July looks to be a bountiful month for theatre fans, what with the International Festival and the Fringe. Even outside of those events there’s plenty of other plays, both grand and intimate, at venues all across the city. Below is a quick roundup of some of the most noteworthy shows that are on in the coming month…
A Quick Guide to Ruining your Life At The King's Arms
Dawn seemingly has it all: a nice house, fast car, great friends and family, and a new job out in sunny Dubai. So why has she been hiding in her own attic for the last three months?
Mon 1 Jul, Sat 6 Jul, Sun 7 Jul, The King's Arms, 11 Bloom Street, Salford, M3 6AN, Tel: 0161 832 3605, Various show times, £7, www.kingsarmssalford.com
One Night in Miami… at HOME
Cassius Clay has just been crowned World Heavyweight Champion and celebrates with three friends: activist Malcolm X, American footballer Jim Brown, and soul star Sam Cooke. This play imagines what happened in that Miami hotel room that night.
Tue 2 – Fri 5 Jul, HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester, M15 4FN, Tel: 0161 200 1500, 7.30pm/2.30pm, £10 – £23, homemcr.org
Invisible Cities at Mayfield Depot
An innovative mix of theatre, music, architectural design, and projection mapping, the piece imagines a succession of alternative worlds. It centres on the relationship between Kublai Khan, the volatile head of his vast empire, and the explorer Marco Polo.
Tue 2 Jul – Sun 14 Jul, Mayfield, Baring Street, M1 2PZ, 8pm/2.30pm, £10 - £35, mif.co.uk
Hobson's Choice at The Royal Exchange
This new adaptation of the classic comedy is set against the backdrop of the Ugandan-Asian rag trade in the 1980s. Hari Hobson is a tailor in the Northern Quarter, but his oldest daughter – who is the brains behind the operation – leaves him to open a rival shop nearby.
Until Sat 6 Jul, Royal Exchange Theatre, St. Ann's Square, Manchester, M2 7DH, Tel: 0161 833 9833, 7.30pm/2.30pm, From £18.50, www.royalexchange.co.uk
Wresting the Walrus at The Royal Exchange
A young woman spots an elderly man sitting alone on a park bench and decides to befriend him. They share stories from their lives, but the man becomes a little unsettled – perhaps their encounter was no accident.
Until Sat 6 Jul, The Studio, Royal Exchange Theatre, St. Ann's Square, Manchester, M2 7DH, Tel: 0161 833 9833, 7.30pm/2.30pm, £13, www.royalexchange.co.uk
The Book of Mormon at The Palace Theatre
One of the biggest box office hits of the century, this outrageous musical comedy comes from the creators of 'South Park' and the co-writer of 'Avenue Q' and 'Frozen'. It follows the adventures of a mismatched pair of missionaries in Africa.
Until Sat 24 Aug, The Palace Theatre, 97 Oxford Street, Manchester, M1 6FT, Tel: 020 7206 1174, 7.30pm/2.30pm, From £13, www.atgtickets.com
Tree at Upper Campfield Market Hall
Created by Idris Elba and Kwame Kwei-Armah, this drama featuring music and dance follows one man’s journey into the heart of his ancestral home. A family tragedy forces Londoner Kaleo to visit South Africa for the first time.
Until Sat 13 Jul, Upper Campfield Market Hall, Campfield Avenue Arcade, Castlefield, Manchester, M3 4FH, 8pm, £10 - £35, mif.co.uk
Vinegar Tom at The Lowry
Caryl Churchill’s acclaimed play is set in a discordant 17th Century England, but its themes still resonate today. The story explores why witch hunts happen even when there are no witches.
Tue 9 Jul – Wed 10 Jul, The Studio, The Lowry, Pier 8, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ, Tel: 0343 208 6000, 8pm/2pm, From £6, thelowry.com
The Death of a Muse at Lock 91
A biographical look at the Irish poet W.B. Yeats, this work explores his relationship with the love of his life, Maud Gonne. A suffragette, she was an activist first and mother second – and had more than a few skeletons in her closet.
Tue 9 Jul, Tue 16 Jul, Wed 24 Jul, Lock 91, 9 Century Street, Manchester, M3 4QL, 7pm, £7, manchesterfringe.com
Bette and Joan at Hope Mill Theatre
Once famous grande-dames of the film world, arch-rivals Bette Davis and Joan Crawford worked together only once: in the classic 1962 film “Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?”. This new drama tells the story of these two duelling divas during the filming.
Wed 10 Jul – Sat 13 Jul, Hope Mill Theatre, 113 Pollard Street, Ancoats, Manchester, M4 7JA, Tel: 0161 275 9141, 7.30pm/2.30pm, £16, hopemilltheatre.co.uk
Woman on Fire at TMC Waterside Theatre
Edith Rigby was a mild-mannered doctor’s wife from Preston with a secret identity – that of a militant suffragette. Her actions included bombings and arson, so was she a ruthless terrorist or an impassioned freedom fighter?
Mon 15 Jul – Thu 18 Jul, TMC Waterside Theatre, Shena Simon Campus, Manchester College, Chorlton Street, Manchester, M1 3HB, 7pm/2pm, £12, manchesterfringe.com
Blue Lines at The King's Arms
Starting a new school is tough, especially if you’re a sex education teacher. It’s also tough if you’re the new girl and your drunken shenanigans in the car park come back to haunt you.
Mon 15 Jul – Sat 20 Jul, The King's Arms, 11 Bloom Street, Salford, M3 6AN, Tel: 0161 832 3605, Various show times, £8, manchesterfringe.com
Early Doors at The Lowry
Punters have another chance to see this hit comedy that was the Lowry's fastest selling show ever. Based on the cult TV show, it’s co-written by and stars Craig Cash of The Royle Family fame.
Wed 24 Jul – Sat 3 Aug, The Lowry, Pier 8, The Quays, Salford, M50 3AZ, Tel: 0343 208 6000, 7.30pm/2.30pm, From £28, thelowry.com
There Is a Light that Never Goes Out at The Royal Exchange
The Industrial Revolution gave birth to the Luddite movement – workers who destroyed the machines that threatened their way of life. This production explores how the Luddites helped inspire the birth of Manchester’s radical political identity.
25 Jul – 10 Aug, Royal Exchange Theatre, St. Ann’s Square, Manchester, M2 7DH, Tel: 0161 833 9833, 7.30pm/2.30pm, From £18.50, www.royalexchange.co.uk
Mémoires d'un Amnésique at the Anthony Burgess Foundation
Equal parts a piano recital, a one-man play, and a surrealist film, this drama looks at the life and work of the composer Erik Satie. The script is edited from Satie's own words, and features performances of the great man’s most famous works.
Sat 27 Jul, International Anthony Burgess Foundation, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester, M1 5BY, Tel: 0161 235 0776, 7.30pm, £10, manchesterfringe.com