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

Wartime thriller for city

A critically acclaimed new play, Lotty's War, a passionate wartime thriller, comes to the Opera House in Manchester next Thursday to Saturday

Crocodiles for Exchange

A dark new play Crocodiles by Lee Mattinson gets its world premiere at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre from next Wednesday to October 18

Bad Bard boy on tour

Award-winning theatre actor and director Wyllie Longmore will direct an adaptation of Shakespeare’s work by acclaimed playwright Conor McKee at several venues around the region from next week

Love & lust for Contact

As part of Black History Month Afrique Performs bring their modern play of love and lust Amsterdam to Manchester’s Contact Theatre next week

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

Open house at Exchange

Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre is to throw open its doors to the public at a free Open Day as part of the national Fun Palaces weekend on Sunday

Coming home to Rooster

The Lowry in October features Rambert’s Rock’n’Roll dance hit Rooster, returning after 13 years, and the RSC’s ribald Henry plays

15th Emergency for city

Word of Warning's Autumn/Winter Programme 2014 kicks off with its annual Emergency, a free micro-marathon of the bizarre, the beautiful and the bold

Story behind the story

Following outstanding responses to its London premiere at Arcola and a run at Glasgow’s Tron Theatre, Tamasha brings My Name is

Comedy trio in Ha Ha outing

Comedy queen Su Pollard and duo Cannon and Ball have teamed up to appear in Ha Ha Hood! And The Prince of Leaves

Riverdance flows back to Manchester

Riverdance returns to Manchester Opera House from October 7-12

'Small' size theatre festival

Theatre for small people and small family budgets is promised at Manchester venues with a Family Arts Festival in October

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

Second war drama for Octagon

Continuing their commemoration of the anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, the Octagon is providing a poignant home for Early One Morning, the true story of 26-year-old soldier James Smith from Bolton who, after three years of fighting in some of the war’s fiercest battles, finds himself on trial for his life

Winners wear the Dreamcoat

An all-star cast including Greater Manchester’s own West End star Danielle Hope – winner of the BBC’s Over the Rainbow TV show – will be appearing in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Palace Theatre in October

Sound of Silence for Oldham

Fifty years since the most successful folk/rock duo of all time recorded their first no1 hit single The Sound of Silence The Simon and Garfunkel Story comes to Oldham Coliseum on October 4

Iris premieres at 3MT, Manchester

Iris, a new northern drama ‘based on real events’ and about love, life, relationships and the local pub, premieres at Manchester’s Three Minute Theatre October 9-11

Three visitors for HOME

HOME, the organisation formed by the merger of Manchester’s Library Theatre Company and Cornerhouse, announces three visiting shows for autumn 2014

Sherlock pops up in new venue

The Flanagan Collective’s new interactive stage adaptation of Britain’s greatest detective – Sherlock Holmes will open Manchester’s newest theatre in the Great Northern Warehouse on Deansgate

Lowry plays the identity card

The Lowry Studio’s autumn/winter season features a programme of shows exploring national, cultural, LGBT and ethnic identity

Peake performance at Exchange

The casting of Maxine Peake alone was bound to attract audiences to the first play of Manchester Royal Exchange’s new season

Journey's End at Bolton Octagon

The Octagon Theatre in Bolton opens its new 2014–2015 Season with Journey’s End to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War

Porno Chic at King's Arms

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

Secret Theatre for the Exchange

Fresh from the Lyric Hammersmith and the Edinburgh Festival, Secret Theatre – which features four new plays from four of the UK’s most exciting playwrights – arrives at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre from October 21 to November 1

Jersey Boys tour launches in city

Another hit West End musical reaches the region next week when Jersey Boys comes to the Palace Theatre in Manchester for a month

Shakespeare's Deadly Sins on tour

To celebrate Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, Shakespeare’s Deadly Sins takes audiences on a journey through gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, pride, lust and envy when it tours the region in October

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

Hyde debut for touring production

Hyde Festival Theatre Company are bringing Rob Johnston’s specially commissioned First World War play, Bantams, to The Hyde Festival Theatre from Tuesday September 30 to October 4

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

Priscilla - Queen of the Panto

Priscilla Presley will be starring in this year’s family pantomime – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, at the Opera House in Manchsster


Latest reviews

Rambert in Rooster
Tristram Kenton/Rambert Poster for Helen
Photography by Suncana Dulic Carmen

Shay Rowan Scene from Contact Compacts #3
Beauty and the Beast: Elisha Willis
Birmingham Royal Ballet Argument among thieves: Jonny Dixon and Steven Arnold
Company Puttin' On The Ritz
Spirit Productions Lisa Dwan in Footfalls
Dawn Steele as Joan Smiley and Robert Dawes and Victor Smiley
Alistair Muir

Mixed bill

Mark Baldwin, Richard Alston, Merce Cunningham, Christopher Bruce
Rambert at The Lowry
(reviewer: Robert Beale)


Jonathan Young and Tamsin Shasha
Actors of Dionysus at The Lowry, Salford
(reviewer: David Cunningham)


Mid Wales Opera at Buxton Opera House
(reviewer: Philip Radcliffe)


William Shakespeare
Lass Productions at Gulliver's, Oldham Street, Manchester
(reviewer: Kevin Bourke)

Contact Compacts #3

Pull Your Finger Out Productions at The Contact Theatre, Manchester
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

Beauty and the Beast

David Bintley, Glenn Buhr
Birmingham Royal Ballet at The Lowry
(reviewer: Robert Beale)

Thick as Thieves

Mark Whiteley
Hard Graft Theatre Company at Pop-up theatre, Mumps, Oldham
(reviewer: Paul Genty)

Puttin' on the Ritz

Spirit Productions
Spirit Productions at Manchester Opera House
(reviewer: Robert Beale)

The Perfect Murder

Peter James
Joshua Andrews and Peter James at Buxton Opera House
(reviewer: Philip Radcliffe)

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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