Manchester Theatre Awards

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


Aoife Duffin in A Girl Is A Half-Formed Thing

Actress in a Visiting Production

The Irish have an hereditary gift of holding an audience spellbound. Aoife Duffin lived up to the promise at The Lowry as she took on the multi-roles of A Girl is a Half-formed Thing.

(Reporter: Diana Stenson)

Norah Lopez Holden in Ghosts


New talent, whether it be for performing, writing or in any other area, is the very lifeblood of a vital theatre scene.

(Reporter: Kevin Bourke)

Scout in To Kill A Mockingbird

Young Newcomers

When someone cautioned actors never to appear alongside children, or animals, they probably had in mind the likes of the youngsters who made such a big impression on the Manchester Theatre Awards panel in 2016.

(Reporter: David Upton)

Andrea Chénier


What makes an opera performance special is not just the spectacle of a lavish and imaginative staging (though it helps), but whether the whole show comes together to make something unforgettable.

(Reporter: Robert Beale)

Akram Khan's Giselle

The Robert Robson Award for Dance

Although a celebration of the best of theatre in Manchester, the shows we cover come from all parts of the globe and nowhere is this international flavour more distinct than in the nominees for dance.

(Reporter: Carmel Thomason)

Sweet Charity


The wonderful surprise about this year’s nominee list is its encapsulation of the excitement and innovation happening within this genre across all the city’s venues – both production and receiving houses. 

(Reporter: Carmel Thomason)

The Trial

Fringe production

In 2016 Fringe Theatre in the Manchester area was not restricted to conventional venues and took place in car parks, pubs, libraries and converted mills.

(Reporter: David Cunningham)

Joyce Branagh

Fringe performance

The actors nominated here showed the range of skill required in their art from solo shows to working within a large cast.

(Reporter: David Cunningham)

Studio Production

Katherine Soper’s Wish List was an evocative depiction of everyday sacrifice showing young lives that seemed to have reached a dead end before they had even begun.

(Reporter: David Cunningham)

Joseph Quinn in Wish List

Actor in a Studio Production

In Wish List Joseph Quinn’s anguished performance was detailed in its observation with meticulously reproduced tics and tapping.

(Reporter: David Cunningham)