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'LOCAL' An Evening of Live Music and Conversation With Peter Hook, Mike Sweeney & Guests" at Salford Arts Theatre


Salford friends Peter Hook and Mike Sweeney are to host a special event of live music and conversation - "Local" at Salford Arts Theatre on Friday 26th February to raise funds for the theatre in the local community where they both grew up.

Joined by live guests, up and coming Salford band Death To The Strange, Hooky and Sweeney will discuss their shared musical and Salford backgrounds, near to the Ordsall estate where both grew up.

Salford Arts Theatre in Pendleton is famous for the being the starting point for actors such as Christopher Eccleston, Sir Ben Kingsley, Robert Powell and Albert Finney amongst others.

Following a visit from Hooky to the theatre to see the initial plans to transform the building and facilities, the Joy Division, New Order and The Light bassist promised to help raise money to pay for new seating at the 138 capacity theatre.

Having performed an intimate and successful Q & A event with old pal Mike Sweeney last Autumn, they decided to renew the partnership in aid of the theatre.

Deciding only to involve Salford artists in local, Hooky and Mike, who will also perform live at the event, decided to ask the widely tipped band, Death To The Strange to perform a set. Having recently played a live gig at The Factory in Manchester, Death To The Strange are a staunchly independent band  whose intelligent song craft and raucous live performances are fast gaining them a great reputation.

The band's distinctive style and memorable alternative tunes have led to them supporting Babyshambles, Dust Junkys, Gomez, Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly, James Walsh of Starsailor, The Fall and Mark Morris of the Bluetones, in addition to an increasing roster of festival appearances at home and abroad.

Special Salfordian guests may also make an appearance on the night.

The theatre has already undergone improvements as part of the Pendleton Together regeneration of the area, but now needs to raise around £40,000 for new seating.

The  doors open at 7.30pm for an 8pm start. Tickets are available via the theatre’s online box office –  or by calling 0161 925 0111.

Salford Arts Theatre was originally built for The Salford Players, a local group who gave opportunity to tread the boards to the community and aspiring actors.  When the group dissolved, the theatre was given back to Salford City Council who opened it as a professional theatre, before eventually having to close the venue. In 2007 Roni and Scott Ellis took over and reopened the theatre for the community. The venue is now used for regular shows, as well as workshops to help local children take their first steps to an acting career. 

Peter Hook said: “When I visited the theatre to see its plans I offered to help with a fund-raising event. This event will showcase the area’s brand new groups and reflects the ethos of theatre in encouraging local talent.

“It is a chance for people to hear some of my stories about growing up around here and no doubt there will be a few stories about my music career. This is a great event to support and I’m confident it will sell out pretty fast.”

“I spent most of my young life around here and I know the area has had some tough times. That’s why the theatre needs to be supported – it provides a real lifeline for local people.”

Theatre manager Roni Ellis said: “The theatre is only a small venue, but it has a big reputation. Theatre in Salford has produced some of the big country’s biggest star. The reason for this success has been grassroots theatre offering local people the chance to tread the boards.

“We are so grateful for Peter and the local bands giving up their time for free to support us. He is an inspiration, showing you can go from the streets of Salford to the world stage. We’ve a real legend taking to our stage.”

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