Big Society

Leeds City Varieties, 2012

Red Ladder and Chumbawamba. Written by Boff Whalley. Directed by Rod Dixon.
Premiered at Leeds City Varieties on 18th January 2012.

Centred around a cast of showmen, starlets and ventriloquists, and set in the Leeds City Varieties of a century ago, Big Society! invites you you to sing along with the assembled conjurors, drunks and suffragettes as they wrestle with the forces of morality in a concoction of comedy, class and catchy choruses.

“Lisa Howard has immense stage presence and charisma,  as the matriarchal Eve the Escapologist who spends every waking hour challenging inequality and injustice wherever she encounters it.”
Leeds News, January 2012

“But make no mistake this is an ensemble piece and he is equalled by the mesmerising Lisa Howard as the brassy Geordie showgirl who literally shags King Edward to death. Her front of house song and dance routines with the more precise Kyla Goodey are divine.”
Paul Clark, The Culture Vulture, 23rd January 2012

“There is a wealth of lively support from Lisa Howard as a militant escapologist...”
Michael Billington,, Sunday 22nd January 2012

“...the strongest character is suffragette Lisa Howard, giving a talented turn as Eve the Escapologist. She confidently predicts that in the distant future, wars and riots won’t exist under Britain’s first female Prime Minister.”
The Arts Desk, Graham Rickson, Monday, 23rd January 2012

“Lisa Howard (Eve) and Kyla Goodey (Beatrice) are also excellent, Howard leading the choruses with typical music hall gusto.”
What's on Stage, 20th January 2012

“...Lisa Howard, it should be noted, excels as this sturdy-minded suffragette.”
The Leeds Guide, Simon Walker, 23rd January 2012

“...the strength of the performances and the comedy throughout is more than enough to buoy it up.”
Emily Heward, Halifax Courier, 25th January 2012

Ian Shuttleworth, FT.COM, January 23rd 2012

Main photo Big Society 2012. Photographer Tim Smith