The desperation of the characters is palpable largely to a perfect set designed by Jan Versweyweld; a blank cold white box with the characters observed like rats trapped in a box.
Taha follows the inspiring story of Palestinian poet Taha Muhammed Ali (Amer Hlehel) – a story of humanity and hardship, hope and devastation, opportunity and misfortune, discovery and challenge, achievement and survival.
Stu (Scott Hunter) is a 19-year-old who is drafted into the army and immediately becomes the outsider. Stu is soon whisked away from the front line when he has a chance encounter with a photographer from Yank, the forces’ weekly magazine, a gay man’s haven and the production’s namesake.
With Christmas in full swing, it feels like a good time to look back at the highlights of a busy year for theatre in Manchester. Here are Upstaged Manchester’s theatrical highlights of 2016. Which shows would make your list?
A curtain featuring pretty painted seaside picture lifts slowly to reveal Tom Piper’s suitably grimy set – rusty, damp and closed off from the world. There are two small windows offering a peek outside, but you’ll need a ladder to reach them and a cloth to clean them. Samuel Beckett’s Endgame is an extraordinary piece of writing, a classic of modern theatre and this collaboration between the Citizens Theatre and HOME is as vital and as macabre as it should be.
Directed by Carrie Cracknell and Lucy Guerin, this production – starring John Heffernan and Anna Maxwell Martin – is startlingly different to any other versions of Macbeth I have seen before. It’s a highly visual production which explores main themes of Macbeth’s breakdown and the supernatural through a fusion of Shakespeare’s original words and stunning choreography.
Manchester’s newest arts centre HOME thrust open its doors for its official HOMEwarming celebration last week. Following the merger between the Manchester’s Cornerhouse and Library Theatre Company, the first theatre production at the new venue is perhaps a fitting fusion of old and new.
Adapting Harper Lee’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel, To Kill a Mockingbird, for the stage is a brave decision to make. The novel has recently celebrated its 50th anniversary, and besides being a staple on the GCSE curriculum, it has been translated into 40 languages and sold over 30 million copies worldwide. This humble, poignant and charming stage adaptation by Christopher Sergel pays homage to the legacy of the novel and everyone who has read it.
Kristy Stott, for Upstaged Manchester, rounds up the many Manchester theatrical highlights in May: from The Lowry, the Royal Exchange, the Contact, the new HOME, the Kings Arms and many other great venues.