A thrillingly fast-paced play about youthful disaffection, protest and violence, drawing on the history of the Scuttlers, the youth gangs of nineteenth-century Manchester.
It’s 1882 and the streets of Manchester are crackling with energy, youth and violence.
As workers pour into Ancoats to power the Industrial Revolution, 50,000 people are crammed into one square mile. The mills rumble thunderously day and night. The air is thick with smoke. Life is lived large and lived on the street. This is the world’s very first industrial suburb and the young mill workers form the very first urban gangs, fighting over their territory with belts, fists and knives.
Invisible in history, their lives, deaths, loves, lusts and defiant energy tell stories that will repeat and repeat over the decades that follow.
Scuttlers by Rona Munro was first performed at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester, in 2015.
With nine leading roles and a large cast of mill workers and gang members, Scuttlers is well suited to performance by schools and youth groups, who will enjoy its physical energy and dramatic storyline.
‘Dark, grimy, ripe with dangerous excitement… claustrophobic and intoxicating, opening a soot-smeared window into the past, as well as holding up a cracked mirror to our present’
— The Times
‘The writing is a mix of the lyrical and the iron-clad… invokes the grim, dirty poetry of everyday survival’
‘Impressive… an uncomfortable eye-opener’
— The Stage
‘Ha[s] an intoxicating energy… the action sequences are a rush to watch’
— Exeunt Magazine