Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre is set to stage a two night celebration of gay and lesbian writers including current I'm A Celebrity star and Coronation Street actor - Antony Cotton.

I Can Dream, Can't I? is inspired by Jonathan Harvey’s popular play Beautiful Thing – currently enjoying a successful run at the Exchange - and will feature a programme of newly-commissioned pieces by Cotton, Stella Duffy, Jackie Kay and Tom Wells alongside work by a range of young first-time writers from Greater Manchester. The writing examines how attitudes have changed since the play was first written in 1993.

Taking place after the evening performances of Beautiful Thing at 9.45pm on Thursday 1 and Friday 2 December, the event is supported by Manchester Pride and delivered in partnership with The Albert Kennedy Trust and The Lesbian and Gay Foundation and entry is free.

Beautiful Thing first took London’s West End by storm eighteen years ago. Often described as an urban fairytale, the play is set on an inner city urban housing estate and has starred Rhys Ifans, Jonny Lee Miller and Andrew Garfield. It tells the story of Jamie’s relationship with classmate and neighbour Ste. Together the two boys find comedy, warmth and the music of Mama Cass.

Beautiful Thing runs at the Royal Exchange until Saturday 3 December.