From Shore To Shore

Yang Sing Restaurant, Princess Street, Manchester; Thursday 14th March, 2019


Tell us about the Chinese community.

As if there was just one.

When there are so many.

So many different places we come from.

So many different places … to call home.


From Fuzhou, Harbin, Tai Po and Foshan in the east to the likes of Harehills, Morley, Pannal, Ancoats and Selly Oak in the west; in 2014 writers Mary Cooper and MW Sun gathered real-life stories from Chinese communities throughout the North of England in order to create From Shore To Shore – an epic tale of migration and resettlement, awe-inspiring stories spanning decades, continents and cultures.Read More »

Barber Shop Chronicles

Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester; Monday 11th March, 2019



Trips to the hairdressers: a polite smile; the unnecessary hand gestures to accompany the verbal request; banal chat about how cold it’s been, how work’s been hectic, what it is you actually do for a living; the inevitable dying of the conversation, the awkward misery of not having anything else to say.

Barber Shop Chronicles tells the tale of just one day in the life of six such businesses separated by thousands of miles – and the proceedings are anything but dull and mundane.Read More »

Kourtney Kardashian

HOME Theatre, Manchester; Thursday 7th March, 2019



Kourtney Kardashian – who is she?

According to the family tree that Sleepwalk Collective have so kindly added as an Appendix to their programme notes, she appears to be the oldest of the Kardashian siblings. So she’s the big sister.

According to the most fundamental of universal metrics for measuring cultural relevance, she’s not as important as Kim or Khloe, but she certainly seems to be less pathetic than Rob:


Read More »


The Coliseum Theatre, Oldham; Wednesday 6th March, 2019


2019 is a big, big year for football anniversaries in the North West. Manchester’s true believers, the proper, hardcore red and blue football fanatics should already have the relevant alarms set on their mobile phones:

  • 21:30 on 26th May – exactly twenty years since Solskjaer flicked his right leg out.
  • 17:00 on 30th May – also twenty years, since Dickov gave birth to a new blue moon.

But before either of these events are commemorated there’s an altogether different anniversary to deal with, one that will transcend rivalries: whether they be of a red / blue variety or even of a much more hostile Liverpudlian / Mancunian form – 15:00 on 15th April will mark the thirtieth anniversary of Britain’s worst ever sporting disaster.Read More »

The Last Yankee

Bolton Library Theatre; Tuesday 5th March, 2019


In 1993, after having already worked closely on several different productions over many years, legendary American playwright Arthur Miller sent director David Thacker the script for a new play that he had written and asked him to stage it in England.

Thacker duly obliged and, twenty six years after The Last Yankee made its British debut at the Young Vic, the now Professor David Thacker of Bolton University brings the same showpiece of theatrical Americana to a newly improvised performance space in Bolton for its North-of-England debut.Read More »

Wise Children

HOME Theatre, Manchester; Thursday 28th February, 2019


April 1989, Brixton in south London – a.k.a. “the wrong side of the tracks”. 75-year-old twins and former chorus girls Nora and Dora Chance are off to a birthday party, a 100th birthday party for their father, a man who is very much on the right side of the tracks – the extravagant and flamboyant theatrical legend known as Melchior Hazard.

But the celebrations soon turn sour as the night transforms into a party like no other: three sets of twins from the same family lock horns over the unbearable tragedy of a mother being abandoned by her own children, and of children being cruelly abandoned by their father. The evening descends into a tempestuous muddle of emotional carnage, but for the Chance sisters it has been a long time coming – they may be 75 years old but finally Nora and Dora can be the children who got wise.Read More »


53Two, Manchester; Wednesday 27th February, 2019





  1. a variety of summer squash that is shaped like a cucumber and that has a smooth, dark-green skin.
  2. the plant bearing this fruit.
  3. a partner in a queer-platonic relationship.


Jamie (Alaister Michael) needs to talk, or more precisely he wants his girlfriend Katie (Elaine McNicol) to talk – he desperately wants to know what she’s feeling and he appears to have spared no expense in order to find out.

On the auspicious occasion of their third anniversary, a local hotel room has been booked, a bunch of flowers have been hastily dumped into a couple of spare hotel mugs, and a Mars bar has been declared as one of the evening’s planned highlights.

It’s little wonder then that Katie doesn’t have much time for it all. Read More »