This month at The Old Courts we hosted Barney Farmer, Dave Windass, Andrew Pearson, Martin Barrass & Alan Williams for a week of rehearsals and R&D in The Apex, our dedicated on-site space for talented folk from anywhere and everywhere to immerse themselves in their projects.

The Old Courts team already know Andy and Dave well from our time together as partners in The Collaborative Touring Network which gave birth to Wigan Arts Festival. The ‘CTN’ sends carefully chosen, excellent theatre shows to the various partner organisations across the UK.

Drunken Baker, the will-be theatre show from (in my opinion) the absolute jewel in The Viz crown is a proper exciting thing. The mini residency from the Hull-based theatre makers culminated in a rehearsed reading on Thursday 13th February in our theatre space.

If I’m honest, I was unsure how this might be about to pan out from a legendary comic strip to the stage but thankfully it was ace. In fact there were belly laughs, poignant monologues and a genuine feelgood vibe. If you’re familiar with the comic strip trust me, you’ll be amazed how this takes it to the next level. If you aren’t familiar already, just get ready to enjoy something refreshing, gritty and just funny as.

It was also great to see a really healthy audience turnout and from both the laughter and the volume of people who hung around after the reading to speak further, it clearly went really well.

Thanks go to the for choosing to spend this week with us in Wigan and to the many who turned out to enjoy the reading. Cannot wait for the next bit……it’s been a pleasure! Jonathan Davenport

Script: Barney Farmer with Dave Windass

Director: Andrew Pearson

Performed by Martin Barrass & Alan Williams

Illustrations by Lee Healey

Based on the novel Drunken Baker by Barney Farmer Supported by Arts Council England.