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Maine Road 2010 Press release

21st February 2010 by Martin Gibbons

Manchester Theatre Company’s tour kicks off at The Lowry…

Monkeywood Theatre present

Maine Road

By Sarah McDonald Hughes

Directed by Martin Gibbons

The Lowry, Salford Quays

Fri 12, Thu 18, Fri 19 & Sat 20 March 2010

Press night Fri 12 March at 8pm

Manchester-based Monkeywood Theatre have it all to play for as the 2010 tour of Maine Road opens in The Lowry’s Quays theatre on Fri 12 March. A story about football, family, bricks and mortar, the company hopes Maine Road will strike a chord with football fans as well as theatre-goers.

Maine Road, by writer Sarah McDonald Hughes, premièred at the 24:7 Theatre Festival 2009 to resounding 4 star reviews and sell out performances. The script has undergone significant development for the 2010 tour, following production by the BBC as a radio 4 afternoon play. Monkeywood are delighted that the Maine Road tour is supported by Arts Council England with funding awarded through the Grants for the Arts initiative.

Leo is an avid City fan who finds his team packing up and leaving at the same time as his whole word falls apart. It is May 2003 and as the last game at Manchester City’s Maine Road stadium approaches, a family in mourning face their own struggle to survive. Let down by those he depends on most, Leo escapes into football and City, knowing that soon they’ll be gone too.

The script for Maine Road was shortlisted for the Alfred Bradley Bursary Award 2009, the most prestigious radio drama prize in the country. It was highly commended in a shortlist of 9, winning Sarah a year’s writing mentorship with the BBC. This is Sarah’s second award nomination, following her children’s play, The Tree, which was shortlisted for Theatre Centre’s Adrienne Benham Award in 2008.

As one cultural Manchester phenomenon, Maine Road, was being bulldozed, another was just forming. Monkeywood Theatre were established in 2003 and have been producing plays to great acclaim ever since. Previous productions include Last Orders, in 2009 as part of the Royal Exchange’s PUB season and the 5 star A Song for the Lovers at The Lowry, in 2008.

The audience said: “As a City fan it brought back very fond memories. As a theatre worker I thought it was excellent….It’s like someone wrote down my life!”

The reviewers said: Maine Road is a gentle and moving play examining the effect of change upon those things from which we derive our identity and sense of community…. Maine Road avoids nostalgia to deliver a bittersweet, moving tale that is highly recommended.”

Images: (l-r) Writer Sarah McDonald Hughes © Sylvia Selzer, Maine Road and Daniel Fitzsimons as Leo in Maine Road © Miriam Ainsworth

Maine Road

The Lowry, Salford Quays

Fri 12, Thu 18, Fri 19 & Sat 20 March 2010

Times: Fri 12 at 8pm, Thu 18 – Sat 20 at 7.45pm, Sat mat at 2.30pm

Tickets: £5 – £10

0843 208 6000

– Ends –

For more information please go to or email

Notes to Editors


The new production of Maine Road tours from The Lowry to:

Sat 10 April, 7.30pm – Action Transport Theatre

Whitby Hall, Stanney Lane, Ellesmere Port, Cheshire. CH65 9AE

0151 357 2120

Sat 24 April, 7.30pm – Saltburn Community Theatre

Albion Terrace, Saltburn by the Sea, TS12 1JW

01287 624 622

Fri 30 April 2010, 8pmHalifax Square Chapel

10 Square Road, Halifax, HX1 1QG.

01422 349 422

Monkeywood Theatre

Monkeywood are Sarah McDonald Hughes from Moss Side, Francesca Waite from Didsbury and Martin Gibbons from Saltburn. Producing plays in Manchester since 2003, Maine Road follows Last Orders at Manchester’s Royal Exchange Studio; A Song for the Lovers, performed at The Lowry in Salford, making’s final list of 2008’s top productions, described as “highly charged and engaging…packed with humour and pathos”; Coach G, performed in 2005 at Manchester’s Taurus Bar, Chorlton Arts Festival and Studio Salford described in the Evening News as “Hip… edgy and watchable… compelling and intriguing new play… well-served by a talented young cast” and Closer by Patrick Marber at Manchester’s Platt Chapel in 2003.

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@AlisonCarr_ @WomensPlayPrize @painesplough Congratulations 🥳 ❤️

20 Jan 2022

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