Congratulations to North Manchester’s MaD Theatre Company, for the massive success of Angels with Manky Faces at the Library Theatre, in August. The play, inspired by the book, Gangs of Manchester by Andrew Davies, sold out all seven performances from 17-22 August.

Fortunately, if you missed it, there is another opportunity to catch the play in November. Angels With Manky Faces will be performed at the Dancehouse Theatre, Oxford Road, on Friday, 6th November at 8pm and Sunday, 8th November at 3pm and 7pm. Ticket details are available here.

MaD Theatre Company is not just any theatre company. It is a not-for-profit company aiming to inspire, educate and entertain by providing “Innovative Mancunian Theatre”. They have certainly achieved that with Angels with Manky Faces which is not a conventional theatre production, but is aimed at a wide audience; “for people who might like to go to the match as much as the theatre”.

Angels with Manky FacesAngels with Manky Faces is wonderfully played by predominantly teenage Mancunians and is set in the streets and gin shops of Ancoats in 1894. It is a story of the Bengal Tigers (from Bengal Street), the most notorious of the territorial teenage gangs, known as the scuttlers, in Victorian Manchester.

The play deals with the issues of gang violence and brings us up to date in terms of the tragedy that this can bring. Moving in parts, it is also highly entertaining and there are plenty of lighter touches and moments of comedy. The youngest players getting the funniest lines.

The performance combines live action with pre-recorded scenes shown on a big-screen backdrop. This works well and allows for cameo appearances from famous Mancunian faces, from Terry Christian to Jon Henshaw, and famous Mancunian places, such as the Marble Arch.

The filmed scenes are also where the music aspect of the show comes to life. Twisted Wheel, Bye Bye Johnny and The Naughtys all get to play, but the best musical performance, for me, is Clint Boon’s rendition of This is How It Feels with Kathryn Edwards.

If you didn’t catch it in August, then get your tickets for November now.


My fellow blogger Carolyn Hughes, at Manchester is Ace, has also done a great review of Angels with Manky Faces.

If you are interested in drama, MaD Theatre Company is currently facilitating youth theatre workshops in Moston, Middleton and Bury. Email MaD via their contact page for details.