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Carol Ann Duffy, Brecht and Out Of Joint in Library Theatre New Season

By • Northwest
An adaptation by newly appointed Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy of Grimm Tales heads the Library Theatre's new season in Manchester.

Other highlights include a world premiere from international touring company Border Crossings and Out Of Joint's new touring production, Dreams Of Violence.

The season commences with the return of Manchester’s popular theatrical spoofsters LipService with Desperate To Be Doris, which features Spamalot star Darren Southworth, a ladies’ nightwear buyer by day and a wannabe Doris Day singer by night. The production features classic Doris Day songs including ‘Secret Love’, ‘Que Sera, Sera’, and ‘The Deadwood Stage’, and also features a community choir specially recruited for the Library Theatre. Desperate To Be Doris runs between Wednesday 23 September - Saturday 3 October.

Newcastle-based Live Theatre make their Manchester debut with Motherland, a hard-hitting piece of theatre which dramatises the powerful and moving real-life stories of four women whose lives have been in some way touched by the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. Motherland runs between Tuesday 6 - Saturday 10 October.

The Library Theatre’s next production is My Grandfather’s Great War, a moving and atmospheric one-man show by Cameron Stewart, based on the diary kept by his grandfather, a British Army captain at the Battle of the Somme in the First World War. This production is on Sunday, 11th October.

The Library then welcomes the Shakespeare Schools Festival, between Monday 12th - Saturday 17th October. The country’s biggest youth drama festival, the event features four local schools each staging four different half-hour plays each evening.

Out of Joint are regular visitors to the Library Theatre, and the company’s production this year is Dreams of Violence, by Stella Feehily. This contemporary comedy about a political activist trying to bring down world capitalism at the same time as juggling a chaotic home life features recent West End star Paula Wilcox (La Cage Aux Folles) and Thusitha Jayasundera (best known as DS Ramani De Costa in The Bill). Dreams of Violence is at the Library between Tuesday 20th - Saturday 24th October.

Chris Honer will be directing the regional premiere of David Harrower’s translation of The Good Soul of Szechuan, Bertolt Brecht’s resonant parable about how difficult it is to be virtuous in an inhospitable world as three gods look for something positive in poverty-stricken China and runs from Friday 30th October - Saturday 28th November.

The Library Theatre’s has always had an excellent reputation for the quality of its Christmas productions and this year’s production is newly appointed Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy’s adaptation of Grimm Tales, by the Brothers Grimm. Rachel O’Riordan, whose production of Gates of Gold earlier this year at the Library Theatre was warmly received by reviewers and theatre-goers alike, directs a production which promises to provide a feast of first-rate physical, musical and mythical theatre. The production runs between Saturday 5th December - Saturday 23th January 2010.

The Library Theatre’s Re:Play Festival, featuring productions seen in the city’s smaller non-traditional venues in 2009 but given the chance to be seen by a wider audience on the Library Theatre stage, returns for 2010, between Tuesday 26th January - Saturday 6th February.

Finally for the autumn 2009/winter 2010 season, ground-breaking international theatre company Border Crossings presents Re-Orientations, the third part of their breathtaking ‘Orientations Trilogy’, the first two parts of which have played worldwide. The trilogy tackles issues of gender, sexuality and performance in mythic and contemporary Asia and is a spectacular visual feast. All three parts of the trilogy - Orientations, Dis-Orientations, and Re-Orientations, which will be having its world premiere at the Library Theatre - will be staged at the Library, between Wednesday 17th - Saturday 27th February.

In addition, the Library Theatre will stage an adaptation of Hans Christian Andersen’s The Red Shoes, by the Library Theatre’s norfox Young People’s Theatre Company on Friday 7th until Saturday 8th August and directed by Liz Postlethwaite, the theatre’s Community and Education Director; and Angels With Manky Faces, by leading Manchester community theatre group MaD Theatre Company on Wednesday 19th - Saturday 22th August.

Tickets for all the productions, are on sale now at the theatre box office on 0161 236 7110, to customers in person at the box office in Manchester Central Library, or via the theatre’s website at www.librarytheatre.com.

-Glenn Meads


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