Tuesday, 29 November 2011

Strawberry Jack: FULL TRAILER to the play Premieres

Hi all

It's late, I'm shattered and no doubt so is DARREN McGINN who completed work on this trailer this evening...

...but I still thought that at 2:38 in the morning it's more than worth loading up. He's done a great job.

Please share it and feedback on it...we'd really appreciate it, this cast and crew are going all out to bring you a show you will never forget, a Seasonal Tale from Paradise Heights.

STRAWBERRY JACK only has five performances and already tickets are selling fast, the booking line number is on the poster below so don't miss out, this one is a Cracker for Christmas...

CREW UPDATE later this week...

Joe x

STRAWBERRY JACK: Stella Grundy Torch's SCHOOL OF SOUND Studios

Hi all

Last Thursday night saw something of a milestone in Tales from Paradise Heights as Stella Grundy performed THE GEMINI MAN - the first song from the series, a track that will bridge two productions - next weeks Premiere run of STRAWBERRY JACK and the next play in the series TORCH.  Of course, Tales from Paradise Heights photographer and Documenatary maker BEN MOTTERSHEAD was there, these GREAT pics are his...


The Tangled Man (James Trott) produced a wonderful melody for the song within a minute or two of reading the lyrics, he also performs the melody here, it needed a TORCH song feel and I think we've achieved that here - more details in the link to the song, HOLLY KIM WYATT, who is working on the sound design for the play (Holly previoulsy worked on THE WATCHER and RANK) did the final mix on the song alongside The Tangled Man - HUGE THANKS to RUTH PARFITT and all the staff at SCHOOL OF SOUND recording studios in Ardwick http://www.s-s-r.com/.

A Sound Girl...;) HOLLY KIM WYATT

 Joe's side line is advertising watches...

RUTH PARFITT (Centre) Oversee's Recording

Here's the final track, there will be more tracks to come for TORCH, and this isn't a bad start...

THE GEMINI MAN - Stella Grundy (Lyrics: Joe O'Byrne, Music & Composition: The Tangled Man) by Paradise Joe

With a KICK ASS Trailer due soon from DARREN McGINN things are getting really exciting now in the run up to the play next week...details in the Poster below...

Thursday, 24 November 2011

STRAWBERRY JACK News: Song, Trailer & First Shots From Rehearsals

Hi all

Joe O'Byrne directing rehearsals on STRAWBERRY JACK: Pic by BEN MOTTERSHEAD

The Gemini Man is a song I have written for the next play in the series TORCH, it's a song that will be sang live in the production by Stella Grundy who will be playing the part of NULA CHRISTIE: The Queen of Clubs singing in THE ACE OF SPADES Nightclub, the club owned by Paradise Loan Shark Frank Morgan.  You will HEAR it in STRAWBERRY JACK.

STRAWBERRY JACK introduces us to that club, or at least the outside of it, you'll see much more of it in TORCH.  The song has had a simply wonderful melody put to it by THE TANGLED MAN - a musical artist working in and around Manchester, it will be re-recorded tonight obviously now with Stella on vocal. 

Here is the rough recorded version of the song with the vocal by THE TANGLED MAN.


Huge thanks to The Tangled Man for the wonderful melody. 


Here's the teaser for those that haven't seen it - created by Darren McGinn - the Full Trailer will be uploaded this weekend. 

BEN MOTTERSHEAD: Documentary Maker and Snapper Extraordinaire


I'm delighted to announe BEN MOTTERSHEAD is with us again and as well as taking some fab shots for the production he is also making a Making of Documentary - after his FANTASTIC WORK on The Making of THE WATCHER (full documentary available further down this blog) that can only be good news.  Great to have you back Ben lad! 

The rehearsal shots below - at The Robert Powell Theatre, Salford University - are all taken by Ben:






 MATTHEW, DAVID and JO: Prize for best caption...?



STRAWBERRY JACK: A Tale from Paradise Heights - Finally a SYNOPSIS

So what's it all about...?

'Deuces are wild – not One Eyed Jacks…'

Strawberry Jack Grundy was a wild child that grew into a ferocious man. Once the War Horse of Paradise Heights, recent events have stacked the deck firmly against the One Eyed Jack of The Ace of Spades Nightclub. He is a now a fading shadow of the man he once was.

But the rescue of a girl on the mean streets of Paradise Heights thrusts Jack into a situation he has never faced befor
e, untapped feelings stir, and a frozen heart begins to melt. But One Eyed Jacks aren’t always lucky; someone wants Jack dead by Christmas. They say Christmas is a time for Angels…a time for miracles.

Well Jack may have found his Angel. Now all he needs is a miracle…
Stay tuned for further updates...


BOOKING LINE NOW OPEN:  07538 275606 


Wednesday, 16 November 2011

There's a New Angel in Paradise Heights...CAST UPDATE

Well things certainly move fast in Paradise Heights...

It's with heavy heart that I have to say the Stella Grundy has had to withdraw from acting duties this time in STRAWBERRY JACK, this is due to the volume of paid work Stella has taken on recently.  I'm gutted to lose her - she's a stunning performer, always prepped, always ready for anything in rehearsal and an absolute firecracker presence on stage.  She will still be on Assistant Director duty though and of course she will still be heard singing as Nula, a character we will be seeing much more of in TORCH the next play from Tales from Paradise Heights...but every cloud has a Silver Lining...


From the tremendous batch of actresses we had last week there was one girl who really, really caught our eye for this production, in fact she got down to the last two for the part - she missed it by the skin of her teeth...well SHE'S BACK...

JO KIRKHAM will now be playing the part of SHIRLEY (the Angel previously seen in THE BENCH and RANK) she will also be playing the part of ZOE an employee of Frank Morgan's ACE OF SPADES Night Club.

New Angel:  JO KIRKHAM is Shirley

Jo, a girl no stranger to The Heights as she played the part of ROXY in LOOKIN' FOR LUCKY, a part she made uniquely her own. 

Welcome back Jo...;)

Joe x

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Avengers Assembled: STRAWBERRY JACK Cast Now Complete

Hi all

I feel a bit like Nick Fury or maybe Professor X having finally assembled my Super Hero Team for Strawberry Jack: A Tales from Paradise Heights...it's certainly a First Class line up...

It was an incredibly tough job casting the role of Mandy in the play, 9 Manchester/Salford Actresses came in and all nine were fantastic, truly - I'd love to work with ALL of them and as there is so much more still to come from Tales from Paradise Heights maybe I will.

I'm delighted to announce Alice Brockway as Mandy, she really blew us away.  Hugely versatile and talented - it's great to have her onboard and she joins a very eclectic, powerful and potent line up:

Strawberry Jack

Ian has been involved on every Tale from Paradise Heights from it's inception. Acting, producing and directing (he directed me in I'm Frank Morgan at The Lowry), he's also producing on Strawberry Jack. 


Alice's first trip into Tales from Paradise Heights, a well known actor on the Manchester/Salford film and stage scene. 

Deaf Freddie

Deaf Freddie has been referred to in previous Tales from Paradise Heights (THE BENCH, RANK)  and we finally get to meet him in the flesh. This is David's third outing in The Heights after turning in stunning performances in THE BENCH and THE WATCHER.


Stella is also Assistant Directing on the play.  Stella created some truly memorable characters in THE BENCH. Incredibly versatile, always in the moment and the moments beyond.  A prolific actor/writer/director in her own right, and former lead singer of INTASTELLA.  Stella will also be singing in Strawberry Jack.


Another well known face on the Manchester/Salford Theatre scene, a powerful perfomer and also Artistic Director with the prolific and terrific HAPPYSTORM Theatre Company.  This is Matt's first production with Tales from Paradise Heights. 


As well as Co-Producing and Directing...Maybe I can work out a plan for World Peace between my strides...

So that's the cast...I'm not failing to recognise the enormity of the task ahead of us, but working with these guys and the crew behind us I still feel like Christmas has come early...CREW UPDATE real soon...
And Finally...

For those that haven't seen it - here is BEN MOTTERSHEAD's FULL 15 MINUTE VERSION of his documentary of The Making of The Watcher: A Tale from Paradise Heights...it really gives a flavour of what Tales from Paradise Heights is all about - quality cast, quality crew all doing their best to tell a contemporary tale,  and all having a great time working together.

Behind The Scenes on 'The Watcher' (Full Version) from Tales from Paradise Heights on Vimeo.

Crew Update later this week...Jxx

Monday, 7 November 2011


Hi all

Four weeks and counting now to the premiere of STRAWBERRY JACK: A Tale from Paradise Heights and things are starting to fit into place...


A huge and hearty welcome to Tales from Paradise Heights to MATT GANLEY of HAPPY STORM THEATRE http://www.happystormtheatre.co.uk/ a company that have brought some truly stunning productions to the stage over the last few years (check the link).  I've worked with Matt in the past and it's absolutley fantastic to have him onboard.  A scorching talent that is sure to leave his mark in The Heights. 

Stay tuned for more Casting News later this week...


First off I'm buzzin to have STELLA GRUNDY Assistant Directing on this, as I'm on the boards for a few scenes this time it's vital to have someone who really knows what they're doing watching you - and calling the shots. Stella knows her way around The Heights and is a fantastic director in her own right so I'm in a nice position of feeling really safe and ready to be tested as I know she takes no prisoners, and obviously Stella is also part of the cast.  

It's fantastic to have HOLLY WYATT heading up sound design.  Holly did a stunning job on THE WATCHER in an incredibly short period of time, she has a real grasp of tone and mood, I'm delighted she's now part of Paradise Heights and looking forward to working with her on many more productions.  More THE WATCHER news below...

Well Darren joined us on the last run of RANK that we did at THE LOWRY.  To say he did a blinding job in terms of his designs and teching on the day is a vast understatement. 

Poster Design: DARREN McGINN

Well there was no way I was gonna let Darren escape after one production! He's now firmly onboard and producing some stunning imagery already for STRAWBERRY JACK...here are two latest concept designs for promotion of the show...

Preview Flyer by DARREN McGINN

Preview Poster Concept by DARREN McGINN

And Finally...


I'm honoured and delighted to be asked to do the Q&A's and interviews for this Wednesdays KINO SHORTS NIGHT in Salford.   KINO Director John Wojowski has also asked us to screen THE WATCHER: A Tale from Paradise Heights, so there will be a chance to see this Salford film in Salford.  It's a film we are all proud of and if you haven't had a chance to see it yet - this will be the last screening around Salford/Manchester for a long time, so come and check out what so many Salford/Manchester talents can do when they get together, it's the BEST time I have ever had on a film set.


There is already a packed program of stunning work from Talented Film Makers across the region and beyond, and for four quid you can watch 'em all and then ask 'em how they did it...you've got to be in it to win it - these guys are IN IT and producting some STUNNING WORK - GIVE THEM AN AUDIENCE PLEASE - feedback is the breakfast of champions...and for four quid?

...it's a deal, it's a steal, it's the sale of the fackin' Century! 

See You There! 

Joe x

Strawberry Jack

Strawberry Jack
Designed by Joe O'Byrne