Manchester’s Most Exciting Productions of 2019

With the news this week that legendary musical theatre composter Stephen Schwartz  (Godspell/Wicked) will be doing a special one-off night of songs and chat about his work at the Hope Mill Theatre (which is staging hit musicals like Mame, Hair and Rags this year), it goes to show that there’s really one city that seems to be delivering all in 2019, Manchester. A key player in the ‘northern powerhouse’, it’s theatrical offerings over the next twelve months promise to be something really special. Here is a look at four of them.

The Betting Shop at The Lowry
Photo: Facebook via No Egos Theatre Productions

If there’s one place that’s guaranteed to deliver a Russian roulette of highs and lows, it’s the four walls of a betting shop, and the one which takes centre stage in this enthralling production is no exception to the rule. Delivering the same thrill as tracking down a great casino bonus, spinning the reels and winning big, this play really does get it – and by ‘it’, we mean the verve and vibrancy of gambling and that feel of rolling the dice and waiting with bated breath to see what happens. With a diverse cast of betting clients from all walks of life, its characters and action leap off the stage, so that you’ll soon lose track of yourself and believe you’re right there in the betting shop with them.

Gypsy Queen at Moss Side Fire Station Boxing Club

With tickets on sale for just £5, Gypsy Queen is another production you won’t want to miss – and it’s not even going to leave you out of pocket. A critically acclaimed love story about two macho men who meet in the most unlikely of ways, it was a huge success at Edinburgh Fringe in 2017 and 2018, and earned itself a whole host of four- and five-star reviews. Returning for this one-off, site-specific show, it promises to be something really special.

A Different Way Home at Oldham Coliseum
Photo: Facebook via A Different Way Home

Manchester is doing a great job of delivering on the nitty-gritty drama front right now, and A Different Way Home is another emotive production. Made up of two diverse monologues, from a brother and sister at loggerheads, it tells a single powerful narrative from their vastly different viewpoints. Together, they portray an incredibly important message: of how easy it is for families to fall out of love, and how transcendent finally learning to communicate can be in resolving the difficulties of the past.

Mother Courage and Her Children at The Royal Exchange Theatre

Last but not least, why not consider booking tickets to see Mother Courage and Her Children at The Royal Exchange Theatre? Starring Julie Hesmondhalgh, this adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s revered classic does absolute justice to its source material, as the titular character roams the grid from one army camp to another, her ragtag offspring in tow. Set against the backdrop of Europe’s Thirty Years’ War, it’s thought-provoking, poignant, and perfectly illustrates all that is wrong about conflicts and the devastation they wreak.

Which of these four fantastic theatre productions will you be booking tickets for?


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