So far so good…

Islanders Spring Tour 2011 continues.

So far so good, Islanders visited The Continental, Preston, The Lantern Theatre, Liverpool and two SOLD OUT performances at Live Theatre, Newcastle. We’ve had a wonderful audience reaction and, the pleasure of working with a selection of fantastic, welcoming venues. But, we continue on with three dates remaining this week, TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE.

York: Monkgate Theatre  Wednesday 3rd May

Phone  01904 623568

Hull: Fruitspace Thursday 5th & Friday 6th May

Islanders Award Winning ‘FRINGE PRODUCTION 2010’

The Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards 2010 are based on performances seen from October 2009 to November 2010.

The awards panel is an independent body, chaired by arts writer and broadcaster Kevin Bourke and made up of reviewers, broadcasters and other arts professionals, including Dorothy Andrews, Natalie Anglesey, Robert Beale, David Chadderton, Paul Genty, Corinne Hill, Alan Hulme, Sue Jones, Philip Radcliffe, Diana Stenson, Carmel Thomason, David Upton and June West.


Islanders, at 24:7 Festival

Farnes Production would like to offer thanks to the judging panel, City Life and The M.E.N for their support.

To see the other winners and nominees visit here

Another 4 Star Review!

Islanders- Library Theatre Company at Contact Theatre Manchester

Reviewer: Rebecca Mickler

The Public Reviews Rating:


Part of The Library Theatre Company and Contact Theatres’ Re:Play Festival showcasing some of the best of Manchester’s fringe theatre of 2010; Islanders is a prime choice for this year’s festival.

Set on The Farne Islands off the coast of Northumberland, the play centres around three wardens and the seabird sanctuary they look after. Peter is the self-styled veteran of the island and part-time doomsayer and enjoys comparing human and bird reproduction as ‘one great big feathery orgy.’ He respects the Island’s rich history where once saints and hermits inhabited and has been working hard to protect its simple basic existence against the ignorant tourists and their whiney children. Not to mention from the other members of staff who appeared to have signed up just for the sex. Peter was doing so well as his boss Ellen happily ignores his one man assault against the world via Farne Island until a new warden Nicola appears to upset the equilibrium.

Mark Frampton who has been nominated for Best Fringe Performance at the M.E.N Theatre Awards 2011 for his role as Peter, is funny and irreverent, performing a neatly complex character whose outlook on life slowly changes when he comes across Nicola’s affecting personality. The witty and refreshing dialogue coupled with a unique setting is occasionally upset by confused scene changes, but there are still many poignant moments as Katy Slater who performs as Nicola and Claire Dean who plays Ellen add to this different but delightful play.

Dick Curran writes superbly creating new writing that treats it audience like an old friend whilst referring to some of the quirks of modern life, including when Peter is complaining about his well-adjusted upbringing where even his family members have the decency to die in the right order!

Islanders is a great introduction to Dick Curran and I look forward to being lucky enough to see what else he may have in store for Manchester in the coming years.

Islanders nominated at the M.E.N Theatre Awards

MEN Theatre Awards 2010: Nominations

By Kevin Bourke | Fri, 07 January, 2011

It is time to reveal the nominations for the prestigious M.E.N. Theatre Awards 2010.

Our judges have seen dozens of performances from across our region and have drawn up a shortlist which reflects the strength and depth of theatrical excellence on stage in our area last year.

The winners will be announced in February.

Islanders at 24:7 theatre festival

Mark Frampton in Islanders at 24:7

We wish congratulations and good luck to all nominees. To see the full nomination list click here.

A new year announcement from Islanders

A very happy new year from Farnes Productions. The cast and crew are back in rehearsals and the tins of cold baked beans are back in business in preparation for our appearance at Re:play Festival at Contact, Manchester on 21st January at 7pm and January 22nd at 4.30pm and 7pm. To buy tickets click here

We would like to offer thanks to Taurus Bar, Canal Street, Manchester for their generous hospitality throughout our rehearsal period.

Islanders received an extremely exciting Christmas present. We have successfully attained Arts Council England Grants for the Arts funding. This funding will provide invaluable support for our tour and the future of Islanders writer, Dick Curran.

Islanders 2011 Tour

Islanders is a real success The Public Reviews

Islanders began life as a rehearsed reading at Live Theatre, Newcastle in 2009 and had it’s first full production premiered at 2010’s 24:7 theatre festival, Manchester.

Now Farnes Productions is proud to announce Islanders 2011 Tour.

The Library Theatre RE:PLAY Festival 2011

Friday 21 January 2011 7:00

Saturday 22 January 2011  4:30

Saturday 22 January 2011  7:00

Tickets £8/£6 Concessions


The Continental, Preston

Friday 01 April 2011 8:00

Live Theatre, Newcastle

Wednesday 27 April 2011 7:30

Thursday 28 April 2011 7:30

Tickets £10/£8 Concessions


Islanders awarded 4 Stars

Reviewer: Jo Beggs

The Public Reviews Rating: ★★★★☆

On the remote Farne Islands is a tiny warden’s hut and inside sits Peter (Mark Frampton), modern day hermit, escapee from the real world, a man at home in nature yet tortured by its fragility. As he awaits his daily boat-loads of twitchers and tourists he becomes ever more detatched, increasingly moody, his social skills slowly slipping away.

When city girl Nicola (Katy Slater) arrives, with her bird book and M&S Sushi, she’s everything Peter seems to be escaping from. She doesn’t know one species of Tern from another and it’s a definite mistake to reveal that she’s writing poetry about mermaids as part of her creative writing course. Her week on the island as a stand-in tour guide is going to be the longest week on Peter’s life.

But Nicola is determined to enjoy herself and Peter’s grumpiness isn’t going to stop her. As the week goes on and their reasons for turning their backs on reality emerge, an uneasy friendship develops.

But they’re not alone. As well as thousands of seabirds, there’s Ellen (Claire Dean). Ellen is Peter’s boss, and she watches every move he makes.

Islanders is a real success, Dick Curran has created a wonderful little world – a claustrophobic bubble set in a bleak wilderness, and all the production elements come together beautifully to create it. A simple but effectively realistic set, lovely black and white film of the Islands and a collage of sound evoking memories from the past are set alongside Clare Howdon’s no-nonsense, pacy direction to create Peter’s world.

This little hut is his castle, and he is the undoubted king. Strong performances from all members of the cast make this a very enjoyable play but Mark Frampton inhabits its fascinating central character with total conviction and delivers a hugely entertaining and convincing performance.

Definitely one of the highlights of the 24/7 Festival.

The British Theatre Guide

The British Theatre Guide gave Islanders our first review and, a good one at that! Many thanks to David Chadderton for attending our preview.

Review by David Chadderton (2010)

Islanders is another play that is far more interesting than was implied by the trailer at the media launch.

Peter is a university dropout who works as a warden on the Farne Islands, a seabird sanctuary and tourist attraction off the coast of Northumberland. He uses his job to escape from the world, often sleeping on the island instead of returning to the hostel on the mainland as he is supposed to, and believes that man will soon bring about his own destruction through climate change. He is openly hostile towards his supervisor Ellen who appears to return his hostility while bringing him food and protecting him from disciplinary action.

Into this walks temporary guide Nicola who is well-dressed and well-spoken and sits eating her M and S sushi while Peter eats cold beans out of a can. Although she appears to be ill-suited for this job, she proves to be a match for Peter’s grumpy jibes and works hard both to learn her job and to coax Peter to open up. Soon they all reveal their own reasons for escaping from the world to this remote but beautiful place.

Perhaps there are a few too many revelations of past traumas and surely not everyone that works in such a place would be doing so to run away from something, but such doubts are soon forgotten when you get wrapped up in the compelling narrative. There is plenty of gentle humour amongst the occasional traumatic stories, but neither the comedy nor the serious revelations seem forced or unnatural.

The characters are perfectly believable and perfectly performed by Katy Slater as Nicola, Claire Dean as Ellen and Mark Frampton as Peter. A lovely story well-told with some nice humour mixed with some touching moments and well worth a look.

Islanders were released

Tuesday 20th July 2010 – Katy Slater (Nicola)

In a rare and isolated incident of the Islanders being released into the wild, we were let loose on Manchester city to give out some flyers and posters for the show this morning. As part of our reintroduction to society outside of Room AC220, we met at Caffè Nero to have a quick conference on social skills and general etiquette when mixing with other species, and adapting to new habitats.

Then, on a coinflip, we split into two teams (Claire & Clare, and Mark & Katy), and Clare our director put her phone on speaker, so that we could pretend we were on the Apprentice.

Gracious recipients on the Mark & Katy tour included Caffè Nero, VIA, Spirit Bar, Cornerhouse, Rock Bottom, BBC, University of Manchester Students’ Union, The Palace Theatre, Berlitz language school and Kro Bar. Many thanks to all the lovely receptionists, bartenders and shop & box office staff that we met, who were kind enough to let us pester their perspex.

Clare & Claire covered some of the more bohemian corners of Manchester and brought back some lovely presents for me & Mark.Our stage manager Joe joined us at lunch and during this unique occasion of sharing a company meal, we took the opportunity to find out who we all looked like:

Within the Islanders company, celebrity lookalikes to look forward to include: Jack Black, Sue Sylvester from Glee, James Dreyfus, Sarah Fergie Ferguson and Mike Nesmith from the Monkees.

We shall leave the pleasure of discovering who is who to you…

Deciding what to eat at lunch was very difficult and even though it’s now 22.26 in the evening, I still can’t stop thinking about the flatbreads that Clare & Claire ordered. On day release from the Island I should have been glad of anything that wasn’t baked beans, but I can’t stop thinking about the flatbread. “What if, what if, what if”. The only real if is: why didn’t I order the flatbread? Clare changed her order just in time. Lunch is a gambling game and she had a savvy scent for the winning ticket. I’d been distracted by the english muffin and egg or bacon because it came with free tea, which was a waste of valuable scanning time because it wasn’t served after 12pm and I’d already spent £1.70 on a carbonated soft drink, so where’s the economy in that? Mark knew that he wanted fish & chips and enjoyed it. Joe, though initially daunted by the full English was determined not to be beaten and was decided that if he didn’t finish the mushrooms then it didn’t matter, because he had asked for no mushrooms, and so they didn’t count, because they didn’t really exist. Clare blamed herself for interrupting the waitress to talk about sweetcorn.

It was agreed that although some of us occasionally have accidental lapses of sociability, we prefer mostly to stay on the Island and in spite of the many charming encounters that we had in the city, it was probably for the best when we returned to the safe solitude of Room AC220.

Islanders were visited by the writer Dick Curran this afternoon. So we did a run of the play with a fresh shot of adrenaline. I responded to these nerves by standing up. And then sitting down again. Dick was courteous and gracious as always and gave valuable feedback, some of which Clare helped us to use in the last hour of rehearsal time to try out a new approach to scene one.

If only I’d had the flatbread.

Watch out, Peter’s about!

Peter has taken some time away from the islands and has been busy birdwatching in Manchester in the lead up to 24:7 theatre festival 26 July – 1 August 2010.

Peter has also been dropping our collection of puffins off at various Manchester art venues, coffee shops and bars. So, look out for our marketing and pick up a postcard or two.