Scuttlers by Rona Munro

Royal Exchange

Directed by Wils Wilson

Designed by Fly Davis

Movement by Eddie Kaye for Frantic Assmbley

Lighting Design Natasha Chivers

Sound Design Pete Rice

Composer Denis Jones

"Played out on Fly Davis’s terrific design, which conjures the imprisoning daily grind of factory life, Wils Wilson’s murky staging never makes 19th-century poverty look pretty. When it rains, the puddles are tinged with rusty blood. Even in their sleep these exhausted workers are endlessly doomed to repeat the physical actions of the mills where they toil" Lyn Gardener, The Guardian

"Fly Davis’s minimalist set encapsulates the contrasts – a giant skein of thread; dark, dank, empty spaces (spread with smog-filtered grey-browns by Natasha Chivers’s lighting). Director Wils Wilson and movement director Eddie Kay with their talented, 10-strong cast and supporting community actors communicate the harshness, the hopefulness, the vigour and desperation of youngsters fighting to find identity in urban, industrial uniformity." Clare Brenan, The Observer ****

"Wils Wilson’s production is a visual and sonic treat. Fly Davis’ deceptively minimal stage design is dominated by an enormous cylindrical cotton loom which rises up and down throughout the performance, while Denis Jones’ live score is almost a character itself: a brooding, clanking, ominous slice of industrial menace" Jon Murphy, Exeunt

"In addition to the cast, the production also features a 32 strong community ensemble, and director Wils Wilson uses the number of bodies to great effect, creating a real sense of both anarchy and playfulness in the movement. Fly Davis’ design is also impressive, using the brutality of an almost bare stage and a drop down cage of a weavers loom to emphasise the oppressive nature of the working and living conditions in the area. To add to the gloom, the stage is soaked in an obligatory Manchester downpour." Carmal Thomason Manchester, Theatre Awards

"Fly Davis‘s sculptural design draws out the circular momentum of the mill machinery, the floor worn bare by countless roundabout footsteps. These gangs grow out of their working conditions, from dehumanising labour and exploitative industrialism. Above, a giant loom makes a kind of chandelier – a nod to the unaffordable luxuries being produced – before it lowers to become a jail cell."  Matt Trueman, Whats on Stage


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