Comedian Victoria Wood’s £2 million debut musical, Acorn Antiques (based on her 1980s TV series of the same name), which premiered at the West End’s Theatre Royal Haymarket on 9 February 2005 (previews from 31 January) setting a new pricing level with top tickets being sold at £65 for peak performances (See News 2 Dec 2004), is heading to Manchester this Christmas with a new cast and lower ticket prices.

The show opens at Manchester’s Lowry theatre on 11 December 2006 for a run to 6 January 2007. Tickets will cost between £23 and £30. No cast has yet been announced, although it has been confirmed that the West End cast will not be reprising their performances.

At this year's Olivier Awards, Celia Imrie won Best Supporting Performance in a Musical for her role as antiques shop owner Miss Babs (See News 26 Feb 2006). Acorn Antiques was nominated for Best New Musical, and Julie Walters was nominated as Best Actress in a Musical for recreating her television role as the hunch-backed tea lady, Mrs Overall (a part she alternated with Wood in the show).

The West End cast of Acorn Antiques also included Duncan Preston, Josie Lawrence, Neil Morrissey and Sally Ann Triplett - the latter two had their opening night in Guys and Dolls at the Piccadilly theatre on Monday (See News 7 Feb 2006).

A show within a show (within a show), Acorn Antiques follows Miss Babs’ struggle to keep the antiques shop open in the face of competition from multi-national chains, in particular The Guilty Bean coffee shop. It was directed in the West End by Trevor Nunn.

- by Caroline Ansdell