Preview: The Political History of Smack and Crack @ HOME revisits Moss Side riots

An award-winning play remembering the 1981 Moss Side riots returns to Manchester at the end of this month.

Two-time Offies Nominee and Winner of Summerhalls Lustrum Award, and Edinburgh Fringe and Mustard Tree Manchester sell-out, The Political History of Smack and Crack is an urgent, angry and funny ode to a generation crippled by the heroin epidemic of the Thatcher years.

Directed by Cressida Brown, the play traces the story of a pair of star-crossed lovers from mass violence on the streets of Moss Side to recovery on the same streets nearly forty years later, to explore the ways ordinary people bridge the gaps left by a total lack of state support.

Writer Ed Edward’s uses his own experience in jail and rehab to explore how the true cost of widening inequality and cuts to addiction services is coming to light.

He explains: “Most plays I’ve seen about heroin show the horrors and the degradation of the experience from the personal perspective, as if hard drugs have just fallen from the sky.

“I wanted to show that the smack – and in its wake crack – didn’t appear from nowhere; they appeared at a particular time, for a particular reason and that reason is political.”

He also wanted to depict the “madness” of recovery, including a “fucked-up relationship, because this is the only type of relationship I know.

“I want to make people laugh and make people cry,” he finishes.

Described as “exceptional…riotously entertaining and deeply moving” (The Stage), this is one to watch.

The play’s partnership with Mustard Tree will also include a national art project with service users.

The Political History of Smack and Crack is on at HOME on Jan 27/28.

Find out more here: https://homemcr.org/production/the-political-history-of-smack-and-crack/

Image courtesy of The Political History of Smack and Crack via Twitter, with thanks.

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