Mossley playwright looking forward to bringing latest production ‘home’

A MOSSLEY playwright is ready to bring his work back ‘home’ to the Tameside theatre that was a big part of his life.

And Ian Townsend admits seeing his latest production Other Lives on the Guide Bridge stage will give him an extra thrill – after 10 years of preparation.

Following a short run at Manchester’s 53two, the production tells the story of three women with three different stories surrounding three different lives.

Ian, who lives on Andrew Street, Ian Townsend has already tasted success with a tour of his work All The Bens selling out venues across the North West, as well as one in London, and receiving the Greater Manchester Fringe Award for Best Drama.

Ian Townsend

He admits some ‘dark’ topics are covered but believes audience members at the Audenshaw theatre will see plenty of light.

He said before the one-time, sold out showing on Saturday, March 9: “There’s a lot to take in.

“There are a lot of dark subjects in it but there’s also a lot of humour.

“Someone said, ‘there was the potential for it to be a dark play but actually it was very uplifting.’

“There are lots of moments, some dark humour but it’s mainly through words. You don’t see things bad happening, it’s mainly the characters’ thoughts about it.

“The earliest version of the play actually goes back to 2014, then it’s gone through lots of changes. I decided to adapt it to three women a couple of years ago.

“It was going to be a bit of a follow-up to All The Bens with a mix of male and female characters.

“There were two stories that overlapped but people were much more interested in one part, so it focuses on the tree characters.

The venue may be different but the setting is the same, as Ian puts it ‘a table and some chairs.’

But Guide Bridge has run through technical aspects like the lighting and sound needed for the auditorium, which the man responsible for the play is eager to see himself.

“I am looking forward to seeing it at Guide Bridge,” Ian added. “It’s been a long time since I’ve been – 14 years.

“It’ll be nice to go back and see some familiar faces. Also, it will be good to see what they’ve done to it.

“It was a big part of my life so it’s like a home crowd.

“There’s a lot of interest but we’re all connected in some way. I’ve got connections with Guide Bridge, obviously, but others involved have also done things there.

“It’s a combination of people knowing us there and also it’s a theatre that people go to, so they’re interested in new things.

“I was excited to see it at 53two and looked forward to what the director and actors had done with it, they found different things and the way they said certain lines was different to how I imagined it.

“But I trusted them to find their way and make it work for them.

“And it may be a case of trying it and putting it on somewhere else, you never know with plays.

“It could be the final show, it could be a case of, ‘Let’s see what we can do with it next.’”


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