INTERVIEWS & ARTICLES
Theatre and Football - Miriam Gillinson
The Weekend Rockstars Experiment - The Guardian, Harriet Gibsone
Interview for BBC on Edinburgh Festival
Harpers Bazaar Ones to watch 2014
Interview with OffWestEnd.com on Bottleneck.
Interview with Whatsonstage about Edinburgh
Andrew Haydon grappling with Weekend Rockstars
Young People, Poverty Porn and Theatre for The Stage
Interview with Tim Bano on making work for Millenials for The Stage
Making Work With "Real People" for Exeunt
Making Work in Prisons; Matt Trueman for The Guardian
National Organisations and The UK - The Stage
Theatre In Prisons and Rehabilitation - Tim Bano for The Stage
Talking About The Jumper Factory and The Role Of The Writer - Young Vic Podcast
How Can We Empower Northern Theatre Makers To Stay In The North? - The Stage
Praise for Bottleneck:
Barnes is fast proving himself to be one of our finest young writers, The Stage.
Seldom does theatre possess the raw emotional power to reduce an entire room of strangers to stunned silence but HighTide Festival Theatre's magnificent staging achieves that feat with aplomb and sensitivity. Metro, FOUR STARS.
Luke Barnes, 24, captures the voice of Britain’s youth with wit and compassion. He emerges from this year’s Fringe as a red-hot writing talent to watch. The Independent, FOUR STARS.
Bottleneck is an outstanding play by young writer Luke Barnes. The Telegraph, FOUR STARS.
Bottleneck asks the question is there such a thing as society after all? The Financial Times FOUR STARS
Throughout Luke Barnes’s piece as a world of innocence is shattered irrevocably The Evening Standard FOUR STARS
An incredibly emotive and beautifully written play. Huffington Post, FOUR.FIVE STARS
Bottleneck feels urgent, fresh, full of rage. Exuent, FOUR STARS.
There's been quite a buzz about Luke Barnes' play, and one can understand why. Whatsonstage, FOUR STARS.
Performed with poise and seemingly endless energy by James Cooney. The Scotsman, FOUR STARS.
Totally brought to life by Barnes’ vividly expressionistic writing. The List, FOUR STARS.
A master class in creeping, choking tension. Time Out
Runner Up - Off West End Award, Best New Play, Soho Theatre
Praise for Chapel Street
The Independent (Alice Jones) 4*s - Part spoken word, part play and delivered through microphones like stand-up, Luke Barnes' two-hander glitters with promise and pep. There's sharp-eyed humour to his picture of modern Britain and teenage life - all Kardashians, sequins and shots - but there are a troubling undertones, too - the angry drinker who threatens the pub landlord with his shotgun, the fact that "no-one's got a job and everyone lives with their mum" and, most crucially, the deadening lack of any ambition greater than getting blind drunk at the weekend.
The Scotsman 4*s – Strong, fast, unafraid Street Language.
Exeunt (Catherine Love) 4*s - It’s an invigorating debut, powered by Barnes’ wicked grasp of the imperfectly upturned phrase, its pertinence and honesty make it near-essential viewing.
The Telegraph 4* (Laura Barnett)– There is no doubting Barnes raw talent.
The List (Laura Ennor) 4*s - Barnes’ script fizzes with contemporary vitality and a sharp but generous humour. This is social commentary that never feels heavy-handed, delivered with panache.
Whats On Stage 5*s
Winner - Scotsman Emerging Talent Award
Runner Up - Off West End Awards, Most Promising Playwright
Praise for Eisteddfod
Whats On Stage (Paul Couch) 4*s – Beautifully crafted theatre.
Praise for Wondrous Place
The Guardian 4*s - “Yes it rains up North. But it rains in London too… And the rain up here is much better”
The Stage 4*s - "‘Northern Spirit is on wondrous mission: to counter corny cliches about life in the north of England by celebrating life as it is lived. Instead of an everyday existence of gritty grimness, the northern worlds explored in four mini-dramas, elegantly crafted by a quartet of rising new writers, is far more diverse, each story beginning in a recognisable locality but ending deep in the northern soul...This utterly compelling production certainly delivers fresh thinking about true north – and it certainly isn’t grim.’
Runner Up - Manchester Theatre Awards, Best Studio Play, Royal Exchange, Manchester
Praise for The Saints
Public Reviews 4*s “Topical, touching and very, very funny”
Southampton Daily Echo 4*s “This work triumphs on every level”
Praise for Weekend Rockstars
Andrew Haydon "In terms of raw potential, energy, performances, and pretty much re-inventing the idea of musical theatre from the smouldering ashes of everything you thought you knew about musical theatre: full marks. I definitely want everyone I know to see this show. It's hugely intelligent... This is a properly exciting company. Go see them. Programme them in your venue in the autumn. Commission them to make a new piece. Weekend Rockstars feels like the start of something incredibly exciting."
Public Reviews 4* "Writer Luke Barnes has never been one to shy away from unflinching “real” dialogue and here is no different. In fact arguably his text is more challenging and uncompromising than ever before, it’s raw and it’s certainly in-your-face"
FEST 4* "The performance ends on a pill-popping message about oneness and friendship but this performance's biggest endorsement is for the sheer ecstatic power of a good night out."
The Stage 4* "Middle Child’s Weekend Rockstars aims for, and hits, that sweet spot between gig and theatre. The room reverberates with late night energy. It’s a cocky, noisy swaggering sort of show, but it’s also unexpectedly, genuinely moving"
The Skinny 4* "A funny, grounded portrayal of contemporary British working-class life, Weekend Rockstars is Peep Show meets The Streets over rock instrumentals.
Broadway Baby 4* "It's not that unusual to see something that sweeps you up, makes you believe in the characters and feel their emotional pain, throws energy at you with hard guitar riffs and makes you leave feeling energised with the shout of "thank you and good night" as guitars are almost smashed on stage - but what is rare is when what you have seen defies any labels and feels excitingly fresh and new as a piece of theatre. "
A Younger Theatre 4* "Weekend Rockstars is a vibrant, fun, touching production that is gold dust for engaging young audiences in theatre. Not taking itself too seriously but committing to an honest, poetic portrayal of life in middle England. Middle Child are positioned to make a much needed mark on theatre which promises to loosens up the industry."
Winner - Musical Theatre Award for Best Musical, Scotsman, Edinburgh Festival
Praise for Ten Storey Love Song
Broadway Baby 5* "Ten Storey Love Song may be the greatest Fringe show I’ve ever encountered. Hands down."
The List 4*
The Stage 4*
Hull Daily Mail 4*
Exeunt 4* As loud and rambunctious as the denizens of the tower block that it portrays, Luke Barnes’ adaptation of Richard Milward’s novel Ten Storey Love Song is less a play and more a narrative gig that explodes on stage in a tale of loneliness, love, and disappointment. With an electronic beat, a dynamic cast, and a haunting singer, this is a high-energy, layered story that manages to squeeze a tremendous amount of heartbreak and humor into an hour and fifteen minutes.
Andrew Haydon "It just disturbed the fuck out of me. Which is a weird way to spend time in the theatre."
Winner - Bobby Award, Edinburgh Festival
Praise for All We Ever Wanted Was Everything
"Glorious...a raucous, riotous 75 minutes of storytelling, shot through with pop, poetry and politics."
★★★★ - The Stage
"Theatre as Hadron Collider experiment: a slamming together of a play and a gig."
★★★★ - The Telegraph
★★★★ - The Morning Star
"A rocking rollercoaster ride... theatre for the Buzzfeed generation."
★★★★★ - Broadway World
"The direction is fantastic, the design is fantastic, the music is fantastic
and the performances are fantastic."
★★★★★ - Broadway Baby
"A blood-pumping, head-pounding, spine-tingling thrill ride through the decades."
★★★★★ - 730 Review
"Middle Child really smash it with a superb piece of gig theatre... [they] combine music and storytelling in an outrageously entertaining fashion."
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian
"All We Ever Wanted Was Everything got an 11am crowd up roaring on their feet with a show that used a live band to explore New Labour aspiration, disappointment, and parenthood."
The i Newspaper (at Latitude Festival)
Sell Out Show - Edinburgh Festival
Winner Marc Graham - The Stage Edinburgh Award
Broadway Baby Bobby Award
730 Review Best of the Best
Praise for Cinderella
4* Whats On Stage
"Anything that starts with a send-up of "Bohemian Rhapsody" and includes a twerk-til-you-drop version of "Voulez-Vous" gets a thumbs up. "
4* The Stage
Praise for The Ghost Caller
" “Live properly,” he says, and all his talk of death begins to recalibrate into a wake-up call on living, and not frittering our days under the illusion that they will be endless. Luke Barnes’s script is both earnest and true, and at just 10 minutes it offers a profound experience." The Guardian 4*
" All the same, at a time where once again the majority of the public can’t see their loved ones, this is an incredibly strong and heartfelt piece of theatre. It’s exactly what we need right now, a frank connection with those who’ve shaped us however imperceptibly- though maybe the National Theatre at home was a little cosier, this feels so much more real." Exeunt
Selections for Toby
The London Short Film Festival 2015
The Berlin British Shorts Festival 2015
The Barbican Focus Film Festival 2015
The San Francicso Short Film Festival 2015
Selections for I Want To Be Happy Cha Cha Cha
Film Of The Month - Shooting People - (Jack Thorne)
The London Short Film Festival 2014
29th Festival Europeen Du Film Court De Brest 2014
Timishort Film Festival 2014
Screentest Fest 2014 (Best Drama, Best Performances)
The London Lift Off Festival 2014 (Special Mention)
NEXT Festival (Best Of Brest) 2015
The Amsterdamn Lift Off Festival