Hard Times round up

Our production of Hard Times has reached its conclusion with the final performance on Saturday July 2nd 2011 and now the Library Theatre starts gearing up to stage a brand new production All The Way Home, a world premiere by Ayub Khan-Din in association with the Lowry in September. Before this though is an exciting new production Tall Tales, Tantrums and Gordon Brown which our young peoples theatre company norfox are staging at the Capitol Theatre this August.

Hard Times broke new ground for the Library Theatre Company, being our first large scale promenade production and our first ‘site specific’ work. We have another two major pieces of site specific work planned inbetween our regular seasons at the Lowry, and each of these new works will be as bold and different as the last.

In the meantime, here are some souvenirs of the production for you to enjoy.

The Making Of Hard Times – click here Watch how we put the production together with four websiodes spanning the first meetings right through to opening night. We’re also making a feature length documentary about the project which will be released in August
Photo Journal of Hard Times – click here From the start of the planning process for Hard Times, we’ve been documenting mill visits by the company, production meetings, rehearsals, backstage, the production iteself and more. These are available to download as souvenirs of the production by opening the photo of choice, right click, select to view full size then right click to save!

The Reviews

rv. For the modern theatregoer, the journey to Murrays’ Mills is rewarding, thanks to this imaginative and enjoyable promenade production by the Library Theatre.
rn. The Guardian

rv. The audience strolls, walks and, at moments of heightened tension, almost runs to keep up with the action, swiftly flowing across the worn wooden boards of the mill floor. Charles Way’s adaptation daringly restructures Dickens’s plot, yet sticks to the motto of his lisping ringmaster Mr Sleary: “People mutht be amuthed.
rn. The Observer

rv. Director Chris Honer’s promenade production is no gimmick. Rather it sweeps its audience, literally and emotionally, along the 75 metre mill-floor from scene to scene.
rn. The Independent

rv. This could well be the most original and engaging thing you will see this year.
rn. The Jewish Chronicle

rv. Hard Times was an ambitious project for this centre of theatrical excellence to undertake but with artistic director Chris Honer at the helm, anything is possible. The whole cast put in strong and affecting performances. Magnificent.
rn. Messenger Newspapers

rv. Chris Honer’s production is moving, thoughtful and wonderfully drawn. It is a thoroughly enchanting evening and, with comfortable shoes on, it’s a show not to be missed.
rn. whatsonstage.com

rv. This unusual piece of theatre is well worth a visit as it works well as a production, contains some great performances, is often very funny and is in a style that is far from unique but is certainly different from most theatre productions you will have the chance to see.
rn. The British Theatre Guide

rv. The promenading aspect is the theatrical equivalent of a 3D film at the IMAX, allowing us to observe Dickens’ gallery of grotesques at very close quarters – and the acting from the professional cast members is extraordinarily good.
rn. uktheatre.net

rv. Charles Way’s adaptation and Chris Honer’s sensitive direction keeps the story clear, the characters believable, and mirror Dickens’ ability by ensuring the audience is hungry for the next plot development. Judith Croft’s design recreates Victorian wealth and poverty living side-by-side and makes full use of the mill space.
rn. Manchester Confidential

rv. It’s not like going to see any other play. Here the audience is in the thick of the action; you feel Tom rush past you to get away from his father’s house; you sense Mrs Sparsit’s eyes drilling through you to watch Louisa and James in a secret tryst, you see right into Stephen Blackpool’s desperation through his trials and tribulations. With Hard Times, you really get the feeling that you’re all in this together.
rn. Laura Maley preview guest blogger

rv. It was a multi-layered performance helped by the multi-level performance area of the mill and the authentic atmosphere. The mill has been empty for many years but was suddenly ringing with voices, footsteps, singing and the sounds of an appreciative audience. Perhaps the ghosts of the real mill workers were looking on in wonder at the performance.
rn. Therese Wright preview guest blogger

rv. This truly was an unforgettable night at the ‘theatre’ for me and I am so glad I had the chance to experience it, I only wish I could do so again.
rn. Alison Mee preview guest blogger

rv. The concentration of the actors was just incredible. They focused so entirely on each other and seemed utterly unaware of our presence.
rn. Martine Frampton preview guest blogger

rv. Everything seemed to come together, from the lighting challenges and sound effects to the various detailed sets scattered the length of the first floor.
rn. Words & Fixtures

For Hard Times, the Library Theatre Company acknowledges the support of Arts Council England, the European Regional Development Fund, and Modern History.