‘Rita, Sue and Bob too’ the ground-breaking play about working-class life in 1980s Bradford is on at the Northcott
Out of Joint are touring with retro play Rita, Sue and Bob Too. We got along to see it last night, I have to say that in the wake of #metoo, it makes for uncomfortable watching in parts, but it’s a blast from the past, all synthesiser music and shoulder pads.
Andrea Dunbar’s autobiographical drama about a married man and two teenage girls living in a run-down council estate was first performed at the Royal Court in 1982.
The ground-breaking play was directed in 2017 by Out of Joint’s Artistic Director Kate Wasserberg and co-produced with Royal Court Theatre and Octagon Theatre Bolton and seen by over 30,000 people across the country. A new tour for 2019 is underway and it is showing now at the Northcott until March 9th.
Gemma Dobson, winner of a Stage Debut Award and a UK Theatre Award for her performance of Sue returns to the cast.
She is being joined by John Askew playing Bob, Alyce Liburd playing Rita, Susan Mitchell playing Mum, Samantha Robinson playing Michelle and David Walker playing Dad.
Alyce Liburd (Rita) joins the company following open auditions held in Bradford which received over 100 applications.
She has performed as Princess Jasmine in Aladdin at the Lawrence Batley Theatre. John Askew (Bob) recently performed as Jim in And Did Those Feet Fall at Bolton Octagon and has performed on stages around the country in Gypsy Queen. He is soon to be seen in Starz The Rook, based on the novel by Stephanie Meyer. Susan Mitchell (Mum) has appeared in Emmerdale, Coronation Street and DCI Banks. She recently appeared on stage at Sheffield Crucible in My Own Space. Samantha Robinson (Michelle) played Rita in Educating Rita at Colchester Mercury and has performed for Northern Broadsides, West Yorkshire Playhouse, The Bush, Bristol Old Vic and elsewhere. Her many TV credits include Cilla. David Walker (Dad) has appeared in Emmerdale, The Royal and Coronation Street, and on stage most recently in Hangmen in the West End.
The production makes a triumphant return following overwhelming public demand, touring the country to Theatre Royal Winchester, Exeter Northcott, Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds, Lighthouse Theatres, Lichfield Garrick, The Lowry Salford Quays, and closes in Bradford’s St George’s Hall. This will be the first time the play has been professionally performed in Dunbar’s home city.
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