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.

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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.

Thinking Allowed

The Gangs of Manchester is the subject of a special edition of Thinking Allowed to be broadcast on New Year’s Eve at 4 p.m. on BBC Radio 4.
Hosted by Laurie Taylor, Thinking Allowed offers a weekly review of social research. Recent programmes covered topics such as the “cocaine girls” of 1920s London and the relationship between sexual repression and social progress.
For the New Year’s Eve edition, Andrew Davies is joined by Geoff Pearson of Goldsmiths College, University of London (author of the acclaimed Hooligan: a history of respectable fears) and Tara Young of London Metropolitan University, an expert on youth in present-day London.

Book signing at Borders, Manchester Fort, and some plans for 2009

One more book signing has been arranged: at Borders, Manchester Fort (Cheetham Hill) on Sunday 21 December from 11.00 till 1.00.

More events are in the pipeline for 2009. These include a reading from the book in Strangeways (HM Prison, Manchester) and an illustrated talk at the Manchester Histories festival, to be held at Manchester Town Hall.

Work on the play, Angels with Manky Faces, is well underway: the first costumes will soon be ready, songs are being recorded, and locations have been scouted for the scenes to be filmed. One of the gang scenes is to be filmed on “the flags” in Angel Meadow, the site of some of the incidents described in the early chapters of The Gangs of Manchester.

Let them eat cake?

Scuttler cakes

Scuttler cakes

There has been plenty of discussion of the Gangs of Manchester on the various Manchester football message boards, not least on Blue Moon (thanks, Ric) and Red Issue. An extract has already appeared in United We Stand, and hopefully the King of the Kippax will be following suit.
On Saturday, I was invited to speak at a pre-match social at FC United of Manchester, ahead of the game against Hednesford Town. It was quite a do: the turns included a singer-songwriter, a poet, and the Halle choir.
These fantastic Scuttler cakes were sold in aid of club funds, and a new flag was on display courtesy of FCUM followers Voxra and Mike Duff. It reads:
ANGEL MEADOW
SCUTTLERS
FC UNITED

Thanks to Andy Barker for the photo.

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