Reviews: Halo Jones takes to the stage… and LassFest returns with V, Blade Runner and more Halo…
Halo Jones was first put on as part of the growing number of live events taking place at the Lass O’Gowrie pub in Manchester. James Bacon reviewed it for the blog here, and Matt Badham interviewed the Lass’s Gareth Kavanagh here. But more recently it made a comeback at a special limited run at Thought Bubble.
Here’s Matt Charlton, at the Fiction Stroker with excerpts from his review of the event:
Alan Moore’s timeless story of the 51st century girl next door made a surprisingly smooth transition to stage back in January. The critical reception made it a logical choice to remount, and where better than the UK’s premier comic convention – Thought Bubble! But as we see, The Ballad of Halo Jones has undergone a few changes since its original staging..
One of Halo Jones’ biggest successes is the world it builds. Carly Tarrett’s Brinna, and Will Hutchby’s Toby meet Halo’s mother as she arrives on the Hoop in a prologue. Adam Beresford, in the first of four demanding, but comic cameos, introduces Halo’s mother to the concept of Increased Leisure Citizens – or the great unemployed. These unfortunates are kept in line and in check on the Hoop through the use of Mam Cards giving credit every thirty days.
Tarrett’s Brinna is a revelation. She effortlessly conveys the timeless wisdom of someone over a century old in a youthful body. Hutchby’s Toby quizzically cocks his head (but thankfully not his leg!) throughout the play. His silky smooth tones are almost perfectly robotic when dispensing Toby’s one-liners.
With a reworked, and slightly less optimistic, ending more in tune with the comics, we are promised that Halo Jones will return, possibly hinting at an adaptation of the third book. A few technical niggles aside, the presentation of Halo Jones was pretty much as good as it could get on stage. With a larger stage and reimagined visuals and sound, it feels more epic than ever and has clearly grown and organically evolved from its previous incarnation only earlier this year! One thing is for sure; The Ballad of Halo Jones has lost none of its relevance or style and continues to be as rich as when it was first published.
But that’s not all…. as the Lass O’Gowrie has various items of interest in January and February as part of Midwinter LassFest.
There’s more Moore with an adaptation of V For Vendetta running January 8th – 10th and 27th staged by the team that brought the Ballad of Halo Jones to the stage.
There’s more Coronation Street staged in the downstairs bar for that real immersive experience, My Gay Best Friend written by and starring Louise Jameson (Leela from Doctor Who – Tom Baker era), An American Werewolf In London, and perhaps most intriguing of the lot…. a staging of Blade Runner, adapted by Brian Gorman.
Yes, THAT Blade Runner. On stage. In a Manchester pub. They describe it as stripped back, which means a fascinating piece on the nature of humanity, and what it means to live should be the result I reckon.