Fellswoop Theatre have collaboration at their heart – working as a creative team consisting of a director, two performers and a musician – their main aspiration is to fully integrate the music with the drama so that it becomes a key character in the production. Ghost Opera is their latest show and part of the ‘Developed With The Lowry’ programme.
There is the eerie flickering of candlelight and the faint sound of Edwardian music hall as we walk into Manchester’s Royal Exchange Studio and take our seats. Barber Owain Sawyers (Gary Lagden) is tending to his client – he’s comfortable with using a cut-throat razor as he spruces up his latest victim customer and it soon becomes apparent that Sawyers doesn’t shy away from a spot of dentistry either…
I was thrilled to attend HOME in Manchester last night to watch the weird and wonderful production, GOLEM by theatre company 1927 Productions. Following rave reviews at the Young Vic and then the West End, I was eager to find out what the Northern audience would make of this unique piece of theatre which fuses animation, live performance, music and claymation.
Inspired by the Salem witch hunts of the seventeenth century, Arthur Miller’s The Crucible offered a commentary on McCarthyism and the House Un-American Activities Committee when it first premiered in 1953 on Broadway. Now, playing at Manchester’s Royal Exchange it is remarkable how much these themes still resonate loudly within our society today. Aside from modern-day witch hunts on social media for the latest shamed celebrity or the fear of terrorism and National Security, The Crucible also raises ideas surrounding the cuts to Legal Aid and those perceived as vulnerable, having to represent themselves in court.
Playing as part of the Roundabout Season at The Lowry, Colour The Clouds Theatre Company are back with their new production Maggie and the Song of The Sea. Recommended for those aged seven and over, Maggie and the Song of the Sea explores bereavement through the eyes of a child. Colour The Clouds Theatre have been able to develop this important and universal piece of theatre with the full support of Winston’s Wish, The Charity for Bereaved Children.
Manchester-based Monkeywood Theatre Company, recipients of The Stage Door Foundation Award and Associate Artists of The Lowry are back with their most ambitious and exciting production yet. Always showing a commitment to their Northern locality, By Far The Greatest Team is a new production about the football community in Manchester, the rivalry between Manchester United and Manchester City and a place where you are either born ‘a red’ or ‘a blue’.
Hal Cruttenden’s returns to The Lowry in Salford to perform a special one-off performance of one of his most successful routines to date – his “Tough Luvvie” show. Ahead of touring his new show entitled “Straight Otta Cruttenden”, he has chosen the Quays Theatre to record the official DVD of his “Tough Luvvie” tour. Playing to a full house in the Quays Theatre, he proves that he is a charming and energetic stand-up comedian with a wealth of material, intelligence and wit.
Hot Stuff premiered at the Oldham Coliseum back in November 1990 and was devised by Maggie Norris and the Coliseum’s artistic director of the time, Paul Kerryson. Following its debut, Hot Stuff played to packed audiences, received rave reviews and rocked the West End. Now, under Kevin Shaw’s direction, this cult classic returns to the Coliseum stage on its 25th anniversary in a bid to thrill, delight and rock the Oldham audience once more.
The Alphabet Girl is a one-woman show written by award winning Renny Krupinski and performed by Kaitlin Howard, a previous Manchester Theatre Awards Best Fringe Performance winner.
Health Under Fire is a fast-paced comedy. It could be described as Monty Python meets An Inspector Calls or somewhere in the realm of the Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker spoof comedy films of the 1980s; think Airplane and The Naked Gun and you’re almost there.
When you were young and somebody asked you what you wanted to be when you grew up, how did you answer? The Mercury Complex takes just that as a starting point – the basis of Lindsay Bennett’s one-woman show is that, when she was five years of age, she was so amazed by Queen’s performance at Live Aid on her 21” Hitachi television, she declared ‘When I grow up, I want to be Freddie Mercury’.
Toby and Jess are a successful young couple, deeply in love with each other and with the world at their feet, they appear to have everything. Well, almost everything. The couple really want to start a family of their own; however, early on in the play, it is established Toby is unable to father a child.
This best-selling children’s book Aliens Love Underpants, written by Claire Freedman and Ben Cort, is pretty much staple bedtime reading in our house. Now the hilarious family favourite, presented by Big Wooden Horse and Nick Brooke Limited, has been adapted for the stage by Adam Bampton-Smith. Apparently, aliens love underpants of every size, shape and colour, but they can’t get their extraterrestrial fingers on any underpants in space so they have to obtain them by other means…
4 x 4 Ephemeral Architectures invites two beautiful, but integrally different, art forms to share a stage for the first time. Directed by internationally renowned juggler Sean Gandini and with choreography by Royal Ballet dancer Ludovic Ondiviela, Gandini Juggling return to The Lowry to collaborate with classical ballet dancers.
Wonder.land is a brand new musical, directed by Rufus Norris, that is being performed as part of the Manchester International Festival. Taking its inspiration from Lewis Carroll’s classic novel Alice in Wonderland, the new musical tells the story of Aly, a young teen who battles with bullies at school and struggles to find happiness at home with her mother and baby brother ‘cabbage pants’ Charlie. Aly is unable to look to her father for support either, as although he loves her dearly, he is addicted to online gambling.
Although younger audiences are often the harshest critics, enjoyable and engaging children’s theatre does not need lavish sets, costumes or gimmicks. Flicker and the Flying Books, a new production presented by the Royal Exchange, with props made out of paper, had all of the young, curious theatre-goers joining in with the performers, following simple movements, laughing and clapping. All going to prove that interaction, music and familiarity are key when trying to put on a show for 3 – 8 year olds.