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

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

Our Day Out in Oldham

Willy Russell’s tender-hearted comic tale about a group of awkward and disadvantaged kids on a school outing motors into Oldham Coliseum Theatre next Friday

Contact keeps it Compact

Contact Compacts brings more fringe to Manchester’s crowded theatre diary, showcasing six brand new short plays by some of the North West's finest playwrights and emerging local talent

Fun in store with Thick as Thieves

Thick As Thieves, a new play by Mark Whiteley, directed by David Crowley, opens at ReTale Oldham Mumps on September 23

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

Another shot of JB Shorts

After 11 sell-out seasons and 66 world premieres, Real Life Theatre Co

Waterside set to make a splash

This autumn Waterside Arts Centre in Sale, south of Manchester, will celebrate ten years with a special anniversary season

War Horse mural for the Lowry

Rae Smith, the Olivier award-winning designer of War Horse, unveiled a 25-metre-long art installation at The Lowry as part of a First World War Commemoration Event for families

Meera Syal joins the HOME team

Comedian, actress and writer Meera Syal MBE is another celebrity patron of HOME, the new centre for contemporary visual art, theatre and film which opens in Manchester next spring

Come on join the choir

Here’s the opportunity to join a global choir

End in sight for Octagon

The Octagon Theatre in Bolton will open its new 2014–2015 Season with Journey’s End by RC Sherriff, directed by David Thacker

Clonter Opera's 40th anniversary

After a successful and critically-acclaimed series of performances of Gounod's Faust in July to celebrate Clonter Farm Opera's 40th anniversary, the opera will be performed again at the Cheshire venue on 27 September before transferring to London for two more performances at the Royal College of Music

Exchange's Studio season

Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre has announced more details of its Autumn Winter 2014 /15 season including confirmation of shows in The Studio and special one-off events in The Theatre with organisations including Liberty, Manchester Camerata and Manchester Literature Festival

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

Baths night for Romeo & Juliet

The forthcoming promenade production of Romeo and Juliet by HOME and being staged in the city's Victoria Baths, will be sponsored by Manchester Airport, accompanied by a community engagement programme sponsored by World Duty Free Group

Contact's autumn season

Autumn at Contact in Manchester features major names, radical international work and a host of up and coming companies

You win some: you lose some

Following the funding announcements from Arts Council England, The Lowry in Salford receives not only continued support as one of ACE’s national portfolio organisations, but also a £3m capital grant and its largest ever private donation, enabling the organisation to achieve its £5m capital funding target

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

Eight at the Octagon

Seeming more than a little surprised that the time has passed – more quickly I suppose when you’re having fun, and considerable success – the Octagon’s artistic director David Thacker took the chair to talk about his sixth season in charge

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

Shrek for the city

Shrek the Musical will ‘take ogre’ Manchester’s Palace Theatre for a month-long Christmas run


Latest reviews

Poster for Angels and Fracture
Poster for Point of Departure
Three little maids in Opera della Luna's version of The Mikado
 Opera della Luna Poster for Snowangel
Fiona Jobb The Sorcerer
Upsy Daisy
Meet The Real Maggie Thatcher
Götterdämmerung - Mati Turi as Siegfried 
Clive Barda Faust at Clonter Opera
Danny Ryder as Toby, Eve Burley as Jess and Karl Greenwood as Xav 
Grant Archer, Act iii

Angels and Fracture

John Topliff and David Riley and Vicky Ellis
Pulse Mcr at Three Minute Theatre
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

Point of Departure

John Topliff
Pulse Mcr at Three Minute Theatre
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

The Mikado

Gilbert & Sullivan
Opera della Luna at Buxton Opera House
(reviewer: Philip Radcliffe)


Joe McKie
Freshloaf Productions at The Kings Arms
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

The Sorcerer

Gilbert & Sullivan
Oxbridge Opera Company at Buxton Opera House
(reviewer: Philip Radcliffe)

In the Night Garden Live

Andrew Davenport
Minor Entertainment under licence from DHX Media at Showdome, The Trafford Centre, Manchester
(reviewer: Carmel Thomason)

Meet The Real Maggie Thatcher

Mike Francis Carvalho
Gerundagula Productions/GM Fringe Festival at The Swan, The Square, Dobcross (and touring)
(reviewer: Kevin Bourke)


Clonter Opera at Clonter Opera Farm
(reviewer: Philip Radcliffe)


Mick Cooper
My Beating Heart at 24:7 at Elphick Stage, New Century house
(reviewer: Kevin Bourke)

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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With grateful thanks to

The Touch Event Management

Royal Exchange Theatre

Buxton Opera House

MCL Creatre

Baxter Storey

J W Lees

The Stage Door Foundation

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