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From the Festival Producer:

Manchester is known as a ‘city of firsts’. We rightly pride ourselves on our original thinking and ‘can do’ attitude and I believe that the 24:7 Theatre Festival fits firmly into this tradition.

By nurturing new talent in both writing, directing, performing and producing we can help to maintain the cultural buzz of our region and give the people who live and work here the chance to experience something different from the norm. We can attract new visitors to our city and help build our global reputation as a place where interesting things happen.

I’m obviously passionate about what we’ve created over the past seven years and want our Festival to continue to grow and provide even more opportunities for those involved.

I hope that through this website you get a feel for the energy, innovation and importance of what we’re trying to achieve. I also hope it encourages you to get involved as an audience member, volunteer or sponsor.

The 24:7 Theatre Festival isn’t just for playwrights and thespians – it’s for everyone.

I would be delighted if you can support us as we enter our ninth year of bringing something unique to Manchester.

David Slack


So what is 24:7?

I devised the 24:7 idea when performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2002. I realised we needed a showcase closer to home. So, inspired by an event alive with creative vibrancy, I 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 to unconventional in the heart of my adopted hometown.

In 2004, with no finance available, but a wealth of determination and creative ingenuity, the first Festival took place in bars and clubs around the city centre, attracting 1,600 audience members in one week. Public appreciation has been overwhelming and tens of thousands have joined us since.

24:7 now has the support of many high-profile names from theatre, film and television and has attracted commercial backing from Arts Council England, Manchester City Council, Manchester Airport, City Gateway Media and The Co-operative.

24:7 provides venues and technical support for all companies involved; the rest is left to the producers – usually the writers themselves. These dedicated and talented individuals have shown us time and again that theatrical excellence can be achieved with little money but big ideas.

This year the people of Manchester will have the opportunity to treat themselves to a further 10 original new plays in a weeklong feast of variety, cutting-edge drama and comedy – handpicked by our prestigious judges from about 100 submissions.

Video montages of several Festivals are available with the following links

2011 on:

2010 on:

2009 and 2008 on:

2007 on: