It is 20 years since the Provisional IRA exploded the largest-ever bomb on mainland Britain, on a warm sunny morning in Manchester city centre.
Working together again, following 2014’s sell out hit Angel Meadow, ANU Productions and HOME present On Corporation Street, an immersive promenade production inspired by the memories and myths surrounding this seismic event.
The first play in ANU’s triptych, SUNDER, ran recently in Dublin, and focused on the extraordinary situations in which the rebels of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin found themselves. The third production, These Rooms, in collaboration with Cois Ceim Dance Company, runs later this summer, also in Dublin. These Rooms explores the North King Street massacre of civilians by British forces in 1916, but transposes the action to 1966, 50 years since the Easter Rising and just before The Troubles began in 1967.
On Corporation Street, named after the street on which the bomb was planted,is inspired by Manchester residents’ recollections of the events of 15 June 1996,researched and collected on behalf of ANU by Manchester’s Mighty Heart Theatre. On Wednesday 25 May at Manchester Town Hall, HOME will stage 100 Testimonies: Impact on Civilians, a special one-off performance by the cast of On Corporation Street, inspired by the memories and experiences of eye witnesses.
“What connects all three parts of the triptych is the notion of uninvited terror of events happening to civilians in their homes or their city to which they have to respond,” says ANU’s Artistic Director Louise Lowe, who also directed Angel Meadow. “What On Corporation Street is not is a recreation or a re-enactment of the momentous events in Manchester in June 1996. Instead we have undertaken a six-month public enquiry to propose the question back to the city and its civilians asking what the impact has been both on the city and on civilian lives.”
“Anyone who saw Angel Meadow in 2014 cannot fail to have been knocked out by the power and style of ANU’s exhilarating approach,” says Walter Meierjohann, HOME’s Artistic Director: Theatre. “We talked at the time about how much we wanted them back in Manchester at some point, and so to have them here with their response to an event which took place 20 years ago, but whose effects still resonate in the city, is thrilling for us. I cannot wait to see how they will use our building to present On Corporation Street.”
Combining powerful theatrical encounters and artistic installations, On Corporation Street will transform the spaces and hidden corners behind the scenes at HOME. It will be performed by 14 actors, seven based in Ireland and seven based in England, of whom four are from Manchester.
From England: Etta Fusi, who graduated from the Manchester School of Theatre in June 2015, appeared in Carnival of Souls directed by Bren O’Callaghan, a binaural audio experience which showed as part of HOME’s opening weekend in May 2015; Jamie Matthewman toured in Abigail’s Party in 2008 and Equus in 2012, both directed by Michael Cabot for London Classic Theatre
Joe McNally is a recent graduate from Dublin’s Lir Academy; Reuben Johnson, who recently appeared as Diomede and Lycaon in Mark Thomson’s production of The Iliad at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh, and Yusra Warsama, who was assistant director on HOME’s Romeo & Juliet at Manchester’s Victoria Baths in autumn 2014, and whose play Rites was a nominee for Best Production at the recent Manchester Theatre Awards, are both familiar figures on Manchester’s fringe theatre scene; Sonia Hughes recently appeared in Quarantine’s quartet of performances Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring.; and Gurjeet Singh, who starred as Raz in Broken Biscuits, Manchester writing duo Craig Cash and Phil Mealey’s recent BBC1 Comedy Playhouse.
Friday 10 June 2016 – 18:00, 19:30
Saturday 11 June 2016 – 18:00, 19:30
Monday 13 June 2016 – 18:00, 19:30
Tuesday 14 June 2016 – 18:00, 19:30
Wednesday 15 June 2016 – 18:00, 19:30, 21:00
Thursday 16 June 2016 – 18:00, 19:30
Friday 17 June 2016 – 18:00, 19:30
Saturday 18 June 2016 – 18:00, 19:30
Monday 20 June 2016 – 18:00, 19:30
Tuesday 21 June 2016 – 18:00, 19:30
Wednesday 22 June 2016 – 18:00, 19:30
Thursday 23 June 2016 – 18:00, 19:30
Friday 24 June 2016 – 18:00, 19:30
Saturday 25 June 2016 – 18:00, 19:30