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

Youngsters join ballet cast

BalletLorent’s fairytale production of Snow White, at The Lowry in Salford, includes a young cast of children from Greater Manchester

Giving kids a theatre ticket

A specialist venue for family engagement in the arts has called on the public to donate £6 and give a Looked After Child the experience of theatre this Christmas

Poet Louise Wallwein: “When we went to the theatre we were just a gang of children, but once the lights went down we were taken to another world

Big Friendly show for Bolton

The Octagon in Bolton welcomes Roald Dahl’s The BFG to its stage through to January 9

Coming up at Royal Exchange

With Into The Woods about to open at Manchester Royal Exchange and Julie Hesmondhalgh in rehearsal for the Pulitzer Prize winning Wit, the venue has also revealed its 2016 Spring/Summer season

A Snow Queen for games age

Snow Queen by Philip Osment, at Z-arts, Manchester from December 3-13 (then touring) is described as a version for the X-Box generation

Moomins move into Sale

The Moomins come to life on stage at Waterside Arts Centre this Christmas, from December 8 to January 2

Coming up at Bolton Octagon

Bolton Octagon have announced details of next year’s season

Revealing their secrets

Two women abused decades earlier reveal how it changed their lives and why they chose to keep what happened to them a secret for so long in Write Yourself Free a new play performed by Dolls House and showing in Manchester

Corrie star joins Sound of Music

Marking his musical theatre debut, award-winning Scottish actor Gray O’Brien joins Bill Kenwright’s production of The Sound of Music at the Lowry in Salford, as Captain von Trapp

Dance, drama and circus in Salford

The Lowry's November programme in Salford brings dance, drama and circus

Coliseum's panto choice

Oldham Coliseum’s award-winning annual family pantomime returns with Mother Goose “for children and grown-ups who’ve never quite grown up”

Lucy adds her voice to Sound of Music

Fresh from her success on BBC’s The Voice, Lucy O'Byrne joins the Sound of Music at The Lowry in Salford

Footloose at Palace in 2016

Footloose: The Musical is back on stage in at Manchester Palace Theatre Mar 14 – 19, 2016, as part of a major new UK tour

Billy finally bound for city

Not soon enough for many people – and still more than a year away - Billy Elliot the Musical will come to Manchester Palace Theatre from November 2016 to January 2017

Inkheart for the family at HOME

HOME presents its first-ever Christmas production for all the family; an adaptation of Cornelia Funke’s worldwide best-selling novel Inkheart, from December 4 to January 9

Added extras for The Girls

The full cast, and five extra performances, have been announced for Gary Barlow and Tim Firth’s new musical, The Girls, based on the true story, film and award-winning play by Tim Firth, Calendar Girls, premiering at The Lowry

Endgame co-production for HOME

Dominic Hill is to direct Beckett’s iconic play Endgame in a new co-production with Manchester’s HOME as part of the Spring 2016 Season

The Citizens Theatre’s new co-production featuring David Neilson and Chris Gascoyne in the roles of Hamm and Clov runs from February 4-20

Dance fest for Salford


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

Mamma's happy returns

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

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

Ellen Kent Justine Elizabeth Bailey and Andonis Anthony
Romeo and Juliet
Patrick Baldwick/English National Ballet Second Breath (Junor Souza and Alina Cojocaru)
ASH Image from Sleeping Beauty
The Lowry A previous cast of Miracle on 34th Street. 
Darren Bell Macy Nyman as Sophie and John Seaward as The BFG
Ian Tilton Image from The Revenger’s Tragedy
The Lowry The cast in action
The Lowry Poster for The Odyssey


Bizet, Meilhac & Halevy
Opera and Ballet International (Ellen Kent) at Opera House
(reviewer: Robert Beale)

Mother Goose

Fine Time Fontayne and Kevin Shaw
Oldham Coliseum Theatre Company at Oldham Coliseum
(reviewer: Carmel Thomason)

Romeo and Juliet

Nureyev, Prokoviev
English National Ballet at Palace Theatre Manchester
(reviewer: Robert Beale)

Lest We Forget

Liam Scarlett, Russell Maliphant and Akram Khan.
English National Ballet at Palace Theatre Manchester
(reviewer: Carmel Thomason)

Miracle on 34th Street

Meredith Willson
Josef Weinberger Limited on behalf of Music Theatre International of New York at Opera House, Manchester
(reviewer: Carmel Thomason)


Roald Dahl, adapted by David Wood
Octagon Theatre Bolton at Octagon Theatre Bolton
(reviewer: David Chadderton)

The Revenger’s Tragedy

Fastasbl from the play by Thomas Middleton with new material by Caroline Lamarche
Fastasbl and L’Ancre at The Lowry, Salford
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

The Odyssey

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

Youth panel reviews

TaY Talks

Truth about Youth
Kate Reynolds at Royal Exchange Theatre
(reviewer: Lizz Clark)


Philip Ridley
Oldham Coliseum Young Rep at Oldham Coliseum
(reviewer: Georgina Wells)

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)

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The Other Half - A Picture from Life's Other Side

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