Penguin antics launch new Manchester venue

Published: 27 January 2013
Reporter: David Upton

Me, as a Penguin rehearsal shot

Me, as a Penguin launches a season of productions at Manchester’s newest fringe venue, the Houldsworth Rep in Little Lever Street.

The comedy was the centrepiece of Northern Exposure 2009, West Yorkshire Playhouse's showcase for writers from the theatre's playwriting course and opened in April 2010 at London's Arcola Theatre.

Stitch, an avid knitter, has moved from a small seaside town escaping the binds of the wool shop where he is famed for his knit one pearl one experimental cardigans. Then an orchestrated chance meeting at the local aquarium sends a normal evening into a scene not amiss from Frozen Planet.

The play stars Daniel Wallace, Karl Greenwood, Jack Howard and Katie McArdle, all familiar faces in Manchester theatrical circles.

The theatre is a brand new 50-seat fringe venue in the Northern Quarter, run by Sally Lawton.

New writing will be the focus of work produced in-house and the venue will bridge the gap between fringe profit share productions and professionally paid work by being one that pays actors, directors and writers a minimum wage.

As well as a youth theatre and classes for adults, the Houldsworth is home to Strawberry Management—representing actors in TV, theatre, film, radio and commercials—with the aim of extending to playwrights and directors later this year.