Football fan Martin Gibbons is directing his ideal play later this month, Maine Road. but do not be mislead by the title, as there is more to Monkeywood Theatre's latest production than meets the eye, as it is a character driven piece, as opposed to simply being a football based piece of theatre. We caught up with Martin and here he gives us his five reasons to take a trip to Maine Road at the Lowry.



1. It’s about everything that is important – family, home, and, of course, football. The play examines what football and football grounds mean to fans beyond the game and the bricks and mortar – it taps into the emotional heart of the beautiful game and what it means to the teenage boys who dedicate their lives to it.

2. It’s a great story – linking the experience of City fans at a key time in their club’s history to what’s happening in one young fan’s life – which seems to be mirroring the closure of his beloved ground.

3. It’s been through rigorous development – following its outing at 24:7 it has been developed with the BBC’s support as a radio play, which was broadcast in January.  Since then, our writer Sarah McDonald Hughes has been supported by the Peggy Ramsey Foundation to rewrite the play through a serious of development sessions with the cast and creative team.  Monkeywood have worked hard to make this play as good as it can possibly be!

4. It has some truly fantastic performances – Marie Critchley (Lilies; The Street; Beautiful Thing) as Elaine, Tom Aldersley (Coronation Street; Moving On; Danny, Champion of the World) as Clive and a ‘fantastic debut performance’ from Daniel Fitzsimons in the central role of Leo, alongside the usual Monkeywood suspects in various roles – Francesca Waite as Donna, Sarah McDonald Hughes as Jade and me, Martin Gibbons directing.

5. It sold out within weeks of going on sale at the Lowry – so we’ve added two extra performances – including one in the Quays on 12th March!  Monkeywood are fast becoming a company to watch and are rapidly establishing themselves as an important voice in North West theatre – since their first production in 2003 they have gained 5* reviews and acclaim for their work.  They are delighted to have the support of Arts Council England for this tour. So get your tickets sharpish so you don’t miss this Manchester play on its home leg.



Maine Road is at the Lowry on 12th March and returns from 18th - 20th March. It then tours. For further information, please click here.