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TakeOver Festival makes its summer return

After a great first week of festival fun at York Theatre Royal this March, the TakeOver 13 team are readying up to present 2013’s second TakeOver instalment, hoping to brighten up your June with a whole host of theatrical treats.

From Tuesday 4th-Saturday 8th June, the TakeOver team, made up of aspiring young professionals aged 11-25, will once again hijack every department of York Theatre Royal, from production to marketing, to deliver a unique project aiming to draw in fresh faces through the theatre doors and cultivate tomorrow’s creative workers and audiences.

Launching the June festival on a real high note is Oxford University’s all-male a-capella group Out of the Blue (Tuesday 4th June, 8pm). Forget Glee and forget Pitch Perfect, these boys have more than proved their credentials as a leading group of the growing UK a-capella movement, having performed across the world, singing alongside the likes of Jimmy Carr and Michael McIntyre for charity fundraising events and even making it to the live semi-finals of Britain’s Got Talent 2011. And when you buy a ticket for the performance, you can also get free entry into TakeOver’s first June workshop (Tuesday 4th June, 4.30pm-5.15pm) where the boys will teach you how to sing and move just like them.

Continuing the week on a completely different key is the harrowing tale of The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs (Wednesday 5th June, 7.30pm) on its UK tour following a roaring success at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2012. Upon his death in October 2011, a world mourned the loss of a “visionary” and “creative genius”, but the ruthless ambition and working ethics that powered Steve Jobs’ technological inventions into multi-million pound products, is a debate only really previously whispered. But now Mike Daisey’s monologue, starring Grant O’Rourke is set to unearth the toxic truths of exploitation, illegal work, slave labour and immoral codes of practice that underpinned one of the world’s most successful cult brands.

From one horror to another, The Trench (Thursday 6th June, 7.30pm) plunges us straight into the nightmare true story of a miner entombed in an underground tunnel in World War I. There’s no way out but as the air closes in, a strange, subterranean, fantastical world opens up to him forcing a reconfiguration of all his hopes, philosophies and perceptions. Presented by internationally-renowned Les Enfants Terribles and made from the team that created theatrical hits The Terrible Children, Ernest and the Pale Moon and The Vaudevillians, this sparkling production featuring live music, puppetry and physical performance is a must-see for those who love stories at their most intensely powerful.

Another two multi-talented companies dropping into TakeOver 13, that, between them, must have one almighty mantelpiece to balance their awards and trophies, is Scrawl and Snuff Box Theatre. Both hot off a sell-out run in London’s Bush and Soho Theatres, Luke Barnes’ Chapel Street leads you, with a poem and an oath, into the boozy carnage that makes up Cameron’s “Broken Britain”, whilst Charlotte Josephine’s Bitch-Boxer packs an adrenaline-fuelled punch with an up-to-the-moment look at one woman’s battle in a cut-throat man’s world (Friday 7th June, 7.30pm).

Set to pack out the house with little screams of fun from kids aged 2 to 102 this June is The Enormous Turnip (Saturday 8th June, 2.30pm). Created by mischievously magical Stuff and Nonsense Theatre Company, whose dazzling puppets and eccentric story-telling have been enchanting children and parents since 2001, The Enormous Turnip promises an incredible and lovable story featuring some even more incredible ginormous vegetables.

And for some more adult guffaws, TakeOver’s Comedy Night #2 (Saturday 8th June, 8pm) is on hand with pints of laughter from Swansea valley stand-up eccentric Noel James, local funny man Ben Winterton, Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year nominee and Radio 4 star Chris Stokes, grumpy malcontent Michael J Dolan and Chris Turner as witty MC.

Meanwhile, York Theatre Royal Studio plays host to The Mercy Seat (Thursday 6th-Saturday 15th June, 7.45pm/2pm/2.30pm) directed by TakeOver’s very own Artistic Director Ruby Clarke. First performed in New York and starring Liev Schreiber and Sigourney Weaver, Neil LaBute’s The Mercy Seat was among the first theatrical responses to 9/11. It follows the story of Ben, a worker of The World Trade Centre who was away from the office during the attack. Handed the opportunity to start the world over, how will Ben deal with this freedom and its implications on his loves, his identity, his past and his future? ENDS.

For more details on any of the above productions or for any general press inquiries, please contact TakeOver Festival’s Press Officer, Katharine Wootton on or 07854036306. 

TakeOver Festival June listings

Out of the Blue – Tuesday 4th June, 8pm- Main House

The Agony and Ecstasy of Steve Jobs – Wednesday 5th June, 7.30pm- Main House

The Trench – Thursday 6th June, 7.30pm- Main House

Chapel Street and Bitch Boxer – Friday 7th June, 7.30pm- Main House

The Enormous Turnip – Saturday 8th June, 2.30pm- Main House

TakeOver Comedy Night #2- Saturday 8th June, 8pm- Main House

The Mercy Seat – Thursday 6th- Saturday 15th June, 7.45pm with a 2pm Saturday matinee and 2.30pm matinee on Thursday 13th June – The Studio