With our doors currently closed due to coronavirus, our Front of House and Audience Development Coordinator Ash will be publishing a weekly blog to help to continue this cultural exchange, digitally. By sharing creative activities, live streams, resources and opportunities on offer from the university, our friends, associate artists and colleagues.

Each week, a member of the New Adelphi Theatre team will also be recommending an online activity or experience that has uplifted them during this time of social-distancing.

We will also be sharing good news stories and special mentions about our incredible colleagues who are working tirelessly to fight against this pandemic. Until we meet again, enjoy our pick of offerings from our wonderful industry friends – and let’s continue to Nurture the Arts Together, at home. Stay safe. 


Z-Arts is an arts and theatre venue in Hulme, with a range of activities, shows and events for children and families. They believe that theatre and the arts are for everyone! They are inspiring, immersive and magical, and want to share the joy of creativity, imagination and storytelling with children and families in Greater Manchester and beyond. The Z-Arts team have responded wonderfully to the current situation and are offering free arts and craft activities, family sing-alongs, drama games, dance, yoga and are streaming family-friendly theatre shows and more – for little ones and their grown-ups! Join in on Facebook daily! 


Why not take a few moments to take part in the ‘After the Interval’ survey. The information collected from you, the audience, will help our friends at The Lowry and the wider cultural community understand how you are feeling about returning to venues. It will help us understand: what help you might need to feel safe and comfortable, how you’re booking tickets now and how you think you’ll book tickets in future, your thoughts on what projects venues might produce to support those affected by covid19; and how you could help support these cultural charities and organisation to ensure a successful reopening. #SupportTheArts 


Girl Gang Manchester is a fluid collective of artists, activists, academics and purveyors of organised fun. They are hosting a number of online projects that promote creativity, community and connection. This includes digital speed-mating or ‘Digi-pals‘Bend and Stretch’ yoga, ‘Angst Aerobics’ and a ‘Socially Distanced Disco’Ticket prices range from £3-£8 on a pay-what-you-can basis to help support these brilliant freelance artists and producers who have lost their income.  


Back in 2019, we partnered with Digital Theatre+ to bring the final UK Performance of Negative Space by Reckless Sleepers to your screens. It was captured live in our main theatre by our fantastic Industry Collaboration Zone Media Production Team! The Theatre Times will be streaming the show as part of their annualIOTF: The International Online Theatre Festival. This years theme transformation and resistance – ‘in a world where you can be anything…’ – aims to create an online space that blurs geographical boundaries, rejects simplifications about borders and national identities and, most crucially, brings us together as a community to think about what it means to be human.” 

Alongside 25 different productions including Schaubühne, Stanislavsky Electrotheatre and English Touring Theatre; Reckless Sleepers, New Adelphi Theatre and Digital Theatre+ presents Negative Space for free, as part of IOTF on Thursday 7 May (available for 24 hours only) 

This project was an incredible achievement for all involved and the live performance was utterly compelling – beautifully controlled chaos, which took my breath away (I was so fortunate that Georgia was able to cover my FOH Shift, so I could enjoy being in the audience for this one!) 

Watch the trailer below! 


MediaCityUK’s SPOTLIGHT ON… – in collaboration with The Royal Television Society NW, the University of Salford and RED Productions – is a new virtual series, streaming live on Facebook. The first guest last week was Russell T Davies, writer of ground-breaking and acclaimed series Queer as Folk, the 2005 revival of Doctor Who and most recently Years & Years. Russell chatted about his career, his thoughts on creativity in lockdown as well as what the world will look like from a script-writing perspective as we enter the new normal. Follow MCUK on Facebook and Twitter to keep up to date with the latest SPOTLIGHT ON… news and announcements! 


Watch School of Arts and Media Lecturer Adelina Court’s short animation Songs of the City through the BBC’s New Creatives scheme, which produces innovative short films, audio and interactive works from young artists. Celebrate urban bird song throughout the streets of Manchester with this beautiful animation, captured by our colleague Connoll Pavey with gorgeous sound designed by Dr Robin Dewhurst . Read more here.


Calling all freelance artists! If you need a chat and some supportManchester International Festival are hosting online drop-in sessions with Artistic Director John McGrath and Creative Director Mark Ball. MIF have also repurposed funds to create nepaid opportunities and have set up a Facebook Group for freelance artists to connect and share useful information during this challenging time! 


A gentle reminder of some Support Services on offer:  

Mind the mental health charity has developed information resources in response to COVID-19:
The Samaritans charity has published support content in response to coronavirus and provides a confidential phone service for those experiencing mental health difficulties. 

Salford Students, we know that it can be difficult to manage your studies and your personal life together and sometimes, you just need someone to talk to: 

Student CareFirst phoneline a free, confidential counselling service.
Student Minds, the UK student mental health charity, has developed information for the higher education community to look after wellbeing during the coronavirus outbreak. 


Throwback to last weeks blog, where we featured DANC – a Disabled Artists Networking Community ran by the lovely team at Triple C, a Community Interest Company led by disabled artists which aims to widen the participation across the cultural sector. They’re looking for a freelance consultant – could this be you? More info here. Deadline for applications Friday 8 May. 


SICK! Festival and Young Identity are seeking two Dutch poets or spoken word artists as part of a major new commissioning programme entitled MINDSCAPES. They’re looking for artists to be part of a “reverse graffiti” poetry project embedding the experiences of migrant communities in North Manchester into the physical landscapes where they live. For more information about this paid commission click here. 

If you missed the virtual One Mic Stand last week, with Salford student Scarlett-Rose Summers and alumnus Ella Otomewo,mic-check it out below! And read Scarlett-Rose’s interview here. 

Mark Fox, Venue Manager: Lockdown with young children, no time for much else…” 

 Hope you are all doing ok and coping with lockdown. I know that for everyone lockdown brings different challenges, as well as different opportunities, like learning a new skill, taking up a hobby or getting through the that box set you have always planned to watch. I’m very jealous of you all.  

For me, we have a 2-year-old and an 8-month-old, so my lockdown is full of trying to find some time to do my job while dealing with nappies, stopping children killing each other, making sure we stick to feeding and nap routines and trying to ensure that the house isn’t destroyed.  

There are so many exciting and creative things for kids that people are doing online. We have done Hiit sessions with Joe Wicks on a morning, although this mainly involves our 2 yearold sitting on people whilst they plank. We have been on a virtual day out at Chester Zoowe loved feeding the giraffes. We were sadly unable to go on our family trip to Disneyland Paris for Christabel’s birthday but we did manage to all get dressed up in Disney outfits and do a virtual tour, including watching footage of the rides whilst swinging our toddler round in a washing basket. Also, thank god for Disney +, as I imagine all parents are saying. If you want to follow us coping, my wife has set up an amazing and hilarious Instagram showing the honest and messy side of parenting (@mamafoxup) so feel free to follow and watch the madness.  

As for creative pick, there is so much out there but Christabel and I are both massive fans of Kneehigh Theatre and were so lucky to see UBU in the Quays Theatre at The Lowry just before lockdown. So we were excited to see that the former Kneehigh Artistic director Emma Rice has a show called Wise Children that is available to watch on the iPlayer. We would have loved to have seen Wise Children live when it toured but we had just had our first baby so were a bit busy! It’s an absolute pleasure to watch and it’s great to see many of her usual collaborators and her imaginative, playful and innovative style. If you are a fan of Kneehigh, or even just a fan of theatre I strongly recommend this. 

CONGRATULATIONS to our Associate Artist Kiri Pritchard-McLean, the team at the #CovidArms, Crowdfunder UK and everyone who took part in the Big Comedy Quiz last Friday 1 May.

Almost £35k was raised for the National Emergencies Trust Coronavirus Appeal and a Guinness World Record™ has been smashed for the most amount of people to attend a virtual pub!

Celebrity guests included: Russell Howard, Nish Kumar, Joel Dommett, Marcus Brigstocke, Rachel Parris, Lucy Beaumont, Jenny Ryan, Joe Wilkinson, Mark Watson, Suzi Ruffel and London Hughes. Plus Jason Manford, Rachel Fairburn and Stephen Bailey who have all performed at the New Adelphi Theatre!

Myself and Artistic Director Niki both had a good go at the quiz (we won’t bore you with how well we did…n’t do) and we’re thrilled to have been a part of it! #GuinnessWorldRecord

Kiri told us: “We’re absolutely made up that The Covid Arms has managed to set a new world record. It’s a total honour to be a part of this virtual pub that is fast becoming a community of lovely people who are looking for a laugh in these dark times. We know the vast about of money raised will go to some brilliant causes via NET.”

Our Salford Heroes: read more about the University of Salford student nurses and hospital cleaners on the frontline. Kerry, Charmaine, Nathan, Aisha, Ellie and all of our students and staff who are supporting the fight against coronavirus, thank you. 

Read more. 


Until next week, stay safe  and #MayTheFourthBeWithYou

Ash and the New Adelphi Theatre Team. 


Read last week’s blog here. 

Read the latest news from the University of Salford on the news channel. 

Keep up-to-date with the University COVID-19 response: Students | Staff Applicants International Applicants | Public 

Header photo credit: Nick Harrison