Monday, July 1, 2013

Taking Maine Road Blues to Buxton Fringe: Muses from Bill Cronshaw

Getting ready to launch Maine Road Blues this week. It’ll be my second Manchester City inspired play. Well, it’s hard to stop writing about something that just keeps taunting me with material. Like shooting fish in a barrel it is. The problem is…I have two things going against me: Firstly, I’m a City Fan – City ‘til I Die! And, secondly, I’m a playwright. Never the twain shall meet? Rubbish. I reckon I’ve got enough material to keep writing about football, City and tales of the past for a long time yet. That’s why I developed ‘living theatre’. All theatre is live of course- putting on plays in front of hundreds (or 5 people if it’s a quiet night in some Southern towns). And I suppose my kind of writing has also been around but I coined the term. And that’s that. Living theatre – it lives, grows, changes – right before your very eyes. Come and see me two nights on the run – I dare you! The gags change as fast as you can say Manchester City Twitter Feed. And that’s why my style is so suited to writing about Manchester City. The flippin’ club sees more changes to management staff than Dr Who. In fact, I reckon I could be onto something there. Do you think Manchester City’s manager is, in fact, just one bloke regenerating every so often? Even since I wrote Maine Road Blues, we’ve witnessed another ‘regeneration’. And if ‘alien time lord’ isn’t the answer then you tell me…have you seen Mancini recently? No. He buggered off around the same time as a certain American turncoat Spy called Snowden. Now correct me if you will, but my second theory is that Mancini booked a certain flight to Cuba and while every Hack in Britain and the US was looking for a bloke in dark glasses and a long mac, Mancini was merrily sipping his cocktail before sauntering off the plane into oblivion. Ah well…it keeps me busy. Now I’m off to pack my City scarf and rattle to preach the Gospel of Maine Road to another audience of potential converts. See you in Buxton.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Toad of Toad Hall @ Playhouse Theatre, Cheltenham - 2010

By A A Milne
With music by Harold Fraser-Simson
A play from Kenneth Grahame’s book The Wind in the Willows
Directed by Bill Cronshaw
Come and enjoy the timeless magic of the adventures of Toad, Ratty, Mole and Badger.
A Christmas treat for all ages!

16th December - 1st January 2011
7.30pm each evening (7.00pm on 24th December and 31st December)
Matinees at 2.30pm on Saturday 18th December, Wednesday 22nd December, Monday 27th December, Tuesday 28th December and Saturday 1st January 2011
Tickets £12, £10 and £8
'Early bird' discount ticket prices for bookings made before 1st October -
£10, £8 and £6.
Box Office - 01242 522852
(10.00am - 4pm Monday to Friday, 10am - 2.30pm Saturdays)

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Dreamshed @ Edinburgh Festival Fringe 09

Dreamshed Theatre will have a large presence at this years fringe with 'I'll Be Bert', 'Two', and the premiere of 'Dream On'. All of these shows will be performed at The Royal College of Surgeons Theatre 3.

Visit to see details on the fringe website.
Hope to see some of you there!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

'I'll Be Bert' latest

The 'I'll be Bert' tour was affected by Bill having a spell in hospital but he bounced back to perform in Manchester to an appreciative audience.

Future dates for the tour are as follows:
31 January Barnfield Theatre, Exeter 01392 270891
14 February The Tower, Winchester 01962 867986

Below is one of the many possitive reviews received from Manchester:

My wife and I saw the play at the Garrick Stockport on 29th October 2008.We both thought it was brilliant and really enjoyed the play and the superb acting. I also enjoyed the images of Main Road.The play was very funny and it also painted a very accurate picture of life in the 50's and demonstrated how much things have changed in less than a life time, all cleverly woven around the story of unlikely hero BertI was 10 years old at the time of the 56 cup final and remember it vividly. I listened to the radio for the results of each round. I particularly remember that the Southend pitch was a mud bath and then the disallowed after time Liverpool "equaliser".My father went to both Wembley finals and came home in tears both times but for different reasons. He lost his trilby at the 56 final throwing it the air at the final whistle along with thousands of others. He wore the biggest rosette, home made, that I have ever seen.My wife who I only recently managed to get interested in City and became a season ticket holder only last year also thoroughly enjoyed, even though I used a bit of subterfuge by not mentioning who the Bert was when I told her I had got tickets for the pay. She was quite surprised to see books of Bert for sale in the Theatre and even more surprised when some of the audience turned up adorned in City scarves. The game was up when she saw a City scarf hung up on the stage. Fortunately the play was so brilliant I escaped the frosty silence usually associated with my wrong doings.Another guy in the audience would not have been so lucky. He used the same subterfuge as myself but his wife was less forgiving. She went berserk in the ladies at half time saying she had been conned. My wife listened patiently to her ratings and then simply said "yes I do see your point but it is a very funny play you must be enjoying it". "I am" she replied. A really good evening spoiled only by a typical City result at Middlesbrough, yet again snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.Kind regards, Dave Tracey

Monday, July 28, 2008

Hello All!!!
Well, its all kicking off with I'll Be Bert, which is GREAT!
I have posted details of the venues and the boxoffice numbers below...
Also, please have a look at the Manchester City Website... - We are under I'll Be Bert!!
Hope you are all well and come back soon for more updates. Nathan

Venu listings and information for 'Ill Be Bert' – National tour 2008

15 September The Old Red Lion, Islington 020 7837 7816
20 September The Tower, Winchester 08700 600 100
25 September The Barnfield Studio, Exeter 01392 270891
04 October STIWT Theatre, Wrexham 01978 841300
18 October The Courtyard, Hereford 0870 11 22 330
20 October Thornton Little Theatre, Blackpool 01253 858529
27 – 31 October The Altrincham Garrick, Manchester 0161 928 1677

Tuesday, May 20, 2008



Here is a review that we recieved from Saturdays performance.

I saw I'll be Bert at the Rondo in Bath last night and I just wanted to let you know what a superb production I thought it was.
The writing was lean and the work beautifully scripted, always emotionally engaging, often laugh out loud funny and demonstrated a tenderness that showed a writer who cares for and really understands his subject. The characterisation of the mother, child, commentator and writer was superb. The evocation of childhood 'magic' and the memory of an innocent past allowed the entire audience to be swept up by a narrative that showed a real understanding of pace and variety. Finally the performance, well I think it was flawless! Having experienced the highs and lows of a lifetime following my local team, that can only be described as an addiction, I spent the entire evening with a broad smile of both recognition and memory. But to your credit, my partner, who is still trying to come to terms with such blind allegiance after 20 years enjoyed the performance just as much as I did.
Thanks for a brilliant evening!
Dominic Grant

I would like to pass on thanks to Mr Grant from myself ansd Bill for coming to see the performance and also for taking the time to write to us expressing his thoughts.


Hello All!

Hello all the people out there...

Thanks for looking over this blog.

I would like to introduce myself... My name is Nathan Wilson and i am the director of I'll Be Bert.

I can say with all honesty that this has been one of the most exciting projects that i have ever worked on. From the early days when Bill Cronshaw and i initially discussed the project to the final script and then to the sell out premiere at the Everyman studio in Cheltenham and on to the tour. We have been blessed with great audiences and some amazing reviews both professional and personal and i know we have a truly great play here, one that i am very proud of and excited to still be part of.

We finished the first leg of the tour on the 16 May at the Rondo in Bath and now i am in the process of booking dates nationally from Sept 15th... Our first booking on this date is at the Old Red Lion in Islington! So, come along and see what all the fuss is about.

We will be using this blog to keep you posted with dates, reviews, news and other stuff as it happens. It might be a little quiet over the next few weeks as i busily work to sort the venues but as soon as i have an update... i will let everyone know.

Also, if there is anyone who has seen the play and would like to comment or have a review posted here... just contact us at -

Think that's all for now. Pop back soon and see the updates :)

We hope to see you at one of our performances and it would be great if you let us know who you are!

Keep your eyes peeled for more postings.


Nathan Wilson