“My name is Spencer Parkin and I can’t sing… Can you?”
This is the question that rings out across the theatre at the beginning of this hit comedy, which is back for a second UK tour after sell out shows at the beginning of 2013.
Spencer Parkin (played by Joe Sproulle, one of Dark Horse’s professional Downs Syndrome actors) is a young man who lives in the shadow of his older brother Kit, a talented singer on the cusp of stardom. Then there’s the even larger shadow of Spencer’s Mum, Val, a loving but temperamental single mother and a 1980s tribute act singer.
In this world of talent Spencer feels out of sorts, out of place and all alone. But when his brother shocks the family by throwing over his singing career and joining the army – and subsequently goes ‘missing in action’ in Afghanistan – Spencer finally has an opportunity to put himself in the spotlight. Enlisting his best friend, the large, lovely and unloved Bonnie Dilnot, to help, Spencer enters the biggest singing contest in the country and finds himself in the finals at the Royal Albert Hall, filling his missing brother’s shoes – and singing at last.
“A show that snaps at you like a wolf in Val Doonican’s cardigan” The Guardian
Contemporary, intelligent, warm and funny, SING SOMETHING SIMPLE (The Greatest Hits Volume 2) tells the story of a modern family who find themselves all at sea in the conflicting worlds of TV talent shows and international politics, battling with the age-old tensions between the generations as well as contemporary issues relating to the pursuit of fame and the search for something more meaningful in a world increasingly obsessed with celebrities and trivia. Accessible, light, bright and funny, the show will appeal to all ages and many with learning disabilities thoroughly enjoyed the production during the first tour.
“Wit and precision, proves that you can’t predict when the magic of theatre will strike” ★★★★
As a piece of both powerful and popular theatre, SING SOMETHING SIMPLE was a great success on its pilot sell-out tour at venues including the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield and the Stephen Joseph Theatre in Scarborough. It was especially popular with our senior audiences, many of whom can not only recall the BBC Radio 2 show called Sing Something Simple, but also many of the programme’s popular tracks, which feature in our play of the same name. SING SOMETHING SIMPLE (The Greatest Hits Volume 2) is a production with appeals across the generations – genuinely moving and a thoroughly entertaining night out at the theatre.
“Beautifully written and very well performed with great design and excellent music” ★★★★
The show features both live and recorded music, has a cast of four and an impressive creative team; writer and Dark Horse Artistic Director Vanessa Brooks was Alan Ayckbourn’s first dramatist in residence at the Stephen Joseph Theatre and has a long track record delivering popular comedies.
Actor Joe Sproulle plays the lead role of Spencer Parkin in Sing Something Simple and provides a fantastic role model for learning disabled people, who are rarely seen taking the lead in professional theatre productions.
Joe has trained with Dark Horse for 3 years and has been seen on TV in Channel 4’s Shameless and in a BBC production, Coming Down the Mountain. He’s also performed in a number of stage productions.
Joe, who is an exceptional and talented actor had this to say about playing Spencer Parkin in the first national tour of Sing Something Simple:
It’s a brilliant opportunity to work on some big stages and do the job I trained to do. I hope other young people with learning disabilities will see me and get inspired to work hard to reach their goals.”
When: 25/03/14 19:30
26/03/14 13:30 and 19:30
Box office: 01902 321321
Tickets: £10, Concession £8