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  • Writer's pictureSTEVE COOKE AATA

VIGNETTES is back with a very special focus


VIGNETTES is back for its fifth showcase of local female playwrights, this time at CONTACT THEATRE, with a very special focus.

VIGNETTES has been made in special collaboration with Greater Manchester Rape Crisis, celebrating the 45th anniversary of their service. GMRC are women-led, providing a safe space in which survivors can be heard, understood, and supported.

Anne Stebbings (Chief Executive and Manager) of GMRC said:

“GMRC are so excited to be working with HER Productions and Contact Theatre in celebration of our 45th anniversary. Please come along and help us celebrate our work and the women of Greater Manchester we have been proud and honoured to support over the last 45 years.”

Working in close partnership with GMRC, HER Productions has commissioned 6 local female playwrights to write short pieces that celebrate this vital service. The six writers are: Debbie Oates, Maz Hedgehog, Lindsay Williams, Alex Keelan, Lekhani Chirwa & Zoe Iqbal.

HER Productions is also thrilled to be working with a stellar line-up of directors, including Bryony Shanahan, joint Artistic Director at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.

VIGNETTES is joined by local icon, Julie Hesmondhalgh, who will perform in ‘Lifelines’ by Coronation Street writer, Debbie Oates.

Julie Hesmondhalgh said:

“I’m very excited and honoured to be part of this project, marking an important anniversary of such a remarkable and vital service in our city. I hope it will help to continue the ever-more urgent conversations around consent and cuts to crucial services, as well as sending a resounding THANK YOU to all who have worked for MRC over the years. I’m particularly chuffed to be speaking the words of the incomparable Debbie Oates.”

Vignettes is co-produced by local playwright Alex Keelan and HER Productions founder, Hannah Ellis Ryan, best known as Coronation Street villain Hannah Gilmore, HER Productions seeks to address the underrepresentation of female writers in theatre at a regional and national level.

Hannah Ellis Ryan said:

“We are so proud to be presenting another Vignettes, but this time with an incredible partner and in a new space. Every year we bring a new group of women together to pen stories they care about, and we’re consistently amazed by the quality and originality. This year, they get to write about a specific stimulus: the beautiful work of GMRC. I couldn’t be prouder that it’s us they have trusted to represent their work.”

VIGNETTES will showcase the six original short plays for the first time at CONTACT, a vibrant multidisciplinary arts venue on Manchester’s Oxford Road. The company will also be joined by Manchester’s SHE CHOIR, performing in the CONTACT foyer space pre-show.

Keisha Thompson, Artistic Director and CEO of CONTACT, said:

“We are thrilled to welcome HER Productions’ Vignettes to Contact. Vignettes invites us to explore the human experience through a kaleidoscope of perspectives, platforming voices that often go unheard. It’s an honour to be a part of celebrating the 45th anniversary of Greater Manchester Rape Crisis with this work, and we can’t wait for Contact audiences to experience this remarkable collection of stories.”

For tickets and further information please head to:

Wednesday 4 October, 7.30PM, Thursday 5 October, 7.30PM,

Tickets range from £10 - £20.

The plays featured in VIGNETTES are:

Anger and Enthusiasm by Alex Keelan, directed by Kate Colgrave Pope

Bhaijaan (Brother) by Zoe Iqbal, directed by Gitika Buttoo

Burdens by Maz Hedgehog, directed by Ifeoma Uzo

Lifelines by Debbie Oates, directed by Bryony Shanahan

A Day in the Life by Lekhani Chirwa, directed by Amy Gavin

Broken by Lindsay Williams, directed by Ellie Rose

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