Seven Gates for the Hall

Krzysztof Penderecki
Krzysztof Penderecki

Polish composer Krzysztof Penderecki, above, will conduct the RNCM Symphony Orchestra, Chorus and Chamber Choir in the UK première of his Seventh Symphony Seven Gates of Jerusalem at The Bridgewater Hall in Manchester next Friday.

Commissioned for the third millennium celebration of the city of Jerusalem, the work is rarely performed due to the sheer forces required, and remains one of Penderecki’s most powerful and dramatic pieces to date. Many will be more familiar with his work on films such as The Shining or The Exorcist.

Dr Michelle Castelletti, RNCM artistic director, said: “I am thrilled, not only because the RNCM will be giving the UK première, but because he will be conducting the performance himself.”

This special end-of-year concert features 250 RNCM students, and marks the culmination of a unique festival.

Over the course of four days next week, the event will celebrate the music of Poland through composers such as Lutosławski, Górecki, Agata Zubel and Penderecki, recognised by many as Poland’s greatest living composer.

The festival also includes film screenings and new compositions by RNCM students, all inspired by Polish compositional research. Box office:

Edinburgh Fringe favourites The Letter Room, preview their brand new show Five Feet in Front at The Lowry Studio next week, as part of the venue’s prestigious Developed With scheme.

It’s a musical set in America’s dustbowl, where Little Johnnie Wylo must fight to save her town, before a storm engulfs them all. The company, who write and perform their own music, describe the show as “a foot-stomping, hoedown of a musical”.

The Developed With scheme brings an extensive package of financial support and mentoring designed to help theatre companies in the next stage of their work.

Following its first performances at The Lowry, the show will travel to the Edinburgh Fringe in August, as part of Northern Stage’s Made in the North programme, in collaboration with Summerhall.

Performances are next Thursday and Friday.

Back with a bang, Manchester’s biennial Nowt Part Of Festival returns next week with four brand new professional productions being developed as a celebration of small-size theatre.

Following initial midweek performances, audiences will have the opportunity to take part in Q&A sessions. All four productions will then run on the final day of the festival, before the handover to the Manchester International Festival the following week.

Organiser Mike Francis Carvalho says: “The aim is to take what was achieved with the independent arts festival last biennial and widen the appeal to attract new audiences. The festival is completely independent. All we ask is that the public shows support by attending the ‘all under a tenner’ events”.

Details: @NowtPartOf on Twitter or

Manchester Shakespeare Company’s fourth production, following their successful Christmas Show, is Summer Dreaming 1973, an irreverent adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.

Set in the summer of 1973 in the woods around ‘Mancia’, it follows the lives and loves of four very different couples as they struggle against the odds to make the course of true love run smooth.

The betrothal of Duke Charles Wilmslow to Lady Diana Expensive is cause for celebration. But the workers at Truss & Son, led by shop steward Peter Quince, are planning to use the occasion to launch a subversive attack on the aristocracy.

Summer Dreaming 1973 runs from Tuesday to Saturday. Box office: 0161 834 4517 or