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Horniman’s Choice - Four One-Act Plays from the Manchester School of Playwrights

Harold Brighouse & Stanley Houghton & Allan Monkhouse Price: $14.95

"If Lancashire playwrights will send their plays to me I shall pledge myself to read them through. Let them not write as one dramatist does, about Countesses and Duchesses and society existing in imaginations, but about their friends and enemies - about real life"

In 1907, Annie Horniman established the first repertory theatre in Britain, the Gaiety Theatre in Manchester

As well as staging classic plays, she championed new and local writers, in particular three men who became known as the ‘Manchester School’ of playwrights, notably Harold Brighouse, Stanley Houghton and Allan Monkhouse.

Horniman’s Choice brings together four forgotten plays by the ‘Manchester School’ to celebrate Annie Horniman’s influence

Presenting four different early twentieth century Lancashire settings – in the mines, the mills, the home and the front line – these plays explore community, responsibility and loss

The plays are ...

THE PRICE OF COAL ~ Harold Brighouse

1909 - Collier Jack Tyldesley heads off at 5.30am for another day's hard graft at the coalface

His lover, Mary Bradshaw, has promised to answer his marriage proposal when he returns home

But Jack's mother is haunted by premonitions of disaster

LONESOME LIKE ~ Harold Brighouse

1911 - Sarah Ormerod has worked in a Lancashire mill for many years, but age and hard work have taken their toll

When she loses the use of her hands, she is condemned to spend the rest of her days in the workhouse - unless someone can help her

Without a welfare state, what happens to the elderly and disabled?


1914 - Christopher Battersby is a devout Christian, running his household in strict and obsessive accordance with the Old Testament

But when his daughter runs off to London with an unsuitable man, he struggles with his faith and the limits of what he can forgive

NIGHT WATCHES ~ Allan Monkhouse

1916 - The trenches, where a new orderly begins work on the night shift at a Red Cross hospital, only to find that two of the patients are more comically surprising and disruptive that they first seemed

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