Manchester's 24:7 Theatre Festival launches
Leading Manchester new writing event the 24:7 Theatre Festival officially launched this year's programme at the Comedy Store in Manchester last week.
Festival founder and executive producer David Slack paid tribute to the writers of the ten plays selected for this year's festival, the ninth time it has been held, which were previewed with live or video trailers on the stage of the Comedy Store.
Former Coronation Street star and 24:7 trustee Vicky Binns welcomed new board members and announced that this year will feature a "pub hub" based at the Ducie Bridge, just across the road from the New Century House building where many of the plays will be performed. According to Binns, this will provide, "our social gathering place, pre-show drinks, post-show drinks, post-festival entertainment, possible 24:7 pub quiz".
Festival director Kathryn Worthington said, "we are now officially part of the Arts Council's National Portfolio of organisations, so not only will there be a 24:7 2012, there will also be a 24:7 2013 and 2014."
Rounding off the evening, Slack re-took the stage to announce 24:7 Extras, which will include three fully-staged performances of Nick Yardley's Towers of Babel, which was presented as a script-in-hand reading at the Octagon in Bolton, some work from Australia via a new partnership with the You Are Here Festival in Canberra, script-in-hand readings, work in partnership with North West Playwrights and "other things, some of which will happen, some may not, but it doesn't really matter so long as the core festival happens, and I bow in respect to the companies and writers who are putting on this work."
The main festival runs from 20 to 27 July on three stages, two at New Century House, the home of main sponsor Co-Operative Group, and one at the Three Minute Theatre in Afflecks.