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Meet the Mersey theatre producer who’s creating little bit of Liverpool at Glastonbury

4 weeks ago

Meet the Mersey theatre producer who’s creating little bit of Liverpool at Glastonbury
Naughty Corner Productions at Glastonbury

Theatre director and producer Mike Dickinson is becoming a regular at Glastonbury, taking his Raves R Us show to the world-famous festival for the fourth year running this year.

But if Mike, 32, who’s founder of Naughty Corner productions, has his way he’ll be creating a part of Glastonbury that will become a little bit of Liverpool.

And he says he wants it to get bigger and bigger:

“Liverpool has produced some of the best music and acting entertainers in history and that hasn’t stopped,” he says. “There is a huge amount of talent in the city and we want to take it to Glastonbury and show everyone there.

“As well as the Raves R Us show, we are taking The Very Best of Tommy Cooper by Danny Taylor for the second time this year and, next year we’d like to take three or four shows that have originated in Liverpool to show how important Liverpool is on the world stage.

Mike Dickinson
Mike Dickinson

“That would be my dream.”

“If you’d asked me five years ago that we’d have taken two shows to Glastonbury I wouldn’t have quite believed it. But we won’t be saying that in a few more years when we’re taking five or six shows.  That will be incredible.”

Mike, who’s originally from Ellesmere Port but now lives in Toxteth, set up Naughty Corner Productions about 10 years ago, taking shows to theatres and festivals in the UK and all over the world. 

It’s played at the Edinburgh Fringe and its first show, The Bastard Queen, was awarded The Sunday Times National Drama Award. But it’s Raves R Us which he co-wrote and produced with Adam Nicholls – who also acts in it – that’s creating the biggest hit to date.

“We created Raves R Us about five years ago after reading a news article about people who tried to put on an illegal rave in an abandoned Toys R Us and we thought it would make a really good, immersive show where the audience becomes part of the rave.

“It takes people through the history of rave music and rave culture, from disco right through to house and all the different genres of music, and it’s 45 minutes long, it’s a big burst of energy, and the cast is incredible in it.

“It’s our fourth time of playing Glastonbury and the second time of headlining the outside circus stage, where we can have up to 1,000 people, and the feeling is incredible … Glastonbury is incredible.  You can’t put your finger on why, but playing Glastonbury is like nowhere else in the world, and there’s no other audience like it.

“When Adam comes out every night and says those two words, ‘Hello Glastonbury’ I get goosebumps. It’s an amazing feeling.”

Naughty Corner Productions at Glastonbury
Naughty Corner Productions at Glastonbury

“We have got a really good relationship with the organisers now, especially Haggis MacLeod who runs the theatre and circus fields, and we are becoming an umbrella under which we take acts to Glastonbury, all from Liverpool.

“The idea is to expand it next year with more, so that there’s always a part of Glastonbury that’s Liverpool (although most of the people you seem to see there are Scousers).”

Mike, who’s also head of second year at LMA performing arts university in the Metquarter, has brought Haggis to Liverpool to see the school and the wealth of talent in the city.

“There’s never been that connection before but if we can be that connection, that middle man, that’s an amazing achievement for us that we’re very proud of.

“It’s nice that I’m able to go off in the summer and do all these things with the theatre company and bring that back to LMA, examples from now instead of 20 years ago; and we have also launched the first ever Glastonbury Theatre and Circus Scheme where two students who have graduated from each of our London and Liverpool campuses will go to Glastonbury and get to join a theatre company and play there, and help back stage.

“It’s real-life experience and a fabulous opportunity.”

Find more information about Naughty Corner productions and their show at Glastonbury here.

Find all the latest Liverpool news here.

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