On brink of a premiere and reviving Private Lives

Private Lives cast
Private Lives cast
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Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre is to stage the world premiere of Brink – a collaboration between award-winning writer Jackie Kay and the theatre’s Young Company – in The Studio from next Thursday to March 29.

Performed by a 20-strong ensemble, this new play explores what the brink is and how we overcome it.

Is it love? Life? Longing? Loss? Lunch?

The Brinkers reach a crucial point in their lives but what will they find on the other side?

The play has been created through a collaboration between the company and Jackie Kay MBE, an award-winning writer of fiction, poetry and plays.

She has won multiple awards, including the Scottish Arts Council Book of the Year, the Guardian Fiction Prize and Lambda Literary Award for Transgender.

The production is directed by the associate artistic director Matthew Xia, his first production for the venue. He is an award-winning theatre director, composer, journalist, broadcaster and DJ.

Talking about being involved in the production, he said: “I knew that my first show in Manchester would, for me, have to be a statement of intent and an exemplary beacon of what I believe theatre is truly for. So when asked if I wanted to direct the Young Company’s first show in 2015 I leapt at the chance.”

The Young Company is a chance for young people aged 14 -21 to train alongside theatre staff and professionals, and offers 100 young people 12 months of in-depth training to broaden their understanding and develop skills.

Box Office: 0161 833 9833 or www.royalexchange.co.uk/brink

The Life & Loves of a Nobody, a play already seen at Lancaster University, asks how far a nobody will go to become a ‘somebody’.

Devised by Rachael Walton and Alexander Kelly, it examines the obsession with fame, fortune and celebrity in an extraordinary telling of an ordinary story.

Walton and performer Nick Chambers create the world of Rachel, a character we never meet, with string and scissors, light, shade, and paper butterflies.

By looking at the intimate details and moments of beauty in a run-of-the-mill life, they question why it is that people strive for fame, and whether it makes you a ‘somebody’.

It’s at the Lowry in Salford next Thursday and Friday and is suitable for ages 14+.

Box office: 0843 208 6000 or www.thelowry.com

The Octagon Theatre is staging Noël Coward’s fashionable comedy of manners, Private Lives, starting next week, above.

On a romantic evening in 1930s France, Amanda and Victor are enjoying their first evening as newlyweds, unaware that Amanda’s ex-husband Elyot and his beautiful young wife Sibyl are celebrating their own honeymoon in the hotel room just next door!

When the adjacent divorcees cross paths, it launches a sequence of events that nobody could foresee...

Coward’s hilarious and ground-breaking comedy shadows the glamorous gallivanting of the era’s adored Bright Young Things and is directed here by Elizabeth Newman, the Octagon Theatre’s next artistic director.

Transforming the Octagon’s theatre in-the-round, designer Amanda Stoodley has been working with a haute couture-adorned cast including Fiona Hampton and Harry Long as star-crossed ex-lovers Amanda and Elyot.

Jessica Baglow and Niall Costigan portray forsaken partners, Sibyl and Victor, and the Parisian Chïraz Aich is Louise.

Box office: 01204 520661 or www.octagonbolton.co.uk