Manchester's original street gangs
It's 1885 and the streets of Manchester are crackling with energy, youth and violence. As workers pour into Ancoats to power the Industrial Revolution, 50.000 people are crammed into one square mile. The mills rumble thunderously day and night. The air is thick with smoke. Life is lived large and lived on the street. This is the world's very first industrial suburb and the young mill workers who are the living cogs in its machines form the very first urban gangs, fighting over their territory with belts, fists and knives.
Invisible in history their lives, deaths, loves, lusts and defiant energy tell stories that will repeat and repeat over the decades that follow.
Inspired by the Manchester riots of 2011 and the stories of all the Manchester gangs between the nineteenth century and today Rona Munro's new play smashes the nineteenth century against a twenty first century sensibility to bring the young Scuttlers back to vivid, potent life.
Wils Wilson is an award winning director and site-specific theatre maker. Her recent work includes Praxis Makes Perfect (National Theatre Wales); Gastronauts (Royal Court); ANON, (WNO); The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart (National Theatre of Scotland) which has been touring nationally and internationally since 2010.
Rona Munro has written extensively for stage, radio, film and television including the trilogy THE JAMES PLAYS for the National Theatre of Scotland, The National Theatre and the Edinburgh International Festival.
“I love the Royal Exchange because the relationship between the audience and the performers is so immediate. There’s a shared sense of making the theatre happen together - a kind of deal between the audience and the performers." Wils Wilson, Director
The creative development of SCUTTLERS has been generously supported by the Peter Henriques Memorial Fund.
COMMUNITY ENSEMBLE: Pawel Adamkiewicz, Ramial Aqueel, Abigayle Bartley, Casey Birks, Tabitha Bowman, Hayden Burns, Joe Callaghan, Michael Coleman, Duncan Crompton, Tyler Dobbs, John Dudley, Tom Durrant, Conor Glean, Jonah Gourlay, Lois Griffiths-Balaam, Josh Hawson, Duncan Hibbert, Steven Ireland, Cassandra John-Baptiste, Tim Law, Calum Lill, Tom Lyons, Charlie Maguire, Joseph Mihranian, Ceri Moss, Olivia Peers, Leyla Percival, Sonny Poontip, Adriano Primerano, Dave Ramsden, Lyndsay Rowan and Ciara Warburton. Check out the blogs by Ensemble members Conor Glean and Tom Durrant here.
THE SCUTTLERS ROAM AGAIN...
From the slums of industrial Manchester came a strange and violent cult that would terrorise the streets for three decades. Gangs of youths, clad in bizarre fashions, launched a series of turf wars, fighting pitched battles that left scores maimed and even killed.
In the acclaimed THE GANGS OF MANCHESTER, a leading historian reveals the extraordinary true story of the Scuttlers.
'Andrew Davies evokes the energy and excitement of gang life, their pride, their loyalty to each other, their love of fighting and their brutal excesses.' History Today
Book available to buy from the Information Point. £7.99
VENUE: The Theatre
PERFORMANCE DATES: Thursday 5 February - Saturday 7 March 2015
PERFORMANCE TIMES: Monday – Friday evenings: 7.30pm / Tuesday & Wednesday matinees: 2.30pm / Saturdays: 3.30pm and 8.00pm / Extra Matinee Tuesday 17 February at 2.30pm
TICKET PRICES: Standard tickets from £15.00 / Half Price Previews from £7.50 / Banquette tickets: £10
BOOK TICKETS: Box Office: 0161 833 9833 / online
AGE GUIDANCE: 12+
RUNNING TIME: Approx 2 hours and 20 minutes, which includes one interval of 20 minutes.
DIRECTOR Wils Wilson
DESIGNER Fly Davis
LIGHTING Natasha Chivers
SOUND Peter Rice
MUSIC Denis Jones
MOVEMENT DIRECTOR Eddie Kay for Frantic Assembly
PHOTO BY Kevin Cummins
AFTER SHOW DISCUSSION: Thursday 26 February, after 7.30pm performance. More information
BACK STAGE TOUR: Wednesday 11 February, 11.00am. Tickets £5 (including refreshments). Book on 0161 833 9833. More information
BETWEEN THE LINES: Wednesday 18 February, 11am - 1pm. Play-reading and discussion group. For everyone over 18. Come along and read, discuss or just listen. 11am - 1pm. Tickets £6. Book on 0161 833 9833. More information
BEHIND THE SCENES: Wednesday 25 February: 10.30am - 12 noon. Pre-show introduction to the play and production. For all ages. Tickets £6/£4 concessions. Book on 0161 833 9833. More information
GANGLAND MANCHESTER: Panel discussion with Dave Haslam. Saturday 28 February. Tickets £6. More information
SCUTTLERS WALKING TOURS: Due to sell-out demand, extra dates added - Saturdays 28 February & 7 March, 11.30am. More information
FROM THE STREETS: Exploring Manchester's Urban Art Scene. Free to view in the Great Hall until 7 March. More information
THE GANGS OF MANCHESTER BY ANDREW DAVIES: Book available to buy from the Information Point. £7.99.
AUDIO DESCRIBED PERFORMANCE: Saturday 28 February 3.30pm
BSL INTERPRETED PERFORMANCE: Tuesday 3 March 7.30pm
CAPTIONED PERFORMANCE: Tuesday 24 February at 7.30pm
Click here for more information about our accessible performances
‘…dark, grimy, ripe with DANGEROUS excitement – THRILLING…INTOXICATING' The Times
‘The TERRIFIC soundscape is full of noise and fury …Eddie Kay’s choreographed movement is IMPRESSIVE' The Guardian
‘ATMOSPHERIC and TANGIBLE… Denis Jones and Peter Rices’ INGENIOUS, IMMERSIVE soundscape' whatsonstage.com
‘The sense of ENERGY is absolutely OVERWHELMING…WONDERFUL script… FANTASTIC soundscapes…it really is SOMETHING SPECIAL.’
The Good Review
‘Wils Wilson’s IMPRESSIVE production…TERRIFIC crowd work…INTENSELY drawn individual performances, ENDING WITH A STROKE OF THEATRICAL GENIUS.’ The Stage
‘It’s to the credit of the AWARD-WINNING playwright and an IMPRESSIVE creative team that the underbelly of Victorian Manchester is VIVIDLY brought to life.' Manchester Evening News
‘A VISUAL and SONIC TREAT - looks FANTASTIC…sounds WONDERFUL…the choreographed fight scenes have an INTOXICATING ENERGY’ exeuntmagazine.com
'This is a young, vibrant production... Dan Parr, so impressive in the RET's production of Britannia Waves The Rules, returns to once again impress... With it's "in your face" physicality and a lively, pacy script this is a very watchable play and Munro makes sure you care about a group of characters struggling to survive. The ending is clever too. Messenger Newspapers
'The cast skillfully convey the futility of life in industrial Manchester... The historical accuracies are breathtaking... I sense that only the Royal Exchange could do justice to a play of this nature.' Northern Soul
'atmospheric, original, and exciting. Credit must also go to the actors for making this seem so authentic. There was a real energy among them, making this era-spanning production stand out as something quite special.' The Manchester Review
'edge of the seat action with the help of a formidable team... The Exhange is the perfect setting for this vibrant and passionate piece... The cast are hugely impressive, passionate and fierce... Exciting, thought provoking and engaging.' Manchester's Finest
UNCHARTED TERRITORY by Kevin Bourke for Big Issue In The North
'As tens of thousands of workers poured into Ancoats in Manchester to power the Industrial Revolution at the end of the nineteenth century, the world’s very ﬁrst industrial suburb was created. With 50,000 people crammed into one square mile, those jam-packed streets crackled with energy, youth and violence. As the mills rumbled thunderously day and night,...' [Read More]
BBC Radio 3 Free Thinking Interview with writer Rona Munro
BBC Radio 4 Front Row Interview with writer Rona Munro
To access both interviews - open links and scroll down to 'chapter' heading