Theatre in Manchester and the North

Andrew Anderson, Theatre Editor

There’s all sorts happening on North West stages right now, from blockbuster productions that blur the boundaries between theatre and film to small-scale shows that give intimate insights into the lives of real people.

Let’s start with the quiet voices first, which includes The Game on at Contact as part of SICK! Festival. This new play cleverly switches the perspective on prostitution, taking the blame away from the women and putting a camera on the consumers – men. Good Dog at the Lowry, meanwhile, gives voice to the unheard, with an examination of what life is like for African immigrants living in Britain.

Then we’ve got Narvik on at The Bluecoat in Liverpool, a lovely memory play from writer and folk musician Lizzie Nunnery. The play’s protagonist is in his 90s and looks back on a love he lost due to the outbreak of WWII – a love that has left permanent scars on his psyche.

As for dance, The Lowry has programmed a weekend featuring some of the world’s top companies titled Dance: Sampled. Think of it as a taster session, where you can try all the genre has to offer at a fraction of the usual price. Plus, there are pop up performances and workshops so you can try out some steps yourself.

Finally, we finish with the big and brash stuff. City of Glass comes to HOME and is co-produced by 59 Productions (who worked on MIF’s It brings Paul Auster’s multi-layered novel to life by blending theatre and film, and is a real highlight of HOME’s season.

Here are our top 5 picks

  • 1. City of Glass at HOME

    © HOME

    City of Glass at HOME, Manchester, 4–18 March 2017, from £10.00 - Book now

    This multi-layered meta show from 59 Productions has as many thrills as any good detective tome, only with added weirdness as fractured central character Dan Quinn loses the plot – quite literally.

  • 2. Dance: Sampled at The Lowry

    © Belinda Lawley

    Dance: Sampled at The Lowry, Manchester, 24–25 February 2017, from £5.00 - Book now

    Dance: Sampled is a weekend of amazing acrobatics, sensual strutting and challenging ballet, with taster sessions from the world’s top dance companies both classic and contemporary – not to mention a packed programme of workshops and pop-up performances. Have you always been interested in dance but never knew where to begin? If so, this is the perfect programme for you.

  • 3. Good Dog at The Lowry

    © Dan Patrick Hipkin

    Good Dog at The Lowry, Manchester, 22–23 February 2017, from £12.00 - Book now

    Unseen women, unwanted old men and unappreciated teenagers are all part of Good Dog’s scalpel-sharp story, written by celebrated actor and playwright Arinzé Kene.

  • 4. The Game at Contact

    © THEATREclub

    THEATREclub: The Game at Contact Theatre, Manchester, 15 March 2017, from £7.00 - Book now

    The Game addresses the problems of prostitution by turning men from passive consumers to active participants in the outcomes. Part of SICK! Festival.

  • 5. Narvik at The BlueCoat

    © Box of Tricks

    Narvik at The Bluecoat, City Centre, 27 February–3 March 2017, from £10.00 - Book now

    Written by Lizzie Nunnery, whose beautiful folk songs accompany the play, Narvik tells the story of love torn apart by war, and the resulting scars that can last a lifetime.

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