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re:play Festival 2014 at Manchester Library Theatre

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by David Keyworth (subscribe)
I’m a freelance journalist and published poet, based in Manchester. My debut poetry pamphlet is available at
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Emerging talent and famous names
Plays about a premiership footballer, a male escort, the Manchester music scene and asylum are amongst those in the line-up for Manchester Library Theatre Company's re: play Festival.

re: play Festival features a selection of Salford and Manchester's best fringe theatre from 2013. The plays and other events will be staged at the Lowry, Salford Quays, which is the Library Theatre's current home.

In addition to adult-themed plays such as Away from Home by Martin Jameson and Rob Ward, the festival includes its first show aimed at children and a family audience.
Family Theatre Lowry Manchester
Billy, the Monster and Me!

In Billy, the Monster and Me!, the lead character has to contend with an intruder who appears in his bedroom. The play by Catherine Manford and Sarah Molyneux is suitable for audiences aged three and upwards.

There are also opportunities for emerging play-makers to show off their talent. NewScript night challenges four promising, local writers to create 15-minute plays based on current news stories. Pitch Party gives hopefuls the chance to sell their ideas to an audience of theatre professionals. Last year's winner Tom Mason, will see his play Handles given a work-in-progress presentation.

In addition to emerging talent, long-established names will also take their place in the roll-call. One Hand Clapping is an adaptation for the stage, by Lucia Cox, of an Anthony Burgess novel. Lunch is a tightly-packed account of the ups and downs of a romance by pioneering theatre star, Steven Berkoff.

Theatre Steven Berkoff
Lunch by Steven Berkoff

Elsewhere in the two week festival Louisa-Mai Parker explores what it really means to seek asylum in contemporary Britain. Stella Grundy dramatises the life of MADchester icon Tracy Star. The play will take place in the orchestra's dressing room at the Lowry, which has a capacity of just 30. In total, there are eight productions in the festival, in addition to the other events.

Manchester music theatre Tracy Star
The Rise and Fall of a Northern Star

Chris Honer, the Library Theatre Company's Artistic Director says: "The range of work emerging from the fringe gets broader every year and it's great to be able to give it wider exposure."

The re: play Festival is now in its seventh year but there will not be a festival in 2015, as the Library Theatre Company will be in a state of flux. However, it is due to return in 2016, when the company joins the Cornerhouse arts centre at a new venue. HOME, as the social and cultural hub will be called, will include a theatre, studio space, gallery, cinema screens, a café bar and restaurant.
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Phone: 0843 208 6010
Where: Lowry, Salford Quays
Cost: £8 (£6 concessions)
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