Manchester Theatre Awards

> Independent informed reviews by the region’s most experienced critics

What's on

Coppelia with an added extra

Birmingham Royal Ballet return to The Lowry, in their 25th anniversary year, with Coppélia from next Wednesday to Saturday

Perfect thriller for city

Following the success of the stage adaptation of Peter James’ The Perfect Murder, an all star cast will bring the claustrophobically-thrilling Detective Roy Grace story Dead Simple to Manchester Opera House next week

Wilde nights for Lip Service

Manchester-based literary lunatics, the award-winning Lip Service, return to The Lowry in their 30th anniversary year with The Picture of Doreen Gray next week

Two dates for Secret Diaries

Art with Heart presents Secret Diaries at the Lowry in Salford as well as the Met in Bury

Opera North's mixed bill

Opera North return to the Lowry in Salford in the middle of March with a new production of Mozart’s comedy The Marriage of Figaro, an exciting double-bill including a new Gianni Schicchi and the return of the highly-successful La traviata

Double helping at Opera House

Manchester Opera House will live up to its name when iconic operas Rigoletto and Madama Butterfly return as part of a national 2015 Spring tour of Britain and Ireland

15 years on the Barricade

Beyond the Barricade celebrates 15 successful years touring when it comes to the Opera House, Manchester on March 20 and features a cast of past principal performers from Les Miserables, recreating original West End/Broadway musical hit songs with authenticity

Obvious Choice for Octagon

After last year’s Hobson’s Choice, the Octagon in Bolton next week presents another famous, great Northern play: Hindle Wakes, written by Manchester School of playwrights’ Stanley Houghton and first performed in 1912

Hyde and seeking new work

The 24 Hour Plays at Hyde Festival Theatre in September is a one-day event that brings together 24 actors from both amateur and professional theatre

Team right at HOME for debut

The creative team behind the critically-acclaimed Romeo & Juliet reunites for HOME’s debut production in its new £25m city centre venue in Manchester

Double Olivier award-winner Simon Stephens relocates The Funfair from the 1929 Oktoberfest to North West England and draws parallels with the political tensions and social uncertainties of early 21st century Britain

Panto date for Ted Robbins

Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs comes to Stockport Plaza from December 4 to January 10

A date with Mata Hari

Faro Productions’ one-woman show, 7 Veils: An Evening with Mata Hari is at Oldham Coliseum's First Break Festival at the Swann Inn, Dobcross on March 10 and after that at the Dukeboy Theatre, Brighton, as part of Brighton Fringe Festival

Theatre company's city debut

Polly & Gordon (Beautiful Desolation) at Kings Arms Salford from March 9-11 will be JustTalk's Manchester debut

March date for Oklahoma!

Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Pulitzer prize-winning musical Oklahoma! comes to Salford in March with Gary Wilmot as Ali Hakim, Belinda Lang as Aunt Eller and Macclesfield-born star Charlotte Wakefield as Laurey

Yen for a prize-winning play

Anna Jordan’s Bruntwood Prize winning play Yen is to receive its world premiere at The Studio at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre this week

Mack, Mabel and Michael Ball

Direct from its premiere at Chichester Festival Theatre, a major new production of classic Broadway musical Mack & Mabel will embark on a UK & Ireland Tour in Autumn 2015, starring double Oliver award-winning Michael Ball as Mack Sennett and will be at Manchester Opera House, October 12-24

Coliseum's crowded schedule

Following three sell-out runs at Nottingham Playhouse Forever Young, a heart-warming musical comedy is embarking on its first ever UK Tour

Towers of Babel speaks up for tolerance

Creative writing graduate Nick Yardley is hoping his award-winning play Towers of Babel will encourage tolerance during its March run in Manchester through its debates on cultural and religious identity

Ganging up in Manchester

The Royal Exchange in Manchester is staging award-winning playwright Rona Munro’s new play Scuttlers - about Manchester’s original gangs – through to March 7

Ring Cycle for Lowry next year

Opera North’s highly-anticipated full performances of The Ring Cycle: Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen will come to Salford’s Lowry arts centre from June 13-18 next year

A created for MIF

Commissioned by Manchester International Festival, National Theatre and the Théâtre du Châtelet wonder

Christmas musical for Manchester

Alexandra Burke will reprise her West End starring role when the hit musical The Bodyguard comes to the Palace Theatre Manchester next December


Latest reviews

Coppelia pas de deux
Birmingham Royal Ballet Leela Bunce in Waiting for Stanley
Hannes Langolf
Laurent Philippe Table Manners
Image from Inked
Andrew Doyle, Andrew Hayden-Smith, Julie Hesmondhalgh and Camille Ucan
Mark Prendergast, Ian Reddington, Wendi Peters and Marcus Ellard
Helen Maybanks Robert Gwilym (rear) and Paul Opacic
Company The cast of Hindle Wakes
Ian Tilton Yen


Birmingham Royal Ballet at The Lowry
(reviewer: Robert Beale)

Waiting for Stanley

Leela Bunce and Alexander Parsonage
Finger in the Pie Theatre at The Lowry, Salford
(reviewer: David Cunningham)


Conceived and directed by Lloyd Newson
DV8 Physical Theatre at The Lowry
(reviewer: David Chadderton)

Table Manners

Alan Ayckbourn
Talking Scarlet at Buxton Opera House
(reviewer: Philip Radcliffe)

Murmur and Inked

Aakash Odedra , Lewis Major and Damien Jalet.
Anand Bhatt and the Aakash Odedra Company at The Contact Theatre, Manchester
(reviewer: David Cunningham)


Matthew Baldwin and Thomas Hescott
Seabright Productions at The Lowry, Salford
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

Oh What A Lovely War

Theatre Workshop, Charles Chilton, Gerry Raffles and Members of the Original Cast
Theatre Royal Stratford East at Opera House
(reviewer: David Chadderton)

The Business of Murder

Richard Harris
Middle Ground Theatre Company at Oldham Coliseum
(reviewer: Paul Genty)

Hindle Wakes

Stanley Houghton
Octagon Theatre Bolton & Coliseum Theatre Oldham at Octagon Theatre Bolton
(reviewer: Diana Stenson)


Anna Jordan
Royal Exchange Theatre at Royal Exchange Theatre
(reviewer: David Chadderton)

Youth panel reviews


Devised by Contact Young Actors Company and Aqueous Humour
Contact Young Actors Company at Contact Theatre
(reviewer: Lizz Clark)

The Last Word

Christina Maiden
Oldham Coliseum Theatre Learning and Engagement at Oldham Coliseum
(reviewer: Lizz Clark)


Francesca Waite
The Lowry Young Actors Company at The Lowry
(reviewer: Georgina Wells)

The Wardrobe

Sam Holcroft
Lowry Young Actors Company at The Lowry
(reviewer: Evie Tucker)

A Letter to Lacey

Catherine Johnson
Lowry Young Actors Company at The Lowry
(reviewer: Evie Tucker)

Latest articles

John, I'm not only dancing

"I have probably a fatal attraction towards trying to talk about the things other people don’t want to speak about," says DV8"s artistic director Lloyd Newson about his company's new show John, opening at The Lowry. 

Kevin Bourke

YEN for adventure

There’s surely little doubt that the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting has changed - and very much for the better - the world of new writing for the theatre. Anna Jordan, who won the Bruntwood Prize in 2013 and whose winning play YEN currently has its World Premiere at the Royal Exchange’s Studio, says it has changed her whole world.

Kevin Bourke

Fringe On Film

Some of the best of this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe is coming to a cinema near you.

Kevin Bourke

Whispers Of War

Manchester independent theatre icons Feelgood Theatre Company and 24:7 Festival join forces

Kevin Bourke


Clonter Farm, deep in the heart of the Cheshire countryside, is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a special production of Gounod's Faust. Following a successful run in July, there will be one more performance at Clonter on 27 September before it transfers to London.

Philip Radcliffe

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