Macclesfield Potato Riot

It’s easy living in the middle of Manchester to miss the wide range of community events going on in the North West.  But Macclesfield has a special place in my heart (I direct amateur theatre at MADS, and I was performing spoken word in Mash after this event) and there was a Potato Riot taking place!

The start of the riot

Commemorating the real event from 1812, this was a promenade performance through the centre of the town, featuring many local volunteers  recreating history.  There was a very real sense of place and time; it was very much a production for Macclesfield.

Makeshift stalls

The crowd thronged down Market Place and Mill Street, throwing paper potatoes, stopping at specially prepared stalls and listening to confrontational speeches.  The event was so well attended it was hard to hear at times what was going on.

Punch and Judy Stall

It felt that this could degenerate into a real riot; thankfully everyone in the ‘angry mob’ entered into the spirit of the evening.

Potatoes raining into the sky

Finally we reach the end and can go no further, our path blocked by four officers on horseback.  We stop at the Riot Inn.  A fantastic event, intelligently executed, well organised, that showcases local history and proves that innovative performance can be found everywhere!

End of the march



Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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