Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Dunbar's Play of 80s Life Still as Relevant

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Dunbar's Play of 80s Life Still as Relevant

Article excerpt

PLAYWRIGHT Andrea Dunbar was 15 when she first frankly tackled the topic of teen pregnancy in her home city of Bradford.

It was a story that mirrored her own life: pregnant herself as a schoolgirl, and tragically losing her child during premature birth, Dunbar lived a tough and difficult life - one eventually cut short when she died of a brain haemorrhage aged just 29.

She was become celebrated for Rita, Sue and Bob Too - now a big screen classic - but she wrote many more short plays that dealt with the brutal realities of northern life in the 1980s.

One of those, Shirley, comes to Manchester this month and opens up a brand new city centre performance space - the 120-seater Hope Mill Theatre, in Ancoats.

Staged in support of local homelessness charity Mustard Tree, the play is an adaptation of one of Dunbar's shorter works but it is no less powerful for it, says its director Matthew McNulty (The Mill, Jamaica Inn, The Syndicate, Misfits, The Musketeers). …

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