0161 205 8739info@gagreflex.co.uk

Facilitators of Mirth

'Barbara Nice' awarded 'Birmingham LGBTQ+ Scene: Lifetime Achievement Award'

Janice Connolly, better known to many as comedy genius Barbara Nice - (Barbara as in Streisand and Nice as in the biscuit) has been awarded for her numerous achievements and support for the LGBTQ+ community over the last three decades, by Midlands Zone.

Midlands Zone is the UK's largest regional gay lifestyle magazine, having brought the latest news, scene events, editorial features and celebrity interviews to the Birmingham LGBTQ+ community from 1997 to 2020. Sadly, they have made the recent decision to close, recently saying goodbye to their 60k+ magazine readers, 31,900+ Facebook and 26,200+ Twitter followers, 24k email subscribers and 84k online readers.

Rather than dwelling on yet another business being seriously affected by the coronavirus pandemic, they are instead celebrating the 23 glorious years they have been operating. They are honoured to award Janice the 'Birmingham LGBTQ+ Scene: Lifetime Achievement Award' at their 'Midlands Zone Honorary Awards 1997-2020'

Back in 2000 Janice was one of the first performers at the Birmingham Pride Ball, has been one of the highlights of the LGBTQ+ Shout Festival over the years, been a fantastic host at Birmingham Pride when the event featured the Community Village Green, and many many more LGBTQ+ events over the years.

Barbara Nice is the overenthusiastic housewife alter-ego of Birmingham-based performer Janice, who previously appeared in Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights, and is well known on the circuit for her lively, upbeat presence. Barbara performs playful, life-affirming shows for all the family. With the affectionate attitude of a playgroup leader at a wild Iggy Pop concert, she is guaranteed to warm the heart of any audience. She has been compared to Victoria Wood, Mrs. Merton, and Julie Walters.

In a smash hit audition, Barbara wowed the judges with her humour and eccentric style on ITV's Britain’s Got Talent, in 2019. Tottering onto the stage in a leopard-print dress and with several handbags, Connolly’s loveable antics, bubbling with energy had the audience cracking up, before she launched herself onto the judge’s table in a mini-crowd surf, that had the judges applauding and punching the air in delight. Her hysterical Semi-Final performance, which was seen by 8 million people, saw her emerge from the audience in her usual unconventional way, cracking jokes with the audience, using them as a temporary cloakroom for her various props, and interacting good naturedly with the judges.

This compassionate manner has brought her huge popularity at shows across the country, where people watching feel gently involved. She finished her performance with her now infamous stage dive, helped along by Ant & Dec, which the audience loved.

Janice Connolly is also a British actress, comedian, hugely talented writer, and artistic director; she also runs the Midlands-based group Women and Theatre. In 2017 Connolly was awarded a British Empire Medal in the New Years Honours list for services to community arts in the West Midlands.

'Barbara Nice' awarded 'Birmingham LGBTQ+ Scene: Lifetime Achievement Award' 'Barbara Nice' awarded 'Birmingham LGBTQ+ Scene: Lifetime Achievement Award'

News story posted on 18-09-2020 16:00

Now on sale; BAFTA Breakthrough Comedian Luisa Omielan

Now on sale; BAFTA Breakthrough Comedian 2019 Luisa Omielan, bringing her Work in Progress show to Camberley Theatre in Surrey, on the 8th November 2020

'inspirational.. hilarious.. sassy.. the best tonic' Chortle

Suitable for ages 16+

"How different would the world be if women’s stories had been included more in the Bible? Did you know that Adam had a first wife before Eve? Her name was Lilith and she left Adam because she wanted to do reverse cow girl and he would only do missionary - they didn’t mention THAT in the creation myth."

Luisa already has three groundbreaking hit shows under her belt. First, she asked "What Would Beyonce Do?!" (sell out across the UK and Australia, is what she would do!), then she asked "Am I Right Ladies?!" and her thigh gap joke went viral with over 45 million views. Then she turned to politics and got a show on the BBC entitled "Politics for Bitches".

"She should be put on the national curriculum” The Scotsman

Luisa has been featured in The Guardian, The Radio Times, Forbes, Vogue, The Metro, Stylist Magazine, The Huffington Post, The Telegraph and countless other publications. She’s been nominated two years in a row for Best Comedy Show at the Melbourne International Festival and loves taking her universal shows around the world. Luisa is the first comedian to be acknowledged with a BAFTA Breakthrough award.

And yes, Luisa will be accompanied on stage by her partner in crime, Bernie, the funniest Bernese mountain dog on the block.

Tickets for her show at Camberley Theatre on the 8th November 202 are now available to purchase, here

Now on sale; BAFTA Breakthrough Comedian Luisa Omielan

News story posted on 14-09-2020 09:00

Adam Kay to be the 1st show Nimax Theatres present, post Covid restrictions

Theatre news: Nimax Theatres to open all six West End theatres in sequence from October 22nd 2020 with social distancing under COVID-19 Secure government guidelines

Nimax Chief Executive Nica Burns said:

“I am delighted to announce we will be switching on all our lights and presenting a special season of fantastic entertainment.  First up from 22 October to 8 November at the Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Ave is This is Going to Hurt written and performed by ex-NHS doctor Adam Kay. His first performance on Thursday 22 October is a free gala performance for NHS staff only.  Tickets are on sale now at www.nimaxtheatres.com as is registration for NHS staff to enter the ballot for their free performance.

"It's extremely heartening that Theatreland is starting to gear up again. The people you see on stage are the very tip of the theatre iceberg - behind the scenes are hundreds of hard-working staff - from electricians to stage managers to lighting techs to box office to carpenters - huge numbers of whom fell between the gaps of government support. I'm very proud to return to the West End, following the extraordinary efforts of Nimax to do so in a way that's safe for staff and theatregoers alike, and doubly proud to open the run with a free show for NHS staff, who can clearly do with a night out more than anyone.” Adam Kay


To purchase tickets to see Adam Kay at the Apollo Theatre, on Shaftesbury Ave, from the 22nd October to the 8th November, click here. His first performance on Thursday 22 October is a free gala performance for NHS staff only. Tickets are on sale now, as is registration for NHS staff to enter the ballot for their free performance.

Nica continues; "Our full programme of special shows will reopen each of our six venues prior to the return of our brilliant long running shows: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (Palace theatre), Everybody’s Talking About Jamie (Apollo theatre), Magic Goes Wrong (Vaudeville theatre), The Play That Goes Wrong (Duchess theatre). Details on this special season of shows will be announced over the next fortnight.

All our venues will open with social distancing plus robust risk mitigation to comply with government COVID-19 Secure guidelines. Although with reduced capacities it is not possible to make a profit, we are determined retain Nimax’s highly skilled, experienced workforce alongside the huge, talented tapestry of freelancers onstage and backstage, plus the many teams and businesses which together give our audiences a night to remember. Our theatre community cannot wait to get back to work safely.

As culture secretary Oliver Dowden wrote this week, '…theatre is a lynchpin of London’s West End and its absence is painfully reflected in its deserted streets.’

"Even with reduced capacities at our theatres, we can entertain over 20,000 customers a week who we hope will re-energise the beating heart of our city, particularly the cafes, bars and restaurants that are an essential part of the fabric of the West End. Ticket sales for those venues that have managed to open so far, both outdoor and indoor, have been strong and we look to the future with confidence.”

Why is Nimax opening at a loss? Like all businesses, we looked at our business strategy post October 31st when the furlough scheme ends.  As part of this, we looked at the financial and human cost of large-scale redundancies.  We preferred to put the potential redundancy monies towards employment rather than unemployment. When we then fully open, we will have our fantastic workforce in place saving the cost of recruiting again. With this plan we will not be making a profit but we will be earning a contribution to our costs post-furlough which will enable us to achieve 4 key aims:-

Jobs:  We will be able to save the jobs of Nimax’s experienced, highly skilled and valued full time theatre staff teams as well as central management staff teams. We will also be hiring front of house and performance staff.  Total jobs 355 plus. In addition, a significant number of freelancers will benefit and freelance jobs will be created or reactivated: actors, musicians, creative teams, stage management, wardrobe plus affiliated sector businesses such as marketing, press and technical hire companies. Everyone in the theatre community is desperate to get back to work.  We would like to thank our fantastic staff team and all our freelancers who were working in Nimax Theatres when the theatres closed.  We would also like to thank the three theatre unions BECTU, Equity and the MU who are working collaboratively across our industry to help us reopen.

Assist the stimulation of London economy: Even at a reduced capacity, we will be attracting a significant number of customers into the West End stimulating the local economy in our area, particularly cafes, bars and restaurants.

Fulfilling audience demand:We will be helping to fulfil a pent up demand of audiences who wish to return to theatres as demonstrated by the latest SOLT UK Theatre audience survey  from Morris Hargreaves and McIntyre,  where 72% of audiences surveyed said they were looking forward to the thrill of seeing something live.  We can’t wait to welcome them to experience a fantastic night out.

Consumer confidence: We want to help build up consumer confidence with a return to central London and indoor entertainment spaces.  We are proud to display the new industry 'See it Safely' mark to show that our venues are compliant with the latest government guidelines.

Why can Nimax Theatres open when other theatres cannot? The economics of our business model: we are the smallest of the 4 large West End theatre owning companies. The smaller the theatre and the shows it presents, the lower the costs.  Hamilton, The Lion King, Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical Cinderella are very expensive to run (both show and theatre) on a weekly basis.  Conversely, costs for The Play That Goes Wrong in our smallest theatre, the 500 seat Duchess, are substantially lower.

What help does the theatre sector need from the government? For the theatre to survive, we need the following:

End of social distancing:to reopen as quickly and safely as possible without social distancing and at full capacity. As the larger shows take time to remount, we need a date as soon as possible.

Extension of the JRS and self-employed support schemes: for theatres, businesses and freelancers who cannot open with social distancing.

Insurance: a scheme on the same lines as that already agreed with cinema and TV sector.

Adam Kay to be the 1st show Nimax Theatres present, post Covid restrictions Adam Kay to be the 1st show Nimax Theatres present, post Covid restrictions

News story posted on 13-09-2020 12:00

Got Talent Stars LIVE - POSTPONED


Due to the rapid rise of Covid cases in Greater Manchester, the city council have refused to grant licences for public events, for the foreseeable future. This means events on that site can’t go ahead as planned.

Once the site management have a licence in place for other dates, we will reschedule. Please contact your point of sale for further info.

We are thrilled to bring 'GOT TALENT STARS LIVE' to Manchester this October - a collection of the biggest names from past & current series of much loved show, Britain's Got Talent.

Stars Lost Voice Guy, Ben Hart, Daliso Chaponda, Nabil Abdul Rashid and Steve Royle are back on stage in Manchester, for one night only; a celebration of the greatest show on TV. DriveInside host Manchester’s first family-friendly drive-in variety and comedy night, presented in-the-round and undercover in a giant tent theatre.

2020 Finalist Steve Royle

2020 Golden Buzzer act Nabil Abdul Rashid

2019 Finalist Ben Hart

2018 Winner Lost Voice Guy

2017 Golden Buzzer act Daliso Chaponda

When arriving on site at Medlock Street in Manchester City Centre, each car will be allocated its own marked area where you will be able to sit in your ‘bubble’ at a safe distance from the next group. LED screens hung over the stage will relay performances and a full PA rig will ensure you will see and hear all the action.

Staff will be circulating with soft and alcoholic drinks, but you are welcome to bring your own food and beverages. If you want to sit outside your vehicle, you are welcome to bring your own folding chairs, or there is a hire facility on site. Safety and hygiene will be paramount which includes regular cleaning of the onsite toilets and touch surfaces.

Suitable for all ages.

Tickets now available