Angels with Manky Faces

MaD Theatre Company’s production, Angels with Manky Faces, now opens at the Library Theatre in Manchester on 17 August. Five performances were originally scheduled (19-22 August). These have all sold-out; extra nights have been added on Monday 17th and Tuesday 18th. There are a few tickets left at the time of writing, so if you’d like to come along give the box office a call: 0161 236 7110.

The first two performances – at Liverpool’s Unity theatre on 22-23 July – went down a storm. The cast performed to packed houses both nights, and everyone was delighted with the warmth of the response. A few people suggested it was a risky move to open a production by a community theatre company from Manchester in Liverpool. Not at all: the issues raised in Angels resonate in both cities and MaD’s mix of tragedy and comedy clearly struck a chord with Liverpool audiences. We hope that future productions will likewise be previewed at the Unity, whose staff were a pleasure to work with.

Angels is generating a fair bit of media interest. Karl Marginson, manager of FC United of Manchester, discussed the club’s contribution to the production on Talksport on 24 July. Margy appears in one of the scenes filmed for Angels by Paul Cliff, along with FCUM captain Dave Chadwick, goalkeeper Sam Ashton, and a host of the club’s junior players and supporters. FCUM followers should keep an eye out for a hilarious cameo by Vinny Thompson. Vinny’s making a habit of this kind of thing, having recently done a cameo in Looking for Eric.

Actor Christian Bradley previewed Angels on Dotun Adebayo’s late-night show on Radio 5 Live on 1 August, but managed to get the title wrong: Angels with Monkey Faces indeed! Cheers for the heads-up, Christian, but you’ll need to learn your lines properly if you want to work with MaD …

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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.

Trailer for Angels with Manky Faces

Click here to see the trailer for Angels with Manky Faces.

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.

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