The Stretch evolved from last year’s production of a JB Shorts play which was 15 minutes long and has been re-imagined to its current length of an hour. Arts Council England funding has allowed the piece to be developed by TV scriptwriter Joe Ainsworth alongside Director Simon Naylor (MAP – Manchester Actors Platform). The team have sought guidance from HMP Forest Bank whose input has given the play an air of realism as the content is based upon true experiences.
The spiritual home of PADOS (Prestwich Amateur Dramatic & Operatic Society), plays host to ghosts, ghouls and kooks of all types this week, with the arrival of the company's youth production of 'The Addams Family' musical. Derby Hall is a stunning Victorian venue, and as we enter the theatre, atmospheric lighting creates a mood of creepy expectation in the opening night audience.
This piece from late in Arthur Miller’s career isn’t one of his stone cold classics but even a rarely performed work like this is wiser and more humane than most playwrights can manage at their peak.
It is a measure of how far the reputation of Hope Mill Theatre in Ancoats has travelled, that musical theatre legend Stephen Schwartz (Wicked, Godspell, Pippin) was in the audience last night to witness the revival of 'Rags', his 1986 story of Jewish immigrants in New York City at the beginning of the 20th Century. Since its opening in 2015, Hope Mill, under the stewardship of William Whelton and Joseph Houston allied to the keen eye of producer Katy Lipson, has quickly garnered a reputation for producing innovative revivals of underappreciated musicals as well as commissioning an increasing body of new work.
Wise Children is a production based on the book of the same name by Angela Carter. Set at 49 Bard Road in Brixton, London it tells the story of two elderly twins (Nora and Dora Chance) from 'the wrong side of the tracks,' as they saucily tell us.
Press night at new arrival Motown the Musical in Manchester last night began with a red carpet of Corrie stars and camera flashes, which only added to the buzz of an evening dedicated to such a legacy of pop culture.
It’s one of the most monumental musicals of all time, Les Misérables is back touring the UK following its countless previous record breaking tours, sold out West End and Broadway runs and being watched by over 120 million people worldwide since it first previewed in 1985. This is a juggernaut, and everyone is after a ticket!
The naked truth of unemployment and the loss of hope it can bring is revealed in this brilliantly funny, laugh-a-minute show. Written by Simon Beaufoy and based on the 1997 film of the same name, the show is set in post-industrial late 1980’s Sheffield where six unemployed former steel workers struggling to make ends meet, form a Chippendale-style male striptease act with a difference, they will be going all the way – the full monty.
Alan Bennett: the self-deprecating Yorkshire playwright who’s actually written a lot more than I realised. His style is dark humour based very much in reality and with a very large portion of cynicism. The film of “Lady In The Van” brought him to a new audience, myself included.
SparkPlug follows the story of white Mancunian Dave who becomes the adoptive father and best friend of mixed-race child David. Inspired by his own father’s life, this new play by David Judge is a bitter-sweet portrayal of societal, familial and individual conflict and love.
Julie Hesmondhalgh returns to the Royal Exchange in the title role in Anna Jordan’s new adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s play of war, exploitation and despair. This new version departs radically from the original. Brecht’s play locates the action over twelve years of the seemingly endless Thirty Years’ War in the Germany and Poland of the seventeenth century.
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