although Grid Iron are best known for site-responsive work, this is far from the first time we've toured work for the stage and indeed, isn't our first musical either. We're really looking forward to taking Bingo! out on the road and are delighted to be travelling with Stellar Quines."

Sharon Burgess, Assembly Managing Director said: "Assembly are thrilled to be working with two such prestigious Scottish Theatre Companies to present work at Assembly Hall out with the month of August. We very much look forward to hosting the world premiere of Bingo! in March next year."

Tour dates:

Assembly Hall, Edinburgh: 6-7 March 7.30pm (previews) and 8-17 March 7.30pm (not Sunday 11th), 10 & 17 March 2.30pm (matinees)

Macrobert Arts Centre, Stirling: 22-23 March 7.30pm, 23 March 2.30pm (matinee)

Ayr Gaiety Theatre, Ayr: 27-28 March 7.30pm

The Brunton, Musselburgh: 31 March at 2pm and 7.30pm

Tron Theatre, Glasgow: 12-14 April at 7.45pm

Eden Court, Inverness: 19-21 April 7.30pm, 21 April 2.30pm (matinee)

Grid Iron is an Edinburgh based new writing theatre company which specialises in creating site-specific and location theatre although they also produce work for the stage. Over their 22 years they have received 30 awards and a further 24 nominations covering all aspects of their work from acting, writing and use of music to stage management, design and technical expertise.

Their adventures have taken them to extraordinary places; from the slopes of Edinburgh Zoo and the concourses of Edinburgh Airport to a massive oil-rig manufacturing shed in Dundee, a boat-builders island in a Norwegian fjord, to the former General Security building in Beirut, a working cancer hospital in Jordan, the old City Morgue in Cork, the largest climbing arena in Europe and parks, housing estates, playing fields, bars and stages all over Britain.

They have made co-productions with many partners including the National Theatre of Scotland, the Traverse Theatre, Dundee Rep Theatre, The Almeida Theatre, London and Lung Ha Theatre Company and have delivered two European Capital of Culture Commissions (Cork 2005 and Stavanger 2008). They have performed thirteen times at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and twice at both Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh International Science Festival. They have also been part of Imaginate, Edinburgh's international festival of performing arts for children and young people.

Stellar Quines retains a unique position within the cultural ecology of Scotland, by serving as a leading touring theatre company that works to inspire excellence in women & girls. Our mission is to celebrate the value and diversity of women & girls by making brilliant theatre, provoking change, nurturing artists and empowering participation.

The company achieves this through a year-round programme designed to excite and inspire the audiences and artists we work with that includes producing and touring world class performance, commissioning research, championing campaigns and delivering activities to support artist development and community engagement.

Jemima Levick was appointed Artistic Director and Chief Executive of Stellar Quines in May 2016. Prior to that, she served as Artistic Director and as Associate Director at Dundee Rep Theatre for seven years. She trained at Queen Margaret University, Edinburgh and also on a Scottish Arts Council Director Traineeship.

She has won and been nominated for a number of awards and directed more than 18 productions at the Rep, including Great Expectations, The Glass Menagerie, Time and the Conways, The Tempest, The Elephant Man and Beauty and the Beast.

As a freelance as a director and producer she has worked with a number of companies, including the Royal Lyceum Theatre, The National Theatre of Scotland, Perissology Theatre Productions, Borderline, Grid Iron Theatre Company, Traverse Theatre and Paines Plough.

Most recently she directed the critically acclaimed The 306: Day, a co-production between the National Theatre of Scotland, Horsecross Arts & Stellar Quines and, a sell out production of Jaimini Jethwa's debut play, The Last Queen of Scotland at this year's Edinburgh Fringe .

Anita Vettesse has been an actor for over 25 years and recently began to write for Theatre, TV and Radio. Her play Ringroad was nominated for best new play at The Critics Theatre Awards. She has since written, Happy Hour, News Just In/Hostage Taker and From The Air. Other work includes, Falling for BBC Radio Drama, several episodes for BBC's River City and is in production with You Really Got Me Going as part of The Break season three for BBC. Anita continues to work as an actor.

Johnny McKnight is a writer, director, actor and performer, as well as the joint artistic director of Random Accomplice Theatre Company. He has been described as the "new vanguard of pantomime" in the national press, having written 8 contemporary pantomimes. In 2015, he wrote Miracle on 34th Street for the Tron Theatre and wrote, directed and starred in The Little Mermaid at Macrobert Stirling.

Recent credits include: Wendy Hoose (Birds of Paradise/Random Accomplice); A Perfect Stroke (Òran Mór/Traverse); Dear Scotland: The Balmoral Estate (National Theatre Scotland).

Recent commissions include Royal Court Theatre, Macrobert and Tron Theatre.

Additional credits include: Last One Out, Curse Of The Maccabra Opera House (Scottish Opera); Room 7 (Traverse Theatre); Little Johnny's Big Gay Wedding (National Theatre of Scotland); Smalltown, Love Hurts, Double Nugget (Random Accomplice), Cinderella (Royal Lyceum Theatre).

Alan Penman is an Edinburgh based composer, musician, musical director, arranger and producer.

He studied at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland (RSAMD) and has 25 years experience as a hugely versatile composer. Alan plays keyboards and guitar and records with Cubase and Logic. He is also one of Scotland's most respected composers writing specifically for children and young people. As well as music and sound design for television and theatre, he has composed, arranged and produced;

  • for orchestra
  • for contemporary pop/rock/r'n'b
  • for brass band
  • for SATB choir
  • musicals and mini operas
  • hundreds of songs for children

He is hugely experienced in taking song-writing and music workshops for all ages and abilities, and working on large scale community theatre projects.


Louise McCarthy (Daniella)

Louise was trained at Arts Educational School London and has since appeared in a wide variety of stage and television roles. Theatre roles include Lisa in the West End production of Mumma Mia (Prince of Wales Theatre), Bernadette Rooney in Cuttin' A Rug (Citizens Theatre), and Marissa in Yer Granny (National Theatre of Scotland). TV roles have included a dancer on X Factor, DC Andrea McGill in BBC's Scot Squad and Nurse McGuire in the BBCs Two Doors Down.

Wendy Seager (Mary)

Wendy is an accomplished actor with experience across film, TV, stage, radio and commercial outlets. TV roles include Magde in BBC Scotland's Still Game and Lola in BBC's Fail. Film credits include Susan in Killing Me Softly and Sister Mary in Clingfilm. On stage Wendy has played Cathy in Descent (Oran Mor) and Sara in Bondagers (Royal Lyceum Theatre). She is currently appearing as the Genie in Perth Theatre's Aladdin this Christmas.

Barbara Rafferty (Joanna)

Barbara has a wealth of experience in TV, Film and on Stage. She has performed in stage shows of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the BFG, along with roles in the films The Last King of Scotland and Women Talking Dirty. Television credits include, Rab C Nesbitt, River City (BBC Scotland) and Brave New World (BBC).

Jo Freer (Ruth)
Jo is an accomplished actor with a list of stage roles to her name. Some roles include playing Joanna in Dear Brutus (Pitlochry Festival Theatre) and Liz in Sunshine on Leith (Dundee Rep). More recently, Jo played Oskar's Mum in the US tour of Let the Right One In (National Theatre of Scotland). TV credits include Rhona in BBC's River City, and DC Debbie Carroll in Doctors (BBC).

Darren Brownlie (Donny)

Darren trained at The Arts Educational Schools London before moving on to Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama. He has performed in variety of stage roles, including Campbell Tunloch in Whisky Galore (Mull Theatre), Inspector Hearne/Thomas Clegg in Witness for the Prosecution (Dundee Rep) and Young Nijinsky in the UK tour of Nijinsky's Last Jump (Company Chordelia). Also featured in BBC's Still Game: Live and BBC Scotland's Scot Squad.

Jane McCarry (Betty)

Jane was trained at Queen Margaret College in Edinburgh, and has since had a career in film, radio, TV and most notably on the stage. She has played Dolly in The Steamie (Tony Roper), Angelo in The Cameo (Oran Mor) and Alison in Mum's the Word 2 (R C Kelly Productions). She was the star of Still Game as Isa Drennan and featured in Rab C Nesbitt. Jane also has a wealth of experience in pantomime, having performed in productions across Scotland for over 25 years.

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