Eleven of the most exciting and critically acclaimed productions from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and beyond come to Manchester’s Home Theatre over the next few weeks as apart of their Orbit Festival (29 September to 15 October 2016).

From the humorous to the tragic, topical to the absurd, ORBIT celebrates and features a broad flavour of the Edinburgh Fringe Festivals from 2015 and 2016 – all under one roof – for both family and adult audiences.

In addition to theatre productions, Orbit will host a range of workshops and discussions led by the participating companies and leading theatre makers from around the country.

So what’s on?

Staged mainly in the intimate surroundings of HOME’s Theatre 2, this best of the Fest from 2015, plus one show fresh from the 2016 Fringe, represents some of the boldest and best theatre work in the country. Featuring a mix of Fringe Festival award winners, sold-out shows, critically acclaimed work, and audience favourites, all the productions are unafraid to push theatrical boundaries and highlight what can be achieved with a small budget and a lot of imagination.

Thursday 29 September – Saturday 1 Octobert
Sh!T Theatre presents Women’s Hour
Part comedy, part theatre, part cabaret, part performance art and all fun. Discover what happens when women are given just one hour a day to think about what it is to be a woman. Feminist theatre for all genders. A sell-out hit from the 2015 Fringe Festival, with rave reviews and hailed as one of the ‘Five best plays to see’ by The Daily Telegraph (not bad when you consider there were almost 3,500 shows at the Fringe). Women’s Hour is a mix of satire, song, clowning and movement, combining newly written sections and verbatim text taken from advertising, news media and pop culture. It is constantly updated in response to current affairs as – after all – there’s loads of new sh!t happening to women all the time…

Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October
The Privileged
Have you ever seen a polar bear in the flesh? Been close enough to notice just how white these magnificent mammals are? Remove your shoes, coats and bags, as you are about to encounter the Arctic’s whitest apex predator, with black skin. This participatory event – devised and performed by Jamal Harwood – uses the excitement of a polar bear encounter to explore race, identity and the community. Both performances are followed by an optional talkback session for participants to engage with after the event. Please note this production contains nudity and is suitable for ages 16+.

Sunday 2 October
Molly’s Marvellous Moustache
Families are in for a treat with Fidget Theatre’s Molly’s Marvellous Moustache, in association with LittleMighty. Molly wants to be just like the grown-ups. So her mummy makes her a moustache. With her moustache she can go anywhere and do anything she likes. She can launch an expedition to the heart of the jungle, blast off into space and create incredible inventions. But being a grown up isn’t all fun. What if Molly has to eat olives and spicy sauce? And what about having to go to work? Featuring an original music score, playful interaction and lots of laughs, Molly’s Marvellous Moustache is a new theatrical adaptation of the original storybook, written by Andrea Heaton and illustrated by Talya Baldwin. It is recommended for children ages three-seven.

Monday 3 – Wednesday 5 October
Jamie Wood’s O No!
A psychedelic ride, and a wonky homage to the woman damned for destroying the Beatles, O No! borrows Yoko Ono’s art instructions to ask whether falling in love is always catastrophic. It’s about reckless optimism, avant-garde art & what we might yet have to learn from the hippies. Created and performed by Jamie Wood – a maker of theatre, clowning and dance that ranges from the comic to the darkly surreal – O No! took the 2015 Fringe Festival by storm.

Tuesday 4 – Saturday 8 October
Walrus Theatre presents Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons
The average person will speak 123,205,750 words in a lifetime. But what if there were a limit? Bernadette and Oliver are about to find out. Walrus’ award-winning show debuted to great acclaim at the 2015 Edinburgh Fringe – imagining a world where we’re forced to say less; examining how we express ourselves, personally and politically, through the lens of one couple’s relationship. It’s about what we say and how we say it; about the things we can only hear in the silence; about dead cats, activism, eye contact and lemons, lemons, lemons, lemons, lemons.

Thursday 6 – Saturday 8 October
A Gambler’s Guide to Dying
A Gambler’s Guide to Dying comes to HOME following a sell-out Fringe Festival run at the Traverse Theatre in 2015, a Scotsman Fringe First Award and subsequent sell out tours of Australia and the USA. Written and performed by Gary McNair and directed by Gareth Nicholls, this exquisite piece of theatre examines the odds of living an extraordinary life. It is the story of one boy’s granddad who won a fortune betting on the 1966 football World Cup and, when diagnosed with cancer, gambled it all on living to see the year 2000. An intergenerational tale of what we live for and what we leave behind.

Monday 10 – Wednesday 12 October
64 Squares
Another theatrical hit from the 2015 Fringe, 64 Squares, presented by award-winning Rhum and Clay Theatre Company, and adapted from Stefan Zweig’s The Royal Game, 64 Squares, features three actors and one drummer to tell a story about memory, freewill and how the choices of our past define who we are in the present. Welcome to B’s mind. B’s got some memories he wants to share with you. He wants to tell you about how he ended up on a cruise ship, playing chess against the current world chess champion. He wants to tell you about his life and the choices he’s made. The problem? He’s been split into four and can’t remember what happened. Accompanied by a live jazz percussive score – 64 Squares received a host of four and five star reviews when it premiered at last year’s Festival.

Tuesday 11 – Thursday 13 October
Two Man Show
A RashDash and Northern Stage co-production in association with Soho Theatre, Two Man Show comes direct to HOME from this year’s Edinburgh Festival, where it was a Scotsman Fringe First winner and won The Stage award for excellence in acting. John and John keep hearing people say that men have all the power, but it doesn’t feel like that to them. Abbi and Helen are making a show about Man and men. Because we all need to pull together now. We want to talk about masculinity and patriarchy but the words that exist aren’t good enough. So there’s music and dance too. These Edinburgh Fringe First Winners from 2010 & 2011 come to Manchester via Edinburgh with a playful new show about gender and language where two women play two women playing two men. It is suitable for ages 15+.

Thursday 13 October
Scherzo: For Piano and Stick
Scherzo: For Piano and Stick, devised by Riotous Company, in association with Nordisk Teater Laboratoium, sees composer Nikola Kodjabashia perform on prepared piano, using voice and percussion in this 45-minute newly composed chamber piece. Mia Theil Have performs with a 1.90m long wooden stick as an integral part of her fast-paced, meticulously crafted theatre. The work moves between contemporary classical, world music and jazz opening up a unique dialogue with storytelling which is rooted in the body and intense physical movement. The result is a roller coaster of shifting images and emotions, a kaleidoscope of imaginative transformations which also have a humorous dimension and a touch of the bizarre and unsettling.

Friday 14 and Saturday 15 October
Domestica presented by Sleepwalk Collective
Part narcoleptic beauty pageant, part dizzying tableau vivant, part psychosexual fever dream, this production follows the company’s critically acclaimed Amusements (2012) and Karaoke (2013) as the final part of Lost In The Funhouse, a loosely connected trilogy of performances about pleasure and boredom in this the adolescent decade of the 21st century. On a stage that might be a painting and might be a page torn from a book, three women unravel a broken, looping text on high art and impermanence, nostalgia and loneliness, spoken in a voice by turns sardonic and melancholic.

Saturday 15 October
The Pajama Men
The Pajama Men conclude HOME’s 10 day celebration of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with their spectacularly surreal and globally acclaimed 2 Man 3 Musketeers, performed in HOME’s Theatre 1. Peek into the labyrinthine minds of two of comedy’s greatest talents with an audacious live comic show packed with new, dizzyingly hilarious characters as these two comedians attempt to stage an epic, historical, romance novel in under an hour.

Full details about Home’s Orbit Festival and tickets are available from www.homemcr.org/orbit-2016