Still ill - Lowry, Manchester
"Truant Company staged something of a coup, securing permission
from Morrissey and Marr to use Smiths's songs in their new production. The
potential for embarrassment if the play turned out to be below standard was
considerable. Fortunately there is no such problem with Billy Cowan's Still Ill. It is a satisfyingly complex play that
touches on a number of themes-including resentment and regret – but avoids
simple judgements and neat conclusions. The tone is the bittersweet clash
between naïve youthful hopes and adult experience. Director Joyce Branagh catches the varying
moods with precision.
…a demanding and very moving play."
Whatsonstage 4 Stars
Sleeping Beauty - Salisbury Playhouse
“Six years ago, a sublime Sleeping Beauty set the benchmark by which I judge all Playhouse pantomimes - and it’s taken another Sleeping Beauty to reach those heady heights. Director Joyce Branagh’s slick, funny, colourful production is almost perfect in every way”
Twelfth Night Open Air UK Tour
(Holland Park, Nottingham Castle, Leeds Castle, Kew Gardens, Brighton, Wimbledon)
“…Joyce Branagh, has created a production that is tougher-minded, more adventurous, portraying Illyria as a place of both meddlesome madness and lurking corruption. It’s boisterous yet tender, and there’s laughter from the audience that has nothing to do with received wisdom or well-learnt cues… This Twelfth Night has a deftness…neither willfully modern nor doggedly authentic, they understand the importance of capturing the spirit rather than merely recreating."
Travels with My Aunt – Oldham Coliseum
“When it was first published in 1969, Graham Green said of Travels With My Aunt that it was the only book he had written just for the fun of it and, happily, this rather excellent Coliseum production certainly captures that sense of amusement. Giles Havergal’s two decades old adaptation …needs razor sharp timing and it gets it here…It’s complex stuff in technical terms – sound, light and back stage support all need to be spot on, and they are. Director Joyce Branagh has done a quite astonishing job.”
Alan Hulme Manchester Evening News
Nominated for ‘Best Production’ in MEN Theatre Awards
The Sunshine Boys - Oldham Coliseum
“Filling the auditorium with sunshine, this production has true quality and is a testament to the quality of Simon’s work.”
What’s On Stage
“Branagh has created for the Coliseum a nicely-rounded production stuffed with plenty of comedy but with a genuine emotional heart of a play that still works nearly forty years on from its first production, showing that good comedy can traverse the generations...”
British Theatre Guide
Flying Under Bridges by Sandi Toksvig & Sarah Daniels
- Watford Palace Theatre
“Flying Under Bridges grabs the audience from the outset as Eve Marshall (Julia Hills) explains to a prison psychiatrist that she never meant to kill her daughter’s husband to be, especially not on their wedding day….And by the time Eve finally reveals how she accidentally killed him she has the audience completely on her side, a tribute to both the acting talent of Hills and some delicate direction from Joyce Branagh.”
Satin 'n' Steel Amanda Whittington - Oldham Coliseum
"Joyce Branagh's fresh, funny production features fine work from the former Emmerdale pair Matt Healy and Roxanne Pallett. Pallett proved she could move with her appearance on Dancing on Ice; here, she has a chance to demonstrate her vocal chops as well. The routines may be cheesier than a deli counter, but they are delivered with such conviction that it is even possible to forgive the rumba version of Imagine..." The Stage
Peggy and the Spaceman
24:7 New Writing Theatre Festival, Manchester
"Writer and director, Joyce Branagh, follows the success of Sheepish at last year’s 24:7 Theatre festival with Peggy and The Spaceman, a family friendly production recommended for ages six and over. Set around the true events of 1961 when Yuri Gagarin visited Manchester, Peggy and the Spaceman truly is a fun and imaginative adventure for anyone, young or old."
What’s On Stage - 5 Stars
Thin Air – UK Tour and MOSI
(Manchester Museum of Science and Industry)
"At the heart of Joyce Branagh's imaginative production for Cotton Grass is a very strong performance from Laurence Aldridge…The whole thing takes place on a very cleverly-designed set by Olivia du Monceau consisting of scattered objects covered in dust sheets that somehow come together, with the aide of projections, to create all of the many locations for the play. A particular highlight is the creation of the aircraft—apparently this is also the writer's favourite part…. effective storytelling …an interesting tale at its core that is worth telling, and at MOSI has the perfect location in which to tell it."
British Theatre Guide