THE SKRIKER, YEN, THE ROLLING STONE and THE CRUCIBLE all recognised in the critics best shows for 2015

Sarah Frankcom’s acclaimed production of Caryl Churchill’s THE SKRIKER with Maxine Peake in the title role has resonated loudly with the critics this year.

The Guardian theatre critic Michael Billington listed the production in his top ten for 2015 commenting…

‘First time round, in 1994, Caryl Churchill’s play had me baffled. Now I felt I had got a handle on it thanks to Sarah Frankcom’s richly environmental production and Maxine Peake’s magnetic central performance.’

Jake Davies as Bobbie left and Alex Austin as Hench in YEN by Anna Jordan  The Studio Royal Exchange Theate until 7 March. Photo - Jonathan Keenan

Dominic Maxwell of The Times selected the production in his top picks describing the show as a ‘riveting revival’ and ‘…the best bad-dream I have had all year’.

This co-commission with Manchester International Festival, alongside a multi-talented cast of 15 the production featured music from composer Nico Muhly and Antony Hegarty, of Antony and the Johnsons and a 50-strong community-choir of local singers, the production was acclaimed for its striking ensemble performance. Its unique staging transformed the Exchange into a twisted and broken world, as Susannah Clapp comments in her 2015 round-up ‘Lizzie Clachan… made a massive bedlam cabaret for Maxine Peake in The Skriker’

‘The play is a journey, a spell, a dance, a hymn. It’s a call to arms from the Earth herself. It gets inside your head and your heart and demands that you see yourself, and the world in which you live, in a completely different way’
Sarah Frankcom & Maxine Peake

For Alice Saville of Exeunt Magazine Sarah Frankcom's direction of THE SKRIKER 'made it brilliantly digestible' and Maxine Peake's performance stole her heart 'with her wild elemental power'

Our productions of classic and new plays have also been recognised as Matt Trueman, for WhatsOnStagefelt that Caroline Steinbeis' production of THE CRUCIBLE 'pushed Miller's play to its max'. 

Anna Jordan's YEN and Chris Urch's THE ROLLING STONE, both winners in the 2013 Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting, have made Alfred Hickling's list in The Guardian for 2015. He said of YEN that he fell 'passionately in love with its inner beauty' and of Chris Urch's THE ROLLING STONE he said 'the confidence with which he negotiated an emotive and politically troubling subject made it all the more remarkable that it was only his second full-length play.'