Manchester theatre preview: He Had Hairy Hands returns to The Lowry

Polly Checkland Harding
Shot of four cast members

Manchester theatre company Kill the Beast brings its macabre brilliance back to The Lowry for two nights only.

“It’s a werewolf detective mystery…yeah, you know, that genre!” jokes Kill the Beast’s Natasha Hodgson. While it may not be the most well-known hybrid, pairing mystery with horror certainly sounds promising. Hodgson is talking about a stage creation by the energetic, inventive production company she is one fifth of – Kill the Beast will again be grossing out The Lowry’s stage with He Had Hairy Hands for two nights only this month (15 and 16 May). The show is a grotesque comedy with an original score – and quite an important pigeon.

Hemlock-Under-Lye is a placid town, where tea is perhaps the most important time of day, but the dwellers’ serene routines are being disrupted by werewolf attacks. And you can just imagine how terribly inconvenient those would be. The “exceptionally upsetting mystery” that unfolds has been every bit as successful as their previous show The Boy Who Kicked Pigs, winning Best Studio Production at the Manchester Theatre Awards 2015. With He Had Hairy Hands comes a stage transformed into a dank and crooked little town – and whoever came up with the name Hemlock-Under-Lye definitely deserves some credit. Minus points for any of you who (like me) Googled it, just to check.

It’s s a grotesque comedy with an original score – and quite an important pigeon, apparently

Kill the Beast became The Lowry’s Associate Artists last year, having upped sticks to Manchester from London. Hodgson explained why they’d decided to become part of the theatre scene in the north: “none of us work full-time anymore,” she said, adding that, “the only way you make time in London is to pay for it.” Following on from their brilliant and bizarre debut production – a play about a highly unpleasant 13 year-old boy – Manchester is again to be wooed with some darkly comic, supernatural slaughter.

Culture Guides

Backyard Cinema

Cinema

It only takes a quick glance at the film listings to realise that Christmas is coming, and quick. We’ve rounded up some of our festive highlights alongside standout seasons and festivals.

Exhibitions

Pause in the hustle and bustle of festive prep to take in some inspiration from this month’s top exhibitions.

The Ocean at the End of The Lane at the lowry

Families

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Manchester is bursting with fun, family activities to keep the kids entertained in the run up to Christmas!

Writer Nicholas Royle. Photo by Zoe McLean

Literature

There are spooky stories, Christmas crime thrillers and plenty of books for stocking fillers as December unfolds and Manchester and the wider North region switches on the live literature lights.

Music

The festive season is here, and whether you want to escape it or embrace it, we’ve got you covered.

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

Contemporary cabaret, powerful monologues and world premiere musicals. Our theatre guide spans the festive season and beyond.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

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

Food and Drink

Explore the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North for autumn.

Tours and Activities

We’re deep into Autumn now but don’t let that stop you from finding a new tour or activity to get stuck into.

Things to do right now

Powered by culturehosts
3 December 2022 10:00 am, FREE

Winter Art and Craft Fair at Heart

Activity Until 3 December 2022, from £35.00

Wreath Making Workshop at Leeds City Museum

Image credit: Maryna Makarenko, Sun-Eaters, 2022
Cinema Until 4 December 2022, from £5

HOME Artist Film Weekender 2022

Red Squirrel at Lightwaves
Festivals Until 4 December 2022, FREE

Lightwaves at Salford Quays

Cinema Until 8 December 2022, from £7.95

Aftersun at HOME

Elizabeth Gaskell's House garden. Photo by Chris Tucker
Literature Until 11 December 2022, from £4.50

Book sale at Elizabeth Gaskell’s House

Cinderella at Hope Mill Theatre
Families Until 11 December 2022, from £27.00

Cinderella at Hope Mill Theatre

Music Until 17 December 2022, from £5

RNCM Autumn Season

Flecky Bennett’s HALLOWEEN 2018 Ghost Walk
Activity Until 17 December 2022, from £15

Flecky Bennett’s Ghost Walks