Stroker’s Picks: May

Posted on May 3, 2013


It’s the Bank Holiday weekend! Time to relax and take stock as the days get longer and the nights get mercifully shorter. We’ve got a packed month in review for you and take it from me, this doesn’t even scratch the surface of what’s going on in Manchester over the next four weeks!


A Dolls HouseCush-Jumbo-3406508
1 May – 1 June, Royal Exchange

Nora, a young wife and mother is married to Torvald, a recently promoted bank manager. Life seems content and settled until their marriage is threatened when a terrible secret from Nora’s past comes back to haunt her and she begins to question their world.

Henrik Ibsen’s ground-breaking play is widely regarded as a landmark of the modern stage. A story of domestic revolution, female empowerment and the journey towards self-liberation, it queries aspirations, success and what it means to raise a happy family. The play is still as charged, intense and provocative as it was 130 years ago. Starring Cush Jumbo, this is poised to be an early summer highlight of the Royal Exchange’s 2013 season.

First Break FestivalA Lot of It About
14-18 May, Oldham Coliseum

You know that we’re big fans of new talent here at The Fiction Stroker and where better than to see this in evidence than Oldham Coliseum’s First Break festival. Featuring the best of new and emerging talent, the festival is the place this May for script-in-hand performances, new plays and masterclasses from writers with connections to the North. It will also include Organised Chaos’ latest stop on their tour with the 5 stroke A Lot of It About on 14 May!

See the full guide of what’s on here.

Spoonface SteinbergSpponface
17/18 May, The Black Lion, Salford

Award-winning Freerange Theatre Company return to Manchester after their 5-stroke success with Einstein’s Daughter last year. Their new production adapts Lee (Billy Elliott) Hall’s Radio 4 play Spoonface Steinberg.

A remarkable monologue, it tells the story of 8-year old Spoonface, an autistic girl dying of cancer, as she investigates the world around her in her own honest and uplifting way.

This production is supporting and raising funds for Children with Cancer UK.

Posh Tramps and PapoosesPoshTramps
19 May, Chorlton Irish Centre

Posh Tramps and Papooses is the latest play from Manchester’s celebrated MaD Theatre Company (Gin and Chronic Arthritis). Following the Longbottom  family from Harpurhey, (a place recently made famous through the BBC3 documentary ‘People Like Us’), head of the family is Ma who has recently divorced her ‘wife’ in Hapurhey’s first ever same sex civil split, however, undeterred, and in an attempt to put that behind her Ma is now looking for a fella on the internet.  She meets Hector the Metro Link Inspector on Uniform who promises her and her dysfunctional family a holiday of a lifetime …… to Chorlton … on the tram!

Sure to be a hilarious and dysfunction culture clash, Posh Tramps and Papooses is not to be missed! For more details visit MaD’s website.

29-31 May, The Lowry

Shred Productions new play from writer Ian Winterton (Sherica, 2012 Manchester Theatre Award Winner) is set in Antarctica, 1962, when ‘going south’ meant 12 months cut off from the outside world.

Discovering upon arrival that his fiancée back home is pregnant, biologist Daniel puts ambition above his religious beliefs and stays. Seeking solace in his work, he uncovers disturbing evidence of the environmental disaster mankind may yet bring about. Teetering on the edge of depression, Daniel’s life is forever changed by his friendship with young dog-sledger, Jim. And then news reaches them of the Cuban Missile Crisis…

Exhibitions and Events:

You Are My Only Hope: A Star Wars Art Event 1365080800Star_Wars_Invite
4-25 May, Generation Gallery, Manchester

With such an appropriate day to launch (think about it..!) Generation Gallery is showcasing the official Star Wars fine art collection – and celebrating the birthday of George Lucas. With exclusive unveiling of new pieces, this is *the* place for Star Wars fans this May!

Look out for a preview of the exhibition on The Fiction Stroker very soon!

Northern Quarter Takeover
5 May, Various Venues

There ain’t no party like a NQ party, and after the success of the Jubilee street party last year, the Northern Quarter throws open its doors once again taking over the streets. Thomas, Edge and High Street will all be joining in the fun with food, drink, DJ’s, dog shows, print fair’s and much more.

See the full lineup of participating venues over here.

Chorlton Arts FestivalCAF2013-Logo1
17 – 26 May, Various Venues

Chorlton is preparing for it’s 13th Arts Festival and this year over 20,000 are expected to attend a host of music, dance, visual arts, comedy and performance events over 10 days. The highlight of this will be the Chorlton Weekender over the Bank Holiday weekend. With zine fairs, history walks, poetry and music from Little Sparrow, Toy and the Jeffery Lewis and Peter Stampfel Band amongst others, there is something for everyone!

Check out the full programme of events here.

That’s all for this month, but do drop us a line if you have something you would like featuring in a future edition of Stroker’s Picks!

Posted in: Previews