Manchester Histories Festival

Andrew Davies is giving a talk based on The Gangs of Manchester as part of the Manchester Histories Festival at Manchester Town Hall on Saturday, 21 March. Andrew’s talk is at 11.30. He will joined by the Manchester-based photographer and film-maker Paul Cliff, who will be projecting photographs of Ancoats street scenes from the 1890s and mug-shots of leading scuttlers. Paul will also show a short, film preview of Angels with Manky Faces – the new stage play inspired by The Gangs of Manchester to be performed by the acclaimed MaD Theatre Company in August 2009.

You can see the full programme for the Manchester Histories Festival, and book free tickets for any of the talks, here.

Inside Out (again)

The feature on the scuttlers on Inside Out (BBC1 North-West) was broadcast on 18 February; it’s on the BBC i-player for a week and features some brilliant footage by the Manchester photographer and film-maker Paul Cliff. The historical reconstructions were staged by the MaD Theatre Company. They’re double proper good.

The Inside Out website features an interview with Rob Lees, artistic director of MaD. Rob talks about the relationship between The Gangs of Manchester and MaD’s forthcoming production, Angels with Manky Faces. You can also see Robbie Ashworth and Jack Williamson modelling scuttler chic – period costumes for Angels are being made by the wonderful Tracey King. She knows her stuff!

The feature was presented by Nigel Pivaro, familiar to most viewers as Terry Duckworth. Nigel now works as a journalist. He’s left Weatherfield, but we have asked him to do a cameo in one of the film scenes for Angels. We’ll keep you posted.

The first of the gang to die

A big thank you to the blogger at Occupied Country. This made my day, cheers.

Angels with Manky Faces

Tickets for Angels with Manky Faces – MaD Theatre Company’s new production inspired by The Gangs of Manchester – are now on sale. There will be five performances at the Library Theatre, Manchester, on 19-22 August. These include a matinee on Saturday 22nd. The production contains strong language and, in the words of the script-writers Rob Lees and Jill Hughes, is “not for the easily offended.” You have been warned! You can book tickets here.

There will be an additional performance at the Unity Theatre in Liverpool, on 23 July.

Inside Out

The Gangs of Manchester is to be featured on BBC1 on Wednesday 18 February in the North-West edition of Inside Out.

Presenter Nigel Pivaro talks to author Andy Davies about the research that formed the basis of the book. Duncan Broady of Greater Manchester Police Museum describes the difficulties faced by police officers in attempting to quell scuttling affrays, and Leslie Holmes of Salford Lads’ and Girls’ Club discusses the role of the early lads’ clubs in combatting street violence.

The programme will include excerpts from films by Paul Cliff depicting scuttles in Angel Meadow. Appearing in the films are members of the MaD Theatre Company and junior supporters of FC United of Manchester. The final versions of these films will be shown in Angels with Manky Faces. The actors also appear in two historical reconstructions filmed by the BBC.

More from the Guardian on The Gangs of Manchester

Alfred Hickling reviews The Gangs of Manchester for the Guardian here.

For a link to a lengthy extract from the book published yesterday in the Daily Mail, see the Extracts page above.

Forthcoming talk at Salford Lads’ Club

Andrew Davies is giving a talk on scuttling and the origins of the lads’ club movement as part of an open day at Salford Lads’ Club on Sunday 1 February. The talk is scheduled for two o’clock; the club will be open from noon till four.salfordladsclub
Leslie Holmes of Salford Lads’ Club found this image in the club’s extensive archive of photographs. He sometimes refers to these four lads as “the original Smiths”. Morrissey, Johnny Marr, Andy Rourke and Mike Joyce famously posed in the club’s doorway in 1985 for a gatefold portrait for their album “The Queen Is Dead”.

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