Manchester Metropolitan University is championing the creative talents of its graduate students this Autumn, with Manchester School of Art MA shows on campus and at HOME – and this mini season of productions from the Manchester School of Theatre. Also taking place at HOME, these three plays will be performed by BA (hons) Acting students at the peak of their training, offering an intimate setting and inexpensive way to see emerging actors at the beginning of their professional life. From a postmodernist meditation on (self-)destructiveness to a celebration of wartime traveling players, the featured plays are both distinctive in themselves, and set to be uniquely presented. Here’s a quick run down of each of them.

Attempts on Her Life | Thu 10 - Sat 12 Oct | 7.15pm (Evening), 2.15pm (Fri matinee) | From £2

Playwright Martin Crimp’s postmodernist play was first seen at the Royal Court Theatre in 1997. The script gives carte blanche to the director on how to tell the central story of Anne, a mercurial figure who appears as both destructive to others and to herself; none of the lines are attributed to actors and the action takes place across 17 disconnected scenes. Subsequently translated into over 20 languages, it has become an enduring exercise in dramatic experimentation, revered particularly for its innovative use of form. In the hands of the Manchester School of Theatre students, it promises something newly unfamiliar.

HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, M15 4FN, Tel: 0161 200 1500
We Happy Few | Thu 7 - Sat 09 Nov | 7.15pm (Evening), 2.15pm (Fri matinee) | From £2

Based on the true story of an all-female band of seven traveling players who toured Shakespeare plays around the UK during World War II, We Happy Few opened in London in 2004. The play sets the private, wartime revelations of its performers against a group’s broader struggle for artistic recognition and success – thus providing rich meat for emerging actors to get their teeth into.

HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, M15 4FN, Tel: 0161 200 1600
The Duchess of Malfi | Thu 21 - Sat 23 Nov | 7.15pm (Evening), 2.15pm (Fri matinee) | From £2

The blood-soaked Duchess of Malfi has long been a favourite among both actors and audiences, with its defiant lead role, dark humour and gory denouement. Today, it is a script that can be read as echoing current preoccupations around toxic masculinity – although what modern resonance the Manchester School of Theatre graduates will draw out remains to be seen across these three days of performance.

HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, M15 4FN, Tel: 0161 200 1600
Thu 10 Oct - Sat 23 Nov
Polly Checkland Harding
Published on:
Tue 1 Oct 2019