Young talent receives theatre showcase

DRAMA students from Lancaster present two contrasting plays in the round at The Dukes this month.

University of Cumbria students will be performing The Accrington Pals from tonight until Saturday and Ben Elton's Silly Cow from January 19-22.

Set in Accrington during the first years of The Great War, The Accrington Pals is a moving and uncompromising play by Peter Whelan. It tells the story of the innocent and enthusiastic men who volunteered for Kitchener's army, and the women who were left behind.

In complete contrast, Silly Cow centres on Doris Wallis, a tabloid gossip columnist on the verge of fronting a TV show. This deliciously black revenge comedy is one of those rare farces where the audience wince as they laugh.

The Accrington Pals is recommended for anyone aged 14 and over and Silly Cow is for anyone aged 12 and over.

Tickets for the Wednesday and Thursday performances of both shows are 6/4. Tickets for Friday and Saturday performances of both shows are 10/6. For more details and to book, ring The Dukes box office on (01524) 598500 or visit www.dukes-lancaster.org

Also at The Dukes a Little Voice will be in big demand this spring.

In its first outing since an award winning run in the West End last year, The Dukes will be staging its own production of The Rise and Fall of Little Voice from March 24 to April 16.

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice will be a highlight of The Dukes spring season and upholds its reputation for producing plays rooted in the North.

Dukes director Joe Sumsion said: "The Rise and Fall of Little Voice is a modern classic and I think it's the best play I know that also incorporates music which is another of our interests."

The Rise and Fall of Little Voice is a heartwarming, down-to-earth comedy written by Farnworth–born Jim Cartwright.

It premiered at the Royal National Theatre in 1992 with Jane Horrocks in the lead role and won the Olivier Award for Best Comedy in 1993. She recreated the role for the big screen version in 1998.