Manchester Sound: The Massacre…new play in Manchester links Peterllo with acid house…looks great


Manchester Sound: The Massacreby Polly Wiseman

Directed by Paul Jepson

Saturday 8 June – Saturday 6 July 2013

The third and final site-specificproduction from the Library Theatre Company in Manchester, Manchester Sound: The Massacre, written by Polly Wisemanand directed by Paul Jepson, will run at a secret city centre venue betweenSaturday 8 June – Saturday 6 July 2013.

Following award-winning productions of Charles Dickens’ Hard Timesin 2011 and Jackie Kay’s Manchester Lines last year, Manchester Sound: The Massacre is an exciting clash of two key events in the history of the city – the Peterloo Massacre of 1819, which saw the deaths of 18 protesters campaigning against poverty and for democracy, and the explosion of acid house and rave culture in 1989.

Two young clubbers, Evie and Allegra, turn up at a city centre street cornerknowing that theirimpending night out is alive with mysterious possibilities, butnot knowing where the night will take them. DJs, blaggers, and the flotsam and jetsam of the clubbing world are also there.

Meanwhile, 170 years earlier, protesters, led by married couple Jemima and Samuel Bamford, have gathered to march to the city centre to protest, along with 60,000 others, that as citizens they have precious few rights, and that as citizens, they want the right to vote, and much else.

How these two seemingly different situations are connected, despite taking place almost 200 years apart, becomes clear in what is certain to be one of the most exciting and innovative events in the city’s theatrical calendar.

Directed by Paul Jepson, who directed the original West End production of Nick Moran’s Telstar, the story of maverick 1960s record producer Joe Meek, andwritten by Polly Wiseman, who began her writing career as a member of The Royal Court Theatre Young Writer’s programme and whose writing credits includeThis Rough Magic, a spectacular site-specific adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest performed on an oil rig moored off Brighton beach in front of an audience of 30,000, Manchester Sound: The Massacre pays homage to the two events which inspired it by being staged in a venue which will not be known to its audience until they arrive.

Bolton-born Leah Hackett, who played Tina McQueen in Channel 4’s Hollyoaksfor two years before being spectacularly killed off in October 2008, plays teenage clubber Evie and 1819 protester Lizzie Sheppard; Leigh-born Rachel Austin, who starred recently in the Manchester Theatre Award-winning production of Black Roses at the Royal Exchange Theatre, plays Evie’s best friend Allegra and Jemima; Northern Broadsides regular Simeon Truby, who is also theproduction’s Musical Director, plays 19th century lawyer William Norris and club doorman Kevin; and former professional boxer and rugby league star Adam Fogerty, who played boxer Gorgeous George in Guy Ritchie’s Snatch plays 19th century police chief Joseph Nadin and hard-man gangster Steve.

Pete Ashmore, who appeared in the Library Theatre Company’s well-receivedGrimm Tales in Christmas 2009, plays Jemima’s husband Samuel and 1989 DJ Sam; Dean Anthony Fagan, a jazz-funk DJ in Manchester when he’s not acting,plays 1989 raver Liam and 19th century solider Lieutenant Hugh Joliffe; Stephen Fewell, who played Second World War code-breaker Alan Turing in English Theatre Frankfurt’s 2012 production of Hugh Whitemore’s Breaking the Codeplays DJ Liberty, 19th century activist and campaigner Henry Hunt, and deputy sheriff of Lancashire William Hulton; and finally, Janey Lawson, whose appearance in the controversial The Assassination of Paris Hilton in the 2009 Edinburgh Festival hit the headlines, plays clubber Debbie and 19th century protester Mary Fildes.

In addition, a 25-strong community company will play various clubbers and protesters, while legendary Manchester music photographer Kevin Cummins will be taking the production photographs.

Manchester Sound: The Massacreis designed by Amanda Stoodley, who won the prestigious Theatre Awards UK/Theatrical Management Association award for Best Design for Manchester Lines last year; the sound designer is Peter Rice,part of the design team which won the Manchester Theatre Awards’ Best Design award for Hard Times in 2001; the projection designer is Timothy Bird; Lucy Hind is the movement director; and Chris Davey is the lighting designer. For more information on all the crew, please visit

Please note there is strong language, drug references, and smoking on stage in Manchester Sound: The Massacre.

Dates: Saturday 8 June – Saturday 6 July 2013.

Venue: Secret location, Manchester city centre.

Box office: 0161 200 1500.


Performances: Mon-Thu 7.30pm; Fri/Sat 6pm, 9pm.

Tickets: Saturday 8, Monday 10 June (previews) £15; Mon-Wed £22(concessions £18); Thu, Fri/Sat 6pm £24; Fri/Sat 9pm £26. Group rates (six tickets and above) £1 off per ticket.

Access performances: British Sign-Language Wed 19 June, Tue 2 July.


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