‘The history of Manchester jumps off its axis. The history of England jumps off its axis. 2am, 8th July, 1981, all the major cities of England burn.’

Ed Edwards’ script crackles with anger, humour and authenticity as he chronicles the fallout for communities crushed by the heroin epidemic at the height of Thatcherism.

Shot through with home truths about the road to recovery, this is an epic love song to a lost generation inspired by the playwright’s own personal experience. This urgent two-hander traces a pair of star-crossed lovers from the epicentre of the working class riots in 1981 on Moss Side – an uprising which spread to London, Birmingham, Leeds, Liverpool and many more – to their eventual struggles on the streets of Manchester.

Inspired by the playwright’s own experience in prison and rehab, this two-hander was one of five finalists in 2017’s Theatre503’s Play Writing Award out of over 1600 entries from 58 countries.

Later this year, The Political History of Smack and Crack will transfer to the city from which it was born, Manchester, and be part of Mayor Andy Burnham’s inaugural International Arts and Homelessness Summit and Festival curated with One Voice and supported by Manchester City Council. The play will be at the Mustard Tree – a local refuge providing care for people trapped by homelessness, dependency and poverty since 1994.

Produced by Most Wanted and Offstage Theatre in association with W14 Productions and Alastair Michael and co-commissioned by Soho Theatre.

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