Alistair McDowall’s alternate version of Manchester is part game, part gritty crime drama, and part sci-fi thriller as the characters navigate their shifting and unreliable narratives. Pomona and The Girl are only myths until they become reality for those that choose to get involved.
Ava is a young Welsh girl learning to navigate the complex and disappointing structures of adulthood. From institutionalisation to drug and alcohol abuse to inappropriate and dangerous relationships, everywhere she turns is cold and hard. As her 16th birthday approaches and she must find alternate accommodation from the children’s home, all of the threads of Ava’s distressing life become a bit too much.
Joseph K has been arrested by an unknown entity for an unknown crime and, while it’s unclear what the consequences of his arrest may be, his identity is slowly being erased from all systems and databases. With the help of his sister and some unusual characters, Joseph hopes to fight the charges and get his life back on track. In Tom Basden’s adaptation of the Franz Kafka novel the Trial, the validity and efficacy of the modern world’s bureaucracy and impenetrable policies are satirised to the extreme.
In Chris Hannan’s adaptation of the Fyodor Dostoyevsky novel, Russia is a bleak place full of desperation and hardship. The people struggle to find meaning in political debates and philosophical theories about humanity. Raskolnikov is a wayward law student who commits murder to unburden himself from shame but who is unable to justify his actions in his own paranoia.
Troilus & Cressida is one of Shakespeare’s infrequently performed plays, most likely due to the ambiguous characterisation and plot. Set in the final years of the Trojan War, the play is largely a satire of the great legends from the Odyssey including Ulysses, Agamemnon, and Hector. Coincidentally, there’s the added interest of the love story between Cressida, Calchas’s daughter, and Troilus, son of Priam and Prince of Troy. Secret House’s most recent revival of the play argues for its contemporary relevance with questions of identity, love, and war.