Blood Harmony at The LowryKristy Stott, Theatre Editor
Manchester-based theatre mavericks ThickSkin make a thrilling return to the stage with their new production, Blood Harmony – their third creative partnership with the Lawrence Batley Theatre. This powerful new play has been made in collaboration with indie folk band, The Staves.
We can’t wait to witness ThickSkin’s extraordinary physical storytelling teemed with The Staves’ soulful harmonies when the show opens at The Lowry this June.
Witness ThickSkin’s extraordinary physical storytelling teemed with The Staves’ soulful harmonies.
Founded in 2010, ThickSkin have quickly established themselves as one of the UK’s most exciting theatre companies. Creating bold and ambitious work, always using their trademark physical and cinematic style, the company are set to challenge themselves further with this visually charged, musical production.
Exploring themes of love, loss and legacy, Blood Harmony is the first ThickSkin production to feature live singing and a collaboration with a well-known band. Compelling and beautiful, Blood Harmony shares the story of a fractured trio of sisters, who are pulled back together by news that rocks their worlds. Trapped between the tensions from the past and their worries for the future – how will they find a way to keep moving forward? Blood Harmony is an electrifying, though intimate, reflection on grief, connection and familial bonds.
An electrifying, though intimate, reflection on grief, connection and familial bonds.
Atlantic Records artists The Staves wrote their most recent album, Good Woman, following the death of their mother. Inspired by the music of The Staves and by this album, co-creators Matthew Bulgo (Last Christmas, Clwyd Theatr Cymru), Jonnie Riordan (Nigel Slater’s Toast, The Lowry) and Jess Williams (The Boy With Two Hearts, Wales Millennium Centre) joined forces to create this powerful new play. Additionally, The Staves have also written a brand new track for the production.
Soaring music by The Staves will be woven into the show, together with exclusive new arrangements by Kate Marlais (Fatherland, Manchester International Festival), which will be sung live by a talented cast of three. Under Riordan and Williams’ direction, Eve de Leon Allen and Keshini Misha, both recently seen in HOME’s acclaimed production of The House With Chicken Legs, will take on the roles of sisters Chloe and Maia, respectively. While, Philippa Hogg (Peter Pan, National Theatre) completes the sibling trio as Anna.
Blood Harmony is commissioned and produced with the Lawrence Batley Theatre – the co-producers of ThickSkin’s most recent five-star show, How Not to Drown – in co-production with Watford Palace Theatre and Wales Millennium Centre and supported by The Lowry.
Of the collaboration, Neil Bettles, Artistic Director of Thick Skin said, “I am thrilled that our ongoing relationship with the Lawrence Batley Theatre has made it possible for us to create ThickSkin’s first live show since How Not To Drown in 2019. Blood Harmony started its life at the beginning of the pandemic and it feels like we have been on such a journey to get here. It’s an incredibly moving and powerful play about sisterhood and the bonds that hold us together and I think it will speak to anyone who’s ever lost someone they love. I am also incredibly excited that the show features live singing, and uses original music by The Staves which is woven into the words to create a beautiful and atmospheric heartbeat to the show.”
Dynamic physicality and slick new writing
With ThickSkin’s dynamic physicality and slick new writing, and The Staves’ soulful soundtrack, Blood Harmony will open at The Lowry, before touring to The Dukes and its home venue, the Lawrence Batley Theatre.