Manchester’s Royal Exchange Theatre is set to hold a site specific performance in Ordsall as part of the theatre’s major Truth About Youth programme, which is designed to inspire young people to challenge and change negative perceptions about their age group and create a cultural shift.
The performance of Deep Water will take place on 28 and 29 August in and around a working riverside warehouse known locally as Graffiti Palace. Deep Water is set to be a modern-day narrative exploring the thoughts and feelings of 20 individuals in a rapidly developing city. It considers the hopes and concerns participants have for the future of Ordsall, an area which has undergone major redevelopment in recent years with new homes, shopping facilities and hotels constructed; it looks at the roots of Ordsall and the impact regeneration has on existing residents, impact which has lead participants to comment “I can’t see these houses being here in a few years to come. They’re building round us and we’re in the middle. I think they’ll get rid of Ordsall, definitely”. Themes of community, history and even the exhilaration of open-water swimming in the quays form the backbone of the production.
Deep Water has been developed by the Royal Exchange Theatre and 20 young people and elder residents of Ordsall, and was created by Salford-born writer Reuben Johnson. Johnson, who grew up in the area, was shortlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award in 2009 for his play Territory which went on to win the National Student Drama Festival and Methuen Drama Award for Emerging Artists, Best Ensemble and Best Producer.
The production is directed by Truth About Youth artist Alex Summers, whose credits include Hunger For Trade, A Letter To England and The Insect Play.
Deep Water is performed at Unit 3, Fairbrother St, Salford, M5 3EN (aka The Graffiti Palace) on 28 August (7.30pm) and 29 August (4.00pm and 7.30pm). Tickets £5. The production contains some strong language.
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