Immersive and exhilarating production in response to IRA bombing of Manchester in 1996

It is 20 years since the Provisional IRA exploded the largest-ever bomb on
mainland Britain, on a warm sunny morning in Manchester city centre. Working together again, following 2014’s sell out hit Angel Meadow, ANU Productions and HOME present On Corporation Street, an immersive promenade production inspired by the memories and myths surrounding this seismic event.

On Corporation Street, named after the street on which the bomb was planted, is inspired by Manchester residents’ recollections of the events of 15 June 1996, researched and collected on behalf of ANU by Manchester’s Mighty Heart Theatre.

On Corporation Street forms part of ANU Productions’ triptych around the Easter Rising, the Manchester bombing  and the North King Street massacre.

The first play in ANU’s triptych, Sunder, ran recently in Dublin, and focused on the extraordinary situations in which the rebels of the 1916 Easter Rising in Dublin found themselves. The third production, These Rooms, in collaboration with Cois Ceim Dance Company, runs later this summer, also in Dublin. These Rooms explores the North King Street massacre of civilians by British forces in 1916, but transposes the action to 1966, 50 years since the Easter Rising and just before The Troubles began in 1967.

“What connects all three parts of the triptych is the notion of uninvited terror of events happening to civilians in their homes or their city to which they have to respond,” says ANU’s Artistic Director Louise Lowe, who also directed Angel Meadow. “What On Corporation Street is not is a recreation or a re-enactment of the momentous events in Manchester in June 1996. Instead we have undertaken a six-month public enquiry to propose the question back to the city and its civilians asking what the impact has been both on the city and on civilian lives.”

“Anyone who saw Angel Meadow in 2014 cannot fail to have been knocked out by the power and style of ANU’s exhilarating approach,” says Walter
Meierjohann, HOME’s Artistic Director: Theatre. “We talked at the time about how much we wanted them back in Manchester at some point, and so to have them here with their response to an event which took place 20 years ago, but whose effects still resonate in the city, is thrilling for us. I cannot wait to see how they will use our building to present On Corporation Street.”

Combining powerful theatrical encounters and artistic installations, On
Corporation Street will transform the spaces and hidden corners behind the scenes at HOME. It will be performed by 14 actors, seven based in Ireland and seven based in England, of whom four are from Manchester.
From England: Etta Fusi, who graduated from the Manchester School of Theatre in June 2015, appeared in Carnival of Souls directed by Bren O’Callaghan, a binaural audio experience which showed as part of HOME’s opening weekend in May 2015; Jamie Matthewman toured in Abigail’s Party in 2008 and Equus in 2012, both directed by Michael Cabot for London Classic Theatre; Joe McNally is a recent graduate from Dublin’s Lir Academy; Reuben Johnson, who recently appeared as Diomede and Lycaon in Mark Thomson’s production of The Iliad at the Royal Lyceum Theatre in Edinburgh, and Yusra Warsama, who was assistant director on HOME’s Romeo & Juliet at Manchester’s Victoria Baths in autumn 2014, and whose play Rites was a nominee for Best Production at the recent Manchester Theatre Awards, are both familiar figures on Manchester’s fringe theatre scene; Sonia Hughes recently appeared in Quarantine’s quartet of performances Summer. Autumn. Winter. Spring.; and Gurjeet Singh, who starred as Raz in Broken Biscuits, Manchester writing duo Craig Cash and Phil Mealey’s recent BBC1 Comedy Playhouse.

From Ireland: Alexandra Conlon appeared in SUNDER, as did Craig Connolly, who will also take part in These Rooms; renowned artist Amanda Coogan is known to Manchester audiences following her work in The Life and Death of Marina Abramović as part of the Manchester International Festival, first staged in 2011; John Cronin has a large list of stage and screen credits in Ireland; Niamh McCann, who works extensively in the UK and Ireland, and Úna Kavanagh both return to HOME after appearing in Angel Meadow and will also take part in all three parts of the triptych; and Liam Heslin, currently on a world tour with Dublin’s prestigious Abbey Theatre’s production of Sean O’Casey’s The Plough and the Stars, directed by Sean Holmes.

On Corporation Street runs at Home from 10 June until 25 June 2016.