Theatre in Manchester and the North

Andrew Anderson, Theatre Editor

It feels like fresh starts and new relationships are very much the theme for this month’s guide. First we’ve got Stand Up Stand Up, the latest play from Bolton legend Jim Cartwright that looks at a blossoming friendship between a comedian and a bailiff. Then there’s Trainspotting Live, where Mark Renton attempts to begin again – that is, if his friends will let him.

Also making a clean start are the cast of Swansong, who find themselves floating on a pedalo, the only survivors of an epic flood. As for Sean and Sara in The Nest, they have to decide whether or not to break free from the suffocating security of a smart home that meets there every need.

Elsewhere new romance is on the cards, both in Symphonie Dramatique – which takes Romeo and Juliet as inspiration – and Reunión, a work soulfully danced by flamenco superstars Ana Morales and David Coria.

Finally, because not all relationships can be perfect, we’ve got Stepmother Stepfather. This grim and gruesome dance double bill explores the darker side of relationships, and reminds us that we could all be worse off.

Here are our picks

  • 1. Stand Up Stand Up at Waterside Arts Centre

    Stand Up Stand Up at Waterside Arts Centre, 10 May 2017, from £13.00 - Book now

    Jim Cartwright’s latest play centres on comedian Colin, whose life is anything but a laugh – that is, until an unlikely friendship with a bailiff sees things begin to turn around.

  • 2. Trainspotting Live at The Lowry

    © King's Head Theatre and In Your Face Theatre

    Trainspotting Live at The Lowry, Manchester, 6–10 June 2017, from £22.00 - Book now

    A group of young people growing up in a world they don’t believe in – that’s the core of Trainspotting, which comes alive in this intense and immersive adaptation.

  • 3. MIF17: Fatherland at Royal Exchange

    Donald Christie

    MIF17: Fatherland at Royal Exchange at Royal Exchange Theatre, City Centre, 1–15 July 2017, from £12.00 - Book now

    Created by Frantic Assembly’s Scott Graham, Karl Hyde from Underworld and playwright Simon Stephens, Fatherland is a bold, ambitious show about contemporary fatherhood in all its complexities and contradictions.

  • 4. Stepmother Stepfather at The Lowry

    © The Lowry

    Stepmother Stepfather at The Lowry, Manchester, 9 May 2017, from £14.50 - Book now

    If David Lynch did dance it would probably look something like Stepmother Stepfather, which explores the darker side of life through fairy tales and frightening families.

  • 5. Symphonie Dramatique at The Lowry

    © The Lowry

    Symphonie Dramatique at The Lowry, Manchester, 23 May 2017, from £14.50 - Book now

    Symphonie Dramatique – which reimagines the story of Romeo and Juliet through a mix of classical and contemporary dance – has got fire and finesse…and we’ve got a feeling it’s going to be great.

  • 6. Jane Eyre at Haddon Hall

    © Haddon Hall

    Jane Eyre, 4–6 June 2017, from £30 - Book now

    The wonderful words of Charlotte Brontë and a lovely walk around the Haddon Hall estate make for a great day out in this promenade adaptation of Jane Eyre.

  • 7. Reunión at The Lowry

    © The Lowry

    Reunión – Ana Morales Company at The Lowry, Manchester, 12 May 2017, from £17.50 - Book now

    Reunión conjures up Spanish life in full colour, and proves once again that flamenco is the dance style of the soul.

  • 8. Swansong

    © Milly Smith

    Swansong at The Lowry, Manchester, 3–6 May 2017, from £10.00 - Book now

    Floating on a pedalo, the protagonists of Swansong are the only survivors of an epic flood. But can they begin again, and what kind of world will they create?

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