Here are a list of shows currently available at Sustained Up North. Click the title of the show you would like to attend and you will be taken to the its page, where you will be able to book tickets.

An award-winning show about war and refuge, written and performed by French Brazilian artist Gael Le Cornec.

29 Jun | 7.30pm
Tickets £9 / £7

“Unbearably powerful and moving.” ★★★★ The Scotsman

The Other – Trailer from Gaël Le Cornec on Vimeo.

Unicef estimates 30 million children are fleeing brutal violence, extreme poverty or both.

Like the others, one night young Mana escapes the war-torn Redyellow planet on a shooting star. During her journey across the universe, imagination is her best defense in the struggle for survival. Will Mana ever arrive to her dreamland, the beautiful blue planet?

Embark on a disturbing coming-of-age, award-winning show (Edinburgh Fringe 2016), overflowing with poetry, strange creatures and stunning imagery.

“Stunning. Imaginative, emotionally powerful and aesthetically beautiful.” 
★★★★★ Broadway Baby

“Heart achingly funny… a humble low-fi yet dazzling affair” 
★★★★ The Skinny


Presented in STUN Studio at Z-arts
Running time: 65 minutes
Produced by The Footprint Project
Directed by Ben Samuels

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Yinka presents CLAY here in the STUN Studio on 28 October. Here she talks more about the work and what makes her tick!

How would you describe yourself and what you do?
I am a Flamenco dancer based between the UK and Spain. Recently much of what I am creating is centred around the relationship between Flamenco and other forms of expression. Dance has always been in my life but I came to Flamenco as an adult, after studying at University. I think this has given me a certain freedom when it comes to what I want to achieve with my dancing. I’m also at the very beginning of my creative experience as a dancer, and I have a sneaky feeling it might go off in an unexpected direction! Having said that my place of departure will always be flamenco, this complex and rich art form which I continue to study and train in.

Tell us a bit about the work you’ve been making at STUN.
CLAY is a very special piece of work, it’s really the meeting of Asha Thomas and myself. Asha is an incredible contemporary dancer with a wealth of experience and when she discovered Flamenco she was fascinated by it. In our conversations we were really interested in exploring what it was in Flamenco that called us so much, specifically for her as and African American and for me as a Black British woman of African and Caribbean descent. This show is our excavation into what might be in our collective ancestral or genetic memory that has made flamenco seem so relevant to us. Or maybe the question is what is in flamenco that makes so much sense to us?

What got you started?
Following our numerous conversations, we decided to just get into the studio and see what happened. We didn’t want to put any pressure on ourselves to turn it into a show, it really was like a meeting in the studio and we liked what we were coming up with. The first time we got in the studio was in the summer of 2014, it wasn’t till a year later that we were able to get back to it and then now. So it’s been quite an organic process.

What was your big breakthrough?
Playing around with the bata de cola (train dress) one day I realised there was a brilliant way of epitomising the confluence of cultures, beliefs and rituals through one image. This very strong image is something we are using in the piece.

What’s the best advice you’ve had?
Trust and Believe!

Can you describe your process?
Processes change for me according to the project. This collaboration with Asha was my first experience of working with contemporary dance and it really opened me up to working from improvisation and given the nature of this piece, also work from the most natural place for movement. I’m co-founder of dotdotdot dance, all three of us are flamenco dancers and (maybe I should say until very recently) the process had been much more structured, musically and technically you’re often working within a given structure. Creating CLAY has been quite a challenging process of unlearning positioning, letting go and working from almost a far more instinctive and visceral place. I think the interesting thing for me as I start to create more work is to define the process that works best for me. To be continued!

More about CLAY

Artists: Yinka Esi Graves and Asha Thomas
Musical director/ guitarist: Guillermo Guillen
Artistic advisor: Chloé Brulé

11/12 October: Chateauvallon, France
28 October: STUN, Manchester, UK BOOK TICKETS
4/5 November: Mes de Danza, Seville Spain


Twitter: @YinkaEsiGraves

Presented by Word of Warning, STUN + Black Gold Arts Festival


Thursday 6 October 2016, 6-10pm

Join us on Thursday 6 October for an evening of the different in Hulme — a unique insight into eight new works in various stages of development, from first sketches to ready-to-go shows…

Feat. Maya Chowdhry, Jamil Keating, Chanje Kunda, Afreena Islam, Cheryl Martin, Chelsea Morgan, Toni-Dee Paul and Yvonne Shelton.

From the earth beneath our feet to the stars in our skies, an evening of emerging works by a group of artists as diverse as their subject matter. Quantum mechanics, homelessness, food and sex brought together in a series of tabletop performances, installations and sit-down shows.

Installation, 6-8.30pm. FREE

Jamil Keating | Asteroid RK1
Chelsea Morgan | Tented
Yvonne Shelton | Testimony

Tabletop Trio, 6pm. £6/3

Maya Chowdhry | Peas on Earth
Afreena Islam | Daughters of the Curry Revolution
Toni-Dee Paul | My Father’s Kitchen

Double Bill, 8.30pm. £6/3

Chanje Kunda | Superposition
Cheryl Martin | Who Wants to Live Forever (extract)

Venue + Booking Details for Installation
Date: Thursday 6 October 2016, 6-8.30pm
Venue: Z-arts, 335 Stretford Road, Manchester, M15 5ZA
Tickets: FREE no booking required, come + go as you please.
Venue (Z-arts) Tel: 0161 232 6089

Venue + Booking Details for Tabletop Trio
Date: Thursday 6 October 2016, 6pm (very limited capacity)
Venue: Z-arts, 335 Stretford Road, Manchester, M15 5ZA
Tickets: £6/3, available from Mon 19 Sep.
Venue (Z-arts) Tel: 0161 232 6089

Venue + Booking Details for Double Bill
Date: Thursday 6 October 2016, 8.30pm
Venue: Z-arts (incl STUN Studio), 335 Stretford Road, Manchester, M15 5ZA
Tickets: £6/3, available from Mon 19 Sep.
Venue (Z-arts) Tel: 0161 232 6089

Access Information

Divergency is primarily an adult-focussed event, some works will not be suitable for younger viewers (i.e. under 18s). It takes place in a number of different spaces and formats — some seated, some standing, some spoken word, some visual, some limited capacity, some participatory. We apologise but some of the work may not be wheelchair accessible. For specific age and access information please email or call 0161 232 6086.


Divergency is an ongoing artist development programme supported by hÅb +STUN; supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. | Header image: Chanje Kunda | #Divergency | Black Gold Arts Festival

STRIKE A POSE: Dance Cinema Event
7 Oct | 7.30pm
Tickets £10 / £6
Please note, this event is now sold out – call Z-arts Box Office on 0161 232 6089 to be added to a wait list. 

Black Gold Arts Festival with the help of Queer Media, has bagged the Northwest premiere of Strike A Pose.

What does it take to express yourself? The surprising and moving story of Madonna’s most famous troupe of dancers.

In 1990, seven young male dancers – 6 gay, 1 straight – joined Madonna on her most controversial tour. On stage and in the iconic film Truth or Dare they showed the world how to express yourself. Now, 25 years later, they reveal the truth about life during and after the tour. Strike a Pose is a dramatic tale about overcoming shame and finding the courage to be who you are.

In a one-off special event taking pace in the STUN Studio at Z-arts, this screening of the film will be accompanied by a spectacular dance piece choreographed by rising star Natasha Gooden and performed by Manchester favourites House of Ghetto.

Stike A Pose_Smaller image_STUN

Praise for Strike A Pose
“Resilience and spirit come through strongly” — The Hollywood Reporter, David Rooney
“An uplifting survival tale.” — The Playlist/Indiewire, Jessica Kiang
“A perfect love song by Gould and Zwaan to the exceptional men those boys turned out to be.” — The Huffington Post, E. Nina Rothe

Black Gold Arts Festival is supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Supported by STUN, Contact, Commonword, and Divergency.

Strike A Pose website
Twitter: @StrikeAPoseDocu


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CLAY: a live dance performance
28 Oct | 7.30pm
Tickets £8/£5
All ages

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 16.52.16 CLAY  sombrero y bata de cola

It is said that clay is the matter that we are made of. Buried in that matter are the memories that mould our experiences, our understandings and gestures. Memories that seem to belong to a time long before our very thoughts were shaped. Ancient yet familiar, they accompany us from places that only our cells have been.

In CLAY Asha Thomas, American contemporary dancer and Yinka Esi Graves, British flamenco dancer, draw from their collective memory and experiences to create a unique language between them. It is their very dancing that goes in search of the past whilst being informed by it. One dancer of half Jamaican and Ghanian descent and the other from a long line of southern baptist preachers, explore the connections between who they believe themselves to be, and the unconscious parts that make up who they are.

It is the place where this duo’s dance influences cross that evokes memories of imagined lands, all to the unique soundscape of flamenco and electric guitarist Guillermo Guillén.

CLAY is a powerful game between solo pieces and explosive pas de deux, of their rhythms and unique expression. It asks us to locate the parts of ourselves that have formed over long periods of time, surviving the wear of migration to still be found today.

Choreographed and performed by Yinka Esi Graves and Asha Thomas.
A STUN (Sustained Theatre Up North) and Châteauvallon- Scenes nationale co-commission

For more information about the artists and the making of CLAY, visit: 


CLAY open rehearsal
28 Oct | 1pm – 2:30pm 
All ages

The artists of CLAY are proposing an open rehearsal where the public will be able to get a behind-the-scenes look into the creative process of the production. The artists find it important to share with the community all of the aspects that are involved in putting together a dance performance, whether it be collaborating with the lighting designer, refining and perfecting the dance movements, or the interactions between the dancers and the musician/composer.  Afterwards, the audience will be given an opportunity to ask questions about the piece, to gain insight into the artist’s individual backgrounds, and to learn about the peculiarities of working and living internationally. 


CLAY Workshop

26 Oct | 5:30pm
Ages 15+

The dancers in CLAY will offer a dance workshop that will expose the students to the different genres shown in the piece: flamenco, contemporary dance, and other social dances from the African diaspora. The students will experience how the artists of CLAY have chosen to interconnect the different styles and will also have the opportunity to explore themes that include sensibility to music and rhythm, bodily coordination and strength, and self expression through different dynamics.


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21 Oct Keisha Thompson web image

21 October | 7:30pm
Suitable for ages 12+
FREE, please book your seat using the link below.

“My dad is a conundrum. He shapes his tongue like a crescent, then beams his way upwards. Most times he leaves me books, books and books covered in stardust. Other times he leaves me with a heavy sense of dread. How do you communicate with a man who has a moon where he should have a head?”

A new show from one of Manchester’s best and brightest up-and-coming talents.

Written and performed by Keisha Thompson | Directed by Benji Reid
A STUN (Sustained Theatre Up North) commission


Tuesday 14 June 2016 | 6.30 – 8.30pm | STUN Studio at Z-arts

Queen Njinga, set in the 17th century, tells the true story of the African Warrior Queen of Congo/Angola who fought a 40 year war against slavery. With bravery, perseverance and determination, Queen Njinga fought a long battle to gain the throne and to then lead her people in a fierce battle against the Portuguese army for national freedom.

“a well-made, action-packed historical film”

“a quite remarkable story, and I’m happy that today’s Angola  made a very nice / high quality film to tell it.”

Recommended age 18+

Download the press release


Friday 17 June | 7:30pm | STUN Studio at Z-arts
**includes post show discussion**

Phina Oruche is having an identity crisis.

Best known for her role as aloof supermodel Liberty Baker in ITV1 drama Footballers’ Wives, Phina, now in her 40s, has started to question who she really is.

Spending more than two decades of her life taking on other people’s identities – first as a New York fashion model and later as an award-winning TV actress – has taken its toll.
Her new one-woman show, Identity Crisis, was written as part of her Masters degree and although it is based upon her own life story, it explores identity struggles that are common to all of us.

Through its low-key staging, the show provides a perfect vehicle for Phina’s larger than life characterisations. From Amy Tan, a working class white girl with a Scouse brow and a taste for spray tans and black lads to Antonio de Silva, a football crazy Italian living in LA who misses his mum, Phina brings a colourful cast of eight characters to life, all of whom are having their own identity crises.

The tale begins with the real life story of the sudden death of Phina’s 19-year-old niece in her house in 2011 and the ensuing press intrusion.

Phina said: “After years of identity struggles, writing this show has given me the freedom to play characters I would never get cast as…”

Audience Feedback:
“A stunning bravura virtuoso debut…”
“…as good as anyone I have ever seen on screen or stage…”


Z-arts, 335 Stretford Road, Hulme, Manchester M15 5ZA
0161 232 6089

Recommended age 14+

Hear Phina talk about the show on BBC Radio Derby

Nubian Times preview
Twitter: @PhinaOru

Phina_ohJospehine Phina_ohglory Phina_comedy

Saturday 12 March 2016 | 7:30pm | Z-arts

Immerse yourself in the majesty, passion and music of West Africa in this epic story of Mali.

Discover a royal family, torn apart by jealousy, plots and exile and a prophecy which hinges on the most reviled woman in the kingdom. Can her child bring the kingdoms of West Africa together?

Jan Blake, one of the world’s best-loved storytellers, together with two exceptional West African musicians, Kouame Sereba and Raymond Sereba, share a rarely told version of The Birth of Sundiata Keita, the visionary leader of the great Malian Empire. Songs of the Gban people, guitars, Nordic flutes, djembe drums and kalimbas and the extraordinary dodo mouth bow, cradle the story in an evocative soundscape.

The Old Woman, The Buffalo and The Lion of Manding is produced by Adverse Camber productions, one of the UK’s most celebrated storytelling companies. This tale reaches across the centuries, from its origins in 13th Century Africa to the recent conflicts of our own time when its telling was forbidden.  Enjoy a performance that is by turns delicate, dramatic, moving and truly uplifting; an epic tale of love, courage, faith and strength that has been told in Mali for many hundreds of years.

“An utterly compelling and passionate piece, with a voice and rhythm all of its own”
Festival at the Edge Storytelling Festival

“A rare and unique performance”
The Crick Crack Club

Running time: 2 hours 20 mins, including interval

(£10 / £8)
Z-arts, 335 Stretford Road, Hulme, Manchester M15 5ZA
0161 232 6089

Ticket Offer
Two for One ticket offer available both online and by calling the box office. When booking online, simply select your tickets and it will automatically deduct the cost of one ticket.

Recommended age 14+

Friday 12 February 2016 | 5.30pm | STUN Studio at Z-arts

Dating and the concept of love has changed so much over the last decade or so. Go back 50 years the man had to make the first move. But now dating is a commercial enterprise and a powerful emotional minefield. Online dating and social networking are the norm with the rise of dating websites and apps, like e-Harmony,, and of course, Tinder.

This no-holds-barred documentary from leading multi award winning British filmmaker Menelik Shabazz combines frank, intimate and humorous interviews alongside carnival footage and spoken word to explore modern relationships. The film focuses on the UK’s Black British community as a microcosm of British society. Individuals, groups, psychologists and comedians consider love, sex, intimacy and forgiveness

“Menelik Shabazz’s exploration of relationships in the UK’s black British community is laidback and likable” – The Guardian


Recommended age 18+

– Introduction by film maker Menelik Shabazz
6pm to 8pmLooking for Love (Approx running time 117 minutes)
8pm – Q&A
8.45pm – Fade to Black


STUN_large_Waiting to Exhale

FADE TO BLACK & STUN Invite you to come and celebrate the 20th Anniversary film release of the 1995 box office sensation WAITING TO EXHALE, based on the Terry McMillan novel of the same name.

Reacquaint yourself with Savannah, Bernadine, Gloria and Robin as they navigate through their careers, family and romance…

WAITING TO EXHALE is an all African American cast (well apart from you know who!) and follows how four friends bond over the shortcomings in their love lives — namely, the scarcity of good men, relationships with married men, betrayal of an affair, divorce, but also the joy of finding new love… remember the scene when Gloria first meets Marvin and sashays her cute self across the road and says with the naughtiest grin, “Ooh, I hope he’s not still watching…he’s still watching.”

Friday 11 Dec | 18:30 | STUN Studio at Z-arts, M15 5ZA | £5
*includes buffet & bubbly*


Remember the dead and they live forever.

CINEMA is a new theatrical experience that explores the human and political aftermath of the Cinema Rex Fire in Abadan, Iran in 1978.

Performed and created by UK based Iranian artist, Nazli Tabatabai-Khatambakhsh, the play remembers the lives and people behind the numbers and the news stories. It was an event that changed Iran’s political course, and would lead to the revolution of 1979.

CINEMA is tender and explosive, interwoven with an original score, potent projections and delicious language.


ZENDEH creates award-winning, unforgettable theatre that connects the personal with the political.

After each show there will be a brief post-show discussion, we would love it if you would join us.

STUN @ Z-Arts

6 – 9 October, 7.30pm

10 October, 2pm

BSL Performance: 9 October

Tickets: £10 / £6 concs


We would like to invite you to our first Black Gold Arts Festival, celebrating the success of culturally diverse performances developed in partnership with Sustained Theatre Up North [STUN].

Black Gold Arts Festival features recent work by black artists from the North developed through Manchester’s Sustained Theatre Up North’s STUN Studio and produced around the city. All the shows are tour-ready, have been enthusiastically received by audiences and critics alike, and have strong workshop and engagement packages.


BGAF_LOGO_B_WManchester is rich in culturally diverse performing arts talent, and STUN has been increasingly important in making sure that talent has the space to experiment and thrive. Besides celebrating this, we also want to support and to bring new BAME talent forward. So we want to throw a big arts party festival with just a sample of our awards-nominated and award-winning artists, and a seed commission for a culturally diverse newcomer.
To give folks even more reason to celebrate, we’d like to announce a £2,000 commission for a new work by a BAME Northern performance practitioner.For our first Black Gold Arts Festival, we have shows by four outstanding Mancunians:
For our first Black Gold Arts Festival, we have shows by four outstanding Mancunians: 


BOL_POSTER_3_copyBody of Light, by Darren Pritchard [Marcel Lenormand, Designer]

Light meets bodies in motion, all using a Kinect: Dance made both beautiful and accessible to everybody.

Tickets –





Alaska, by Cheryl Martin [Dir. Darren Pritchard] CHERLY_FLYER

Tells the story of a black perimenopausal lesbian’s descent into suicidal depression and her emergence from it.

“It is a devastatingly beautiful show, poetic narrative and heart achingly profound… people should go” Audience Member

Cheryl has won Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards as both writer [ Best Community Production,Heart and Soul, Oldham Coliseum] and director [Best Studio Production, Iron by Rona Munro, Working Girls/Contact], an Edinburgh Fringe First as co-director and producer of Traverse Theatre’s Breakfast Series The World Is Too Much, and this year a Lloyd’s Bank regional award for the immersive play she directed for Community Arts Northwest,Rule 35, and longlisted for the Polari Book Prize for her collection of poems, Alaska[Crocus/Commonword], the inspiration for this play

Tickets –


CHANJE_FLYERAmsterdam, by Chanje Kunda [Dir. Juliet Ellis, Movement Darren Pritchard]

Fusing spoken word, physicality and music, Amsterdam is a high-powered, supermodern 21st-century play of love and lust.

Seduced by the attractions of the city and a charming Surinamese man she met on holiday, Chanje embarks on a voyage into the unknown. What will be her fate?
Chanje Kunda is a poet, playwright and performance artist. Based in Manchester, she performs nationally and internationally. This show, Amsterdam, was nominated for Best Studio Production by the Manchester Theatre Awards after a national tour and rave reviews.

Tickets –


I Wish I Had A Moustache, by Keisha Thompson

a4_moustache__1_[Dir. Martin Visceral,

Movement Darren Pritchard]

Can you be a modern-day feminist and also feel the immemorial need to shave your legs? How much are we willing to consciously change about ourselves before the soul disowns us?

Young Identity’s Keisha Thompson will go on a comedic, at times disturbing, journey to find out if she has a problem with her gender, her culture, or just herself, in her debut solo show.

Tickets –

Matilda and Me Publicity PhotoPresented by Word of Warning, Divergency + Sustained Theatre Up North

Ria Hartley – Matilda and Me

“Matilda is my Grandma.She migrated from Jamaica to England in 1962.Now all of her memories have faded.I need to remember for her, for me, for us…”


Weaving together storytelling, spoken word, dubpoetry, live art, autobiography, and reggae music, this colourful and challenging performance offers a political viewpoint surrounding the lived experience of migration, colonialism, racism, and the current perception of British cultural identity. Performed solo, the piece is presented as a biographical mythology of Ria’s lived experiences, reflecting poetically on the story of her and her Grandma, and the 2 islands they are from. (read more…)

Rule 35 banner

Rule 35
Saturday 28 March
2pm / 3.30pm / 5pm

Community Arts North West and the Boaz Trust invite you to Rule 35, a new, provocative show taking you to the heart of the British detention system. Created and performed by refugee and asylum seeker women, many of whom have experienced detention. We invite you to live detention and make up your own mind.

To Book Tickets:

To Play Rule 35:

To interact with characters before the show through social media sign up at:

You must be 16+ to play

For More Information:

Rule 35 e-flyer




Marcus Hercules - Our Stories
TCOLpos2It’s Freshers Week.

Naomie, a devout Christian wants to give her all to faith but is finding it difficult with Rochelle’s everlasting drama of finding Mr Right. Meanwhile Ladies man, Floyd just wants to enjoy university life to the fullest plus convert the nicest guy on campus, Tobias to do the same.

The Complications of Lust tells the story of four students entering university for the first time and how Lust can bring many different complications.

Written and directed by Solomon Spence, (Lost Property Bush TheatreFade to Black Stratford East) who only became a playwright by chance when he opted to write a play for his dissertation at university. He enjoyed the freedom and challenges it brought him and has never look back. (read more…)


Based on a true story of a Gurkha knife on display in a shop in Deansgate, Manchester in 1915 we journey to Holland, South Africa, Nepal and India celebrating unseen heroic characters and stories in times of war.

Written and performed by Anjum Malik, multi lingual Poet, Scriptwriter and teacher of creative writing.

This is an Ahmed Iqbal Ullah Education Trust project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund and supported by Arts Council England, Manchester Metropolitan University and Cartwheel Arts. (read more…)

Pamela Raith Photography_Tonya Bolton_032

How would you describe yourself and what you do?

If I was to describe myself in five words I would say I am Trailblazing, Authentic, Creative, Compassionate & High-Spirited. I am not afraid to speak about taboo issues and spark debate. My work takes people on a journey that’s universal yet deeply personal, challenging yet compelling, entertaining, educational & empowering.

As well as being an accomplished actress & author, I am also an Empowerment Specialist  and motivational speaker with over 15 years’ experience of training other artists and working with vulnerable people, particularly young people who have poor emotional well-being, mental health and social difficulties.

I am really passionate about utilising the creative arts to help people break destructive cycles and move forward into the life they want and deserve.

As the founder of not-for-profit organisation ICU Transformational Arts, I deliver engaging arts programmes that help break destructive behaviour patterns, re-engage people in education/community and reduce risky behaviour.

Born and bred in Birmingham, I have been writing all my life. Published in numerous short story & poetry anthologies and academic journals, I have performed extensively throughout the Midlands and also internationally. I have also co-authored 18 books and written many plays on a wide range of topics.

Tell us a bit about your connection with STUN.

I have been a fan of STUN (Sustained Theatre Up North) for a long time and inspired by its tireless dedication to the growth of BAME Creatives across the UK.

As an organisation we are extremely passionate about bringing issues relevant to to BAME communities and artists into national focus, redress the balance and shake up the arts landscape.  We wanted to partnership with STUN to reach more diverse audiences across Manchester & beyond, particularly BAME communities.

What got you started?

I have been writing since I was a small child. I can honestly say that writing saved my life. I was one of only 3 black children at my primary school and I was brutally beaten by teachers and bullied by the pupils for being Black. Writing became the outlet that helped me deal with the many emotions I was feeling.

What was your big breakthrough?

Writing & performing Holy & Horny is without a doubt one of the most powerful experiences I’ve ever encountered. (read more…)

hab_logo_tw_160_160Emergency is our annual platform for live art + contemporary performance, featuring at least 25 short pieces of work over a day/evening in Manchester…

Staged for the first time entirely in the cavernous realms of Z-arts, our fifteenth Emergency takes place on Saturday 4 October 2014 (12noon-10pm) — a free micro-marathon of the bizarre + the beautiful popping up all over the building; primarily an adult event, from 3pm onwards we advise that work may not be suitable for under 18s. To get a feel for it see 2013’s programme + gallery.

Emergency is:
• a free, public micro-festival + open submission platform;
• an opportunity for artists to meet, show and peer-review work;
• a selection event for a number of small Works Ahead commissions to be developed + supported by hÅb.

Enquiries: ¦ ¦ #EmergencyMcr

Emergency 2014 is presented by Word of Warning, STUN + Z-arts; produced by hÅb; supported using public funding through Arts Council England, funded by Manchester City Council, supported by STUN + Z-arts; a greenroom legacy project.

call-mr-robesonA special performance by Tayo Aluko of his much-acclaimed ‘Call Mr Robeson’

Paul Robeson is a great and famous actor, singer and civil rights campaigner.

When over the years he gets progressively too radical and outspoken for the establishment’s liking, he is branded a traitor to his country, harassed, and denied opportunities to perform or travel.

Just as physical, emotional and mental stress threaten to push him over the fine line between genius and madness, he is summoned to appear before the House Un-American Activities Committee, to give the most difficult and important performance of his career.

The play is a roller coaster journey through Robeson’s remarkable and eventful life, and highlights how his radical activism caused him to be disowned and disremembered, even by the leaders and descendants of the civil rights movement. (read more…)


Do you want to support environmental awareness and climate justice?   Maybe you also like world music, street culture or Afro-Brazilian Carnival?

We are inviting filmmakers, video artists or anyone with video clips or even photos to contribute some material that you think is relevant, and become a named artist for this exhibition. There are more details about the project .  To contribute or collaborate, click HERE.

Get involved – invitation to collaborate:

Up to 6 filmmakers, digital artists or poets will be selected as ‘FEATURED ARTISTS’ whose material will become a part of the installation, and who will receive a full credit for the collaboration. We do not have any preference or limitation on what kind of video, images or poetry that can be included, except that any poetry should be short pieces because the installation will be built on a series of short rhythmic loops.

The artist, Kooj, wants to see what you suggest, which will help to drive the final work.  Some examples could be a clip of somebody speaking about their experience or views, or observations of environmental change, or of local pollution or of nature, or of activism by various groups, or you might have a video that you have made already.  Some of these ideas could be in the form of images, photos, audio or poetry. (read more…)

Diwali 2014 A4 Poster_aw_HR-page-001The finale to this year’s Dashehra Diwali celebrations in Manchester tells the thrilling story of a race against time. Loyal warrior Lakshman (brother of Lord Ram) is injured in battle – but can the monkey god Hanuman find the magic herb sanjeevani on Medicine Mountain and get back to the battlefield in time to save our hero before the sun rises? Storytelling, dance and special effects all feature in this immersive piece of outdoor theatre in the heart of city.

Saturday October 11th 2.30 – 8.30pm.

Albert Square and Town Hall, Manchester

Created by site specific outdoor performance companies Walk the Plank and Nutkhut, commissioned by Manchester Indian Association and supported by Arts Council England.


Othello is transported from the backstreets of Venice to the back-stabbing boardrooms of Venezia FC.
Instead of being a General, Othello (George Oluyinka) is the first black manager of the club whilst new foreign signing Cassio enrages centre back Iago (Liam Grunshaw). Emila (Morag Peacock) becomes the club’s physio, and Bianca (Roisin McClusker) a wannabe WAG.


Shakespeare’s classic tragedy Othello gets a modern makeover from Lass Productions later this month.
This is the first piece from Lass Productions since the closure of the Lass O’Gowrie’s studio theatre in 2014.
Othello runs from 22 – 29 September at Manchester’s Gullivers in the Northern Quarter and you can view the Vimeo video trailer

90990© Lass Productions





20 years on … theatre, dance, music and culture from the new South Africa


‘In 1994 a new nation was born. Since then, our artists have been showing the world that South Africa has stories to tell: stories that speak to the collective memory of who we are, that speak of life in South Africa today – stories that link us to the world.’


James Ngcobo – Artistic Director, Afrovibes


20 years on, Afrovibes celebrates the end of apartheid with a festival of contemporary award-winning South African productions, performances and screenings, alongside each venue’s Township Cafe: a lively meeting-place and the backdrop for a festival fringe of free events, exhibitions, late-night music and great South African-themed food.

(read more…)

Holy&Horny_2xA5pps_Pg1Back by popular demand, Holy & Horny is a “Hilarious, powerful and deeply moving” sell-out show that celebrates women’s sensuality and spirituality.

Written and Performed by Tonya Joy Bolton, this extraordinary play is a compelling story of love, longing and the ultimate betrayal.

In the production, Actress and Author Tonya Joy Bolton explores one woman’s struggle to remain holy despite being as horny as hell! She draws on a variety of artforms such as comedy, mime, physical theatre, song, poetry and drama.

Sheila, the frustrated Christian woman and her alter ego Eve, the sexually uninhibited poetess, are just two of the 20 characters played by Tonya. Brilliantly directed by Jon Trevor, this enthralling show follows Sheila’s amazing journey as she embarks on a set of disastrous dates which lead to unexpected life-changing consequences.

“This is a show that is honest and unflinching throughout. It is a powerful, moving and hilarious show that should not be missed.” Redbrick Magazine (read more…)

Amsterdam by Chanje Kunda

Tour Begins October 3rd


(read more…)

FRONT PAGE EACH ONEThis is an Oral history project which will partner young people and elders in an exploration of stories that tell the history of these sites, from the early 1950s through to present day and bring them to life on stage and film.





The project starts October 4th

Time 4.15pm – 6.15pm

Studio 25

Church Street


M4 1PE


New opportunities to get involved will become available throughout the life of the project.

(read more…)


This thrilling and exciting production by URBAN conceptz Theatre, explodes onto stage this autumn, bringing forth a beautiful fusion of movement, theatre and stunning media visuals.

This commanding company merge diverse movement, challenging theatrics and stimulating physicality which is seamlessly unified alongside intricate digital projection, beautifully structured soundscapes and a web of scaffolding and structures that immerse the audience into an adrenaline-fueled marvel, that dives, hangs and swings around the social turmoil of freedom and freewill.

Where will your fight for freedom take you?

Date: Thursday September 18th

Time: 7.30pm – 9.30pm (read more…)

LISAPO – The Congolese Tales

For one night only – Live, at Band on the Wall on Saturday 28 June, 7pm.

Click here to buy tickets from the Band on the Wall box office

LISAPO in Lingala means ‘tale’ and is the time to sit, listen and hear.

LISAPO – The Congolese Tales tells the powerful story of Congolese migration to Britain through music oratory; featuring song, spoken word, moving image, theatre and dance.

This special performance has been created through a participatory arts heritage project with Music Director, Tyndale Thomas MBE; Libretto and Direction by Cheryl Martin; Vocal Leader, Emmanuela Macholi Yogolelo; Drum Maestro, Pat Mackman and Moving Image by Gary Stewart and Leah Llewellyn.

Featuring special guests Les Sapeur Congolais – the very elegant persons of DR Congo.

This performance is inspired by 29 oral histories from the Greater Manchester Congolese community who has been migrating to Britain since the late 1980s as a result of the destabilisation of the country and consequent civil war. Recorded in 2013, they now form a permanent public record.

Tickets are limited and booking up fast. Don’t miss this unique celebration of Congolese culture and heritage! (read more…)

Our Choice Their Chance

Fri 30 & Sat 31 May 2014
4.30pm & 7pm
(There are two separate performances each evening, each lasting approximately 1 hour)

£5/£3 concessions
Age guidance: 12+
Click here to buy tickets

Are you ready to choose or will you leave things to chance?

Welcome to the Gallery of Decisions, a space where we make the decisions that affect the course of our lives… Do we give in to peer pressure or keep our principles?… Go for that new piercing?… Shower or bath?… Pepsi or Coke?????

Join us as we move, improvise, rap and body-pop through a tombola of outcomes; a random raffle of live performance and digital wizardry, shuffled and dealt out by an exciting new group of diverse young artists.
Will you choose to join us?

Our Choice Their Chance is produced by Community Arts North West (CAN), a Manchester-based arts organisation working with urban communities from Greater Manchester to create access to cultural production. (read more…)

Split BreechesPeggy Shaw had a stroke in January 2011. She has since realised she has never really performed solo. She has always had a host of crooners, lounge singers, movie stars, rock and roll bands and eccentric family members living inside her.

RUFF is a tribute to those who have kept her company these 68 years, a lament for the absence of those who disappeared into the dark holes left behind by the stroke and a celebration that her brain is able to fill the blank green screens with new insights.


Cheryl Martin

© Ajamu

How would you describe yourself and what you do?
Surprisingly hard question.  I’m a freelance artist, which has always meant working across multiple disciplines.  I started as a poet when I was only nine; moved into performance poetry when I moved to Manchester; from there to playwrighting, and from playwrighting to directing.  And I always sang.

Tell us a bit about the work you’ll be performing at STUN.

Alaska is (read more…)

war-poster-webWordsmith 2014 schools Poetry project looks set to be our most rewarding year to date.  Wordsmith has bought together four schools and two 6th form colleges for 10 weeks of intense researching, writing and rehearsing based on the theme of War to coincide with the WW1 centenary.

Stuns new studio space will be the venue for our showcase, as well as young people’s poetry there will be (read more…)

The Husbands by Sharmila Chauhan Syreeta Kumar and Mark Theodore

Photo by Robert Day LR

A co-production with Pentabus Theatre
The Husbands
By Sharmila Chauhan

An explosive new play about love, jealousy and
a woman’s right to choose.

It’s Aya’s wedding day. (read more…)

Cheryl Martin

Cheryl Martin © Ajamu

Cheryl Martin will also be in our STUN studio space in May rehearsing and developing a new work. She says “I’m walking in the air since learning that my project, ALASKA, has got funding from the Arts Council.  And I’m happy to be able to launch it in the STUN Studio on the 2nd of May. It’s really ambitious:  it’s the launch of my first solo poetry collection, Alaska, by Crocus Books / Commonword – both a physical book, with illustrations and a DVD of poetry films and animations – and an e-book with even more bells and whistles.  The book launch doubles as a sharing of a one-woman stage show based on the collection, directed by Darren Pritchard.  All backed up by a team including Maria Gabriella Ruban from partner Filmonik, Bethany Hermitt of Inna Voice doing the illustrations, and Tommy Ollerenshaw on animation.  Darren has mind-blowing ideas for the movement and experimental projection.  ALASKA, Friday 2nd May, 7:30, STUN Studio,. Tickets on sale soon.”

Jonzi D

The pioneer of hip hop theatre presents an evening of live music, poetry, movement, politics and wit.

Jonzi D, the best known advocate of hip hop theatre in the UK and Artistic Director of Breakin Convention, presents a triple bill. Co-directed by Dawn Walton The Letter explores the responses to Jonzi being offered an MBE, using Jonzi’s own brand of (read more…)


We’re delighted to announce that the Breaking Cycles hit show Pinocchio is about to take to road again for two month tour of England, before return to the North West in March. The full list of tour dates is as (read more…)

Marcus ChristmasOnce upon a Christmas time there was a home full of warmth, laughter and mince pies.
Rella lives happily with her rich father, his new wife and her two daughters.
Until her father passes away and the riches disappear. Happiness is replaced with resentment, jealousy and loneliness.
This Christmas come hear three sides to this modern tale. Rella find strength when a huge secret is revealed.

Place: STUN Studio, Z-arts 335 Stretford Road, M15 5ZA
Date: 7th December
Time: 3pm
Price: £5 (no conc.) Contact Z-arts to book a ticket

Hercules Productions Christmas Showcase