Posted by: Selina Todd | December 18, 2009

National awards for working-class theatre company

I was delighted when Manchester-based MaD Theatre Company have received two prestigious awards in one week. I became a fan after seeing their production of ‘She’s Just Nipped Out for Fags’ in 2007, and a devotee of actress Jill Hughes, who blends Vera Duckworth’s wit with Joan Rivers’ panache. MaD’s last production, Angels with Manky Faces (based on Andrew Davies’s bestselling book The Gangs of Manchester) was selected for a Inspiring Voices Award by the Media Trust. The award recognises MaD’s groundbreaking work in giving people in working-class neighbourhoods a voice through its use of digital media. For more details, check our ‘People’s History’ page on this blog.

Jill Hughes, actress and co-founder of MaD, told me that ‘this is fantastic recognition for our work, and that of Andrew Davies, in showing that ordinary people’s history is important, and accessible. We knew we were on to a winner because ordinary people’s history is so often hidden from view and yet it is rich, fascinating and really entertaining. Now lots more people can find that out through watching our films on youtube and checking out all the genealogy sites and blogs around about local history.’

MaD also received an award from the O2 Community Foundation for its forthcoming project ‘Performing for change’. This will help pay for costumes and props for the company’s 2010 shows which will hopefully be in Liverpool as well as Manchester – and may travel further afield too. Watch this space for more details of how to book!

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