“The Community Centre” is a gentle comedy full of colourful characters. It is set – obviously – in a community centre in a rough area, the centre of the community, the heart in a heartless place, where a group of regulars gather to spend their days socialising and saving money on their fuel bills.
Great pressure is put on the younger generation in modern society; everything from examination results to the perfect body shape are scrutinised and criticised by peers and the wider world, all magnified by a pervasive social media. The negative influence of this phenomenon has yet to be fully realised, but statistics show that suicide is the leading cause of death of those under 30 in the UK, a correlation that is difficult to ignore.
When writers Craig Cash and Phil Mealey originally announced the decision to turn their 2004 sitcom 'Early Doors' into a stage production, there was a good deal of head scratching within theatrical circles. Although the show was critically lauded at the time, it only ever attracted a small (but vociferously loyal) fan base, and expectations for audience numbers were low.
Vulvarine A New Musical was brought the Lowry Theatre by the incredibly talented Fat Rascal Theatre company. Fat Rascal Theatre was set up in 2016 by a group of East 15 graduates. Since then they have quickly established themselves as champions of new musical theatre, having produced 6 brand-new musicals in the space of two years.
In live entertainment; you often hear the phrase; ‘the hardest working men in show business’ acclaimed in reviews for different productions here and there. That statement has never been more accurate than it is for the latest La Navet Bete production; The Three Musketeers which is currently at the Lowry Theatre in Salford Quays as part of its UK Tour.
The Pendleton School of Theatre has an outstanding reputation in the Manchester area, and is responsible for progressing many students to the best drama and dance schools in the country. The 'Class of 2019' is outstandingly auspicious in this regard, so the opportunity to see them perform 'Into the Woods' as a conclusion to their Season of Shows, was a chance not to be missed.
The Hope Theatre Company who specialize in verbatim theatre and working with emerging LGBT+ artists; began their journey with this play following the death of Martyn Hett at Manchester Arena Bombing in 2017. Not long after his death a re-tweeted message became a slogan #bemoremartyn on twitter and being a Manchester based theatre company, Hope Street Theatre Company wanted to ask; what does that mean?
How much do you really believe in Equality and Diversity? Sherri Rosen- Mason (Alex Kingston) and her husband Bill (Andrew Woodall) are fully committed to the cause. As head of Admissions at a predominantly white school in New Hampshire, Sherri works tirelessly to boost the population of 'students of colour'. She is unwavering in her commitment to affirmative action and her world view is firmly entrenched within a liberal leftist standpoint.
Crowded Room have produced a piece of Theatre which is part play, part documentary. A true story about five people whose lives are turned upside down by crime. Three victims and two perpetrators told their true stories to Harriet Madeley during interviews. The crimes were all serious including murder, manslaughter and violent assault.
Ockham's Razor are a theatre company who combine aerial work, circus and visual theatre. This Time is their new tour which takes an autobiographical look at how different generations interact and react. Here co-founders Alex Harvey and Charlotte Mooney work with the both the juvenile (Faith Fahy) and mature (Lee Carter) to create an evocative and emotional performance.
In the 400 years since its first performance, Shakespeare's tragedy has been produced in an enormous variety of ways and used as source material for opera, musical theatre and even an animation (who can forget Gnomeo & Juliet?). So, when Matthew Bourne and his New Adventures Company set their sights on presenting Prokofiev's 1940 ballet based on the piece, expectations were sky high. This radical reinterpretation delivers an accessible, stylistic and visually stunning take on the story of the star crossed lovers.
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