Wednesday, December 6

Tag: 53two

Spam Valley – 53two
North West

Spam Valley – 53two

There is something intensely personal about Spam Valley. Perhaps unsurprising given it is described as an ‘autobiographical monologue’ of Kevin P. Gilday’s journey from working-class Glasgow to a middle-class career on the stage. But what makes the show extra special is how universal and relevant it is. Blending poetry and spoken word this is part stand up, part sermon. A hilarious, heartbreaking and extraordinary analysis of class. Under the 53two arches sits a solitary plastic chair, a microphone on a stand and a clothes rail of jackets: from the classic Umbro zip up to the badged blazer beloved by the arterati. One person monologues like this rely on the audience feeling secure in the hands of the performer. Gilday emerges and delivers his brilliant poem The Old Men In Wet...
Musicals That Made Us – 53two
North West

Musicals That Made Us – 53two

There is no denying that musicals are a guilty pleasure for many people. Whether you’re openly a musical theatre lover or there’s the odd one you can’t help but sing along to, musicals make us feel something deeply; joy, sadness, confusion, sorrow, and there’s something so thrilling about watching a talented cast sing, dance and act their way into an audience’s hearts. 53Two’s latest show, ‘Musicals That Made Us’ is a celebration of all of that. Current Manchester School of Theatre student, Nejc Lisjak, and recent graduates Megan Keaveny and Lara Rose Hancox take the audience on an exploration of musicals old and new in a cabaret style performance. Described as a production that “takes you through the mistakes they’ve made and the lessons they’ve learnt through the medium of mus...
Pornography – 53two
North West

Pornography – 53two

Simon Stephens’ Pornography is a dark, gritty play, spotlighting the lives of 8 people in London at a time of momentous excitement – and horror. It focuses on individuals living through the awarding of the 2012 Olympics, swiftly followed by the 7/7 bombings in the capital, showcasing the crash from euphoria to chaos. Red Brick Theatre, the collaborative, Manchester-based theatre company, took on the task of performing the first professional production of Stephens’ play since 2009, a year after it was published. The piece is written as a collection of seven scenes, published in numerical order to serve as a countdown to the bombings, but Red Brick opted to separate and intertwine these scenes instead – meaning that the performance had a highly fluid nature to it. Upon entering 53two’...
Red Brick Theatre bring Pornography to 53two
NEWS

Red Brick Theatre bring Pornography to 53two

Red Brick Theatre announces their latest production PORNOGRAPHY by Simon Stephens. The stark and shattering play returns for its first professional UK production since 2009 at Manchester’s 53two from September 26th - 30th 2023 including a captioned performance. Written in response to London crashing from the euphoria of winning the race to host the 2012 Olympics, into the chaos and reality of the 7/7 bombings. Six stories pulsate through the heart of the city, serving as a countdown to the catastrophic attack. Red Brick Theatre present a striking new production of Simon Stephens’ (National Theatre, Royal Exchange, Royal Court) fractured portrait of Britain. Directed by Oliver Hurst (BRICKS, The BBC’s First Homosexual, Co-founder of Red Brick Theatre) with video direction by Beck Coo...
Coke, Machines, Stars & Kisses – 53two
North West

Coke, Machines, Stars & Kisses – 53two

There can’t be a better physical representation of the ups and downs of life, relationships and self-discovery than a trampoline and here there is one slap, bang centre-stage and it is physically and metaphorically central to this play. As it begins Lewis is enjoying himself on the trampoline. He is sure of himself, knows how to control his body and can even perform a few tricks. Lewis appears to be a self-assured, confident, working-class lad who sniffs a bit of coke as he drinks and smokes. Not only is he the last to leave Dale’s party but he was also uninvited. Dale has returned to Manchester after living in London and he wants Lewis to leave. Yet they get talking and start out on a journey of self-discovery for both of them which will take them up to the stars and back down to e...
Young Love – 53two
North West

Young Love – 53two

The unbridled joy and total angst of teen love has proved a rich vein for theatre makers to mine over the years. Jake Talbot’s Young Love takes that traditional theme, and a set of fairly familiar storylines, but refuses to condescend his characters. This is a production firmly grounded in a world in which younger generations are not naive and simple, but rather complex, thoughtful and, quite frequently, an example to their elders in terms of progressive ideas and how to treat others. Arguably, a world not unlike the one we are lucky to live in right now. Oldham theatre company Dare to Know are back at Manchester’s 53Two after the success of Talbot’s own one-man show, Drowning, in March. However, returning audience members are in for a very different experience. The under the arc...
Transparency – 53two, Manchester
North West

Transparency – 53two, Manchester

Jaden Adams invites the world into a snippet of a transgender male’s life: expect an emotive solo performance packed with passion and playfulness. A prying parent forces Jack to come out about his transness sooner than he wished. In this multi-faceted account, he reveals the ups and downs that followed. Though aspects of the narrative may sound bygone, the northern working-class setting- where views on trans rights still lack progression in many households- should be taken into consideration. Adams is an endearing storyteller who tackles sensitive topics with deft. His zealous acting skills show great potential as he switches between roles, garnering plenty of laughs as Jack’s niggling nan. Everybody roots for Adams’ character from the start as he addresses hurdles from being...
Crave – 53two, Manchester
North West

Crave – 53two, Manchester

Sarah Kane’s poetic masterpiece Crave marked a significant departure for the playwright when it was first performed in 1998. Whereas Kane’s previous work had featured graphic violence and sex, Crave relied on language. A quarter of a century on and it is clear the power of Kane’s words has hardly subdued. Four characters - A, B, C and M - take to the simple but beautifully-lit stage under the atmospheric 53Two arches. A black curtain backdrop and four stylish grey chairs are the only set dressing. This could be a waiting room or a therapy session or both those things or something else entirely or nothing at all. What follows are four haunting monologues or conversations beautifully interwoven together in a way that is almost impenetrable and yet totally understandable on a human lev...
30 and Out – Pleasance Theatre
London

30 and Out – Pleasance Theatre

Kit Sinclair's new work '30 and Out' chronicles the ins and outs of understanding one's gender and sexual expression, albeit not in one's teens. Based on Sinclair's honest journey, the solo show also intersperses audio recordings of interviews conducted with lesbians from diverse ages and lived realities. The show is funny, engaging and heartwarming. Kit Sinclair is such a talented artist; with her wit, charm, and an eclectic multiverse of characters, she brings to the front so many nuances of accepting oneself and allowing them to flourish as lesbian/non-binary. Following a successful sell-out Brighton Fringe run, '30 and Out' is spending this week in London at The Pleasance, ahead of concluding its mini tour at 53two in Manchester. Presented by Prentice Productions and assisted by he...
Come Laugh With Us – 53two
North West

Come Laugh With Us – 53two

The audience tonight were treated to six eclectic short plays as part of an evening advertised as “a brand-new comedy night, written by women, for women” but ultimately all the plays touched on universal themes that transcend gender. All the plays were entertaining, some were educational, and introduced female issues that some, including me, were shamefully unaware. It was Päi Productions, a female-led Northern production company, first theatre production and it was a triumph. Comedian Soph Galustian got the audience warmed up with some good jokes and as a fellow Stopfordian (i.e. someone from Stockport) I definitely recognised her comments about the town. The first play Oh God by Chloe Mclaughlin, was a monologue told with entertaining verve by Kelsea Knox. There was a touch of ...