Featuring everything from contemplative murder investigations to solo spoken-word reflections on the black queer experience , the North West’s autumn line up offers another full calendar of diverse, world-class productions.

Here are some of the best:

Unfortunate | The Lowry | Tue 6 Sep - Sat 10 Sep | 8pm | £14

Arriving in Salford on the back of sell-out runs at Edinburgh Fringe and around the country, Fat Rascal Theatre’s Unfortunate follows maligned villain Ursula as she raunchily recounts her version of events from The Little Mermaid. Celebrating a plus-size icon and ‘legendary queer queen’, Unfortunate is a hilarious Disney-after-dark night out with ‘a hot pop soundtrack and trademark filthy humour’.

The Quays, Trafford Wharf Rd, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester, M17 1TZ, Tel: 0343 208 6000
As You Write It | Shakespeare North Playhouse | Fri 9 Sep - Sat 10 Sep | From £3.50

‘Bold, generous and confident’, As You Write It showcases three plays based on short stories from talented young writers, in collaboration with The One Show. The show takes place at Knowsley’s Shakespeare North Playhouse, a brand new £30m theatre complex, with its main amphitheatre modelled on Inigo Jones’ original 17th century cockpit-in-court design.

Prospero Place, Prescot L34 3AB, Tel: 0300 303 4204
Kin | HOME | Tue 27 Sep - Sat 1 Oct | 7.30pm | £10-£24

Presenting ‘a provocative story of desperation and compassion’ as part of an incredible autumn schedule at HOME, Kin follows the epic pilgrimage of Leah, a young girl who left Yemen for Palestine in 1932, as told by her grandson ninety years later. Featuring an international cast performing to a stirring global soundtrack, Kin is a lush, culturally diverse meditation on origins, belonging, identity and destiny.

2 Tony Wilson Pl, Manchester, M15 4FN, Tel: 0161 200 1500
New Dawn Fades: A Play About Joy Division and Manchester | RNCM | Thu 29 Sep | 8pm | £19.50

Celebrating its tenth anniversary, the brand new production of New Dawn Fades vividly captures the unique place and time in which Joy Division caught fire. Written by Brian Gorman, the show follows the four boys who rode the cresting wave of punk revolution to become one of the most influential bands of all time, while charting Manchester’s vibrant history against the backdrop of Ian Curtis’ haunting lyrics. Featuring a soundtrack of Curtis’ favourite songs, New Dawn Fades enlists several Mancunian icons to establish the setting for Joy Division’s rise: inevitably, Tony Wilson acts as spirit guide, whisking the audience along a timeline of Manchester’s resplendent growth, with cameos ranging from Friedrich Engels to Pete Shelley and many others, as they each help form a local yet boundless story of passion and grief.

124 Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9RD, Tel: 0844 888 9991
Let Me Count The Ways | The Edge Chorlton | Fri 7 Oct - Sat 8 Oct | 7.30pm | £15

Part of The Edge’s unmissable autumn season, Let Me Count The Ways is a solo spoken word show running across two nights which draws on both speculative and realist storytelling to navigate love, care and intimacy, speaking directly to the experiences of black queer women.

The Edge Theatre & Arts Centre, Manchester Road, Chorlton, M21 9JG, Tel: 0161 282 9776
Brief Encounter | Bolton Octagon | Thu 20 Oct | 2.30pm/7.30pm | From £15

Among Noel Coward’s most notable works, Brief Encounter arrives at the Bolton Octagon on 20 October. Directed by Paul Robinson and adapted for the stage by the groundbreaking former artistic director of Shakespeare’s Globe, Emma Rice, Brief Encounter follows the whirlwind extramarital romance of Laurie and Alec after, you guessed it, a chance meeting.


Howell Croft S, Bolton, BL1 1SB, Tel: 01204 520661
Things Hidden Since the Foundations of the World | HOME | Sat 22 Oct - Sat 5 Nov | 2.15pm/7.45pm | £12.50

Charting an investigation into an infamous murder and, in the process, interrogating the nature of modern investigation itself, Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World revisits the unsolved murder of Iranian pop sensation Fereydoun Farrokzhad in the context of today’s internet landscape – specifically the global thirst for true crime content – and considers that which is overlooked in a society which presents everything as knowable.

2 Tony Wilson Pl, Manchester, M15 4FN, Tel: 0161 200 1500
Tue 6 Sep - Sat 5 Nov
Wolf McFarlane
Published on:
Wed 24 Aug 2022