Angel Meadow

It’s set in Ancoats and refers to Angel Meadow, a nearby area of Manchester whose extreme poverty in the 1850s became legend.  You meet in the Cutting Room Square and proceed in groups of eight – this is theatre tailored to each person.  The setting is an old pub, there is no timeline, just a mix of stories linked by the location and the people over a hundred and fifty years.

If you give yourself up to the experience it is amazing.  If you let the situation get to you, affect you, frighten you, then it’s worked.  You have to live the experience for the hour.  You have to take the journey with the characters – wherever that might take you; as with many of these immersive theatre pieces every person’s journey may be different.  You could be alone with one character, in a dark room or in the street, then you are part of a group.

There is nothing more frightening for me than to be alone in a public street with a man that scares me knowing that others (normal members of the public going home after work, probably unaware of the existence of this play) are judging me (us?).  I look back and cannot imagine from where I got the strength to just go with it.

The acting is superb, utterly convincing, at times threatening, sometimes so sad it makes you want to cry.  It is theatre that you think about and dream about after the event.  You will want to seek out others who have seen it to discuss their experience – what was their route through the play?  Who did they encounter?  How did they feel?

This is the first production from HOME the new theatre/cinema/arts complex replacing the Library Theatre and the Cornerhouse.  If this play is anything to go by, we are in for a treat in Manchester.

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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