Review: Band of Gold at Leeds Grand Theatre

When Kay Mellor first brought the sensational 90’s TV hit Band of Gold to our screens captivating over 15 million viewers each week, it was a huge success running for three series. Now, Band of Gold has returned to the theatre with a star-studded line-up. 

Following the huge success of Fat Friends the musical, the empowering production which strongly features gritty northern realism is currently running at Leeds Grand Theatre before it embarks on a national tour. The play explores a group of women who are living life on ‘the lane’ and was inspired by research into the lives and experiences of sex workers within Yorkshire, telling the tale of four unique and independent women. 

The play had audiences captivated from start to finish, and even featured a live Q&A session after last nights performance with the writer and director Kay Mellor and the cast.

We are introduced to Anita, played by Laurie Brett, who is living in a flat paid for by her married lover George (Mark Sheals), she is the mother figure of the girls and gives a comical performance throughout. Anita is a keen fan of karaoke which gives the audience a chance to hear Brett’s spectacular vocals. Gaynor Faye is outstanding and bold as she brings her character Rose to the stage, a character who has a secret past life. Emma Osman’s character is Carol, a headstrong young mother who is determined to keep her work life and parenting completely separate. Finally, Sacha Parkinson’s character Gina is a woman who has recently separated from her husband with a pile of debts to repay. The tragic fate of Gina stimulates the on-stage story. 

The four leading characters of Band of Gold
Laurie Brett, Sacha Parkinson, Emma Osman and Gaynor Faye.

The play has a combination of everything you could think of. There is a dark tragedy with the most uplifting comedy thrown into the mix. Band of Gold focuses on the strong women characters, and true Northen grit something writer and director Kay Mellor is famous for. 

Once the show had finished, audiences were invited to participate in a Q&A giving them the chance to ask any questions and allowing them to leave the theatre feeling like they were a part of the night.

Live Q&A with Kay Mellor and the cast.

Each member of the cast shone throughout their performance, putting their heart and souls into the characters they portrayed. Speaking in the Q&A session, Mellor acknowledged the hard work of the actors stating “Every single one of these actors have been amazing, they really really have, because they’ve gone above and beyond acting.”

The play began on 29th November and will run until 14th December 2019 at Leeds Grand Theatre before beginning to tour the rest of the UK in 2020.

Tour Dates:

Leeds Grand Theatre: 28th November- 14TH December 2019

Theatre Royal Nottingham: 14th-18th January 2020

The Lowry, Salford: 21st-25th January 2020

Darlington Hippodrome: 27th January- 1ST February 2020

Southampton Mayflower Theatre: 4th-8th February 2020

Birmingham Alexandra Theatre: 10th-15th February 2020

Cambridge Arts Theatre: 17th-22nd February 2020

The Floral Pavilion, New Brighton, The Wirral: 24th-29th February 2020

Cheltenham Everyman Theatre: 2nd March-7th March 2020

Milton Keynes Theatre: 9th March-14th March 2020

Theatre Royal Bath: 16th March-21st March 2020

Tickets for upcoming performances of the play can be purchased here: https://bandofgoldplay.com

Cast: Laurie Brett, Gaynor Faye, Sacha Parkinson, Emma Osman, Shayne Ward, Andrew Dunn, Mark Sheals, Kieron Richardson, Joe Mallalieu, Olwen May, Steve Garty, Sharessa Valentine.

Will you be purchasing tickets to see the performance? Have you already been to see it? Let us know on Twitter @CelebMix!

Written by Olivia

Media & Popular Culture student at The University Of Huddersfield.