8055 & The House

8055 & The House

53two, Manchester. 6 February 2019. Formed from a group of Royal Exchange Young Company alumni, Manchester-based Switch's aim is to "provide young artists with a platform to showcase their talents, working together to create exciting theatre". Currently resident at 53two, Switch's first full production is a double bill of new plays, both written by company [...]

Plant Fetish

Plant Fetish

HOME, Manchester. 26 January 2019. Ensconced upon a big red sofa, surrounded by a 'hareem' of houseplants, Chanje Kunda sips white wine and traces the rocky emotional path that led her to a very personal botanical epiphany. Efforts to channel the positive force of affirmations, yogis and good omens have failed to save Kunda from [...]

The Producers

The Producers

Royal Exchange, Manchester. 5 December 2018 & 3 January 2019. After the success of Sweeney Todd, Sweet Charity and Guys and Dolls it's no surprise to see the Royal Exchange programming in another crowd-pleasing musical as their Christmas and New Year show. Mel Brooks’ The Producers, however, might not seem the most obvious choice for [...]

Manchester Theatre 2019 – the increasing influence of young companies

Manchester Theatre 2019 – the increasing influence of young companies

When Leeds Playhouse announced the formation of its first young company in April last year it was a bit of a wake up call for me. The Playhouse were looking to support a group of young people to collaborate in "making and producing bold and socially resonant work", as well providing opportunities for them to [...]

Manchester Theatre – Best of 2018

Manchester Theatre – Best of 2018

This year I ended up seeing lots of great theatre in Manchester as well as in Leeds, Liverpool, London, Sheffield and, for the first time, Huddersfield. The following are my favourite Manchester shows of 2018. In compiling the list I've restricted my choices to productions that were either premiered in Greater Manchester or could only [...]

The Forest of Forgotten Discos!

The Forest of Forgotten Discos!

Hope Mill Theatre. Commissioned by Contact. 13 December 2018. When children head into the woods in traditional fairy stories and pantomimes they often find themselves lost in a dark and scary place. Contact's Christmas show is having none of that. We're led into the Forest of Forgotten Discos by friendly and sparkly 'virtual assistant' Alexa, [...]