Manchester Theatre Awards

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

Manchester Theatre Award winners

Winners of the 2013 Manchester Theatre Awards were presented with their trophies at a red carpet event at the city's Royal Exchange Theatre.

What's on

Beauty and the Beast returns to Salford

Birmingham Royal Ballet returns to The Lowry in Salford this week with Beauty and the Beast, ten years after its Northern premiere

A towering gothic fairytale from the creator of BRB’s smash-hits Cinderella, Aladdin and The Prince of the Pagodas, Beauty and the Beast also features a company dancer from Lancaster, First Artist Yvette Knight

Lorna Luft in a golden show

Putting on the Ritz comes to the Opera House, Manchester this week recreating some of the most famous song and dance moments of the golden age of Hollywood

Beckett trilogy for Lowry

The Royal Court Theatre 's sell-out production of a trilogy of Samuel Beckett plays - Not I, Footfalls and Rockaby - all performed by actress Lisa Dwan, is at The Lowry in Salford from Tuesday to Saturday for its only Northern performances

Contact Compacts for city

Contact Compacts brings the fringe to the theatre in Manchester this week, showcasing six brand new short plays by some of the North West's finest playwrights and emerging local talent

All aboard for canal drama

A highly ambitious theatrical performance takes place on a contemporary show boat along the Bridgewater Canal in Sale, south of Manchester next weekend

Comedy trio in Ha Ha outing

Comedy queen Su Pollard and duo Cannon and Ball have teamed up to appear in Ha Ha Hood! And The Prince of Leaves

Riverdance flows back to Manchester

Riverdance returns to Manchester Opera House from October 7-12

'Small' size theatre festival

Theatre for small people and small family budgets is promised at Manchester venues with a Family Arts Festival in October

Lion King set to storm city again

Tickets for the Manchester return season of Disney’s award-winning production of The Lion King will already on sale for its five weeks at the Palace Theatre, Manchester from January 17 to February 22

War Horse takes big winnings

The National Theatre’s record-breaking run of War Horse at The Lowry in Salford has seen economists value the impact of the show on the Greater Manchester economy at £15

Second war drama for Octagon

Continuing their commemoration of the anniversary of the outbreak of the First World War, the Octagon is providing a poignant home for Early One Morning, the true story of 26-year-old soldier James Smith from Bolton who, after three years of fighting in some of the war’s fiercest battles, finds himself on trial for his life

Winners wear the Dreamcoat

An all-star cast including Greater Manchester’s own West End star Danielle Hope – winner of the BBC’s Over the Rainbow TV show – will be appearing in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat at the Palace Theatre in October

Sound of Silence for Oldham

Fifty years since the most successful folk/rock duo of all time recorded their first no1 hit single The Sound of Silence The Simon and Garfunkel Story comes to Oldham Coliseum on October 4

Salford feels the Flow

A new festival celebrating Salford as a creative city will be held this weekend

Iris premieres at 3MT, Manchester

Iris, a new northern drama ‘based on real events’ and about love, life, relationships and the local pub, premieres at Manchester’s Three Minute Theatre October 9-11

Three visitors for HOME

HOME, the organisation formed by the merger of Manchester’s Library Theatre Company and Cornerhouse, announces three visiting shows for autumn 2014

Sherlock pops up in new venue

The Flanagan Collective’s new interactive stage adaptation of Britain’s greatest detective – Sherlock Holmes will open Manchester’s newest theatre in the Great Northern Warehouse on Deansgate

Lowry plays the identity card

The Lowry Studio’s autumn/winter season features a programme of shows exploring national, cultural, LGBT and ethnic identity

Peake performance at Exchange

The casting of Maxine Peake alone was bound to attract audiences to the first play of Manchester Royal Exchange’s new season

Journey's End at Bolton Octagon

The Octagon Theatre in Bolton opens its new 2014–2015 Season with Journey’s End to commemorate the centenary of the outbreak of the First World War

Porno Chic at King's Arms

One of Manchester’s most successful fringe theatre companies have announced upcoming shows for the winter season

Secret Theatre for the Exchange

Fresh from the Lyric Hammersmith and the Edinburgh Festival, Secret Theatre – which features four new plays from four of the UK’s most exciting playwrights – arrives at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre from October 21 to November 1

Lowry's autumn treats

The Lowry launches a new season with partner company Birmingham Royal Ballet and their timeless family favourite, Beauty and The Beast

Jersey Boys tour launches in city

Another hit West End musical reaches the region next week when Jersey Boys comes to the Palace Theatre in Manchester for a month

Our Day Out in Oldham

Willy Russell’s tender-hearted comic tale about a group of awkward and disadvantaged kids on a school outing motors into Oldham Coliseum Theatre

Fun in store with Thick as Thieves

Thick As Thieves, a new play by Mark Whiteley, directed by David Crowley, opens at ReTale Oldham Mumps on September 23

Shakespeare's Deadly Sins on tour

To celebrate Shakespeare’s 450th birthday, Shakespeare’s Deadly Sins takes audiences on a journey through gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, pride, lust and envy when it tours the region in October

Another shot of JB Shorts

After 11 sell-out seasons and 66 world premieres, Real Life Theatre Co

Meera Syal joins the HOME team

Comedian, actress and writer Meera Syal MBE is another celebrity patron of HOME, the new centre for contemporary visual art, theatre and film which opens in Manchester next spring

Clonter Opera's 40th anniversary

After a successful and critically-acclaimed series of performances of Gounod's Faust in July to celebrate Clonter Farm Opera's 40th anniversary, the opera will be performed again at the Cheshire venue on 27 September before transferring to London for two more performances at the Royal College of Music

Exchange's Studio season

Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre has announced more details of its Autumn Winter 2014 /15 season including confirmation of shows in The Studio and special one-off events in The Theatre with organisations including Liberty, Manchester Camerata and Manchester Literature Festival

Spamalot rides again

Following Monty Python’s 10 night sell-out run at London’s O2 Arena, Monty Python’s Spamalot is back on tour with dates at the Opera House, Manchester in January 2015

Hyde debut for touring production

Hyde Festival Theatre Company are bringing Rob Johnston’s specially commissioned First World War play, Bantams, to The Hyde Festival Theatre from Tuesday September 30 to October 4

Gary will have a Ball in Stockport

Gary Damer star of CBBC’s Hotel Trubble returns to The Plaza in Stockport from December 5 until January 4 in Cinderella

Priscilla - Queen of the Panto

Priscilla Presley will be starring in this year’s family pantomime – Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, at the Opera House in Manchsster

Shrek for the city

Shrek the Musical will ‘take ogre’ Manchester’s Palace Theatre for a month-long Christmas run


Latest reviews

Robert Powell as Hercule Poirot
Sara Vickers and  Alex Fenton 
Katie West as Ophelia and Maxine Peake as Hamlet
Jonathan Keenan Cast of The Full Monty
Matt Corner leads the Manchester cast of Jersey Boys
Helen Maybanks Fun at the funfair - even for stickler Mr Briggs
Joel Fildes, for Oldham Coliseum David Birrell as Osborne
Ian Tilton Poster for The Alphabet Girl
Mark Harrison Poster for Puff
Poster for Angels and Fracture

Murder on Air

Agatha Christie
Bill Kenwright and The Agatha Christie Theatre Company at The Lowry
(reviewer: Diana Stenson)

Romeo and Juliet

William Shakespeare
Sara Robinson for HOME at Victoria Baths, Manchester
(reviewer: David Cunningham)


William Shakespeare
Royal Exchange Theatre at Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester
(reviewer: David Chadderton)

The Full Monty

Simon Beaufoy
David Pugh and Dafydd Rogers at The Opera House
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

Jersey Boys

Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice
Dodger Theatricals, David Ian/Michael Watt, Ambassador Theatre Group at Palace Theatre, Manchester
(reviewer: David Upton)

Our Day Out

Willy Russell
Oldham Coliseum Company at Oldham Coliseum
(reviewer: Paul Genty)

Journey's End

R C Sherriff
Octagon Theatre Bolton
(reviewer: Alan Hulme)

The Alphabet Girl

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


Jack Hart
Hysteria Theatre at The Kings Arms
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

Angels and Fracture

John Topliff and David Riley and Vicky Ellis
Pulse Mcr at Three Minute Theatre
(reviewer: David Cunningham)

Youth panel reviews

The Last Word

Christina Maiden
Oldham Coliseum Theatre Learning and Engagement at Oldham Coliseum
(reviewer: Lizz Clark)


Francesca Waite
The Lowry Young Actors Company at The Lowry
(reviewer: Georgina Wells)

The Wardrobe

Sam Holcroft
Lowry Young Actors Company at The Lowry
(reviewer: Evie Tucker)

A Letter to Lacey

Catherine Johnson
Lowry Young Actors Company at The Lowry
(reviewer: Evie Tucker)

Latest articles

Fringe On Film

Some of the best of this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe is coming to a cinema near you.

Kevin Bourke

Whispers Of War

Manchester independent theatre icons Feelgood Theatre Company and 24:7 Festival join forces

Kevin Bourke


Clonter Farm, deep in the heart of the Cheshire countryside, is celebrating its 40th anniversary with a special production of Gounod's Faust. Following a successful run in July, there will be one more performance at Clonter on 27 September before it transfers to London.

Philip Radcliffe

HOMEward bound

Theatre Director Walter Meirjohann reveals some of his exciting and ambitious plans for HOME.

Kevin Bourke

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