1. The 24:7 Theatre Festival
From countless submissions, My Arms has been selected as one of ten plays appearing at this year’s highly-lauded 24:7, Manchester’s very own one-act new play festival. Now in its ninth year, the festival has gone from strength to strength, launching the careers of some of the North West’s most exciting theatre talent.
2. The Play
Told in reverse order, My Arms is a play about the power of love and forgiveness. Inspired by the effects of prison on an ordinary family, the story focuses on Colin and Helen, a married couple struggling to recover from a life-changing event. This important story and its intriguing structure offers the audience a new perspective and reveals the characters’ story backwards.
3. The Playwright
James Leach is an exciting, up-and-coming, award-winning playwright based in Manchester. Last year, he was part of the prestigious Young Writers programme at the Liverpool Everyman Theatre and works in the literary department at Bolton’s Octagon Theatre. He wrote his first play whilst studying at Manchester University, where he won the Judges’ Award for Innovation. One to watch, be sure to come along to this, his professional debut.
4. The actors
With a cast of just two, My Arms boasts some fine acting talent. Roberta Kerr, who plays Helen, has appeared in all the major TV soaps – from Coronation Street to Emmerdale, Eastenders to Brookside – not to mention theatre credits at Library Theatre, the Lowry, Oldham Coliseum and Bolton Octagon. Likewise, Josh Moran plays Colin and has a glittering CV that pairs prominent TV appearances (Shameless, Coronation Street, Emmerdale) with theatre productions at some major Manchester institutions: Royal Exchange, Library Theatre and Opera House. Come see them create the roles in this new play!
5. Sound and vision
The production is not just a good story well told, but will incorporate video, music and soundscape. Director Adam Quayle is collaborating with video artist George Haydock from art collective Generic Greeting to create scene change montages. Original music is being specially composed by Chris Hope, a rising star solo artist, for an innovative sound design by Chris James (recently an Associate Sound Designer at the Old Vic Theatre in London). Expect a sensory experience embracing sound and vision!
My Arms by James Leach appears at this year’s 24:7 Theatre Festival from 20-27 July at the Three Minute Theatre. For more details, visit the 24.7 Theatre Festival website.