Library Mounts Friel, Churchill & Miller in ManchesterDate: 15 September 2003
The autumn/winter season at Manchester's Library Theatre gets underway tonight (15 September 2003, following previews from 12 September) with a revival of Brian Friel's Translations, which is followed by new in-house productions of Caryl Churchill's Top Girls, Arthur Miller's All My Sons and a new musical adaptation of Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol.
Written in 1980, Translations is set in 1833 in a rural community in County Donegal which is having its landscape mapped and changes as the English begin their first ordnance survey of Ireland. Friel's other plays include Philadelphia, Here I Come!, Faith Healer and Dancing at Lughnasa. The Library revival of Translations is directed by Roger Haines and continues to 11 October 2003.
It's followed, from 20 October to 15 November 2003 (previews 17 October), by Top Girls, directed by Library artistic director Chris Honer. Churchill's landmark 1982 play is a celebration of female success and an exploration of its costs. In the go-getting 1980s, Marlene is the first MD of the Top Girls Employment Agency. Famous women from various epochs gather to explain their struggles in a male-dominated world.
The Ghosts of Scrooge marks the festive season, from 22 November 2003 to 17 January 2004. Adapted by Charles Way and Richard Taylor from Dickens' seasonal classic, the musical tells the story of the curmudgeonly Scrooge's Christmas transformation. It's directed by Haines.
In the new year, Honer's revival of Miller's All My Sons runs from 9 February to 13 March 2004 (previews 6 February). It tells the story of industrialist Joe Kelleher whose wartime cost-cutting efforts now threaten disaster for him and his family. Written in 1947, All My Sons was Miller's first big success and was followed by the likes of Death of a Salesman, A View from the Bridge, The Crucible and 1968's The Price, which transferred last week to the West End with Warren Mitchell. Miller was voted "Greatest Living Playwright" in Whatsonstage.com's recent Big Debate poll.
The Library season will also include LipService's visiting production of Very Little Women (16 to 27 March 2004), in which Louise May Alcott's tale receives the company's trademark anarchic comedy treatment.
- by Terri Paddock