Manchester Theatre Awards

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

Manchester Theatre Award winners

Winners of the 2013 Manchester Theatre Awards were presented with their trophies at a red carpet event at the city's Royal Exchange Theatre.

What's on

Fever nights for Manchester

A new production of iconic disco dance story Saturday Night Fever comes to Manchester Opera House next week

A new cut for Scissorhands

Edward Scissorhands, Matthew Bourne’s magical production of Tim Burton’s modern fairytale, returns to The Lowry in Salford next week for its first major revival

Dave's Blind date premieres

The Octagon in Bolton hosts a premiere production of Dave Simpson's Blind Date from next Thursday to Saturday

New Lowry trio in top roles

The Lowry in Salford has appointed three specialist programming associates to its artistic leadership team

Bolton announces next show

The Octagon Theatre in Bolton has already announced its festive production for the year 2015: The BFG, by Roald Dahl

Snow show back at the Lowry

Celebrating the 20th anniversary of its UK debut in 1994, multi-award winning spectacle Slava’s Snow Show returns to The Lowry to give Salford audiences a pre-Christmas treat

Scoundrels set for a return

Dirty Rotten Scoundrels is set to charm Opera House audiences all over again in 2015, following its pre-West End run in Manchester earlier this year

She Stoops heads North

Northern Broadsides are set to return to The Lowry with Oliver Goldsmith’s much loved 18th century comedy of manners She Stoops To Conquer from December 9-13

First festival events announced

Manchester International Festival has announced the first three shows for the 2015 Festival, the fifth edition of the world’s only biennial of new commissions and special events

Christmas Wonderland in Bolton

The Octagon Theatre in Bolton presents a brand new adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland as its Christmas show

Exciting theatre partnership in Bolton

The Octagon Theatre and the University of Bolton have forged a unique partnership development which will create a new degree programme, a new professorship and give students and theatre audiences a new experience

24:7 plans ahead for new format

Manchester’s 24:7 Theatre Festival is to undergo a new format of event that will run in alternate years with the Manchester International Festival and will start in July 2016

To film or not to film? No question!

Shooting has finished on a film version of Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre’s acclaimed Hamlet, with Maxine Peake in the title role

Peach of a Christmas production

From the people who brought us Charlie & Lola’s Extremely New Play, Watershed Productions are back at Sale’s Waterside Arts Centre this Christmas with the Polka Theatre production of James and the Giant Peach by Roald Dahl

Aladdin works his magic in Oldham

Aladdin (the popular Justine Bailey) returns to Oldham Coliseum this Christmas with his family, Wishee Washee (perennial Coliseum favourite, Richard J Fletcher) and washerwoman, Widow Twankey, played by doyenne of pantomime dames, Fine Time Fontayne, fresh from doing time as Peter Barlow’s cell mate in ITV’s Coronation Street

Jason booked for The Producers

Award winning comedian Jason Manford will star in a brand new UK Tour of The Producers

Coliseum spreads its wings

Audiences across Yorkshire will be able to see one of Oldham Coliseum’s productions when the world premiere of The Mist in the Mirror goes on tour in spring 2015 with investment from Arts Council England’s strategic touring funds

Monster hit heads for Palace

Shrek the Musical will be ‘taking ogre’ the Palace Theatre, Manchester this Christmas, as part of its first ever national tour

Chris scoops playwriting prize

Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre and the organisers of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting have announced Chris Urch as the winner of the inaugural Kenyon Institute Fellowship

Manchester pedigree for Curious Dog

Casting has been announced for the first UK tour of The National Theatre’s multi award-winning production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time which opens at The Lowry in Salford this Christmas

Hot ticket for Royal Exchange's Cat

A scorching new production of Tennessee Williams’ Pulitzer prize-winning classic Cat On A Hot Tin Roof arrives at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre from October 30 to November 29

Panto line-up finalised

First Family Entertainment and The Opera House, Manchester announce the full principal casting for this year’s family pantomime – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

Fringe double bill heads this way

Northern Outlet Theatre Company announce their forthcoming double-bill will tour fringe venues in Carlisle, Liverpool and Manchester this November

Jane Horrocks on stage

Ayub Khan Din’s critically-acclaimed play East is East, is to tour to the Opera House, Manchester, in January 2015 following its run in the West End

Oh yes, Lowry Khan!

A major visual arts exhibition at the Lowry in Salford this autumn is curated by renowned choreographer and dancer, Akram Khan

Lion King set to storm city again

Tickets for the Manchester return season of Disney’s award-winning production of The Lion King will already on sale for its five weeks at the Palace Theatre, Manchester from January 17 to February 22

Porno Chic at King's Arms

One of Manchester’s most successful fringe theatre companies have announced upcoming shows for the winter season

Spamalot rides again

Following Monty Python’s 10 night sell-out run at London’s O2 Arena, Monty Python’s Spamalot is back on tour with dates at the Opera House, Manchester in January 2015

Gary will have a Ball in Stockport

Gary Damer star of CBBC’s Hotel Trubble returns to The Plaza in Stockport from December 5 until January 4 in Cinderella


Latest reviews

Danny Bayne as Tony Manero 
Image from Edward Scissorhands
James Laing as Nerone and Sandra Piques Eddy as Poppea
Opera North Bryony Kimmings as Catherine Bennett
Mark Ebulue and Steven Miller  in Shakespeare's Othello
Frantic Assembly The cast of Alice in Wonderland. (L-R) Jack Quarton as March Hare, Alex Sawyer as Gryphon, Emily Butterfield as Red Queen, Sarah Vezmar as Alice, Offue Okegbe as Mad Hatter, Russell Morton as Caterpillar and Barbara Hockaday as Dormouse
Ian Tilton Laura Danielle Sharp as Mata Hari
Rachel Fernandez-Arias 
Kerry Frampton and Scott Smith in Woyzeck
Hye-Yoon Lee and Ji-Min Park in  La Traviata
Opera North

Saturday Night Fever

Robert Stigwood and Bill Oakes
Robert Stigwood at The Opera House, Manchester
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

Edward Scissorhands

Matthew Bourne and Caroline Thompson after Tim Burton
New Adventures, Matthew McCallum and Marc Platt at The Lowry, Salford
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

Shakespeare's Othello

Shakespeare adapted Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett
Frantic Assembly at The Lowry
(reviewer: Robert Beale)

Alice in Wonderland

Adaptation by Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, based on Lewis Carroll novel
Bolton Octagon
(reviewer: David Upton)


Ben Hales and Kerry Frampton
Splendid Productions at The Lowry, Salford
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

La Traviata

Verdi & Piave
Opera North at The Lowry
(reviewer: Robert Beale)

Youth panel reviews

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

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

HOMEward bound

Theatre Director Walter Meirjohann reveals some of his exciting and ambitious plans for HOME.

Kevin Bourke

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