On Top of the World is working in Hulme and Gorton across four hi-rise blocks

The three-year project (2015-2018) with One Manchester Housing Provider has enabled residents to experience the benefits of arts and culture, to enhance their daily living and improve well being and life prospects. 

Activities in the four blocks has included workshops with professional theatre and visual artists and trips to cultural venues including the Royal Exchange Theatre, Whitworth Art Gallery and HOME.

As we entered our final year, we worked with the participants to produce a piece of high quality impactful theatre. Motivated by the Grenfell Tower disaster and the discussions that have been exposed by the tragedy, the piece enabled the group to voice their fears, wants, needs, and challenges they face individually and collectively.

The project set out to explore the lived experience of Tower Block Tenants and current attitudes towards people who live in social housing, the prejudices and the stigma that exists and the voices of those housed there. The culmination of this project is CAN YOU HEAR ME FROM UP HERE. See our news item and our round-up of comments


“We have been on such a roller coaster journey together, from our early outreach sessions, just starting conversations with residents in the blocks, introducing residents to our shows and space and now collaborating and making relevant, and meaningful theatre.

Every step of the way, every challenge, we have pulled together and now a company of actors, change makers, writers and musicians has emerged. Feedback from our community based performances have been full of positivity about the impact we are having. This final stage of the project will take the work to a wider audience to showcase and share the important work being produced through our involvement with One Manchester and residents of high rise blocks in Hulme and Gorton.”
Tracie Daly On Top of the World Project Manager

Through On Top of the World project participants have:

  • Gained confidence in their creative ability including making, performing and writing their own work
  • Moved into paid employment, training and volunteering roles within the Royal Exchange Theatre and in their own communuities
  • Gained a renewed sense of purpose, and feeling engaged and connected within their own neighbourhood and city
  • Collaborated with industry professionals to produce high quality theatre productions
  • Feel part of a wider community and greater access to cultural opportunities

On Top of the World are winners of the Manchester Be Proud Awards 2017 for Creativity in the Community


“I was initially sceptical about the project...art in tower blocks? How wrong could I have been!! It has awakened something in me I would never have believed I could do. The first time I performed my poetry to an audience it felt like flying. To see others in the group perform and share their talents blew me away. How little do we know our amazing neighbours!?

The project has pushed us out of long held comfort zones. It showed us we matter, we are worth it...and yes you can do it!

I now want to work with people who haven’t had a chance to be heard in a creative way. To facilitate groups in the community and make a difference. I have written a play and want to write more much much more!! On Top of the World has changed me and my community."

Tina Cribbin On Top of the World participant