An epic narrative poem performed and written by a Manchester-based former teacher and youth worker premieres at Contact Manchester March 22-30. Modern-day epic This Town comes from creator Rory Aaron, who moves between the worlds of poetry, music and theatre. Against the backdrop of industrial action, a spiralling cost of living crisis and a looming recession, the show examines young people’s experiences of loss, PTSD, friendship and the hope of a better tomorrow.
“This is for those from the far-off towns that nobody’s heard of," says Rory. "Those who sit on buses rolling backwards out of cities and watch everything fall into silence.
"This Town as a written poem is about seven thousand words long and in it you meet about seven different characters, whose stories all intertwine."
Rory was a part of the BBC New Creatives scheme in 2020 and is currently part of Southbank’s 2022 New Poets Collective. He has one published collection and a second due out in April.
Keisha Thompson, artistic director and CEO of Contact, said: "We're thrilled to be the home of This Town. As a long-time collaborator of Rory's, I'm no stranger to his endearing energy on stage and his exceptional vision as a storyteller.
"He's unafraid to tackle huge subjects head-on: class, trauma, representation, pasts and futures. His reimagining of the narrative poem for modern audiences is set to be a timely and necessary interrogation of today's most pressing issues - and what better place than Contact to ask these questions?"
Commissioned by Contact and Derby Theatre, Rory is working closely with both venues and a creative team including director and dramaturg Cheryl Martin; movement director Chris Brown; sound composer Blythe Pepino; performer and poet Kate Ireland, and producer Roxy Moores.
More info and tickets here