What’s On in Manchester – April 2019

Clocks have been put forward an hour and British Summer Time has officially begun. As the evenings get lighter and the weather gets warmer, you can always pay a visit to your local theatre this April.

Manchester has some cracking productions across its theatres. Here is a handful of some of the plays that you can watch this month.

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN – LOWRY THEATRE

1st – 6th April 2019

Rachel passes a perfect couple every morning on the train. They appear happy and in love. When she realises that the woman she has watched daily on her morning commute has disappeared, Rachel finds herself tangled up in a thrilling mystery. As she aims to solve the crime, she finds revelations more mysterious than she anticipated.

If Paula Hawkins’ best-selling novel is anything to go by, this will be a tense, riveting thriller. I read the book in one sitting as it had me hooked. A page turner that keeps you guessing, it will be interesting to see how the book has been adapted for the stage.

Starring Samantha Womack and Oliver Farnworth, you can buy tickets on The Lowry’s website.

MY MOTHER SAID I NEVER SHOULD – OLDHAM COLISEUM

2nd – 6th April 2019

Photo Credit – Sheila Burnett

Charlotte Keatley’s My Mother Said I Never Should is a profoundly important play detailing the lives of four women through the immense changes of the 20th Century. Telling the stories of four generations of the same family, it is a fantastic study of the relationships between mothers and daughters.

Exploring themes of independence, coming of age, and teenage pregnancy, through a non-linear time structure, the story moves between Oldham, Manchester and London. Showing the struggles women faced from the 1920s to 1987, Keatley’s play is an award-winning classic that is well worth watching.

You can buy tickets here.

WEST SIDE STORY – ROYAL EXCHANGE THEATRE

6th April – 25th May 2019

This is a musical that needs little introduction. With lyrics by Stephen Sondheim and infamous music by Leonard Bernstein, West Side Story has often been dubbed the greatest musical of all time.

Transporting Romeo and Juliet to 1950s Manhattan, this is a romance that spans the two rival gangs, The Jets and The Sharks. Beautifully passionate, yet devastatingly tragic, this musical is guaranteed to be moving.

The Royal Exchange has a fantastic track record with musicals, after their phenomenal success with Guys and Dolls, and more recently with Mel Brooks’ The Producers. With the brilliant Sarah Frankcom directing, this is a definite must-watch!

You can buy tickets from the Royal Exchange Theatre’s website.

HAIR THE MUSICAL – PALACE THEATRE

8th – 13th April 2019

This 50th anniversary production of the legendary rock musical, Hair, is returning to Manchester on its UK tour, after its critically acclaimed success at Hope Mill Theatre and London’s West End.

In 1960s New York, hippie youngsters want to change the world. Questioning authority and the American flag, they are united in protest and song, under the shadow of the Vietnam War. Wild, colourful and sexually liberated, this is a journey of self-discovery, learning about life, freedom and equality.

Winning the 2018 What’s On Stage Award for the Best Off-West End Production, this is far too short a run for this gloriously psychedelic production, packed with anthemic songs. You will have to catch it while you can!

Tickets are available here.

KINGDOM – HOME, MANCHESTER

9th – 13th April 2019

‘The world is going to shit. Let’s celebrate!’

Kingdom is part of the annual ¡Viva! Spanish and Latin American festival at HOME, Manchester.

Combining theatre with live music, video projection, and large scale models, Señor Serrano return to Manchester with their latest project. Featuring the original, and remake of, King Kong, this sounds like an intriguing evening detailing the history of capitalism, containing plenty of bananas.

You can purchase tickets on HOME’s website.

CLOSER – HOPE MILL THEATRE

16th – 27th April 2019

There is no venue more exciting in Manchester than Hope Mill Theatre. A thriving theatre that continues to push boundaries, they produce fantastic work that wins multiple awards. Their 2018 production, Spring Awakening, was recently crowned Best Regional Production at the What’s On Stage Awards.

Patrick Marber’s Closer is definitely worth watching as it visits Hope Mill. It is an intense depiction of love affairs, seduction, lies, and betrayal. The play’s characters struggle with their identities and have a precarious relationship with truth.

Marber adapted his play into a film, starring Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, and Clive Owen. An uncomfortable watch, the film pulls no punches at showing the darkness inherent in human nature. It is brilliant, so I am sure the play will be!

You can get tickets here.

THE VORTEX – STOCKPORT GARRICK

27th April – 4th May 2019

I first saw The Vortex at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre with Will Young in the role of Nicky. It has been one of my favourite Noel Coward plays ever since.

Rendering a strained relationship between an ageing mother, who is a serial adulteress, and her adult son, Coward’s play exposes the sexual vanities, and drug addiction, of the rich, high society of the roaring twenties.

The Vortex begins as a comedy, but the play becomes darker as the relationship between mother and son begins to fracture and collapse.

You can buy tickets here.

Obviously, this is only a small selection of the theatre you can watch in April across Manchester. Your local theatres need support, so please pay them a visit.

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