It’s June! Summer has officially arrived, although somebody should tell that to the British weather! Festival season has kicked off, with Glastonbury, Download, and the Isle of Wight Festival all happening within the coming weeks. If camping in a muddy field isn’t your idea of fun, you can always visit the theatre instead. At least you won’t need to queue for a portaloo…
Here is a selection of what you can catch in theatres across Manchester this month.
On until 6th July 2019
This season has seen the Royal Exchange reinventing old classics by applying them to contemporary contexts. From West Side Story to Brecht’s Mother Courage and Her Children, their programme has defiantly breathed new life into old plays. Hobson’s Choice is going to be no different.
Renowned playwright, Tanika Gupta is adapting Harold Brighouse’s comedy, setting it amid the 1980s Ugandan-Asian rag trade. Hari Hobson is a tailor with his workshop in the Northern Quarter. His daughter, Durga is the brains behind his operation. However, Hobson prohibits her from marrying, as she is too valuable to lose. Rather than give up her entire life, Durga takes her fate into her own hands and opens a rival shop next door.
Hobson’s Choice sees the main stage directorial debut of Atri Banerjee, who has been the incredibly talented assistant director behind many of the Royal Exchange’s best shows over the last few years. It will be great to see him at the helm of this play!
Tickets can be booked through the Royal Exchange Theatre’s website.
6th June – 15th June 2019
Who doesn’t love a bit of Oscar Wilde? His plays always manage to capture an unrivalled sense of Britishness that is delightful to watch on stage. Period costume dramas depicting a time gone by, there is an irresistible lavishness to his plays.
In The Importance of Being Earnest, bachelors and best friends, Jack and Algernon create alter egos to escape their tiresome lives. Comic hilarity ensues when they both fall in love, and attempt to win the hearts of two women. As they become entangled in a tale of deception, disguise and misadventure, this play has often been considered one of the funniest plays ever written.
Due to the refurbishment of Bolton Octagon’s theatre, this production will be staged in Bolton’s Albert Halls.
You can buy tickets via Bolton Octagon’s website.
6th – 16th June 2019
Meticulously researched, The Exonerated tells the true stories of six wrongfully convicted survivors of death row in their own words.
Taken from interviews, letters, transcripts, case files, and public records, the play’s action moves between monologues, courtrooms and prisons to expose an American justice system gone wrong.
Following the success of Proof, this will be Hope Mill Theatre’s second in-house production. Directed by the theatre’s co-founder and artistic director, Joseph Houston, this promises to be exciting.
For more information, please visit the website of Hope Mill Theatre.
6th June – 24th August 2019
The Book of Mormon has already caused quite a stir in Manchester, with hundreds of people queuing from 5am, in the rain, for £15 tickets. The excitement surrounding this tour is already palpable, and its lengthy run at the Palace Theatre is proof of this musical’s popularity.
From the writers behind South Park, this musical is set is a Ugandan village which is visited by two Mormon missionaries. The two men attempt to preach their religion to villagers who are more concerned about AIDS, famine and local warlords.
Accused of making light of the Mormon religion, The Book of Mormon has had its controversies, however it has scooped over thirty awards, and smashed box-office records around the world.
You can purchase tickets through ATG Tickets.
11th June – 15th June 2019
Sir Matthew Bourne’s latest project is a bold re-imagining of Shakespeare’s tragic tale of two star-crossed lovers. A romance that has inspired audiences across four hundred years, Romeo and Juliet are caught between their conflicting families.
Inviting Salford’s brightest young talent to join his New Adventures dance company, I am sure that this will be just as brilliant as the rest of Bourne’s work. I am particularly excited to see what he does with the fight scenes between the Montagues and Capulets.
For tickets, please visit The Lowry’s website.
12th June – 16th June 2019
There is some profound, remarkable work emerging from youth theatre in Manchester at the moment. Contact Theatre have been behind most of this, with their drive towards creating opportunities for young creatives. Their recent collaboration with Brazilian activists, ColetivA ocupação, proved that we need to stand up, and start listening to our younger generations.
This time, Contact’s Young Company are collaborating with Young Identity, a youth poetry organisation. They will be taking over Manchester Art Gallery, to bring a political message to the audience, encouraging them to think differently about representation.
Allowing collective, accessible, decentralised, decolonised stories to flourish, this project will be challenging the authoritarian version of history, making sure that all voices are heard.
You can purchase tickets through the website of Contact Theatre.