Updated: Friday, 18th October 2019 @ 9:25am

Pop-up Playhouse theatre moves into unused Deansgate shop unit for Sherlock Holmes launch show

Pop-up Playhouse theatre moves into unused Deansgate shop unit for Sherlock Holmes launch show

| By Siân Wilson

A theatre with a difference launched in Manchester last week – a pop-up based in an unused Deansgate shop unit.

Theatre goers attending the Great Northern Playhouse launch watched a thrilling mystery unfold in a debut of Sherlock Holmes: A Working Hypothesis.

The Playhouse is a pop-up theatre in an empty Deansgate shop unit and the latest project of Manchester-based group New Playhouse.

The night of the big reveal was kicked off with the brand new Sherlock Holmes production from the Flanagan Collective, a cross-genre arts group whose previous shows include Babylon and Beulah.

A Working Hypothesis is an original Flanagan Collective production, written by Alexander Wright, who is also a producer along with Brian Hook.

Prior to the performance the blank walls and limited props may have made the black-box theatre look bare to some, but Alexander explained this is more than the Collective have had to work with in the past.

He said: “We usually work in railway arches, bars, abandoned buildings so this is pretty formal for us, having the red curtains and everything.”

Once the ball gets rolling and the lights dim, honorary Professor of Criminology Selohm Söcklehr greets the audience – his ‘esteemed scholars’ – before leading them into a discussion about the great detective.

The audience are treated to dance-offs and deductions, as Dominic Allen and Ed Wren take to the stage as the dynamic duo Holmes and Watson.

All the while the threat of the deadly Professor J. Moriarty lurks in the background.

The production has been a source of great anticipation for New Playhouse director Jenn Trethewey.

She said: “I’m excited! And scared. We sold out in 48 hours, though – it’s ridiculous!

“We’re doing this launch as a bit of a celebration. It’s so nice to have the space and the money to do something like this!”

Jenn, a Manchester School of Art graduate, runs New Playhouse with Leam Williams, who deals with marketing, and Tom Moffat, who oversaw design for this project.

The theatre is housed in the Great Northern Warehouse, now owned by Resolution Property, who have been heavily involved with New Playhouse.

Jenn said: “Resolution Property are so supportive of independent companies and new businesses.”

Having graduated from Manchester School of Art, Jenn runs New Playhouse with Leam Williams, who deals with their marketing, and Tom Moffat, who oversaw design for the Sherlock project.

Her previous theatre company, Chapel St. Studios, had worked with the Flanagan Collective before when they toured their fold musical Babylon.

And Jenn will be working with them again when their production on A Christmas Carol comes to the Playhous from 1-19 December.

The Great Northern Playhouse has a wide variety of upcoming shows, including the winner of the Manchester Theatre Showcase 2013, Thomas Ingham’s VIP.

Sherlock Holmes: A Working Hypothesis will return to the Playhouse from 7-12 October.

To buy tickets for this or any other show visit http://www.newplayhouse.co.uk/#!shop/clkt

Main image coirtesy of Kenn Wilson, via Flickr, with thanks