Productions and Projects
A selection of original projects and productions
Written by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm
This regional premiere launched Manchester’s Theatre Collective - a collaboration of theatre makers combining resources, networks and skills to produce top-quality independent production - supported by Arts Council England and Oldham Colliseum. Starting out at Oldham's Studio Takeover, the production had a sell-out run at Hope Mill Theatre, and will tour in Autumn 2021 depending on lockdown restrictions.
Director: Benedict Power
Producers: Hannah Ellis Ryan / Alastair Michael (Touring)
Designer: Natalie Johnson
Stage Manager: Osian Griffiths
Sound Designer: Dan Pyke
Heather: Charlie Young
Carla: Debbie Brannan
Heather and Carla haven’t seen each other since school. Their lives have taken two very different paths. Carla lives a hand-to-mouth existence, while Heather has a high-flying career, a husband, and a beautiful home. But Heather also has a problem, and presents Carla with a bag full of cash and an unexpected proposition…
Morgan Lloyd Malcolm’s electric thriller asks: how far beyond the playground we carry our childhood experiences, and what lengths we are willing to go to in coming to terms with them?
'An absolute tornado of twists and turns that have you gripped from start to finish.'
NORTH WEST END ★★★★
SAME SAME DIFFERENT
Written by Naomi Sumner Chan
A Slate commission by Eclipse Theatre in partnership with York Theatre Royal and Pilot Theatre. The play toured venues across the North of England during Spring 2019 supported by Arts Council England.
Producer: Benedict Power
Director: Alyx Tole
Dramaturg: Philip Osment
Designer: Irene Jade
Sound Designer: Dan Pyke
Stage Manager: Osian Griffiths
Naomi: Houmi Miura
Mother: Paula Henstock
Father: Duggal Ram
Son: Stefan Gumbs
Daughter: Kattreya Scheurer-Smith
A new verbatim play exploring adoption, identity and belonging; sharing stories gathered from adoptees around the world. Inspired by the writer's own experiences as a Trans-racial adoptee, adopted from Hong Kong into a White British family, the play reveals what it’s like to grow up in a family and community who don’t look like you.
The play asks: does nature or nurture most influence a person’s identity? What makes you, you?
Written by Rob Johnston
Originated, produced and directed by Benedict Power
A story from the Syrian conflict, made in association with Rethink Rebuild (Manchester's Syrian Community Organisation), with support from Imperial War Museum North. The production went on a successful National Tour during Spring 2017, supported by Arts Council England, to venues including The Lowry, Nottingham Playhouse, The Albany and Harrogate Theatre. This highly acclaimed original play is based on real-life accounts collected from Syrian refugees, aid workers, activists, journalists and photographers; featuring live performance, original music and frontline photography.
Syria has descended into chaos and Aleppo is besieged. Salah and Aisha have lost control of their lives and are plunging headlong into an uncertain future. The Syria they hoped to change is gone, in its place, violence and destruction - the arbitrary brutality of war. With the unexpected arrival of two Westerners, who have stayed too long in Syria and must now be given refuge, the fragile existence of the Syrian couple comes under even greater threat. How will they survive as they fall further away from hope, from what they know and from what they used to be?
'Most compelling – both as theatre and in its attempt to bear witness and give a voice to Syrian people.' The Guardian
This critically acclaimed one-man show was developed in association with The Royal Exchange Theatre, supported by Arts Council England and touring to Camden People's Theatre.
Real Life is one man's answer to everyone's problems.
Using all of the performance styles, Ben Kewin presents a series of staggeringly beautiful plays and readings that help the audience to understand the things that can sometimes be hard to understand unless you've seen a play about them.
Being big and strong and powerful and relaxed is easy, but what about the less important things... like understanding, caring and crying? The power of theatre enables us to explore these emotions together, so we don't have to talk about them in real life. Ben wants to make people cry. That's why his work is important.
'A masterful display of tight writing, performance and a great deal of lunacy.'
THE SKINNY ★★★★
'One of the most engrossing pieces of live comedy we’ve ever seen.'
A collaborative writing project, co-commissioned by 24:7 Theatre Festival, Manchester and You Are Here Festival, Canberra, Australia, to commemorate the centenary of the First World War. Co-written by Rob Johnston (UK) and Emma Gibson (Australia), the play was performed as part of the 24:7 Festival 2014 and selected for the Re:Play festival at HOME in 2015, supported by Arts Council England. Touring festivals in Summer 2016, it won nominations for 'Best Production' and 'Best Actor' at the Buxton Fringe Festival.
1916. Elsie’s search for answers has brought her from Australia to the other side of a world in chaos. Bernard’s answers are no further away than the hospital room he woke up in. For both, the search is almost over. They each have just one more story to tell.
‘Exceptional … As quietly moving as anything else I’ve seen on World War One.’
National Archives - ref.CAB21/2038
A unique collaboration between Manchester Museum, University of Manchester, Greater Manchester BAME Network, Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Race Relations Resource Centre and The Royal Exchange Theatre to mark the anniversary of Partition.
Performed on the main stage at The Royal Exchange Theatre, on-site at Manchester Museum, and in various community spaces in the North and South of Manchester.
Seven decades on, the memories of Partition are still strong. Hear the voices, stories and hidden histories of Manchester’s South Asian communities.
Inspired by material from the Memories of Partition oral history project at Manchester Museum, ten South Asian writers and spoken word artists were commissioned by The Royal Exchange to create new monologues which reveal the untold stories of Partition and the impact still felt today.
Nominated for Manchester Theatre's Best Fringe Production following performances at The Lowry's Re:Play festival. Award-winning Manchester writer, Cathy Crabb's, critically acclaimed new play sold out Manchester fringe venues and pubs throughout North of England, with support from Arts Council England.
Based on Satan's fall from grace in Paradise Lost, the play began life as part of Scroats From The Underground; a response to the vitriol aimed at young working-class men during the summer riots of 2011. In a world where art is seen as frivolous and greed is encouraged, happiness and unhappiness collide - and bar-staff bear the brunt.
The story is of embittered Cash Generator boss Peter, and his opinionated battle of wills with easy-going everyman bartender, Paul, fought out over the morals and motives of absent regular, Tony Rabonni - a kind and creative soul who, much to Peter's disgust, appears to be an all-round great guy.
'The most perfect depiction of a right wing tabloid reading, acrimonious pub bore... to be avoided at the bar at all costs. Between them, Crabb and Bell have created an absolutely watchable monster of a man.'
THE PUBLIC REVIEWS
Photo by Paul Irwin
Written by Steve Timms
Collaborating with writer Steve Timms, Temp/Casual began life at Manchester’s 24:7 Theatre Festival. After securing suport from Arts Council England, the play went on to a week of performances at Contact Theatre, as a further developed full-length play. A poetry competition ran in conjunction with the event, judged by award-winning Manchester poet, Adam O’Riordan.
Martin: Joel Parry
Susan: Kate Newton
Adam: Leon Jan
Stick: Karl Dobby/Curtis Cole
Amy: Isobel McArthur
Rebecca/ Vicky (‘Amber’)/ Scrote/ TV Reporter/ Comedy Club Host: Julie Chapman-Lavelle
Graham/ Dennis/ Comedy-Auditioner/ Drunk/ Heckler/ Pornographer: David Corden
Set in modern-day Manchester, the play examines the fragile dreams and faltering friendships of four young media graduates, hungry for fame and recognition. Not long after leaving university, their collective ambition begins to falter and the group, who were once good friends, find themselves adrift in a world of debt, drugs and dead-end employment. Even Martin, who believes he’s found the answer to his troubles after winning a prestigious poetry competition, soon discovers that success isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
‘Eloquent, moving and completely gripping.'
Manchester Evening News