David Slack devised the idea behind 24:7, when he was performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2002. Inspired by a city alive with creative vibrancy, he developed a plan to bring the most exciting elements of the Fringe to Manchester.
The focus would be on new writing and untapped acting talent; a showcase for original and stimulating theatre brought to unconventional venues in the heart of his hometown.
In 2004, with no finance available, but a wealth of determination and creative ingenuity, initial collaborator Amanda Hennessy and David ran the first Festival in bars and clubs around the city centre, attracting 1,600 audience members in one week.
Public appreciation has since been overwhelming – in the last 12 years more than 40,000 people have seen a show. The Festival has the support of many high-profile names from theatre, film and television. We’re also fortunate to have had continued support from Arts Council England and Manchester City Council, and businesses across the city have offered time and expertise to help make the event happen.
The heart of the Festival however, is the dedicated and talented individuals who participate, and it is with them that our work is really centred. It is impossible to present good plays without developing the best ingredients. This all begins with the script. We have spent time with the writers, so that they themselves are sure that their final version is as strong as possible. Then we supported participating companies through the production process, with the intention that what they showed to the public was the best that it could be.
24:7 Theatre Arts Network is dedicated to providing equitable opportunity for the hidden talents of the professional theatre community in Manchester and beyond.
Through our curated Festival of new theatre work we enrich and entertain our audiences, empower our participants and provide an industry respected showcase to further their careers.
We seek to support artists’ professional development, collaborate with other like minded organisations and generally agitate for the creation of opportunities in the theatrical community.
David trained as an actor at the Arden School of Theatre, and has numerous stage and television credits. He has led the development of 24:7 for the last 15 years, collaborating with anyone who would listen and take an interest!
Annika first worked with 24:7 in 2009. She has international work experience in the events and festival industry, including the creation and production of a new poetry event at the Edinburgh International Book Festival. She graduated from Edinburgh Napier University in 2012 with a Masters in International Event and Festival Management.
Mark joined the 24:7 in 2006 and went on to supervise all technical theatre provision across the Festival. He works at the University of Salford and as a freelance technician for theatre companies in the region, touring across the north west and to other Festivals across the country.
Ian has been involved with 24:7 as writer (3 times), director (3 times), producer (4 times) and actor (just the once). He took on the role of Writers’ Liaison – a point of contact with 24:7 writers. He wrote the play, All the Bens, which did quite well at 24:7 and beyond.
Formerly Molly Dobbs in “Coronation Street” - Now frequently treading the boards.
Arts Publicist and Marketing Consultant, Lethal Communications.