Interview | Hannah Ellis Ryan on the UK Premiere of “Things We Want”

Interview | Hannah Ellis Ryan on the UK Premiere of “Things We Want”

With the opening night just around the corner, I caught up with Play With Fire’s founder Hannah Ellis Ryan to see how the rehearsals have been going and what the show is going to entail.

After launching in 2014 with their acclaimed production of Orphans at the award-winning Hope Mill Theatre, the resident theatre company Play With Fire is bringing the UK Premiere of Jonathan Marc Sherman’s Things We Want to Manchester.

The themes of grief and how different people react to it is met with comedy as three brothers living together for the first time since childhood. Drugs, love and new age spirituality consume their search for purpose until a surprise visit from an upstairs neighbour turns everything upside down and challenges all the brothers thought they believed.

After receiving its Wolrd Premiere Off-Broadway in 2007, directed by and starring Ethan Hawke, Hannah is nervous but very excited to put Manchester’s stamp on the piece. “I am a bit nervous about being the first people to show this wonderful play to the UK, but I’m so excited too.”

“Two things shows should do is to entertain and educate the audience – we hope that our production of Things We Want does both,” says Hannah. “The themes in the show hopefully will be relevant to all audiences members in some way or another, so we need to do to script justice.”

Things We Want, directed by Daniel Bradford, features Alex Phelps, William J Holstead, Paddy Young and Hannah Ellis Ryan. This production marks Play with Fires’ first time collaboration with Swaggering Crow, a new theatre collective set up by Paddy Young and William J Holstead – two graduates from Manchester School of Theatre.

Since setting up Play with Fire in 2014, Australian Drama School graduates, Hannah Ellis Ryan and Daniel Bradford have moved to Manchester and created some incredible productions! “Having the ability to play with scripts and develop our versions of the shows is cool and keeps us interested.”

Things We Want is playing at Hope Mill Theatre Wednesday 30th of May – Saturday 9th of June, and you can book tickets for Things We Want here.

Since launching PWF, Hannah and Daniel have opened Hope Studios – offering affordable and accessible rehearsal space for Manchester’s creative community.

Their next production for PWF will be their first main stage production for Oldham Coliseum – coming in September 2018.


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