The Story So Far
Of Mice & Men was Mind the Gap’s most successful tour to date, with a total of 50 performances at theatres and arts centres across the UK. Audiences responded really well to the piece, and 83% of people who rated the show described it as ‘good’ or ‘excellent’.
This blog contains lots of information about the production, quotes and reviews from critics, feedback from people who saw the show, music from the Production and a Making of… film which containing interviews with the Cast, Director and Writer.
To see what we are working on next, and find out about Mind the Gap shows you can go and see, have a look at the Future Plans page of our website.
It was a very emotional performance at Tobacco Factory in Bristol, which marked the end of the last part of the tour. The good news is, if you didn’t get to see the show, they cast will come back together last time for a performance at Unity Festival in Cardiff. Jez said: “I feel quite sad today, I have been working with people that are so fabulous! I have really enjoyed this tour, it has been great.”
Rob: “It was great being in Bristol for the first time. The Tobacco factory is a nice space and I enjoyed performing there. One of our old chums Anthony, a BSL interpretor, signed our performance on Friday, it was great to see him again. I can’t wait to play Cardiff – If you want to see ‘Of Mice & Men’ for the last time, get down there!”
Jess said: “What an emotional last show! We had a really thorough warm-up before hand, and talked about how to really emotionally connect on this one. I said to Jez that I wanted to see how much he is going to miss us, just like how George would miss Lenny. Well, it was an amazing performance from the boys. I truly believed their relationship and Jez was in tears for the final scene, which made me turn the water works on! This tour has been amazing. Such wonderful characters, an honor to play, and an honor to work with my new friends for life. Thanks Mind the Gap!”
We had a chat with the cast after the show at Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal where there we surprise audience members and birthday celebrations. Jez said: “It has been really really exciting today because we did a fab show, and afterwards when I was getting changed, Fiona, our tour manager said, ‘You have a fan waiting outside’ and it was my mum! I couldn’t believe it, what a surprise! Sheila from the Mind the Gap office came to the show for her birthday, and it was Jess’s birthday too. We all had a drink in the bar to celebrate. It was my favourite show because my mum came and said that she was really impressed!”
Rob said: “We’ve done the show in Kendal, which was a great one because the energy was really high. Charlie, our technician, is back after being away for a few shows, so its really cool to have the ‘dream team’ back together again. No offence Dave, we love you too!”
Jess: “Happy birthday to me and Sheila ‘Dealer’ Emsley. Thanks for all the messages and presents. Kendal is beautiful!”
There were loads of kids in who were quite a loud audience so we had to use a lot of energy to entertain them and are all quite tired now. But we’re having a break before the next show and a bit of a celebration for my 40th so the energy levels will go back up!
I had a surprise today as the cast and crew came in singing happy birthday with a cake and balloons for me. Yippee!”
Jess said: “We are all getting a bit emotional as after this we only have one week left of out favourite show! We have grown really close through this tour. Five months is a long time and we have managed to get through the whole tour without any arguments. There are times when stress levels have been high but the way we work is to chill each other out and support each other. We are our own little family and I’m sure there’ll be tears next week. But for now we are making the most of our last few shows, and of course celebrating Jez’s birthday!”
Back in the proverbial saddle, we grabbed the cast to see how they were feeling just before going on stage to perform for the first time in a few weeks. Jez said ” Today is our first show after having three weeks off. I’m rather excited, a little nervous, but overall feeling good. I am going to put my all into the show and do what I gotta do, like always. It is nice to see the guys again.”
Rob: “We’re back on the road again after some time off. I’m quite nervous but hopefully the show will go well. Sadly, we only have a few shows left now so if you haven’t got a ticket GET IT NOW!! We are all looking forward to the last run of the tour together.”
Jess: “We all missed each other so there is as real buzz at the moment as we’ve caught up and now just want to get on stage and get back into character. All of us have admitted to feeling nervous because three weeks off seems like a lifetime when you have been used to performing everyday. But after doing a run through of our lines we all feel more confident. Nerves are good because they give you an extra boost. So the show will hopefully feel fresh and I can guarantee for the last leg of the tour we will all be loving every second of it!”
The Blue Shed in Sheffield is the only Yorkshire venue with tickets still available for our award-winning adaptation of ‘Of Mice & Men’:
11 May – 7.45pm
12 May – 1.15 & 7.45pm
Box Office: 0114 261 1126 or book online now
Originally a workshop for bearings manufacturer Ekspan, The Blue Shed is set within one of Sheffield’s most industrious areas. The CEO of Ekspan led this ambitions vision to create a contemporary production space for the city. As an emerging venue, they really need your support!
After the first day in Hull, we grabbed 5 minutes with Jez, he said: “For me both performances today stood out in different ways. The audience this afternoon were a bit quieter that’s probably because it wasn’t sold out… and we’re used to that now ha ha! Also there were a few little hiccups with props I fell off the box, Jess knocked over the water bowl and Rob knocked off the broom, but it was okay because we recovered. This evening’s show was really fun and there was lots of good involvement from the audience.
Well what can I say about Hull, there’s a bit of seaside, lots of buildings and nice charity shops so I’m definitely going to look in them tomorrow.”
“Jessica May Buxton’s portrayal of Suzy is engaging and accomplished” Adam Z. Robinson, The Leeds Guide. - 13th Apr 2011
Read the full review at:
Tickets are now on sale for the final performances of our award-winning adaptation of ‘Of Mice & Men’. This piece has been getting great reviews from audiences and critics, to make sure you catch this great show book your ticket straight – they are selling fast!
11th & 12th May – The Blue Shed, Sheffield
19th May – The Civic, Barnsley
25th May – Brewery Arts Centre, Kendall
26th May – Waterside Arts Centre, Sale
27th & 28th May – Tobacco Factory, Bristol
After the performance at Darlington Arts Centre we spoke to Jess about, what for her, was a very special show: “Performing at the Darlington Art centre for me was the most important show we’ve done on tour, because my Grandad, Aunt and Uncle came along to see it and my Grandad was so so proud. I’ve spoken to him three times since the show and each time before he goes to say goodbye he’s said ‘Jess I must tell you I’ll never forget that night. I’m so proud of you’. So it really means a lot to me that he was able to see what I do and that he actually enjoyed it!”