Meatballs!

John Henshaw, who plays Meatballs in Ken Loach’s new film Looking for Eric, is the latest actor to do a cameo for Angels with Manky Faces. John appears with Twisted Wheel in a film set to “You stole the sun.” The film captures the exploits of a couple of hapless husbands played by Ted Taylor and Malcolm Ryder of MaD. Ted and Malcolm play “night soil men” in Angels – there’s a Victorian euphemism and a half – and not surprisingly, they’re fond of a drink or two at the end of their shifts. You would be, wouldn’t you? But the demon drink doesn’t go unchallenged … watch out for another familiar face from Looking for Eric, Smug Roberts. Smug’s got a few things to say to Ted and Malcolm.

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Preview of Angels with Manky Faces at the Bluecoat, Liverpool

A special preview of Angels with Manky Faces will be held in the upstairs bar of the Bluecoat, Liverpool, on Wednesday 24 June from 6.30-7.30 p.m. The preview will feature a talk on the historical research that went into The Gangs of Manchester, an introduction to Angels with Manky Faces by script-writers Rob Lees and Jill Hughes, and screenings of two of the film sequences specially made for the play (introduced by MaD film-maker, Paul Cliff). The films feature Clint Boon, Martin Coogan, Phil Beckett – and many more … This is a free event; tickets for the Liverpool performances of Angels with Manky Faces (Unity Theatre, 22-23 July) will be on sale on the night.

This is how it feels

Clint Boon of the Inspiral Carpets has re-recorded This is how it feels as the soundtrack for one of the film sequences for Angels with Manky Faces. The film was shot in the Castlefield district of Manchester on 24 May.

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Kathryn Edwards (left) provides a haunting backing vocal, whilst Abi Bailey (centre) plays a young suffragette.

King of the Scuttlers

Bye Bye Johnny have written and recorded a song called King of the Scuttlers for MaD Theatre Company’s forthcoming production Angels with Manky Faces. The track was recorded at Vibe Studios in Manchester. Once owned by New Order, Vibe is now run by musician and DJ Martin Coogan (formerly of the Mock Turtles). You can listen to King of the Scuttlers on Bye Bye Johnny’s myspace here.

Bye Bye Johnny will be playing a set in the bar at the Library Theatre in Manchester, prior to the last performance of Angels on Saturday 22 August.

For another song on the scuttlers – based on a poem by Mike Duff – watch this space.

Angels with Manky Faces

A Bengal Tiger and his molls: Rosie Phillips, Jack Williamson, and Abi Gunning.

A Bengal Tiger and his molls: Rosie Phillips, Jack Williamson, and Abi Gunning.

Preparations for Angels with Manky Faces, MaD Theatre Company’s new production inspired by The Gangs of Manchester, are gathering pace. Paul Cliff is making six short films, which will be back-projected in between scenes performed on stage. The photo above was taken during a day’s filming at the Black Country Museum.

Even though it’s early days, ticket sales are going strong – a third of the tickets for the Manchester performances (19-22 August) have already been sold.

New edition of The Gangs of Manchester

A revised edition of The Gangs of Manchester is now out. The new edition is a smaller-sized paperback and the UK cover price is 7.99.

There is one addition to the text: an astonishing postscript to the story of Billy Willan, the scuttler sentenced to death in 1892 at the age of sixteen. This was supplied by his descendants, who still live in the Ancoats district of Manchester.

The ballad of Owen Callaghan

Check out the page of poems by Mike Duff for “The ballad of Owen Callaghan.” Mike’s new poem tells the tale of an Angel Meadow scuttler of the 1880s.

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