Scoots Scratch Night

Shoots Scratch Nights

SHOOTS is an evening dedicated to the development of ideas; it’s a chance for local artists to put early work in front of an audience, to see if it has legs. It’s about throwing an idea at the wall and seeing if it sticks; it’s about now rather than never; it’s about the spit, without the polish.


The next SHOOTS opportunity will be in February 2020.
Join the Artist Network to stay up to date when the call out is published.

To Date

Since 2016, we have seen an incredible number of exciting new ideas and courageous artists take to the Aldridge Studio stage and baring it in front of brave and open audiences. Here’s a quick overview of SHOOTS over the years.

November 2019

In conjunction with Musical Rewrites Festival, this was a scratch night with a musical twist!


By Alison Wilson, Ciara Tansey

A new musical by two non-musicians celebrating all things sad, lonely and tragic. Ciara’s been trying to get a stand-up gig for ages, but Manchester just won’t give her a fair break. Rejection email after rejection email after rejection email. If she doesn’t laugh, she’ll cry!!!


By Gus Gowland

Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ is transported to a modern-day high school election as two candidates find themselves competing for each other’s hearts, as well as the class presidency. ‘Candidates’ is an original musical comedy with a contemporary electro-pop score and a satirical bite.


By Gemma Whiteley, Paul Worrall, Julie Edwards

A new musical that will take a satirical look at the fractured state of British politics and where it all began, where it might have begun. Entirely set in the kitchen of the rochdale resident Gordan Brown referred to as a bigoted woman during the 2010 election campaign.

But don’t go anywhere… this is a fun, audacious kitchen sink cabaret that delves head first into our favourite things… politics and tea.

April 2019: Shoots Off-Piste

Inspired by our biannual Week 53 festival and its ‘inside out’ approach to The Lowry’s building, we held a version of our scratch night outside of the Studio, in four more unusual performance/non-performance spaces across the building.

Four daring artists stepped up to the challenge of creating and experimenting with new immersive and/or site-specific work.

ETA CARINA @ Quays Bar

By Laurie Williams, Clare McNulty, Karl Olsen, Jordan Lamming, Gert Dixion

Eta Carina is an aging starlet a million miles from home. Sent from her home as the privileged daughter of a powerful dictator to perform in the furthest reaches of outer space, she will finally discover the truth behind her journey in this new scene from this ever-growing queer dystopian space musical.

SEAHORSE @ Hexagon Bridge

By Facing North Theatre | Lane Paul Stewart, Aiysha Nugent-Robinson, Nicola Jayne Ingram, Alison Duddle, Bren O’Callaghan , Vibrant Vintage, Chris Savage

The action follows a man’s attempt to embark upon a journey with an item too precious to leave behind. His infant son. Using a selection of Lowry’s paintings as a stimulus to challenge audience interpretation of familiar works via an alternative lens, this is a promenade performance which moves through the Lyric walkways and Hexagon Bridge, exploring ideas of displacement and relocation.

JUDGEMENT DAY @ The Carole Nash Lookout

By Baobab Tree Theatre Company

This is an interactive piece which follows a family’s journey through a divorce. The audience meet the mother, father, child and social worker and are encouraged to keep a tally of pros and cons for which parent should get custody of the child. The Carole Nash Lookout becomes a “safe” space in which the social worker would conduct their assessment and concludes with the audience counting up their results which affects the court ruling.

AN INVENTORY OF ME @ Compass Room & Bar

By Gareth Mattey, Bethany Moran, SHOAL Ensemble (Callum Coomber, Isobel Mortimer, Lucy Nolan, Michael Brailey)

The performance will continue to cycle around and around throughout the night, changing and evolving as it does so. The performance is also immersive. Please feel free to wander around the space and through and amongst the performers. Any notes and pages torn out and left on the floor can be picked up and read at your leisure.

November 2018: Shoots in partnership with ADP and DANC

This was a bumper evening of new work together with partners Manchester ADP and DANC (Disabled Artists Networking Community).


By leoe&hyde 

Galileo: an a cappella fusion musical biopic about the ‘father of modern science’, Galileo Galilei. We open with a scene set towards the end of his life; Galileo has been summoned by the Roman Inquisition to stand trial for heresy because of writings on astronomy. The second scene is set in the middle of his life where the disenchanted Professor, Galileo, is desperate to leave teaching and dedicate himself to changing the world through science.


By Lewis Charlesworth, Jon Massey

A Quiet Drink, is an episodic tragi-comic film told in 5 stages, showing a young man’s descent into alcoholism and self-destruction. It’s addresses modern man’s inability to express himself beyond the limitations of ‘alcohol’ and ‘banter’. We see the character develop a friendship with a barman, and over the course we see his story unravel. We share the predicament of the barman: friend, yet enabler.


By Nick Hadikwa Mwaluko, Daniel Bradford, Brianna Douglas, Elise Taylor

37 thinks maybe the love of her life snitched on her to death. She, 37, wants to lay it all on the line for Tonia, in the name of love. But this is prison, 37 is so terrified and hurting that Tonia may not be able or want to save her–from death, from herself, from loving.


By Léa Fante, Joel Parry, Julia Blackwell, Alexa Lee, Hannah Farrugia

Talk to Yourself is based on true stories about pregnancy experiences and personal choices. The core is: “Listen to nature blowing her whispers to you, telling you not to think about the words of others, for when they say it’s wrong, it doesn’t mean that it’s not right.”


By Eve Shotton, Sophie Giddens, Matt Holt and Tilda O’Grady

How often have you read an article or seen an advert (or even a documentary) that includes the words “studies have found” or “research shows” or “98% of women* agree… *based on a sample size of 3 women: 1 was me, 1 was my mum and 1 was Karen from HR”? Throughout history there are countless examples of skewed data and “opinion” science. We are exploring how that has affected women and their place in society.


Produced by troublehouse theatre in collaboration with Plough On Sunday productions | Edward Gorey, Rick Bithell, Heather Carroll, Elka Lee-Green, Roisin McCusker, Robert Cattell

When they answered the bell on that wild winter night, there was no one expected – and no one in sight.

In this first collaboration between troublehouse theatre and Plough On Sunday, tonight we will begin to tell Edward Gorey’s short story through the dynamic of physical, expressive theatre. What started out as an idea, scribbled down in a notebook over a cup of coffee in March 2017, will tonight have a platform on which to we can begin to discover what the Doubtful Guest represents in today’s society, 60 years after it first rang the bell on that wild winter night…


By Kim Taylor, Naomi Albans, Caron Brand, Stephanie Lacey, Alex Miller, Marie Friend

In future dystopian world London, we live underground or under domes. Having children is optional but when chosen, only one child is allowed per household and only in some zones. Having no children could lead to opportunity but such a sacrifice comes at a cost.


By Vicki Connerty, Rachel Creamer, Abey Bradbury, Andrew Duffy

After a year of travelling the world, Ellie has reached Antarctica with her brother, Jimmy. Despite the ever-present threat of psychotic penguins, the never-present threat of angry polar bears and the small matter of the human ashes she’s smuggling in her hand luggage, Ellie isn’t ready to leave. But Jimmy thinks it’s time for them to return home.

June 2018


By Sorcha McCaffrey, Lucia Cox

Nuala has things under control. Socks, skulls, skittles. Everything. But unearthing the skeleton of a long dead girl changes things. As she tries to piece together how this girl ended up face-down in an unmarked grave, it gets harder to stop her own life falling apart. Ladybones explores what it’s like to be perceived as different, and how we try to hide or come to terms with that.


By Highlight Collective | Nicola Schofield, Jennifer Hardy, Naomi Kendrick, Amy Hailwood, David Haworth, Sara Abanur

After birth, we expect mothers saying ‘but my children are the best thing that ever happened to me’. After birth, a flurry of Instagram-worthy catalogue style photos of happiness flooding our social sphere is the norm.

Yet in a study at University of Oxford led by Marian Knight it was found that suicide is the cause of death for 1 in 10 pregnant women or new mothers in the first year after birth. Yet this time is presented as being one of only happiness and fulfilment so how do we talk about the hidden pain of birth in a way that is truthful?


By Katherine McDermott, Joe Clegg, Liam Barker

Written in poetic free verse, it explores the themes of youthful aspiration, romantic love and gender – all through the unlikely phenomenon of corpsing. To the casual observer, Georgia and Daley are indulging in care-free silliness, whilst acting in a scene for TV. Yet, their fits of laughter belie a deeper truth. Back after the Break is written by Liam Barker, an MA poetry student from Manchester Metropolitan University.

September 2017: Wonky Musicals

In conjunction with Musical Rewrites Festival, this was a scratch night with a musical twist!


By Ali Matthews, Leo Burtin

Witches of the World Unite is a piece of protest gig-theatre that is a call to arms for young feminists to form their own radically-charged, magical-thinking sisterbrotherhood. Join them as they try out a selection of songs and text from a witch-rockstar from another world and her ragtag punk band. The piece is a collaboration between Matthews + Burtin with drag and visual artist Cheddar Gorgeous, storyteller and illustrator Peter Stevenson, and musical doula Ellis Davies and is supported by Arts Council England. Matthews + Burtin are produced by Jennifer Taylor and Making Room.


By Collette Murray, Mark Winstanley, Alex McCoy, Sarah Coyne

The scratch beginnings of a musical re-imagining of UBU ROI by Alfred Jarry for a post-truth society.

Using four hundred year old French chansons, buffon and musical software, this fairground side-show reveals the age-old story of grotesque political aspirations and obscenities, through the extreme use of song, vocal sound, text and technology.


By SpitLip

How did a corpse, a submarine, the creator of James Bond, the wrong briefcase, a fake love affair and a worrying obsession with trout lead to the greatest heist in the history of British Intelligence?

Declassified, delirious and deeply deranged – welcome to the true story of Operation Mincemeat: the craziest secret mission ever to derail Hitler. Brought to you by Cumming, Hodgson and Roberts, three of the shadowy, sweaty minds behind Lowry Associate Artists Kill the Beast.

March 2017: Dance Edition

Why Did You Stop Dancing by What A Little Bird Told Me

Matrafisc Dance Company

Clarissa Smith

Meraki Collective Dance Theatre

November 2016


By The Big Tiny | Ben Richards, Will Cousins, Harriette Sym, Charlotte Green, Tom Hardman, Mike Collin

The Big C tells the story of a ladies prayer group who, upon finding out their cleaner has lied to them about having cancer, exact a cruel and sanguine revenge.


By Rose Van Leyenhorst, Sam Redway

Once upon a time to come, after the end, we find out what is left. |00| is a post-electric exploration that looks at where we currently stand in history, and what the essence of humankind may be thousands of years from now.


By Charlotte McShane

A show about a woman that history never talks about by a woman that nobody has ever heard of.


By Lavinia Murray

Mrs and Mrs Hathaway-Shakespeare pursue their livelihoods (crime scene cleaner, free-diving water-birth specialising midwife respectively) in a world overrun with car crawler cavalries, illicit synthetic saliva stills, sprinting banana palms and outlawed frozen embryos who do unborn people-trafficking in bags of frozen peas.

July 2016

After the success of #hereandnow, the first version of scratch night in the Roundabout season in 2015, Shoots Scratch Night was officially launched as a new programme for artists in the network to create and present original work.

The evening was hosted by Sarah and Rachel from The Lowry, Associate Artists Art with Heart. They presented Declaration that had it first origins at our #hereandnow scratch night which has since been on a journey of development through to the Studio, so these ladies know the power of scratch.



Kash Arshad



Amie George, Rikki Hanson-Orr, Kane Power, Paul Worrall


Written & performed by Julie Burrow

With thanks to:

Jessica Lee, John Klark, Rachel Jones & Toby Maddison

Random Access Memory Company: Take Back

With thanks to:

Amy Drake, Grant Archer, Olivia Sweeney, Sushil Chudasama,

Julie Hesmondhalgh, Rebekah Harrison, Ian Townsend

Thick Richard’s Swear School

Performed by Thick Richard AKA Matthew Duffy

Produced by Helen Scott

Inaugural Shoots Scratch Night 2015: #hereandnow

The first version of scratch night in the Roundabout season.


By Pull Your Finger Out Productions


By Rose van Leyenhorst


From The Mill Theatre Company


By Tam Hinton


By Art with Heart