The Den will be at Spinners Mill from 6-14 August and all the Theatre, workshops and family fun are either FREE or Pay What You Decide. You can book using the links below (but if you know anyone who isn't able to book online, let them know to keep an eye out for our mobile box office which will be around Leigh in the weeks leading up to the festival.
Three researchers from the University of Manchester - Jenny Hughes, Gemma Edwards, and Emma Bradburn - will be present at The Den. They are working as part of an AHRC-funded project called 'Creative Towns' and Leigh is one of the towns that they are working on. Over the course of the Den's stay in Leigh, Jenny, Gemma, and Emma will be having conversations with our ambassadors, artists, and audience members. Please do say hello to them and tell them about your town!
Fri 6 August, 6.30pm - FREE
Following a week-long drama course in Spinner’s Mill, young people from around Leigh have created this performance from scratch based on their experiences of Leigh and what the town means to them.
Fri 6 August, 7.15pm | Fri 13 August, 6.30pm - PWYD
7 winners of the Leigh Local Exchange Ambassadors Group playwriting competitions 2020 & 2021 will show across 2 evenings in the Den.
6 August, 7.15pm - This performance includes 15 minute excerpts from GREEN LEAVES by Mary Berry, DREAMS FOR OUR DAUGHTERS by Pegeen Murphy, BATTERY LOW by Alison Ormrod and HOPE IS A FLOWER by Amy Drake. Directed by Maria Zemlinskaya.
13 August, 6.30pm - This performance includes 15 minute excerpts from THE TREE FROM YOU OR ME by Charlotte Kirton, 25 & OVER by Sarah Teale, ON THE STREETS OF COVID by Tom Stocks. Directed by Gitika Buttoo.
THE COMEDY DEN
Sat 7 August, 12.30pm - PWYD
Join award-winning writer, actor and stand-up comedian, Katie Mulgrew (heard on BBC Radio 4, BBC Radio 2and seen on CBBC and ITV2) alongside Jessica Fostekew and Brennan Reece for a hilarious lunchtime treat.
A Royal Exchange Theatre production in association with Rebel Productions
BLOODY ELLE - THE GIG
Sat 7 August, 7pm - PWYD
Fresh from its run at the Royal Exchange, Bloody Elle – THE GIG, is a new version of Lauryn Redding and Bryony Shanahan’s critically acclaimed show and arrives in Leigh. Featuring the songs from the show as well as some special covers that inspired the work, Lauryn Redding will weave the story of Elle and Eve throughout the night and create an intimate and uplifting experience about falling in love for the very first time. Beautiful, funny, warm and inspiring, the show is stuffed full of those stomach-flipping-time-stopping moments – a touch, a glance, a kiss – that everyone will recognise.
**** The Guardian
**** The Stage
Sun 8 August, 3pm - FREE
With performances including A Will & A Way, performing a selection of monologues and St Joseph’s Players doing scenes from ‘Private Lives’, the afternoon promises to showcase local talent with an exciting variety of performances highlighting the best of Leigh amateur dramatics.
FLY HALF THE PLAY
Wed 11 August, 7.15pm - PWYD
A FATHER. A SON. A CLUB. A TOWN. A GAME. FLY HALF.
Fly Half is a new play with original songs that tells the tale of a rugby playing steel worker from South Wales. Set in an industrial town, this play is a celebration of working-class families who head out to the match each week, stand pitch side with pride, supporting their local team. A lyrical hymn to one man’s passion for his family, his town and his beloved game.
SOME PEOPLE FEEL THE RAIN
Thu 12 August, 6.30pm | Fri 13 August, 7.30pm | Sat 14 August, 6pm - PWYD
Sometimes it feels like the rain will never stop. That the world will wash away. Some People Feel the Rain is about a family sheltering from a storm, kicking as hard as they can to stay afloat. It’s about coming together while you're falling apart. It’s about love, community, and hope. Written by Kieran Knowles, Directed by Hannah Sands.
SPOKEN WORD NIGHT
Thu 12 August, 7.45pm - PWYD
Join us for an evening of spoken word and poetry. With performances from Afshan D’souza-Lodhi, Channique Sterling-Brown, and Nasima Begum.
Ransack Theatre Presents
Sat 14 August, 7.30pm - PWYD
After discovering a comet hurtling towards Earth, Toby snaps and turns into the action hero in his own movie on a mission to save the world. Flashback a year: Toby is knocked off course when somebody crashes into his life..
THE STORY DEN
Sat 7 August, 10.30am - PWYD
Storytelling sessions suitable for under 10s from Tupele Dorgu, Conor Glean and Gabriel Clark. Get comfortable and lose yourself in an adventure as they share their favourite stories and captivating tales.
DIGITAL GHOST HUNT
Sat 7 August, 11.45am & 3pm | Sun 8 August, 10.30am & 1.30pm - PWYD
Spinners Mill has many stories to tell of people who have worked there since it opened in 1912. For over 100 years, people have reported mysterious supernatural sightings.
This summer we’re looking for a team of young people to help us solve the mystery of these ghostly happenings.
Created by Elliott Hall of King’s Digital Lab and Tom Bowtell of KIT Theatre in a co-production with the Royal Exchange Theatre. Supported by King’s College London, The Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Arts Council England.
PLEASE NOTE: this will be a walking/promenade performance, so bookers should expect to be on their feet throughout.
LUNCHTIME TALK: SETTING UP A THEATRE COMPANY
Wed 11 August, 12pm - FREE
Ever wondered how companies begin? Maybe you and a group of people have creative ideas but you don’t know where to go from there. Or do you want to perform your show theatre but can’t understand how to do this? Come to this talk, hosted by Justina Aina, Assistant Producer at the Royal Exchange Theatre as she talks about how to set up a theatre company.
OPEN OFFICE HOURS
Thu 12 August, 12pm, 12.20pm & 12.40pm - FREE
If you’re trying to understand more about jobs in theatre or you want to ask specific questions about working in the arts, book onto our Open Office Hours surgeries with members of staff from the Royal Exchange Theatre. Have a cuppa, pull up a seat and we can chat 1:1.
The available staff members are:
ELDERS COMPANY TASTER WORKSHOP
Wed 11 August, 2pm - FREE
The Royal Exchange Theatre’s Elders Company is for people aged 60+ who want to take part in regular drama and performance workshops and learn more about theatre. The group of around 25 people meet weekly at the theatre to perform, socialise and expand their knowledge. Join us for this taster workshop to experience the work and see if you fancy joining our Company.
Wed 11 August, 6.15pm - FREE
Come along and meet local artists from all disciplines for a good chat over a drink. This informal event is the chance to share ideas and exchange opportunities with other artists from across Leigh.
SET AND COSTUME DESIGN TALK
Sat 14 August, 12pm - FREE
If you saw Bloody Elle – A Gig Musical or if you’re simply interested in theatre design and directing, this is the talk for you! Listen to Bloody Elle set and costume designer, Amanda Stoodley and Joint Artistic Director and Director of Bloody Elle, Bryony Shanahan as they talk about how they created the world for Bloody Elle and how a designer and a director work together to immerse an audience a show.