Caterpillars, moles, trolls and cutting edge artists at Z-arts

The first quarter of 2015 is off to a flyer in Manchester and Z-arts is no exception, with something for the whole family and animals everywhere – caterpillars, moles and trolls are all getting in on the act – as well as challenging plays and cutting edge artists.

So what’s on in the coming months at Z-arts, Manchester’s only dedicated venue for children and family theatre?



The Sacred Sounds Women’s Choir
Sat 31 January, 7pm, FREE
Discover and celebrate the music and vocal traditions of different faith communities from across Greater Manchester. Be part of an event that promotes peace compassion and understanding through song, as well as silence and space for reflection.


When Trolls Try To Eat Your Goldfish
Written and performed by Dommy B in association with Action Transport Theatre
Sun 1 February, 2.30pm, £8 / £6, Running time: 90 minutes, Ages 5+
In the middle of the night there’s a noise…a-snuffling and a-shuffling with a splintering of wood! A line of troll prints lead out of the door, across the lawn and into the deep, dark forest. A grotesque gang of greedy trolls steal all the village’s pets. Who’s going to come to the poor animals’ rescue?


Sounding Pictures
Thurs 5 Feb, 7.30pm – 8.30pm, £5/£3, Running time: approx. 60 mins
Sounding Pictures are intended to be performed in art spaces. In a seemingly empty gallery Maria Chybowska draws pictures with solo flute music by 20th and 21th century composers.


Emergency Story Penguin
A Dep Arts production in association with Slung Low
Weds 18 – Sun 22 Feb, 11am / 2.00pm / 4.00pm, £8 / £6, Running time: 60 minutes, Ages 5+
The Emergency Story Unit is a top-secret organisation. They deploy at a moment’s notice to sort out a story emergency – all over the world. News arrives of a stranded penguin all the way down in Antarctica who needs urgent help. Can the penguin be saved to tell his story once again?


Presented by Word of Warning and Z-arts
Sat 28 February, 12-4pm, FREE
A free day out for the curious of all ages. Haphazard 2013 filled Z-arts to the brim with bizarre antics and amazing images. There were moving musical sculptures; bouncy, squeaky, ping-pong dance and an underground labyrinth (for the brave only). Why not join us to see what offbeat oddities 2015 will conjure?


Jekyll & Hyde
Manchester Musical Youth
Thurs 12th – Sat 14th March, 7.15pm/2.15pm, £15 / £10 child (13 and under)
A gothic musical thriller and Broadway hit, Jekyll and Hyde comes from the creative team that brought you Les Miserables, Sweeney Todd, Footloose, and Phantom of the Opera to name a but a few, this time performed by a powerful ensemble of nearly 60 students.


My Friend Mole
Presented by Birdsnest Theatre
Sun 22 March, 11.30am / 2.30pm, £8/£6, Running time: 60 minutes including stay and play time, Ages 3-6
Mole is my best friend, he is brave and funny. Mole goes everywhere I go. No one can see him apart from me. A gentle story of a very special friendship with live music, storytelling and visuals.


Rule 35
Presented by Community Arts North West and The Boaz Trust
Sat 28 March, 2pm & 3.30pm & 5pm, £5.50 / £3.50
Artists Magdalen Bartlett, Yvonne Shelton, joined by Elham Karami-Yeganeh, Mahboobeh Rajabi and Nikki Mailer, together with women refugee / asylum seekers, explore the murky business of detention. A powerful performance that asks you to ‘live’ as a detainee and find out what you feel about this divisive issue.


Where Caterpillars Go…
Presented by Travelled Companions
Thurs 9 April, 11.30am / 2.30pm, £8 / £6, Running Time: 45 minutes, Ages: -5
From a tree in a garden a seed falls. From under a leaf a Caterpillar crawls. A time to play, and a time to grow, a time to see Where Caterpillars Go… Follow an inquisitive Caterpillar into a beautiful and tactile garden where together we’ll explore life, growth, wonder and loss through live music and playful movement in this fun and visually striking show.  (Pictured above)


Presented by Cardboard Citizens
Weds 22 – Thurs 23 April, 7.30pm £8 / £6
Three interwoven stories unlock the frustrations and passions of people struggling with their bank balances, their addictions, their histories and their own sense of self. Follow three distinct journeys, learn more about lives and loves and the social systems they’ve come to depend upon.


Cello Babies
Ruthie Boycott Garner
Saturday 25th April, 11am / 1pm / 3pm, £5, Running Time: 45 minutes (including play), Ages: -2
Welcome to a tiny world of sound… A baby’s first experience of the world is the sound they hear from the womb. Babies tune into the musicality of their parent’s voice and imitate what they see from the day they are born. Cello Babies allows babies and toddlers to tune in to the sounds around them, helping them communicate, explore, create and make sense of the world.


EDge 2015: A New Generation of Dance Artists
Thurs 30 April, 7.30pm – 8.30pm, Running time 60 minutes
EDge is a versatile, feisty company of 12 exceptional dancers. This mixed bill features BANK by Siobhan Davies and three specially commissioned new works by Robert Clark, Eleesha Drennan and Itamar Serussi. An evening with Edge offers you the chance to see the best new dance by a variety of internationally renowned and up and coming choreographers.



Sumit Sarker Sevenesque III
Thurs 19 February – Thurs 16 April, Free exhibition open at various times (call for confirmation)
Digital artist Sumit Sarkar, aka KrikSix, merges the digital techniques of 3D technology, 3D print, scan and motion capture together with analogue creative techniques to create work that explore the ideas of mutation, evolution and emergence in the form of goddesses and demons.


Z-arts – 335 Stretford Road, Manchester, M15 5ZA
Box Office: 0161 232 6089
Standard ticket prices (Can vary between shows): £8 Adults, £6 Concessions, £5 M15 Residents, £25 Family Ticket (4 people of any age), £20 Bright Sparks Family Ticket (4 members of a Bright Sparks family)

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