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The image is the promotional poster for the play, which is a dark dystopian painting of a man in a city setting.

Play written by Visual Arts student performed at The Lowry Theatre

A hard-hitting play written by a student at The Manchester College has been performed at The Lowry Theatre.

‘He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not’ was written by Anthea Cribbin, a student on our Level 3 Foundation Art and Design course. Anthea also works as a freelance artist and alternative educator at Gorse Hill Studios.

Following the story of 15-year-old Lexi, ‘He Loves Me, He Loves Me Not’, is a hard-hitting story of how a girl and her community are preyed upon and gutted through exploitation and county lines drug trafficking.

Speaking about the inspiration behind the play, Anthea said: “The play was written from authentic voices and lived experiences of coercive control in teen relationships, as a response to creatively engage teenagers reluctant to access professional services for domestic abuse and coercive control.”

Brought to life by 22 actors from The Manchester College, Pemberton College and Stretford High School, alongside five musicians and a production team, The Lowry hosted a scratch performance on May 2, before the full polished and complete version was performed twice on July 4.

When tickets for the July 4 performances sold out in under ten days, The Lowry offered another performance on July 3, which was also a very near full house.

Anthea said:

It was a major success and the feedback has been positively glowing for such a social realist performance.

Holly Ainsworth, a first-year Acting student at The Manchester College, plays the heroine of the story. She said: “The experience has been amazing. It’s helped me improve my stage and theatre skills. It’s helped me figure out the love I have for stage theatre and more importantly given me valuable work experience.”  

Visual Arts tutor Fiona Donald added: “The play is absolutely outstanding! Anthea is a whirlwind of energy and inspiration, and we are very proud of her. 

“She will be showing her artwork as part of the Final Major Project for her Foundation Art and Design and we are looking at how we can incorporate other elements of the performance here for the End of Year Showcase later this month. We’re discussing the possibility of putting on the play here on campus and would like to support her in any way we can in the future.”

You can find out more about Visual Arts courses at The Manchester College and apply today.