The fourth season of the Platform8 Festival got off to a great start last month and continues in April with more brilliant theatre.

After the sell out performance of Live Before You Die at the Brewery Tap last month the next show, Ugly Chief is at the Key Theatre on Friday April 20 and Saturday April 21.

This is the latest show by award-winning British artist Victoria Melody.

She’s teamed up with her dad, TV antique dealer Mike Melody, for her most ambitious show yet. Ugly Chief is a comedy based on true-life events, performed by a real-life father and daughter.


In 2013, Mike was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and given five years to live. Victoria was put in charge of planning the funeral (complete with eulogies, a New Orleans jazz procession and a congregation dressed in Blackpool FC tangerine). But a year later the doctors realised they’d misdiagnosed him.

Victoria and Mike decided to go ahead with the funeral anyway. Ugly Chief plays out two funerals – the one Victoria planned and the one her dad really wanted. And Mike is guest of honour at both. As the show unfolds, it unpicks the complicated relationship with a parent whose opinion you don’t always agree with.


Mike will be running his own version of the Antiques Roadshow during the show. You’re also invited to bring along your heirlooms, curiosities and collectables for him to value during the show. No promises but if he likes it, he might even buy it!

Musicians James Gow, Steve Pretty (Hackney Colliery Band), Kieran Rafferty and Gemma Storr provide the appropriate live accompaniment for the funeral – including Soul classics and more!

Also part of Platform8 is a groovy show for under 4’s and their families, Sponge by Turned On Its Head. Babies, young children and families are invited to roll, squeeze and pop themselves through this new squidgy dance show for very young children show, set to original disco music, straight from the Car Wash.

Two friendly dancers play along with the children to explore squishy, squashy sensations, experiencing shape, texture and touch to meet Splegs, a leggy character who needs a bit of help walking. There’ll be seven daytime performances at St John’s Church, Cathedral Square between Thursday April 19 – Saturday April 21.

For more info on all of the Platform8 shows visit

Photo: Hugo Glendinning


Written by ESP Magazine

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