Scytheplays and Lass O'Gowrie Productions are incredibly excited to announce that their much-lauded adaptation of writer Alan Moore and artist Ian Gibson's comic book series, The Ballad of Halo Jones, is to be re-staged as part of Thought Bubble, the week-long comic arts festival held in Leeds from Sunday 11th to Sunday 18th November.
Halo Jones was originally published in 2000AD Magazine, most famous as the home of Judge Dredd, from 1984 to 1986 for three adventures, of which Scytheplays' production, written by Ross Kelly (The Year of the Sex Olympics) and Ian Winterton (Baby Jesus Freak, Sherica), adapts the first two. Halo Jones was originally conceived by Gibson and Moore as an antidote to the violent and testosterone-fuelled adventures common in 2000AD; Halo is an everywoman whose adventure is simply to get through life day-to-day in the hellish far-future environment of 'the Hoop', the lawless and directionless slum and dumping ground for the unemployed of 51st century society in which she lives, while always dreaming of a way out. Halo's youthful pluck and sense of humour, plus Gibson's beautiful design and the richness of Moore's quirky details and imaginative future-speak, made the series a cult classic and an early step on the writer's journey to becoming the world's foremost comic book author (as creator of V for Vendetta, Watchmen and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen among many others). Meanwhile the story's strong array of female characters made The Ballad of Halo Jones one of the first comic strips that could be called feminist.
When first performed in January 2012 at the Lass O'Gowrie, The Ballad of Halo Jones received rave reviews (including this extremely detailed one from Forbidden Planet). The new production, which performs at Leeds' The Library Scream Pub on Sunday November 11th (7.30pm), Monday November 12th (7.30pm) and Saturday November 17th (12.30pm and 2.45pm), retains the key creative team from that show and three of the cast: Zoe Iqbal (Swifty Frisco), Marlon Solomon (Mix Ninegold) and Will Hutchby (Lux Roth Chop). The very exciting new members of the cast will be announced shortly, but in the meantime a preview of Zoe's performance as Swifty can be seen here. On that note, now would seem a good time to remember the rest of the original cast who haven't been able to transfer to the Leeds production (such as Michelle Ashton, who has been busy taking her excellent self-written play Fine to London), and to thank them for the brilliant and bold performances which (as can still be seen from the reviews) were so clearly central to making the show the success it was. To all those actors, we will be doing our best to live up to your legacy, and hope to make you proud!
Tickets for The Ballad of Halo Jones at Thought Bubble will cost £10 on the door, and online sales will shortly be opened through WeGotTickets. Poster art by Adrian Salmon and graphic design by Daniel Thackeray.