Theatre News

Royal Exchange – Truth About Youth presents At Night

A former Fire Station is to be used as a unique venue to explore what it’s like to be young, at risk and alone in the world.

A new site specific production is set to highlight the stark experiences of being a teenager, running away from boredom on the streets of a northern town will be told in At Night.

Rochdale Fire Station
Rochdale Fire Station
© Manchester Evening News

The play takes place in the unique surroundings of the 74 year-old Rochdale Old Fire Station on 10 December 2014, the first and only time the venue has been used for public entertainment.

Located on the approach to Rochdale Station, the building and its drill tower stands as a proud local landmark and retains many original, yet time-worn features. The red doors of the building will close behind the audience and, as the lights go out, it will become theirs to explore.

Drawing directly from the recent experiences of a group of young people from Rochdale with no previous experience of performing, director Evie Manning(No Guts, No Heart, No Glory and Our Glass House) and writer, Louise Wallwein (Dirty White Girl, Skid 180) have engaged a close-knit group of friends to find out what ‘risk’ really means, when you’re bored with nowhere to go and the night ahead of you.

The decision to seek permission to use the innovative venue was made to encourage young people – some of whom are recognised as being at risk of social exclusion in some form – to explore their personal connection with the town in which they live, its history and their future there.

The former fire station building has been in use as a storage facility since fire fighters left for a new community fire station earlier in the year. One of the first fully automated stations when it was built in 1933, it still houses the Greater Manchester Fire Service Museum in a former workshop on the site.

At Night is part of the national Truth About Youth partnership, supported by the Co-operative Foundation, designed to challenge and change negative perceptions of young people across the UK.