Manchester Theatre Awards

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

Sir Antony Sher with his MTA trophy, Credit:

Oh what a knight for Manchester Theatre Awards

  • Sir Antony Sher receives trophy
  • 3 awards for venue - before it opens
  • 2 big winning shows set to return
  • Stars turn out for annual ceremony

Best Actor

So, five of them, and, to be frank, any one could have received the final accolade, so closely did they run against each other in the panel’s discussions.

Best Actress

One of the year’s most memorable achievements was the Octagon’s two-hander double of Duet For One and Separation, with Clare Foster outstanding as both the cellist with multiple sclerosis (based by writer Tom Kempinski on the real life story of Jacqueline Du Pre) and a crippled actress.

What's on

Women on top for Fringe

Greater Manchester Fringe is back throughout July at 25 venues in Manchester, Salford, and around both cities – with women topping the bill

Ice duo skate into panto

Manchester Opera House has announced this year’s family pantomime Cinderella will star ices skating icons Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean in their panto debut as the Fairy Godparents

Moore the merrier in Manchester

Legendary film actor Sir Roger Moore is to play a series of exclusive dates one of them coming to Manchester Opera House November 9

Real Life for Royal Exchange

Following last year’s successful performances at Gorilla in Manchester Ben Kewin and Benedict Power bring Real Life, their acclaimed play to Manchester Royal Exchange Theatre on July 24

Brian's Barnum for Lowry

Brian Conley is to be PT Barnum, in hit musical Barnum at The Lowry in Salford from August 4-8

Festival pair of plays

Back Seat Betty at Joshua Brooks, Manchester, July 1-3 is part of the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival

Smiths influence new play

Award winning writer and director Colin Connor is back at this year’s Greater Manchester Fringe with a new play about the influence of The Smiths on one man’s life

Soccer premiere for Lowry

Manchester’s Monkeywood Theatre, in association with The Lowry, will be staging the world premiere of By Far The Greatest Team, four new stories by four Manchester writers (two United and two City fans) which will explore and celebrate what it means to be a football fan in the city

Pixie's Tiffany date at Lowry

Pop star Pixie Lott will star as Holly Golightly, in her theatre acting debut, in Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s at The Lowry in Salford next year

Paddy peaks in Albert Square

Actor Paddy Considine will be headlining Tim Burgess's Tim Peaks Diner at Albert Square Chop House, as part of Greater Manchester Fringe on July 11 and 12, from noon-1am

Jakubiak for Fringe Festival

Manchester’s 1121 Collective stage Jakubiak at The Kings Arms Vaults from July 27-31 as part of The Greater Manchester Fringe festival

Jewish comedy's double booking

Hit Jewish comedy Mancunian Rhapsody, inspired by TV documentary Strictly Kosher, plays Manchester’s 3MT venue July 1-2 and Whitefield Garrick, Bank Street, Whitefield July 29-30

Wicked returns to region

Musical theatre’s record-breaking show Wicked flies into Salford for four weeks from Wednesday, its final dates of the current UK and Ireland tour

Healthy comedy for Joshua Brooks

Death By Pie presents Health Under Fire by Nathan Smith as part of Greater Manchester Fringe at Joshua Brooks in the city from July 23-25

Four chosen for 24:7 weekend

After submissions, adjudications, mentoring sessions and re-drafts, Manchester’s 24:7 Big Festival Weekend have announced the four plays chosen for this year's event:

Gary – A Love Story by James Harker; Madness Sweet Madness by Georgina Tremayne; The Plant by James Kerr; and We Are The Multitude by Laura Harper

Buxton Festival 2015

Watch out for women in politics! That is the key to the 2015 Buxton Festival, according to Artistic Director Stephen Barlow

Curious set for Salford return

The National Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will return to The Lowry in November

Mamma's happy returns

Mamma Mia! returns to the Palace Theatre, Manchester in 2016

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

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

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

Maxine Peake as The Skriker
Jonty Wilde 
Rick Guest 
Brinkhoff Moegenburg Crest for Not Part of Festival   
Poster for Accident of Birth
Crest for Not Part of Festival
Poster for Summer Dreaming 1973
Poster for East of Heysham
Jonny Collis as Flynn
Sally Carman, Justine Elizabeth Bailey, Gemma Wardle and Rachel Leskovac
Joel C Fildes

The Skriker

Cary Churchill
MIF and Royal Exchange at Royal Exchange, Manchester
(reviewer: Carmel Thomason)

Tree Of Codes

Wayne McGregor, director and choreographer
Manchester International Festival at Opera House
(reviewer: Alan Hulme)

Damon Albarn, Moira Buffini
Manchester International Festival at Palace Theatre
(reviewer: Kevin Bourke)

Counting Sheep

Brian Marchbank
Poppabear at Nowt – Not Part of Festival at The Eagle Inn, Salford
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

Accident of Birth

Trevor Suthers
Real Life Theatre Company at Nowt – Not Part of Festival at The Eagle Inn, Salford
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

Pieces of Light

Amie George
Broken Tongue at Nowt – Not Part of Festival at The Eagle Inn, Salford
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

Summer Dreaming 1973

John Topliff and Gina Front adapting ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ by William Shakespeare
The Manchester Shakespeare Company at The Three-Minute Theatre, Manchester
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

East of Heysham

Philip Martin
Lass Productions at The Salford Arts Theatre, Salford
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

Shadow Boxing

James Gaddas
Crosscut Theatre at The Lowry, Salford
(reviewer: David Cunningham)


Cathy Crabb and Lindsay Williams
Oldham Coliseum at Oldham Coliseum
(reviewer: Kevin Bourke)

Youth panel reviews

The Wardrobe

Sam Holcroft
Octagon Youth Theatre at The Octagon Studio
(reviewer: Harriet Mallion)

The Accordion Shop

Cush Jumbo
Buxton Opera House Young Company at The Lowry Studio
(reviewer: Harriet Mallion)

The Accordion Shop

Cush Jumbo
InterACT Youth Theatre at The Lowry Studio
(reviewer: Lizz Clark)

On the Town

Music by Leonard Bernstein, book & lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
RNCM Youth Perform at Royal Northern College of Music
(reviewer: Elizabeth Allen)


Jackie Kay and Royal Exchange Theatre Young Company
Royal Exchange Theatre Young Company at Royal Exchange Studio
(reviewer: Lizz Clark)


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)

Latest articles

Wild In The Country Park

This weekend finds something strange and wonderful happening in Bury as The Lost Carnival mysteriously reappears...

We investigate an exciting new future direction for immersive theatre and open-air arts.

Kevin Bourke

Forthcoming Attractions: The Lowry Showcase

Not content with attracting productions to its theatres The Lowry is also playing an active role in their development. A recent Showcase gave companies the chance to pitch their proposals to potential patrons.

David Cunningham

The Film’s The Thing: Hamlet on Film

The film of the Royal Exchange’s recent sell-out run of ‘Hamlet’ is something different. A stage to screen version of a classic that is not content to simply reproduce the stage version but aspires to be a film in its own right

David Cunningham

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

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