Manchester Sound: The Massacre

The Library Theatre Company present
Sat 8 Jun 2013 - Sat 6 Jul 2013,
By Polly Wiseman Directed by Paul Jepson

Two of Manchester’s most iconic eras are about to collide in Manchester Sound: The Massacre – and you’re on the guest list.

In an underground club in Manchester, two groups of idealists meet. Both are looking for utopia, or, at the very least, something like euphoria. Both are being hounded by the law. And both are hoping for the night of their lives. They just happen to come from different centuries…

This unique production brings the changing face of protest in our radical city vividly to life – from the Peterloo Massacre of 1819 to the late 80s acid house scene, through to today. Cultures clash as fateful protest meets party central in a rich mix of tunes and ecstasy, life-changing conversations and powerful images.

Manchester Sound: The Massacre, staged in a secret city centre venue, takes you deep into the world of the illegal rave parties of Manchester’s second Summer of Love. Melding eye-witness accounts of Peterloo with the experiences of acid house party veterans, it’s a dynamic finale to the Library Theatre Company’s programme of immersive site specific theatre experiences.

Still not sure if Manchester Sound: The Massacre is for you? Listen to what people have thought of the show so far and take a peek behind the scenes…

20% off food and drink at Cornerhouse

Eat and drink at Cornerhouse on the day you see Manchester Sound: The Massacre and receive 20% off your total bill.

(Offer valid for ticket holders only on day of performance. If you go pre-show they’ll stamp your ticket, if you’re coming after the show please hang on to your ticket stub and show this at the bar. One discount per transaction only. Offer applies to food and drinks.)

Contribute to our Manchester Sound playlist

We’re also putting together a playlist to get us in the mood for the show – post your favourite late 80s Mancunian classics in our comments section below and we’ll add them to the list! >>>>

Ticket Details


BOX OFFICE: 0161 200 1500

  • Tickets: £26, £24, £22, £18

  • Previews: £15

  • Concessions available Mon – Wed

  • Groups of 6+: £1 off each ticket (exc previews)


  • Running time: 2 hours approx, no interval.

  • Further information on the production and the city centre Northern Quarter meeting point will be emailed to you shortly after booking.

  • Manchester Sound: The Massacre is a promenade performance.

  • No latecomers can be admitted.

  • The performance will feature strong language, loud noises and references to drug use.

  • A bar will be available serving bottled beers, wine and soft drinks.

  • We recommend that the performance is suitable for ages 14+

  • Tickets can be purchased online up until half an hour before the performance (subject to availability). To buy tickets after this time please contact Cornerhouse Box Office, in person or on 0161 200 1500.


  • Debbie/Mary: Janey Lawson
  • Sam/Samuel: Pete Ashmore
  • Allegra/Jemima: Rachel Austin
  • Liam/Joliffe: Dean Anthony Fagan
  • DJ Liberty/Henry Hunt: Stephen Fewell
  • Steve/Nadin: Adam Fogerty
  • Evie/Lizzie: Leah Hackett

Creative Team

  • Director: Paul Jepson
  • Writer: Polly Wiseman
  • Designer: Amanda Stoodley
  • Sound Designer: Peter Rice
  • Lighting Designer: Chris Davey
  • Projection Designer: Timothy Bird
  • Movement Director: Lucy Hind
  • Musical Director: Simeon Truby
  • Assistant Director: Rebecca Taylor
  • Producer: Henrietta Duckworth
  • Production Manager: Dennis Charles
  • Music Supervisors: Billy Caldwell & Marc Hough/DJ Tintin
  • Production Photographer: Kevin Cummins
  • DSM: Amy Chandler
  • ASM: Chris Booth
  • ASM: James Woods
  • Project Manager: Jim Gee
  • Wardrobe Supervisor: Fi Carrington
  • Artistic Director: Chris Honer
  • Company Stage Manager: Jamie Byron
  • Stage Supervisor: David Doyle
  • Sound Supervisor: Paul Gregory
  • Production Administrator: Avril Mason
  • Lighting Supervisor: Danny Stewart
  • Theatre Admin & Casting: Rebecca Jenner

There are plenty of ideas jostling for attention here but it's all presented with a light touch and the sort of adrenaline-raising immersive vibe you can feel on your pulse… Well worth nosing out.

The Daily Telegraph

The play is enthralling, thought-provoking and gives you pangs of nostalgia for those endless nights running around the warehouse and squat party scene in the late eighties.

Louder Than War – John Robb

Once inside, we were transported to another world. The set design offered delight after delight… An original and immersive experience, it will stick in the memory like a rave chord on loop. Manchester Sound thrilled me to the bones. Enjoy the trip. And it is a trip.

Manchester Salon

If you want to experience a truly participatory theatre event then you need look no further… This is one theatrical event not to be missed… The rave replicated the Hacienda with such precision and attention to detail… Just like I felt back then, I didn't want the night to end.

The Good Review

Paul Jepson’s direction is pacy, energetic and slick… An exciting, compelling and provocative evening of theatre. Definitely recommended for anyone who prefers their theatre to be immersive and experiential as opposed to predictable and passive.

The Public Reviews

I loudly applaud the ambition of Manchester Sound: The Massacre mixing such far-apart points in history… The Library's summer days and nights out have all been must-experience theatrical events and I will really miss that excitement when they move into their purpose-built new home in the future.

Cultural Shenanigans

Highly addictive… leaves you in no doubt that you’ve taken part in a major event.

What’s On Stage

The Massacre does have some stirring moments as distant and recent past meet in the club lavatories, and the dead rise in a rousing Les Misérables-style finale to remind us that we do have the power to build the world anew.

The Guardian

Wiseman’s writing creates some engaging encounters between characters from both periods. For once, it’s difficult to see the joins between a professional cast of eight and the two-dozen community company who augment the action.”

Lancashire Evening Post

The final scene is a gem – a sweet moment of musical theatre and a tender tribute to unity and human endeavour in both centuries.

Manchester Evening News

Intriguing, thought-provoking and original from start to finish.”

Bolton News

Rachel Austin stands out as particularly strong in both eras… Leah Hackett is also very good… Simeon Truby does a very good job as musical director and composer.

British Theatre Guide

A glowing example of how to create drama with an acid house pulse that makes you feel you’re in the midst of history.”

Weekend Notes

The Library Theatre Company’s latest production has to be its most ground-breaking yet… All the cast are outstanding and their performances are very real… A great way to introduce young people to an art form that, in the hands of companies like this, is always exciting.

Sale and Altrincham Messenger

Bold and highly-imaginative… It all makes for a unique and immersive theatre spectacle that also has a lot to say for itself.”

Manchester Theatre Awards

A very enjoyable experience… Another inventive, site-specific play which is another love letter to this wonderful city and the people in it.

Cultural Tale of Two Cities

An interesting evening… The cast are impressive. The massacre scene is brilliantly chaotic, with strong input from movement director Lucy Hind.

Manchester Confidential

Where the action takes place is wonderfully atmospheric. Soundscapes and video projection move the action on and add layers of texture and tension to the drama.

Tusk Journal

A collective energy and a closeness to the action sweeps you along.

The Stage

Delivers on atmosphere by the bucket load… The final scenes will linger long after the last beat of Manchester Sound fades.

Fiction Stroker

If you weren't there in Hacienda-era Manchester, you'll wish you were.

Wythenshawe FM

The staging is bold and effective with the audience becoming active participants in the gathering.


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