Time Gentlemen Please (2005-2011)
Time Gentlemen Please was a revolutionary new concept, bringing traditional English folk dance to the main stage alongside modern dance from the Hip Hop scene. In 2005 Damien Barber met with Bush Hartshorn (then Artistic Director of Yorkshire Dance) following a showcase by The Demon Barbers ‘Rapper Sword’ team at the British Dance Edition conference at West Yorkshire Playhouse.
Work started a year later with a research & development project funded by Arts Council England, with the results being presented at a sharing at Yorkshire Dance.
In 2008 another R&D project took place culminating in a 10 minute piece being aired to the general public as part of The Demon Barber Roadshow at York Theatre Royal.
In 2010 a full version of the show was launched at The Carriageworks, Leeds leading to 2 years of tours at theatres & festivals across the UK
In 2012/13 the show was developed further and relaunched as The Lock In!
Press Release (2012)
Time Gentlemen Please featuring The Demon Barber Roadshow
Some of the UK’s oldest forms of dance are brought bang up to date as they collide with some of the youngest in an exciting new dance show touring the UK throughout 2012
A fast-paced and innovative show bringing together some of the UK’s top folk, clog, sword and Morris dancers with their counterparts from the worlds of B-boying, popping, krump and beatbox.
“Time Gentlemen Please! is more exciting musically and choreographically than Riverdance or Stomp; it’s more ambitious, culturally more important. Someone should give this show a West End run.”
The show, the brainchild of award-winning folk band The Demon Barbers, in collaboration with Yorkshire Dance and developed thanks to funding from Arts Council England, sees a group of street dancers arrive at an apparently deserted pub. As the regulars arrive, however, a clash of cultures turns into a dance floor stand-off.
The skill, speed and athleticism of the dancers on both sides soon wins the others over as the old and new are brought together in an exciting and dynamic dance-off. Sword dances are performed with snooker-cues, pub bouncers dance competitive Morris and B-boys flirt with clog girls. Meanwhile house band The Demon Barbers takes English Folk music on a new journey with friends Hip Hop, House, Funk and Ska and even says hello to Burlesque and Drum & Bass along the way!
Time Gentlemen Please! promises to do for English folk dance what Riverdance did for Irish dance and Diversity did for street dance, bringing some lesser known forms of dance into the mainstream.
The show is devised and produced by artistic director Damien Barber. Barber has been a professional folk musician since 1989 and is best known for his work with electric folk band The Demon Barbers, winners of ‘Best Live Act’ at the BBC Radio 2 Folk Awards in 2009. He also performs in a duo with Mike Wilson and is one of the most respected folk performers in the UK.
Damien Barber says Time Gentlemen Please! is one of the most exciting projects he’s ever worked on:
“I’ve always seen folk music and dance as incredibly modern and vibrant and wanted to find a way to bring that vision to the widest possible audience. Time Gentlemen Please! is the result of several years of artistic collaborations and development and I’m extremely excited that it’s finally going on tour!
“We’ve done several preview gigs in preparation for taking the show on tour and the response has been phenomenal from both folkies and street dance fans. All our dancers have also taken the opportunity to learn from each other and have been amazed by the similarities and shared experiences they found in the two – seemingly very different – dance styles.
“Anything that brings people together to have a great evening out has got to be a good thing!”
‘One of the very best things I saw all last year and I see a lot’
Cluny Macpherson, Regional Director of Arts Council England
‘The single most joyous thing I’ve seen in the theatre’
Antony Dunn, Yorkshire Dance
Currently not touring