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 [...]

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, [...]

The Maids

The Maids

HOME, Manchester. 21 November 2018. "If I were to put on a play with roles for women, I would insist that these roles were performed by men, and I would so inform the audience by means of a placard saying: THESE ARE NOT WOMEN THEY ARE MEN" Jean Genet's thoughts on casting men as a [...]

Death Of A Salesman

Death Of A Salesman

Royal Exchange, Manchester. 16 October 2018. A travelling salesman no longer fit to travel. A home filled with consumer goods that break down before they are even paid for. A once green and leafy neighbourhood concreted over and crammed with new apartment blocks. Willy Loman's world has become one of increasing disappointment and insecurity, yet [...]

Water Seeds Not Stones

Water Seeds Not Stones

Contact at STUN, Manchester. 20 October 2018. Amidst the hustle and bustle of Manchester's Market Street, the shoppers, newspaper-sellers, musicians and street preachers, are the mobile vendors. Every inch of their wheeled carts is covered with phone covers, toys, gadgets and balloons, and the bright multi-coloured nature of their goods makes them hard to miss. [...]