With every venue’s Autumn Season in full swing, October looks like it’ll be another cracking month in the theatre. There’s tonnes going on, especially at The Lowry and HOME and below is just a sample of the most promising looking Manchester theatre productions taking place throughout the area. We’ve even included a couple of spooky options too, seeing as it’s Halloween time.

Royal Shakespeare Company Season | The Lowry | Wed 25 Sep - Sat 05 Oct | Showtimes Vary | From £18.50

Over the course of 11 days, The Royal Shakespeare Company is presenting three of The Immortal Bard’s middle-tier plays: As You Like It, The Taming of the Shrew, and Measure for Measure. The Shew gets a radical reworking – being set in a 16th century reimagined as a Matriarchy.

The Lowry, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ, Tel:0343 208 6000
Macbeth | The Royal Exchange | Until Sat 19 Oct | 7.30pm, 2.30pm | From £19

More from The Bard as his grittiest drama gets a highly charged adaptation from director Christopher Haydon. Lucy Ellinson takes on the title role of the war hero turned usurper of the crown. Expect an emphasis on the more psychological aspects of this time-honoured tragedy.

The Royal Exchange, Old Bank Street, Manchester M2 7PE, Tel:0161 833 9833
Gym & Tonic | The Waterside | Thu 03 - Sat 05 Oct | 7.30pm | £17.50/£15.50

Written and directed by John Godber, this classic comedy is set in a prestigious health farm. When Don and Shirley arrive to fix their failing marriage, even the therapists start to lose their cool. Sometimes it’s not just the clients who need to lay back and relax.

Waterside, 1 Waterside, Sale M33 7ZF, Tel:0161 912 5616
Pizza Shop Heroes | HOME | Fri 04 - Sat 05 Oct | 7pm, 2.15pm | From £10.50

Four young men working at a pizza shop tell their life stories. They all came to the UK as child refugees, and we hear tales of crossing continents, absent parents, and imprisonment in foreign jails. They touch on the themes of cultural identity, fatherhood, and imagined realities.

HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, First Street Manchester, M15 4FN, Tel:0161 200 1500
Signals | The Waterside | Sat 12 Oct | 8pm | £10/£8 conc

Alone on the night shift, two female data analysts monitor radio waves for signs of alien contact. And tonight is the night they have been waiting for. This new dark comedy is all about feeling lost in the cosmos, human connection, and Jaffa Cakes.

Waterside, 1 Waterside, Sale M33 7ZF, Tel:0161 912 5616
The Lovely Bones | The Lowry | Tue 15 – Sat 19 Oct | 7.30pm, 2.30pm | From £15.50

A large ensemble cast will bring to life Alice Sebold’s hugely popular novel. The story centres on Susie, a young girl who was recently murdered. Now a ghost, she can only observe while her family grieve in different ways and try to find her killer.

The Lowry, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ, Tel:0343 208 6000
Mistress to the Midnight | The King’s Arms | Thu 17 Oct | 7.30pm | £9/£7

Winner of Best Comedy Play at the GM Fringe 2019, this is a supposed adaptation of a classic British horror film. In a League of Gentlemen-esque style, a trio of actors portray all the parts in a macabre tale of a rich old spinster and her missing family.

The King's Arms Pub, 11 Bloom Street, Salford M3 6AN, Tel:0161 832 3605
Ground Zero | The King’s Arms | Mon 21 - Tue 22 Oct | 7.30pm | £10/£8 conc

A post-dramatic farce, this new work follows five characters as they navigate the absurdity of their own existence. They work zero-hour contracts and low-income jobs to try and carve out something of a life for themselves.

The King's Arms Pub, 11 Bloom Street, Salford M3 6AN, Tel:0161 832 3605
Avenue Q | The Palace Theatre | Mon 21 - Sat 26 Oct | Show times vary | From £13

The award-winning saucy puppet show, which was a hit on Broadway and in the West End, swings our way for a short run. It’s not for the easily offended as it features songs such as ‘Everyone’s a Little Bit Racist’ and ‘The Internet is for Porn’.

The Palace Theatre, 97 Oxford Street, Manchester M1 6FT, Tel:0844 871 3019
The Exorcist | The Opera House | Tue 22 – Sat 26 Oct | Show times vary | From £13

Direct from the West End comes this adaptation of William Peter Blatty’s book, and the more famous film. Thankfully they haven’t turned it into a musical. It has garnered some pretty strong reviews, with critics noting that (quite understandably) some may find it disturbing.

The Opera House, 3 Quay Street, Manchester M3 3HP, Tel:0161 828 1700
Dada Masilo's Giselle | The Lowry | Tue 22 – Wed 23 Oct | 8pm | From £13

Performing in the title role, and also choreographing, Masilo presents her reimagining of this classic tale. Fusing ballet with contemporary and traditional South African dance, it tells the story of a trusting peasant girl who is thrust into a world of betrayal and shame when her lover rejects her.

The Lowry, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ, Tel:0343 208 6000
Light Falls | The Royal Exchange | Thu 24 Oct – Wed 16 Nov | 7.30pm, 2.30pm | From £19

Artistic Director Sarah Frankcom’s farewell production for the RX is a play by Simon Stephens, featuring original music by Jarvis Cocker. Connecting five relatives in disparate English towns, it is a layered play about facing death and how our love survives us after we’ve gone.

The Royal Exchange, Old Bank Street, Manchester M2 7PE, Tel:0161 833 9833
Out of Time | Salford Arts Theatre | Fri 25 – Sat 26 Oct | 7.30pm | £10/£8 conc

Brian Jones, the founder member of The Rolling Stones, is the subject of this biographical play. The story follows Jones from the seedy backstreets of Soho where the band was formed, through to the egomania and internal dynamics of superstardom which saw him on the outside looking in.

Salford Arts Theatre, Kemsing Walk, Liverpool St, Salford M5 4BS, Tel:0161 925 0111
Dead Men's Eyes | The Lowry | Sat 26 Oct | 8pm | £12/£10 conc

This one-man show adapts two ghost stories from horror maestro M R James. A View from a Hill, centres on a pair of binoculars that can reveal history. In The Treasure of Abbot Thomas, a man comes face-to-face with horror at the bottom of an ancient well.

The Lowry, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ, Tel:0343 208 6000
Reasons to Stay Alive | HOME | Tue 29 Oct – Sat 02 Nov | 7.30pm | £5 - £24

At age 24, writer/performer Matt Haig’s world collapsed under the weight of depression. An ultimately uplifting exploration of living and loving better, this is the true story of his journey out of crisis. A play with music and movement, it is an adaptation of Haig’s bestselling book.

HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, First Street, Manchester, M15 4FN, Tel:0161 200 1500
Tue 1 Oct - Thu 31 Oct
Words:
A. James Simpkin
Published on:
Mon 23 Sep 2019