top of page
  • vilecritique

Rave on the fringe

A Manchester Anthem

Flashing lights. Sticky floors. Dancing shoes. Tommy, a young working-class Mancunian, has been accepted into Oxford. He's the first in his family to go to uni – the first on his street in fact... Join him on his last big night in Manchester before leaving the city he loves and disappearing South. Expect humour, heart and a night out to remember. Winner of the Pleasance Pick of VAULT Festival Award.

Previews: 2 - 3 August, 19:50 (£9)

Performances: 4 - 27 August (not 7th & 16th), 19:50

Tickets: £13 - £15, £11.50 - £13.50 Concessions

Running time: 60 mins

This performance contains strong language, strobe lighting and depictions of drug and alcohol addiction.

Venue: Pleasance Courtyard (33), The Green, 60 Pleasance, Edinburgh, EH8 9TJ

The show talks about music, and has a House soundtrack. Is there a sense that House is a particular expression of Manchester's cultural identity?

It was a link to The Haçienda and that scene for us, a bridge between the generations of characters in the play as well as just a fantastic soundtrack to a night out. Music is at the heart of the play and the character, in the same way it feels to a lot of people that it's at the heart of culture in Manchester, where the play is set - and alongside the house music, one of the ways we've tried to breathe life into our version of Manchester is through music from the history of the city. I think everyone has an idea of what Manchester's music history means to them - Northern Soul, Factory Records, Madchester, The Hacienda, Britpop, the rock & indie capital of the world, contemporary northern drum & bass culture. Aitch! The list goes on. We've worked hard to do our due diligence to the city's history, and each character's unique way of interacting with music. The play sort of leaks music - it finds its way through every crack in Tommy's world.

The gap between the protagonist's working class background and his university ambitions plays an important role in the press release. Does this tension provide the tone or atmosphere of the piece?

It's definitely an undercurrent that runs through the play, always there throughout, but along with it there's also all the joy, embarrassment, nerves, fear and confusion that comes with being eighteen and beginning to branch out alone for the first time. Tommy is scared to go off to university because he doesn’t want to change when he comes back home, by being around students who aren’t working class like himself. He’s proud of his identity and analyses all of the people around him and has preconceptions of how these people act and live, without truly knowing too much about them. There's a lot of humour and fun mixed in with all the eerie unease.

What can audiences expect from the show?

We want to share the pride in having a working class background, more understanding of the class divide prevalent in the UK. Audiences can expect a show that will hopefully leave them thinking but will definitely leave them uplifted and dancing! We would love them to have a good time and get ready for a night out, and the 19.50 time slot we have really works with this.

And what kind of reactions have you had so far from audiences?

It's been incredible what a range of reactions we've had from our audiences so far! It's been really lovely hearing people from all over saying it's resonated with them! There was a worry that the specificity of Manchester might not translate but we've had people from Essex to Australia talk about how it really hit home for them and felt like their story too. It's also been so nice talking to both younger and older audience members and hearing how they felt it's resonated for them as a student, graduate, teen, mother, father, has just been beautiful and my favourite part of all this.

Recent Posts

See All


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page