March is here. The evenings are getting lighter and it has finally stopped raining! Hopefully it means that spring is on its way. March also heralds the beginning of the new Spring/Summer theatrical season. Many theatres across Manchester have some really exciting work lined up over this season; from brand new musicals to classic revivals.
Here are some suggestions of what you can watch around Manchester this month:-
Until 14th March 2020
This seems to have been amplified by the popularity of jukebox musicals like & Juliet, currently selling out tickets in London’s Shaftesbury Theatre, after its acclaimed run at Manchester’s Opera House. It can be presumed that many production companies have found a formula that is popular and are afraid of trying anything original.
Manchester’s HOME theatre caused shockwaves when they announced that they were working on a brand new musical with award-winning satirists, Bourgeois and Maurice. This is a musical based on fiction, inspired by facts, and written in lipstick.
With the planet in chaos, and the human race hurtling towards extinction, two hyper-glam aliens arrive on earth with a simple mission: to help the human species survive. But first, they have to figure out what makes them human… How hard can that be?.
Making it’s world premiere at HOME, Insane Animals is a sequinned, time-travelling, epic musical comedy, which honestly looks like Rocky Horror on steroids. It should be out of this world!
To find out more, or to book tickets, please visit HOME’s website.
10th – 14th March 2020
Opera North return to The Lowry, bringing their new season of operas to the stage. From Puccini’s La Bohème to Martinů’s The Greek Passion, their previous season reduced me to a weeping, emotional wreck. As a recent convert to opera, I haven’t seen many operas, so I never know what to expect from them. Their new season is no different!
The Marriage of Figaro (10th, 12th, 14th March) = Figaro and Susanna are getting married. Would could possibly go wrong on their wedding day? Mozart‘s joyous farce of mistaken identity and misunderstanding is bursting with invention and wit. His music bubbles along with comic high spirits, conveying the delight, pain, agony, and ecstasy of love. This opera’s stunning set is conceived by Leslie Travers, whose set designs are always well worth the ticket price alone.
The Turn of the Screw (11th March) = In a remote country house, the newly-appointed governess arrives to take charge of two orphaned children. She must fight to protect them from menacing spirits. Are these apparitions real, or the product of her troubled imagination? Based on the ghost story by Henry James, Benjamin Britten‘s opera is a spine-chilling psychological thriller that reaches new levels of terror and claustrophobia. I am a total wimp when it comes to horror, so I might end up watching this from behind my programme!
Street Scene (13th March) = On a stiflingly hot summer’s day in New York, a family is pushed to breaking point. As the heat builds, the tension erupts into violence and their lives are changed forever. Kurt Weill‘s score blends opera with music from the golden-age of Broadway. Although I have only seen seven operas, this rare revival features the best singers from the ones that I have seen. It should be a real treat!
You can buy tickets for any of these operas from the Lowry’s website, who offer discounts if you book more than one.
Opera North also offer £20 tickets to those who are new to opera, under their fantastic Try it ON scheme.
12th March – 4th April 2020
Amid the gloom of Victorian England, Thomas, a black sailor prepares to take one last voyage, while an ageing Turner seeks artistic inspiration in a half-remembered story.
In 21st Century London, an actress finds herself handcuffed by history – two centuries after abolitionists won her ancestors their freedom.
Winsome Pinnock’s astonishing new play retells British history through the prism of the slave trade. Fusing fact with fiction, past with present, the powerfully personal with the fiercely political, this epic production asks who owns our past – and who has the right to tell its stories?
Rockets and Blue Lights has its world premiere at the Royal Exchange, and is directed by Miranda Cromwell. With a stellar cast and creative team, this is not to be missed!
Tickets can be purchased through the Royal Exchange’s wesbite or by phoning their Box Office on 0161 833 9833.
14th March – 18th April 2020
In the scorching heat of California in 1805, a pueblo is under attack from its autocratic leader. Only a hero can save them. When the danger is at its greatest, a masked crusader appears from nowhere and saves lives. Who is he? Will he be their champion?
The famous tale of the masked hero, El Zorro, fighting for justice and freedom comes to Hope Mill Theatre in an immersive and thrilling new production. The show will see action spreading from the stage through the audience as they become part of the story and witness the thrills and spills of El Zorro, as he battles for everything and everybody he holds dear.
Delivering the flavour and passion of Spain, this musical features flamenco choreography, Cante jondo singing, magic, music, and sword fights.
Hope Mill Theatre have an incredible, award-winning track record with musicals, so I am positive that this will meet the high quality of productions that they staged in the past.
Please visit Hope Mill Theatre’s website for more information, or to reserve tickets.
25th – 28th March 2020
It’s January, 2018. Rosa Hesmondhalgh, niece of former Coronation Street actress Julie Hesmondhalgh, is writing her New Year’s Resolutions.
She is going to stop going out with plonkers, start doing yoga and write some really good art.
But before she’s had time to delete her dating apps and get into downward dog, she’s diagnosed with ovarian cancer, aged only 23. And it’s spread. Suddenly faced with hospitals, chemotherapy and her own mortality, Rosa’s new goal for the year ahead is to survive it.
With its symptoms being incredibly difficult to diagnose, ovarian cancer has often been labelled “the silent killer”, but Madame Ovary is a devastating, yet beautiful story of survival.
Having heard nothing but positive things about Hesmondhalgh’s show last year, when it was at the Edinburgh Fringe, this has been on my radar for a long time.
Tickets can be bought from the Royal Exchange’s website.
For more information about ovarian cancer, please visit ovarian.org.uk