A world premiere of All The Way Home, a new play by Salford-born writer Ayub Khan-Din; an adaptation by national treasure Alan Bennett of Kenneth Grahame’s much-loved The Wind in the Willows; and a revival of The Daughter-in-Law, a rarely seen masterpiece by DH Lawrence, are the three Autumn 2011/Winter 2012 productions in the Library Theatre Company’s second season at The Lowry.
Ayub Khan-Din’s new play, All The Way Home, set in the city in which the play will be seen for the first time, will be directed by Mark Babych, formerly the Artistic Director of the Bolton Octagon Theatre. A deeply emotional comedy-drama, All The Way Home reunites members of a Salford family undergoing as huge a change as that of their home city.
Set in 2002, the production stars a number of very well-known faces including three Coronation Street regulars in Naomi Radcliffe, Kate Anthony, and Sean Gallagher; and Susan Cookson, who starred in two series of hit BBC2 sit-com Early Doors. Ayub Khan-Din is best known for writing the award-winning play East is East, which was turned into a hugely successful film in 1999; West is West, which enjoyed a run in the cinema earlier this year, and Rafta Rafta, which toured the country in a 2008 National Theatre production.
All The Way Home is being presented in association with The Lowry, whose Artistic Director, Robert Robson, says: “We are thrilled to collaborate with the Library Theatre Company on creating the world premiere of a new play set in Salford by a great Salford-born writer. This unique project illustrates The Lowry’s continued desire to present our audiences with original and innovative new work.” All The Way Home runs between Thursday 29 September – Saturday 15 October.
This year’s Christmas production from the Library Theatre Company will be Alan Bennett’s acclaimed adaptation of Kenneth Grahame’s evergreen children’s favourite The Wind in the Willows, which will be directed by Chris Honer, the Library Theatre Company’s Artistic Director. The tales of Ratty, Mole, Badger, and Toad have been enchanting us for generations, and this adaptation is sprinkled with Alan Bennett’s trademark flair, wit, and humour. The production runs for 55 performances between Friday 2 December 2011 – Saturday 14 January 2012. The Wind in the Willows will be sponsored by Manchester Airport.
DH Lawrence’s rarely seen The Daughter-in-Law, a gritty drama set at the time of the miners’ strike exactly 100 years ago, which will also be directed by Chris Honer, completes the Autumn 2011/Winter 2012 Library Theatre Company programme at The Lowry.
Luther Gascoigne, a coal-miner, and socially ambitious Minnie are newly wed. Luther’s mother disapproves; in her view Minnie’s pretensions make her an unsuitable match. A shocking revelation from Luther’s past provokes a rich drama of sexual tension and class conflict, all set during the bitter 1912 miners’ strike.
With its wonderfully authentic dialogue and deep understanding of relationships, The Daughter-in-Law affirms DH Lawrence, famous for his novels and poetry, as a playwright of the front rank. The Daughter-in-Law runs between Thursday 23 February – Saturday 10 March 2012.
The Library Theatre Company’s annual 10-day re:play Festival, which brings together under one roof the best of theatre seen in Manchester and Salford’s non-theatre spaces over the preceding 12 months, returns for 2012 for the fifth time, at a venue to be confirmed.
The theatre’s Actor’s Toolbox, a workshop programme running for five weeks aimed at actors and members of the profession, will be held in association with Actors’ Centre North. The course, which will cost £145, will focus on the work of northern writers, takes place every Saturday in October at the Zion Arts Centre, Stretford Road, Hulme, Manchester 15. More information is available from Actors’ Centre North on 07818 462981.
As well as producing regularly at The Lowry, the Library Theatre Company will also stage Manchester Lines, its second site-specific piece in the city of Manchester, in summer 2012. Written by Manchester poet and writer Jackie Kay, directed by leading director Wils Wilson and with music composed by Errolyn Wallen, Manchester Lines follows the company’s huge success of its adaptation of Charles Dickens’ Hard Times, which played to packed houses in a converted Victorian mill in June 2011.
The theatre’s outreach programme in schools and with community groups throughout the city continues to thrive. The theatre has recently secured funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation to develop StoryBox, a three-year programme working with people with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
World Duty Free, based at Manchester Airport, sponsor a project with primary schools in Wythenshawe in connection with The Wind in the Willows, as well as sponsoring the theatre’s annual ‘adopt-an-actor’ scheme where schools and community groups ‘adopt’ actors in the theatre’s Christmas production before meeting them after a performance during the run.
The programme also includes a popular monthly play-reading group, a community theatre group based in inner-city Manchester, and the norfox young people’s theatre company – the company’s summer production Tall Tales, Tantrums, and Gordon Brown, takes place at the Capitol Theatre at Manchester Metropolitan University on Friday 12/ Saturday 13 August – and a Careers’ and Development programme in association with Cornerhouse.