MANCHESTER SOUND, THE SEAGULL and More Set for Library Theatre's 2013-14 Season
The world premiere in June 2013 of Manchester Sound: The Massacre, in which the Peterloo Massacre of 1819 clashes with the city's second Summer of Love in 1989, directed by Paul Jepson and written by Polly Wiseman; a revival for autumn 2013 of Educating Rita, Willy Russell's marvellous heart-warming comedy; Wanted! Robin Hood, a new adaptation for Christmas 2013 of the classic Robin Hood story by Charles Way, directed by Amy Leach; and the first regional production of Anya Reiss's contemporary translation of Anton Chekhov's The Seagull for spring 2014 are the next four productions from Manchester's Library Theatre Company, the company's final programme under the Library Theatre Company banner prior to the Library's move with Cornerhouse to HOME.
Staged at a secret venue in Manchester city centre, Manchester Sound: The Massacre pulls together two major events in the history of Manchester: the Peterloo Massacre of 1819, and the explosion in acid house rave culture in the late 1980s. Presented in a promenade immersive style, this unique theatrical experience, which draws on authentic eye-witness accounts of both events, will feature a community company and a DJ working alongside the professional actors. Ticket-holders will be asked to gather, rave-style, at a special location before being escorted to the production's exciting venue. Manchester Sound: The Massacre will be photographed by legendary Manchester music photographer Kevin Cummins.
The cast includes hot young Manchester actress Rachel Austin, who was part of the multi-Manchester Theatre Award-winning Black Roses at the Royal Exchange Theatre; former Hollyoaks star Leah Hackett, who played Tina Reilly in Channel 4's Chester-set soap before being sensationally killed off in October 2008; and ex-professional boxer and rugby league star Adam Fogerty. Manchester Sound: The Massacre runs between Saturday 8 June - Saturday 6 July 2013.
Willy Russell's hilarious laugh-out-loud comedy Educating Rita makes a welcome return to the Library Theatre stage for 2013. Newly updated by its author, this modern classic, in which Rita, a down-to-earth straight-talking hairdresser, forces Frank, a jaded university lecturer to question where his life has been and where he's going, retains its earthy charm, clever wit, and dry humour.
The Library Theatre Company's Artistic Director Chris Honer, who will be directing the production, says that Educating Rita is a "glorious comedy about the transforming power of culture. The play celebrates the role of education and culture in personal development, which, given the dark and difficult times we live in, makes it a particularly timely production." Educating Rita runs at The Lowry between Thursday 26 September - Saturday 12 October 2013.
Director Amy Leach and designer Hayley Grindle return to the Library Theatre Company for Christmas 2013 at The Lowry in Salford to direct Wanted! Robin Hood, following their critically acclaimed work on Arabian Nights in Christmas 2012, a production which won the Best Ensemble award at the recent Manchester Theatre Awards. Re-told by children's theatre specialist Charles Way, and sponsored by Manchester Airport, Wanted! Robin Hood will be a fun-filled magical musical adventure for everyone aged six upwards, and runs at The Lowry between Friday 29 November 2013 - Saturday 11 January 2014.
World Duty Free, based at Manchester Airport, will again sponsor the 'adopt-an-actor' project in conjunction with the theatre's Community and Education department whereby schools and community groups 'adopt' an actor in Wanted! Robin Hood before meeting their chosen actor and the cast after a performance during the run.
From Monday 13 - Saturday 25 January 2014 the Library Theatre Company present its seventh annual re:play Festival, a festival which brings together the best productions seen in Manchester and Salford's non-theatre spaces over the previous 12 months, as well as presenting a range of developmental opportunities for new writers, and new work commissioned specifically for the festival. The Library's 2013's re:play was the company's most successful yet, and the event is firmly established as one of the key new performance festivals in the Manchester theatre calendar.
The final Library Theatre Company production at The Lowry will be Anya Reiss's much-praised new version of Anton Chekhov's drama The Seagull. When a famous actress's visit to her brother's remote country estate exposes the frustrated yearnings and ambitions of her family and friends, her son puts much more than his self-respect at stake by trying to impress her with a play he's written himself.
This captivating study of the corrosion of youthful idealism, wasted ambitions, and unrequited love, has enchanted theatre-goers throughout the years. This new version, by one of the striking new voices of British theatre, was described by Dominic Cavendish of the Daily Telegraph as "fresh, colloquial, sexy, and downright perceptive." The Seagull runs between Friday 21 February - Saturday 8 March 2014.
The Seagull will also be the last Library Theatre Company production directed by Chris Honer before he steps down as Artistic Director. The Library Theatre Company and Cornerhouse then become HOME, an exciting new city centre multi-arts organisation, scheduled to open in early 2015. Chris's successor will be Walter Meierjohann, who joins the company later this month to start work on the programme for HOME.
Tickets for Manchester Sound: The Massacre are on sale now at www.librarytheatre.com or via Cornerhouse box office on 0161 200 1500; tickets for Wanted! Robin Hood are on sale now at www.librarytheatre.com; tickets for Educating Rita and The Seagull are on sale from Friday 26 April at www.librarytheatre.com, or via Quay Tickets on 0843 208 6010. Tickets for re:play go on sale at the time the festival programme is announced, in November 2014.
HOME, a brand new production centre for international contemporary art, theatre and film, will open in Manchester in early 2015. As well as providing a welcoming space for arts lovers, it will be the home of great work which challenges, unsettles and inspires.
HOME is the product of the merger of two of Manchester's best loved arts organisations, Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company. The two companies merged in April 2012, but will continue to have distinct programmes and identities until they move into the new building in 2014.
HOME's new building will include a 500 seat theatre, 150 seat flexible studio space, 550m² 4m high gallery space, up to five cinema screens, education spaces, digital production and broadcast facilities, café bar, restaurant and offices. It will provide new opportunities for artists and audiences to create work in a different way together, as well as a social and cultural hub. In one building, visitors will be able to see original new work across the visual arts, theatre and film.
HOME will be located at First Street, just off Whitworth Street West, in a lively new development. It will include a public square which is ripe for events, activities and performances. HOME will anchor the development of a dynamic creative quarter for Manchester, drawing together the creative energy emerging from Knott Mill to the west and the Palace Theatre to the east. It will change the cultural landscape in the city and the region, with positive impacts nationally and beyond.
Library Theatre Company, Cornerhouse, 70 Oxford Street, Manchester M1 5NH. Web: www.librarytheatre.com. The Lowry, Pier 8, Salford Quays, Salford M50 3AZ. Box office: 0843 208 6010. Web: www.thelowry.com