Local playwright's benefit performance for pub and fringe venue after break-in

Published: 14 August 2012
Reporter: David Chadderton

Prolific Manchester playwright Cathy Crabb's latest play The Bubbler is to be given a special performance this Friday at the Black Lion in Salford after a break-in that gave a serious hit to the business.

The overnight break-in at the Salford pub and fringe arts venue, home of Future Artists, was discovered on 9 August, when three youths were captured on CCTV as they smashed through the front door, smashed some shelves and stole the Help for Heroes charity pots, over £1000 of spirits and a small safe. The venue's insurance would not cover the loss as it fell within the policy excess.

Future Artists sent an e-mail to its e-mail list subscribers the day after the robbery saying, "already this month we have had to battle Salford City Council on business rates and Enterprise, the owners of the building, have put beer up.

"We live week to week. To loose £1000 like that could cost jobs. What hurts the most is the charity pots and the recklessness of these youths, one year after the riots."

Crabb's play, which will be given a special performance on Friday 17 August, deals with issues arising from last year's riots, specifically, she has told us, "my response to the vitriol on the social web sites during the riots".

The piece also deals with, "people's approaches to art, attitudes towards those who don't work, values are questioned as well as what is morally acceptable to do and say" through a simple conversation in a pub between barman Paul and customer Peter, but there are strong links with Milton and Blake, most significantly through the character of Peter who is based on Satan in Milton's Paradise Lost.

The play will be performed by Neil Bell and Daniel Street Brown from Eat Theatre and tickets can be booked on the Eventbrite web site for a donation, which will be split between rebuilding the venue and the Help for Heroes charity.