Enjoy completely improvised show, rugby drama or offbeat musical on stage in South Yorkshire

Leeds Rhinos star Jamie Jones-Buchanan in character as Doorman Dave in Playing The Joker
Leeds Rhinos star Jamie Jones-Buchanan in character as Doorman Dave in Playing The Joker
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Shows coming up soon in South Yorkshire include a rugby story from the 1970s, a musical telling the story of rubber and a completely improvised musical.

Britain’s leading radical theatre company, Red Ladder return to Barnsley with Playing the Joker, a gripping play about rugby.

Taking theatre into the community, Red Ladder and Civic on Tour are in partnership to bring high-quality theatre into accessible locations, with the show at Shaw Lane Sports Club next Wednesday, July 25, complete with free drink.

The show is set in December, 1977. It’s nine years since the infamous Watersplash Final and the once revered Uncle Eddie has withdrawn into the protective walls of the Queens Hotel.

Out front, fanatical rugby league fan Eddie Marlowe, grieving the recent loss of his father, is hellbent on speaking alone with his idol. Will he get that chance?

Playing The Joker is about one man’s dream to give rugby league a national profile – written by author and former Sunday Mirror journalist Anthony Clavane, who also wrote Leeds Lads.

Through a winning combination of gripping action and infectious humour, Playing the Joker presents a moving and funny slice of 1970s northern life.

The show features an all-new cast of three including Leeds Rhinos forward Jamie Jones-Buchanan.

To book tickets, go to www.barnsleycivic.co.uk

The eccentric folks over at Lioness Theatre have a peculiar musical offering for DN Festival in Doncaster, fresh from its successful debut at Greater Manchester Fringe. Manchester Theatre Awards gave it four stars.

The Black Stuff revolves around the discovery of vulcanised rubber by Charles Goodyear in 19th-century America. It’s a story about ambition and sacrifice, as Charles’ obsession takes him deeper and deeper into poverty.

After a light-hearted first half with rubber ducks, silliness and humour, the story grows darker as it explores the impact on Goodyear’s neglected wife Clarissa, and their many children.

The Black Stuff was written and composed by Doncaster resident Holl Morrell, who previously composed Boris – the Musical.

The free show takes place on Saturday, July 28 at 1.30pm in the Waterdale Centre, next to Iceland.

The improvisational show is heading out on tour, fresh from a sell-out run at last year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

No two nights are ever the same as The Showstoppers take audience suggestions and then spin a brand new comedy musical out of thin air – stories, characters, tunes, lyrics, dances, harmonies and all – with unpredictable and hilarious results. If you’ve thought improv looked difficult before, try doing it in time (and tune) to music!

A rotating cast includes co-founder Adam Meggido, a writer and composer who has improvised at the National, The Royal Court Theatre, Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre and currently holds the world record for the directing the longest improv show - 55 hours.

Showstopper! The Improvised Musical is at Sheffield Lyceum next Thursday, July 26