UNIVERSITY of Salford alumnus Peter Kay and his Car Share co-star Sian Gibson unveiled the £55m New Adelphi building last Friday (1 December).

The £55m New Adelphi building is the home of the University’s School of Arts and Media courses – Art, Design, Fashion, Photography, Music, Performance and Dance – as well as the School of the Built Environment’s new Architecture programme.

Peter Kay said: “As ex-Salford media performance students both Sian and myself are incredibly proud to be invited to open this magnificent arts facility and we’re excited to think of all of the creative work that will emerge from within it in the years to come.”


The 350-seat Theatre will showcase a series of original monologues called Burning Bright: A Night Of Northern Stars performed by a house of leading actors.

Jim Cartwright, writer of plays including Road and The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice, has created bespoke monologues for actors including Warren Brown, Sue Johnston, Beverley Callard, Julie Hesmondhalgh, Paul Hilton, Jason Callender and Georgie Henley.

Jim describes this premiere of new work as “a kind of prologue, a prelude, a starry beginning”, which prefaces the first “main event – the premiere of my new play, Shakespeare’s Mine – the tale of a Lancashire coal miner’s journey into the world of Theatre”– which will open to the public at the New Adelphi Theatre next spring.

As well as housing the University’s creative and arts programmes, the New Adelphi will now be home to the newly formed Jim Cartwright Theatre Company – a professional group dedicated to celebrating northern voices.

The new company will be an artistic hub showcasing the very best of current northern talent, and encouraging and supporting the work of new northern theatre, dance, creative arts and digital arts practitioners.

[pullquote]”we’re excited to think of all of the creative work that will emerge from within it in the years to come”-Peter Kay [/pullquote]

Jim, who has been appointed as Honorary Artistic Director of the New Adelphi Theatre, is writing a series of new plays which will premiere at the theatre over the next few years, with a view to then touring nationally.

The playwright will also carry out masterclasses and provide opportunities for students to work alongside his company.

He said: “When I was starting out in Theatre, there was a feeling that it was available to all if you had the talent and the rum gumption.

“In these trying times it’s important we continue to champion that opportunity – making sure theatre is opened up to as wide a group of people as possible.

Julie Hesmondhalgh in Burning Bright: A night of Northern Stars

“I want our new company to fizz and sing and ring with the excitement of that prospect.”

Frances Piper, Director of Performance at the University of Salford, said: “Jim Cartwright is one of the most important British stage writers of the last three decades and his presence has created a real buzz on campus, particularly among students who have grown up studying his plays.”

“We’re hugely excited to be working with Jim, and having his new theatre company based here is extremely significant – not only because of the wonderful opportunities it will provide for our students, but in terms of creating a hub for new northern writing and performance based right here at the University of Salford.”

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