Manchester Theatre Awards

> Independent informed reviews by the region’s most experienced critics

Sir Antony Sher with his MTA trophy, Credit:

Oh what a knight for Manchester Theatre Awards

  • Sir Antony Sher receives trophy
  • 3 awards for venue - before it opens
  • 2 big winning shows set to return
  • Stars turn out for annual ceremony

Best Actor

So, five of them, and, to be frank, any one could have received the final accolade, so closely did they run against each other in the panel’s discussions.

Best Actress

One of the year’s most memorable achievements was the Octagon’s two-hander double of Duet For One and Separation, with Clare Foster outstanding as both the cellist with multiple sclerosis (based by writer Tom Kempinski on the real life story of Jacqueline Du Pre) and a crippled actress.

What's on

Royal Exchange on a high

With audience at their highest point for more than a decade Manchester’s Royal Exchange theatre is now planning to stage Sunday performances across the season

Musicals line up at city venues

The autumn promises virtual wall-to-wall musicals at Manchester’s twin venues, the Palace and the Opera House

Contact's autumn line-up

Manchester’s youth-oriented Contact venue promises an autumn season of theatre, dance, comedy and music, featuring major artists and companies, a host of up and coming names, and an array of home-grown talent

Hurricane Hill returns

Hurricane Hill - well received when it premiered at the Unity Theatre in Liverpool in 2013 and at the London Theatre, New Cross last October - is returning to the North West with an autumn 2015 tour

Ghosts in the Studio

The Lowry Studio's latest season in Salford is haunted by ghosts of past and present from the venue’s own Developed With productions, National Theatre commissions and local talent

Bruntwood winner opens season

A co-production between Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre and the HighTide Festival opens a collection of home produced and visiting shows as part of the autumn/winter season in The Studio

Bolshoi star for Stockport opera

Bolshoi Theatre guest star Irina Bozenko is coming to Stockport to perform in Verdi’s opera masterpiece La Traviata as a guest soloist

Family Way launches new season

The Octagon’s new season launches with The Family Way, a portrayal of family life written by celebrated local playwright Bill Naughton and directed by new artistic director, Elizabeth Newman

Dance fest for Salford


Discount Dickens on tour

From Adam Long, founding member of The Reduced Shakespeare Company and co-creator of The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) comes Dickens Abridged – a fast-paced musical comedy

Big Three for HOME

This autumn, Cornwall-based international touring company Kneehigh, with Liverpool Everyman and Playhouse, begin a new tour of Dead Dog in a Suitcase (and other love songs), their critically-acclaimed radical reworking of John Gay’s The Beggar’s Opera

Ice duo skate into panto

Manchester Opera House has announced this year’s family pantomime Cinderella will star ices skating icons Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean in their panto debut as the Fairy Godparents

Moore the merrier in Manchester

Legendary film actor Sir Roger Moore is to play a series of exclusive dates one of them coming to Manchester Opera House November 9

Soccer premiere for Lowry

Manchester’s Monkeywood Theatre, in association with The Lowry, will be staging the world premiere of By Far The Greatest Team, four new stories by four Manchester writers (two United and two City fans) which will explore and celebrate what it means to be a football fan in the city

Pixie's Tiffany date at Lowry

Pop star Pixie Lott will star as Holly Golightly, in her theatre acting debut, in Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s at The Lowry in Salford next year

Curious set for Salford return

The National Theatre’s production of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time will return to The Lowry in November

Mamma's happy returns

Mamma Mia! returns to the Palace Theatre, Manchester in 2016

Mack, Mabel and Michael Ball

Direct from its premiere at Chichester Festival Theatre, a major new production of classic Broadway musical Mack & Mabel will embark on a UK & Ireland Tour in Autumn 2015, starring double Oliver award-winning Michael Ball as Mack Sennett and will be at Manchester Opera House, October 12-24

Ring Cycle for Lowry next year

Opera North’s highly-anticipated full performances of The Ring Cycle: Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen will come to Salford’s Lowry arts centre from June 13-18 next year

Christmas musical for Manchester

Alexandra Burke will reprise her West End starring role when the hit musical The Bodyguard comes to the Palace Theatre Manchester next December


Latest reviews

MacArthur Park
Paul Coltas Poster for What’s in a Name
HMS Pinafore
International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival The Gondoliers
International Gilbert & Sullivan Festival BARNUM - Brian Conley as 'PT Barnum', Linzi Hateley as 'Chairy' and company.
Johan Persson Poster for Pudding Black
Poster for The Hideout
Poster for The Stars are Made of Concrete

Priscilla Queen of the Desert – The Musical

Stephan Elliott and Allan Scott based on the film with the same title
David Ian Productions and the Ambassador Theatre Group at The Opera House, Manchester
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

What’s in a Name?

David Wills
David Wills at The Kings Arms, Salford  
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

HMS Pinafore

The National G&S Opera Company at Buxton Opera House
(reviewer: Philip Radcliffe)

The Gondoliers

Gilbert & Sullivan
The National Gilbert & Sullivan Opera Company at Buxton Opera House
(reviewer: Robert Beale)


Music by Cy Coleman. Lyrics by Michael Stewart. Book by Mark Bramble.
Cameron Mackintosh and Mark Bramble at Lowry, Salford Quays
(reviewer: Carmel Thomason)

Pudding Black

Lee Lomas
1956 Theatre at The Salford Arts Theatre, Salford
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

The Hideout

Sophie Taylor, Eleanor Beaman-Brinklow, Valeria Compagnoni, Elena Costanzi and Jesse Dupr
Haste Theatre at The GM Fringe Festival at The Kings Arms, Salford
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

Brief Encounters

JoJo Kirtley, Anne Haydock, Alan Cliff, Jane Tonge, Sue Blundell and Mari Lloyd
24:7 Theatre Festival at Manchester University campus
(reviewer: David Chadderton)

We Are The Multitude

Laura Harper
24:7 Theatre Festival at John Thaw Theatre, Martin Harris Centre for Music and Drama
(reviewer: David Chadderton)

The Stars are Made of Concrete

Michelle Ashton
Messy Dress Productions at The GM Fringe Festival at The Kings Arms Theatre, Salford
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

Youth panel reviews


Philip Ridley
Oldham Coliseum Young Rep at Oldham Coliseum
(reviewer: Georgina Wells)

The Wardrobe

Sam Holcroft
Octagon Youth Theatre at The Octagon Studio
(reviewer: Harriet Mallion)

The Accordion Shop

Cush Jumbo
Buxton Opera House Young Company at The Lowry Studio
(reviewer: Harriet Mallion)

The Accordion Shop

Cush Jumbo
InterACT Youth Theatre at The Lowry Studio
(reviewer: Lizz Clark)

On the Town

Music by Leonard Bernstein, book & lyrics by Betty Comden and Adolph Green
RNCM Youth Perform at Royal Northern College of Music
(reviewer: Elizabeth Allen)


Jackie Kay and Royal Exchange Theatre Young Company
Royal Exchange Theatre Young Company at Royal Exchange Studio
(reviewer: Lizz Clark)


Devised by Contact Young Actors Company and Aqueous Humour
Contact Young Actors Company at Contact Theatre
(reviewer: Lizz Clark)

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