Manchester Theatre Awards

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

Youth Panel Review: The Factory

The Royal Exchange Theatre Young Company
Swan Street Studio
24 August 2016 to 27 August 2016

The Royal Exchange Theatre Young Company is quickly building on the successes of recent productions Brink and Nothing and this August they devised their most ambitious production yet.

The Factory took over the Swan Street Studio, located right in the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter. Audience members were welcomed slickly by the ‘security guard’ who checked a few details and asked if we were excited about starting our new job at Chrysalis.

The performance consisted of an induction tour of the Chrysalis factory, the audience were greeted by an array of sycophants who praised and parroted the company policy without actually divulging any information. We visited different departments, The Boardroom, Sales and Marketing and Motivation, each as smiling and positive as the last but without really sharing any trade secrets just yet. Throughout the tour you began to catch glimpses of workplace politics as the audience is drip fed information until the horrifying penny finally drops.

Based loosely on the satirical essay A Modest Proposal by Jonathan Swift, The Factory created a horrifying world where uncertainty and secrets ruled supreme. The use of the building was fantastic in this immersive piece and each scene was presented with clarity and purpose, the young actors involved instantly grasped the varying roles and the ethos of a huge corporation and the audience were quickly lost in the welcome tour. An impressive piece and incredibly daring production.

Reviewer: Harriet Mallion