Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs) at HOME, preview: Satire for our times

Polly Checkland Harding

Chaotic, critically-acclaimed, and with a stunning, cross-genre sound track, Dead Dog in a Suitcase at HOME isn’t to be missed.

A returning production may not have the frisson of risk associated with new shows – but at least you know it’ll be good. Musical satire Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs), coming to HOME this September, is not only presented by an award-winning company, it’s also critically acclaimed, receiving four stars from both The Guardian and The Times. Kneehigh, the Cornwall-based international touring company behind it, have hit a high note with this production; no small achievement when the musical Dead Dog is based on was written in 1728.

“A festering muck-heap of scabrous little ditties”

Helpfully, the themes of the original text are still grimly relevant today; John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera, on which Dead Dog is based, was a blistering look at social corruption and injustice, “an ‘opera’ about the essential injustice of the world, where rich and poor are corrupt alike, yet the poor go down for it and the rich do not,” explains Music Director of the adapted Dead Dog, Charles Hazlewood. “An opera where arias – instead of being art-house confections – were a festering muck-heap of scabrous little ditties,” he adds, colourfully. Appropriately, the music Hazlewood has created for this complete reworking isn’t in the least bit precious, either.

Performed by the 12-strong company of Kneehigh actor-musicians, Hazlewood’s live score combines wide-ranging genres – from folk to trip-hop, psychedelia to ska, with a bit of dubstep thrown in for good measure. It echoes the chaos and energy behind the production – one that, according to Artistic Director of Theatre at HOME, Walter Meierjohann, still packs a punch. Dead Dog has “one of the maddest and most poignant endings you will ever see in a theatre,” he argues. Intrigued? So are we.

Culture Guides


Explore Hollywood history, queer rarities and squirm-inducing horror across the big screens of Manchester and the North this month.

The Tudors: Passion, Power and Politics


Let’s make the most of early summer, with this month’s selection of brand new art exhibitions from across the North!

Geronimo Festival 2022


Festivals, shows, museums, and much, much more – there’s plenty of summer fun to be had for families in Manchester and the North, whatever the weather. Here are our top picks.

Writer Niamh Mulvey. Photo by K Elliott


There’s plenty of sunshine-drenched reading to immerse yourself in from established names and emerging talent, poets and prose writers alike, both in real life as well as online.


From rising stars playing basement sets to open air shows by your favourite bands’ favourite bands, there are some gems in this month’s music picks.

Theatre in Manchester


Eclectic theatre festivals, silly slapstick and dreamy outdoor shows, there’s lots of brilliant performances happening inside and outside over the summer.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Baekdu Korean BBQ Restaurant

Food and Drink

Plan for July’s food and drink outings at some of the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North.

Tours and Activities

Get out in the sun this month with tours and activities that will have you engaging positively with the climate, taking the plunge in Salford Quays and getting creative.