Starring chart-topping Union J’s Jaymi Hensley – the Queenz are heading to Edinburgh LIVE.
For the night out we’ve all been missing – Queenz are ready to, (like a prayer,) take you there. Five vocal powerhouses armed with songs, sass and plenty to say. This unapologetic, dance party night out with five incredible vocalists in their realest drag is landing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe to bring some much-needed pride and joy.
From backstreet bars to West End stars, the Queenz cast represents a mix of undeniable artists who have been waiting their whole lives for this moment in the spotlight. The cast comprises pop star turned drag star Jaymi Hensley (UK Chart top ten selling member of Union J) as Mis Dia Montay the White Queen; Grant Jackson, who recently went viral on TikTok with a Celine Dion vocal some accused him of lip syncing – it was entirely his vocal – joins the band as Gold Queen; Louis Wallond as the Rock Queen aka Billie Eyelash; Lew Ray as the Blue Queen – Mr Van Cartier; and last but not least Josh Hanson takes to the stage for their first leading professional role as Pink Queen – Candy Caned. Welcome to the circus Josh!
The Queenz cast represent a mixed background of experience, all professional singers and dancers at various stages of their career – in and out of drag – including Jaymi, fulfilling a life-long career ambition, professionally putting on a pair heels for the first time – but still relying on the voice that got him to the final of X-Factor and into the UK Chart Top Five.
Expect an all-singing, all-dancing hour of live vocals and chat with the Queenz as they guide you through an eclectic party playlist, featuring remixed and reimagined pop anthems from The Spice Girls, Shakira, GaGa, Britney, Whitney and everything in between.
Together let’s smash down social boundaries and invite the world in all its sequined glory to a non-apologetic pop party, celebrating unity, unicorns, divas and death drops.
– Interactive Game Series Set for TV adaptation –
The three-part interactive game series comprising Plymouth Point, The Mermaid’s Tongue and The Kindling Hour invites players to unleash their inner online detective as they enter a world of corporate deceit, occult horrors, and shadowy cabals to uncover the twists and turns of a murky underworld deep within high society. The trilogy, which stars actor Dominic Monaghan (Lord of the Rings trilogy), has amassed legions of fans with over 60,000 people across the UK and the US having played the games since the first instalment, Plymouth Point, launched in April 2020.
Whilst the Isklander trilogy in its current form has been designed as an at home, online experience for two – six players, plans to adapt the story for a multi-part drama series for TV are now underway with Gaumont UK – the British arm of the French studio behind Lupin and Narcos. The drama development is led by executive producer Alison Jackson (Tin Star, Ashes to Ashes, Hunted), who also helms Gaumont’s UK growing London-based division, and Gaumont UK’s Senior Development Exec Jamie Jackson.
Employing a blend of inventive storytelling and cutting-edge technology, this dark, digital story world was created by Swamp Motel writers, co-founders and creative directors Ollie Jones and Clem Garritty. Both creative associates of Punchdrunk and co-founders of the critically acclaimed comedy theatre company Kill the Beast, they created Plymouth Point initially in response to the closures of entertainment and theatre spaces across the world last year. It has since grown into a permanent fixture in the online entertainment space internationally and now an entirely new arm of the company’s creative output.
Interactive, multi-media and episodic, Isklander is a transmedia franchise intended to be explored across multiple formats.
Gaumont UK CEO and executive producer Alison Jackson said: “From the moment our senior development executive Jamie Jackson played the first of the Iskander trilogy and recommended it to the team, we could see it’s potential for adaptation. A breathtakingly paced thriller, with a fascinating conspiracy and heart stopping twists at its centre. It feels exactly the sort of show we’re all desperate to watch at the moment, we’re thrilled to be partnering with such an exciting, forward thinking company as Swamp Motel.”
The Isklander series follows a secret society with ties to big money and an international network who will go to any lengths to protect their supremacy. The stories blur fiction and reality, with the very real London Stone at the centre of the race against the clock. Hunting for ancient artefacts linked to this underworld, players work with various characters across the Isklander series to bring down the organisation from the inside.
Swamp Motel’s Clem Garritty and Ollie Jones commented: “We’re so excited to collaborate with Gaumont UK. Our online experiences – Plymouth Point, The Mermaid’s Tongue and The Kindling Hour – were always more than just a trilogy. Together they’re a storyworld. There is so much scope to delve deeper into the world we’ve created and its characters. Adapting Isklander for film and tv purposes provides the perfect opportunity to do just that.
“We see transmedia narratives as the really exciting future of original IPs and we’re passionate about their development and the impact of storytelling on each platform. We’re thrilled Gaumont UK has spotted the same potential.”
Gaumont UK was launched to produce exceptional original British drama for the global market. Led by Executive Producer and CEO Alison Jackson, whose credits include Tin Star, M.I High and Ashes to Ashes, Gaumont UK has several projects in development for terrestrial channels and the streaming market. Gaumont UK recently produced the third series of Sky Atlantic’s hugely successful Tim Roth drama Tin Star, which Jackson executive produced, alongside Kudos.
Further details regarding the TV adaptation are still to come. In the meantime, the Isklander trilogy is available to be played online now – visit isklander.com for more details.
What critics are saying about Isklander trilogy game series:
“Swamp Motel’s escape room/scavenger hunt mashup is the most fun I’ve had in a year“ – CNet
“Swamp Motel knows how to put on a show” – Wired
“Inventive, gorgeously designed and technically dazzling”
★★★★ The Guardian
“Fiendishly good fun”
“It left us feeling invigorated”
★★★★ Daily Mail
9 August – 5 September 2021
The Silenced is an immersive, interactive thriller set in Dumfries and Galloway in the South West of Scotland that whisks you away from your everyday life and plunges you into a thrilling, real time, four-week long story full of exciting twists and turns.
MacEwan Sandars has disappeared. Can you find him before it’s too late?
The first 48hrs are the most crucial…
The clock is ticking…
Created by the award-winning Bunbury Banter – known for their site-specific, multi-sensory, immersive productions – The Silenced blends theatre and technology to create an immersive, digital experience for teams of six people. Played via smartphone, each team member will receive individual clues which they will have to work together to solve. Starting on 9 August, clues will be shared over four weeks as teams collaborate to uncover the truth.
This groundbreaking project incorporates live performance, audio clues and messages, as well as a rich background world to explore online. Audiences will be sucked into a gripping and exciting mystery as they try to solve the disappearance of MacEwan Sanders, uncovering twists and turns at every corner. Get ready to unpick clues, solve puzzles and unravel this story full of suspense, intrigue and uncertainty. Nothing is as simple as it seems in this Scandi-noir theatrical production.
The Silenced will evoke the landscape, folklore and history of Dumfries and Galloway within its mysteries. In a time where we have all been more isolated and turning to digital methods of communication, families and friends will be able to experience the interactive journey together. While one team member must be local to D&G, they can collaborate with up to five team members across the country to help solve the case. Choose your own team or Bunbury Banter can help select a team for you to discover the truth, but be careful who you trust.
The Silenced is created by Bunbury Banter and Martin McCormick, with scenes by Martin McCormick and is produced by Bunbury Banter. The cast includes Alison Peebles, Phil McKee, Crawford Logan, Irene Allan, Brian James O’Sullivan and Chloe Hodgson; with a supporting local cast from Dumfries and Galloway.
Ali Anderson-Dyer, Bunbury Banter’s Artistic Director said:“We are thrilled to bring you our latest production of The Silenced. We devised and created it in response to the lockdowns and the feeling of isolation which the last year has brought, to all of us. The Silenced is designed to offer space for our audience to connect with their friends and loved ones, through a shared experience, and for them to explore the fun of participating in something exciting, unique and truly ground-breaking”
Tickets are available to buy now for teams of six players. Visit bunburybanter.com.
8 – 25 August 2021
SAVED, created by performer, composer, music director and instrument maker Graeme Leak (The Spaghetti Western Orchestra), is a meditative, musical journey through the mundanity of everyday life. Part of the 2021 Made in Scotland showcase, SAVED finds beauty in the little moments of life, elegantly crafted through instruments onto which Leak has lovingly bestowed a new lease of life.
This multi-layered, retro-mechanical performance is built around two rescued 1970s home organs turned inside out, their internal spinning speakers exposed for us to see as well as hear. Saved from the scrapheap, Leak invites us into the world of these instruments through his meticulous, balletic performance, where each movement, note and pause is considered.
In our highly digital world, SAVED reminds us that beauty is found within the analog moments, from the sound of a glass rolling against a plate, to simple, everyday conversations. Leak weaves moments of musical joy from nearly 20 rescued, found and lovingly crafted instruments: including a ‘string can’ bass guitar – made from reclaimed hardwood, an oil-can and a cello string; a musically modified kitchen whisk; and a collection of AM radios.
SAVED is the first show to be produced by new production company Scissor Kick, which champions artists to make observant, transformative and unsettling work. Launched in June 2021, Scissor Kick produces live experiences, nationally and internationally, while providing general management services to independent artists.
Creator and performer of SAVED, Graeme Leak, said: “1970s home organs were once a huge purchase, akin to a new car or kitchen, and are now often being sold for pennies, given or thrown away. I paid £7 and £2 respectively for the organs in SAVED and was determined to give them a new musical future. The music evolved organically from rescued items, ordinary objects, and mundane moments of daily conversation. I have assembled all these things to create SAVED and I can’t wait to share it with you. I hope you enjoy the show.”
Producer and Founder of Scissor Kick, Stephanie Katie Hunter, said: “I am delighted to be launching Scissor Kick with the world premiere of SAVED. Working with Graeme Leak – with his eclectic career and generous nature – encapsulates exactly what it is I love about producing which is getting to collaborate with world class artists with big visions and curious minds.
Scissor Kick strives to provide audiences with innovative and thought provoking productions all while supporting artists to share their valuable knowledge and experience with a sector that needs to move with the times. SAVED is a delightfully playful show which, despite it not being intended, speaks to the universal experience of the pandemic – being stuck in one place, finding the joy in the everyday, yet always looking forward. This sentiment acts as the foundation of Scissor Kick. It’s time to break down walls, look forward, and make noise.”