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The MSC Podcast

It was during the Covid lockdowns that Gina began to develop an idea she had been working on for some time. ‘The Game of Play’ The game was inspired by Gina’s desire to transfer the skills that she acquired as a child and all through her life with the help of all the lovely people who believed in her. 

It’s an exciting, fun performance-based board game that can be played by 2-8 players. 

The object of the game is to progress through the 3 acts of the play to be the first to reach centre stage and be awarded the DAFTA. In order to reach this goal, the players must navigate the hazards of theatrical life, including auditions, luck, fate, scandal, forgetting your lines, ‘breaking a leg’, trapdoors, electrocution and falling scenery! 

The board represents elements of the theatre world. There are 3 concentric circles with landing squares representing Acts 1, 2, and 3, respectively. The centre of the board represents ‘Backstage’ and ‘Centre Stage’ under the spotlight. Each player takes on a character. These are based on characters from our successful productions:‘Robbo Goodstuff'  and 'Helena Handcart' from ‘Summer Dreaming’ and ‘Andrea Palemusht’, 'Malcom Fabrese'and 'Oliver De Tabloids' from ’12 Nights’. In order to progress towards the stage and win the DAFTA, players must perform ‘Auditions’ in the form of Song, Drama, Verse and Comedy. Their auditions are judged by the other players by showing their ‘Clap’ or ‘Boo’ cards. There is plenty of opportunity for skulduggery and plot twists as the Luck and Fate cards come into play.

12 Nights (or w.t.f??)

Warning: This episode contains language that some people might find offensive.

In this episode Gina and John talk about the third Manchester Shakespeare Company production '12 Nights or W.T.F?

This was the play that set the standard for all future productions. A wickedly twisted adaptation of Shakespeare’s gender bending comedy ‘Twelfth Night’. Twelve Nights is a madcap comedy that captures the spirit of the original play with a decidedly modern take on gender and sexuality. After its original production at the Three Minute Theatre in December 2014 '12 Nights' was performed with different casts in many venues including libraries, churches, public squares and festivals.

‘Twelve Nights or WTF?’ tells the story of Horsina Pilton, a rich, successful businesswoman, desperately lovesick for the dishy film actor Oliver De Tabloids who is holed up in the penthouse suite of the Mancia Pilton Hotel. Access to Oliver is jealously guarded by his overbearing PA, Malcolm Fabrese and Oliver is moving to Hollywood in twelve days’ time to work on his next movie.

Meanwhile, Oliver’s boozy, spendthrift Aunt, Tia Maria is also trying to get access to Oliver in order to marry him off to her air-headed Valley Girl protégé Andrea Palemuscht. Things are not going well though and Andrea is about to call it a day, leaving Tia Maria without funding for her liquid lunches.

The arrival of illegal immigrant twins Sebastian and Viola only adds to the complications as Horsina sends Sebastian (disguised as Sebrina) to woo Oliver on her behalf, with hilarious and disturbing consequences for everybody. 

Original Cast:
Sophie Anne Ellicott as Horsina Pilton
Louise Wilson as Tia Maria and Antonia Cruz
Tony Charnock as Malcolm Fabrese
Sophie Grace Toland as Viola and Andrea Palemuscht
Daniel Brotherton as Sebastian/Sebrina
Charlie Colquhoun as Oliver De Tabloids

Written and Directed by John Topliff and Gina T. Frost.
Music written and arranged by John Topliff and Gina T. Frost.


In this first episode, Gina and John talk briefly about the origins of the Manchester Shakespeare Company, from its inception at the Three Minute Theatre in 2013, its first productions and the exciting future that lies ahead.

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