Theatre in Manchester – An Introduction

Let’s discuss theatre in Manchester eh?

Strictly, I’m a southerner, but I have spent the main years of my life living in the North. My accent is now neutral and no one really knows whether to consider me northern or not. Despite the confusion, it’s important to highlight that life, excitement and creativity exists outside of London, and it’s brilliant.

Being a creative, it can often seem like you miss out on all the opportunities unless you live In London. You couldn’t possibly jump on a train and be there in two hours for an audition without having to pay scarily high rent each month. Course you could! Theatre in the North is BOOMING and theatre in Manchester is just as brilliant, sometimes better, than what goes on int capitol.

Talent exists all around, every corner, any place, any time no matter where you are from. PLEASE let go of any thoughts holding you back because your theatre friends all tell you, it has to be done in London. London is a brilliant place I’ve had the pleasure of living, but there aint no place like home and theatre in Manchester is magical.

Have a read below for all thing’s theatre in Manchester. I have highlighted some of my top venues and creative communities for you to start off with.  

The Three Minute Theatre

The 3MT is a DIY, independent, wheel chair friendly, arts venue based in Afflecks Palace, located in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. It is a quirky 50 – 100 seat venue which is equipped to host any music, drama, dance, comedy and film event. The venue is ran by a wonderful couple who have been working in the entertainment industry together for years – It is also a vegan café in the day time which is super yum. It’s a lovely little theatre with a great community of creatives who attend regularly to support the touring shows, musicians and events held there. A perfect place if you are considering putting on your own solo performance.

The Hope Mill Theatre

Theatre in Manchester just got even hotter since the arrival of this brilliant theatre. The venue was founded by couple Joseph Houston and William Whelton after a spell living in London, inspired by the many fringe venues in the city. Hope Mill opened in 2015 and has been home to some great shows such as Rags, Jerry Springer The Opera and Closer. They also hold a regular play reading club open to all.

53two

53two is one of the biggest arts venues in Manchester and it is ran by Manchester Actor’s Platform. ‘53’ and ‘two’ are separate components within the venue which is located in Deansgate’s tunnels, a short walk away from Deansgate station. There are regular events held here for creatives as well as performances of new writing from local actors. It’s a great venue for plays, music events, play readings, solo performances and auditions etc. Um, who said theatre in Manchester isn’t all happening? It definitely is.

Contact Theatre

Their mission is to provide opportunities for the next generation of artists by working with local and national communities, to bring experienced practitioners and emerging artists together. Contact Theatre is a community of people within the theatre in Manchester scene with lots of different opportunities available for you to get involved with.

In addition to just a handful of the brilliant venues Manchester has to offer, there are groups and events that meet regularly which might be helpful to you on your journey. Check out the following: –

David Johnson

One of the leading acting tutors in the UK. He has an acting school based in Manchester with classes every fortnight at a reasonable cost and easy access from Manchester train stations.

The Writers’ Support Group on Facebook

This is a friendly and flexible group of creatives who meet on a regular basis, usually at The Hope Mill Theatre in Manchester. They do play readings, sharing new scripts and ideas, script writing discussions and much more. Even if you aren’t a writer it is useful to be in the same room as writers, when you are an actor.

The Royal Exchange

One of Manchester’s leading venues also holds regular events and workshops with theatre practitioners. I have been involved with previous workshops and they are brilliant for meeting other, local actors and creatives. Keep an eye out on their website for workshop updates.

So if you are thinking of heading to Manchester from London, don’t forget an umbrella.

Check out all of my blogs on acting

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