Follow Spot #1

Follow Spot #1

Manchester theatre tittle tattle... Gee, Officer Krupke, if you're thinking of waiting to read the reviews before buying a ticket for West Side Story at the Royal Exchange, you might want to prepare yourself for a bit of scramble to get tickets. A lot of performances are already completely sold out, and those that aren't [...]

SparkPlug

SparkPlug

HOME, Manchester. 14 February 2019. "I've got two dads. One's white. One's black". David Judge's new play unflinchingly explores identity, race and family through the lens of his own experiences, as a mixed-race child adopted by a white man. Performed as a monologue by Judge, the story is told from the perspective of Dave, a [...]

Forest

Forest

HOME, Manchester. 23 & 25 January 2019. The theatre seating is out-of-bounds. Heads of broccoli have been placed at intervals on the floor around the space. Their varying shades of green and yellow stand out within the black box surroundings. The audience gathers among the cruciferous forms. We are on our feet. In the centre [...]

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 [...]

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 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 [...]