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Monkeywood return to Lowry with Once in a House on Fire

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Manchester-based Monkeywood Theatre return to Salford with their latest production, Once in a House on Fire - their most successful piece to date. The productions is staged at the Lowry moving from The Studio to the larger Quays Theatre, for an in-demand encore. This follows a sell-out tour, in 2011, and recent Manchester Theatre Award nominations for Best New Play and Best Studio Performance.

Developed with The Lowry Studio, supported by Arts Council England and funded through grants for the arts, Once in a House on Fire by Sarah McDonald Hughes, is an extraordinary story about ordinary people growing up in Manchester during the 1970s and 80s. Based on the award-winning memoir by Andrea Ashworth, the story focuses on a family of four women living in the shadow of domestic violence and poverty.

In a rainy world of poverty, violence, packing up and moving on, Andy and her sisters escape through stories, games and dreams of a ‘happy family’. But with each new start ending faster than the last, their hopes are stubbed out along with their mum’s cigarettes. As Andy gets older and a new life beckons, she knows her escape will come at a cost.

Mancunian Andrea Ashworth’s family have been fully supportive of Monkeywood’s production of Once in House on Fire since its inception, with Andrea’s sister and niece attending rehearsals and speaking at the première at The Lowry.

Following the production’s opening night Andrea’s niece, Hannah Lorraine Tompkins, said: “The eloquence with which Monkeywood have executed this is impressive and beautiful: they have managed to illustrate the tale of a brutal home life while simultaneously portraying the flourishing of a young girl with big dreams.”

Once in a House on Fire will also tour nationally. The production will help to support Women's Worldwide Web, an online platform that empowers women, their families and communities, through microfinance, education, mentoring and social networking. For more information visit //www.womensworldwideweb.org.

Once in a House on Fire is at the Lowry from 1 - 2 June.

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