Getting up to even more Monkey Business

The Manchester-based theatre company, Monkeywood, have been granted funding for the Maine Road 2010 tour through the Arts Council England's Grants for the Arts initiative, an encouraging show of support for the production.

In addition they have already sold out 3 nights at The Lowry in Salford Quays – 2 months in advance of the opening night – so have had to add two extra dates.

The Maine Road tour 2010 now kicks off at The Lowry's Quays Theatre on Friday 12 March 2010 at 8pm. Promoted to the 450 seat theatre for one night only, the premiere with be a special preview performance. In view of the great interest and the huge demand for tickets, a matinee performance on Saturday 20 March at 2pm has also been added in The Lowry Studio.

Writer Sarah McDonald Hughes had a radio script commissioned of the play by the BBC

Maine Road premiéred last summer at the 24:7 Theatre Festival to resounding 4 star reviews and sell out performances. Writer Sarah McDonald Hughes had a radio script commissioned of the play by the BBC, which was recorded at the end of last year. The play was shortlisted by the BBC for the Alfred Bradley Bursary Award 2009, the most prestigious radio drama prize in the country.

Not only did Sarah write the script, but she also appeared in the radio drama as Jade, alongside Siobhan Finneran as her mum, Elaine, and Lee Boardman as Clive. It was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in January.

In between the 24:7 Theatre Festival and Maine Road's 2010 tour, Monkeywood haven't let the grass grow under their feet, performing another play by McDonald Hughes, Last Orders, at Manchester's prestigious Royal Exchange Theatre in December. Sarah was commissioned to write the play about ‘everything always being the same and nothing ever changing' for the Royal Exchange’s PUB season. The Exchange turned their studio into a fully working local boozer, inviting drama, poetry, music and stories to be played out in the specific setting. Monkeywood thoroughly enjoyed the production and hope to extend it to a full-length play for a possible tour in Autumn 2010.

Maine Road has undergone significant development following production of the radio play by the BBC. The new production tours from The Lowry to Action Transport Theatre on Sat 10 April, Saltburn Community Theatre on Sat 24 April and finally Halifax Square Chapel on Fri 30 April 2010.

This tour is supported by Arts Council England and has been awarded funding through the Grants for the Arts initiative.

Tickets for the opening night in the Quays theatre are priced at £10 (£8 concession) and are available online at or by calling the box office on 0843 208 6000. Group Discount is 1 in 10 free.

Related article: Getting up to Monkey Business

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