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A tense day of opening shows and theatre awards

This week is a particularly exciting one for the Coliseum, and today is a busy Friday for the theatre. First of all the final rehearsal run through of our first Coliseum show of the spring/summer season takes place in the afternoon before the curtain is raised later this evening for its first performance proper.

Accidental Death of an Anarchist is the show and the only certainty of the evening will be that the curtain does go up. After that a maniacal political farce will carry the audience along with no two performances being the same. Opening night of a new production is always a special night. It is one of those occasions that give rise to that strange mix of excitement, nerves and relief. By no means is the work over, especially with this particular show, but finally realising weeks of rehearsals and entertaining an audience is what all the work is about when we first set out with nothing more than a script and an idea.

Today also sees the Manchester Theatre Awards take place, hosted at the Royal Exchange by Justin Moorhouse, who you will have seen if you attended our season launch event in February. The MTAs are a great way to celebrate all that fantastic work and talent that Greater Manchester has to offer. With twenty different categories and 100 nominations, the staggering breadth and variety of the region’s theatre is shown at its best, which I feel confident in saying can rival the critical mass of London’s theatre output easily in terms of quality. When recent years have seen reductions of funding and changes in audience spending patterns it is heartening to see that producing theatre remains a creative and vibrant hub in the arts sector in our corner of the country. We at the Coliseum are hugely proud to have a dozen nominations this year and I must say a big congratulations and good luck to everyone involved with each of them.

As is the nature of a producing theatre however I shan’t be attending the ceremony to find out the winners myself, although I’m sure our theatre representatives will fill me in when they can. Instead I shall be readying Accidental Death of an Anarchist for its opening.

See you at the theatre,

Kevin Shaw
Artistic Director