Banding together at Bradford Alhambra

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Actor John McArdle with Poppy Ibbetson and Freddie Gill of Shipley’s DM Academy Actor John McArdle with Poppy Ibbetson and Freddie Gill of Shipley’s DM Academy

A stage version of Brassed Off has arrived at the Alhambra this week, featuring a local brass band and two young actors.

Poppy Ibbetson and Freddie Gill, who both attend Shipley’s DM Academy, are appearing in the play during its Bradford run, and the Clifton and Lightcliffe Brass Band will perform on stage. Set in 1992, Brassed Off is about the fictional Grimley Colliery Band, on the brink of collapse and facing a pit closure. With miners torn between redundancy packages and the picket lines, the band’s hopes of winning the national brass band championships seems out of reach. Actor John McArdle, who plays the bandleader, has learned to be a conductor and leads the Clifton and Lightcliffe Brass Band on stage. He said: “Conducting is hard work. The live brass music is a very moving part of the play.”

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