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

Barnum storming the Lowry

The musical Barnum rolls back into the region this week, this time at the Lowry in Salford

'Night' out for the kids

In The Night Garden Live visits The Trafford Centre in Manchester this summer, as part of a five-venue UK tour

£5.8m bonus from Wicked

Wicked’s seven-week run at The Lowry in Salford has come to an end, with experts calculating its impact on the local economy at £5

Oldham joins touring consortium

Oldham Coliseum Theatre has joined a consortium of nine regional venues working with English Touring Theatre on The Regional Touring Network

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

Live pitch for new production

Sale’s Waterside Arts Centre in Greater Manchester and Creative Industries Trafford have announced winners of their Independent Theatre Commission

Dance fest for Salford


Alphabet Girl preview at fringe

Award-winning writer Renny Krupinski, also well known as a fight director and stunt co-ordinator, returns to The Kings Arms in Salford with an Edinburgh Fringe preview of his new play Alphabet Girl, as part of Greater Manchester Fringe

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

Ben & Holly head to Manchester

Ben & Holly’s Little Kingdom takes to the road again for a second UK & Ireland tour this year and arrives at Manchester Opera House on August 1-2

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

Poster for Pudding Black
Poster for The Hideout
Poster for The Stars are Made of Concrete
Poster for Health Under Fire
Tristram Kenton Despina (Joana Gil) & Alfonso (Nick Dwyer)
Pauline Neild

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)

Health Under Fire

Death by Pie
Death by Pie at The GM Fringe Festival at Joshua Brooks, Manchester
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

Gary: A Love Story

James Harker
The Public Burning for 24:7 Theatre Festival at Martin Harris Centre
(reviewer: Alan Hulme)

Inala A Zulu Ballet

Ella Spira and Ladysmith Black Mambazo
Sir Howard Panter for ATG and Pietra Mello-Pittman & Ella Spira for Sisters Grimm at Opera House
(reviewer: Carmel Thomason)

The Plant and Madness Sweet Madness

James Kerr (The Plant) and Georgina Tremayne (Madness Sweet Madness)
24:7 Theatre Festival at Martin Harris Centre For Music and Drama
(reviewer: Alan Hulme)

Cosi Fan Tutte

Mozart/Da Ponte/Sams
Clonter Opera Theatre at Clonter Opera Theatre
(reviewer: Philip Radcliffe)

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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We investigate an exciting new future direction for immersive theatre and open-air arts.

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John, I'm not only dancing

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