Look East for return

Where Caterpillars Go

Where Caterpillars Go

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Ayub Khan Din’s critically-acclaimed play East is East comes to Manchester Opera House next week following its run in the West End.

It stars stage and screen star Jane Horrocks as Ella and the award-winning playwright himself as her husband George.

The Pakistani chip-shop owner – Genghis to his kids – is determined to give his children a strict Muslim upbringing against the unforgiving backdrop of 1970s Salford.

Household tension reaches breaking point as their long-suffering English mother, Ella, gets caught in the crossfire – her loyalties divided between her marriage and the free will of her children.

It is a semi-autobiographical account of British Asian life in the 1970s and the clash of cultures between a multi-cultural family growing up in Salford, is a play that continues to resonate and provoke discussion.

Ayub Khan Din said: “It’s great we are touring East is East – I believe it’s really important London shows can be seen all over the country.

“I’m particularly proud to be playing the Opera House in Manchester, a theatre I used to pass every day on the bus on my way to a job I hated, little thinking one day my own play would grace its stage!”

East is East follows the success of the limited season tour of The Pride earlier this year, the third production in the Jamie Lloyd for Trafalgar Transformed Season One, which played in Brighton, Manchester and Richmond.

East is East, was Ayub Khan Din’s first play, following a career as an actor. It was staged at the Royal Court in 1997 and, subsequently, Ayub adapted the play into a hugely successful film, starring Om Puri and Linda Bassett.

Jane Horrocks’ recent stage credits include Annie Get Your Gun and The Good Soul of Szechuan, but she is renowned on stage for The Rise and Fall of Little Voice.

East Is East runs here from Monday to Saturday.

Box office: 0844 871 3019 or www.atgtickets.com/manchester

A season of family entertainment and activities is in store at Manchester Z-arts centre in the opening months of 2015, including a lost, storytelling penguin and a FREE day out with a difference.

A state-of-the-art submarine arrives at the specialist family arts centre in Hulme for Emergency Story Penguin (February 18-22), a mix of puppetry, video and music by the acclaimed Dep Arts and Slung Low theatre company. Whenever there is a shortage of stories, anywhere in the world, The Emergency Story Unit will come to the rescue.

Slung Low entranced children in December with their acclaimed 59 Minutes to Save Christmas performances, using technology and interactive storytelling.

When Trolls Try to Eat Your Goldfish (February 1) is written and performed by poet Dommy B (CBeebies Rhyme Rocket) and tells the tale of the brazen theft of a town’s pets by naughty trolls.

Continuing the animal theme are My Friend Mole (March 22) and Where Caterpillars Go (April 9), above, both offering educational experiences for children with lessons on friendship, growing up and nature.

Box Office: 0161 232 6089 or www.z-arts.org