If you're planning on visiting the Manchester 24:7 Theatre Festival this week, you really ought to check out this bittersweet snail tale. It's a projected that has allured a number of prestigious names, including Joyce Branagh, the sister of Kenneth Branagh.
The touching story of one man's concern of seeing his sons snail collection being bulldozed and how the memories of this effected him for years to come has led to an inspiring play being developed and winning a coveted place in the 24:7 Theatre Festival line up.
Joe Graham's bitter sweet story about an estranged family coming back together, the memories they share and how they remember memories differently is fused together to create the heart warming tale, ‘Dancing To The Sound of Crunching Snails.'
Here we see a highly experienced director who recognises the strength of a great play and wants to work alongside a cast of experienced and newer performers.
The play is being directed by Joyce Branagh, sister of acting royalty Kenneth Branagh. The cast is being led by Michael Starke, most famously known as loveable ‘Sinbad' from Brookside and recently as ‘Jerry Morton' in Coronation Street. This is Michael's second time being directed by ‘a Branagh' as he was once in ‘The Play What I Wrote' directed by Kenneth.
Lining up alongside Starke is Andrew Grose, an experience theatre actor who has also had television work in Emmerdale, The Royal and Shameless to name but a few. MEN Theatre awards nominee Catherine Kinsella also appears in the cast. Ex- Family Affairs star Gemma Wardle completes the ensemble. Gemma played regular character ‘Chris Jacobs' in the show, has also appeared in Life on Mars and spent two years playing young heroine ‘Eponine' in the hit musical Les Miserables.
David Slack, Festival Director said: “24:7 is about bringing together playwrights, performers and directors from all ends of the spectrum. Here we see a highly experienced director who recognises the strength of a great play and wants to work alongside a cast of experienced and newer performers. Every person involved in this production is there due to their love and passion for the festival and the work it does for theatre arts.”
This is writer Joe Graham's debut at 24:7, however he has been successful in other parts of the country, most recently in musical theatre where one of his songs is up for an award in a West End competition.
24:7 is the highlight of my year, it means a lot to me as it's a way of getting my work to a wider audience
Joe has one clear ambition, to write for a living on a daily basis. He's proud to be part of 24:7 Theatre Festival in 2009; “24:7 is the highlight of my year, it means a lot to me as it's a way of getting my work to a wider audience away from the comfort zone of producing locally. The very fact of being selected is a great leap forward and pushes me to a new level as a writer, I feel sure about that.”
Dancing To The Sound of Crunching Snails is on at Pure from until 25th July. Tickets are priced from £7 and available from www.quaytickets.co.uk
For more details on Manchester's 24:7 Theatre Festival, visit www.247theatrefestival.co.uk