The Manx Gateway Drama group was founded in 2008 to take part in the “British All Winners Festival of Plays”, which was held that year on the Island. This July the festival returns to the Island and the group will again showcase their latest production “A Tale of Two Manx Men” within the Festival.

Over the last 6 years the group have grown as performers and as a company, with newly developed acting, dancing and singing skills being incorporated into their performances, during which they have travelled across the world and even into space with their productions. In 2014, in conjunction with the Island’s Year of Culture and with the support of the IOM Arts Council, their in-house writing team of Anne Clarke and Elan Karran have devised a Manx- based piece, celebrating the best of Manx heritage and culture, with a nod to Hall Caine, TE Brown, Stuart Slack and the opening of the Great Laxey Water Wheel!

The play features traditional songs and dancing, and, as ever with their productions, will be lots of fun.

The group’s regular performers are all people with learning difficulties. The principle objectives of the group are to develop personal confidence of those that take part, to improve their communication skills and to gain enjoyment from performing in front of a live audience. The group is supported by family, friends and volunteers who each contribute their own talents and skills to the productions.

For the special Year of Culture performance, directed by first time directing team, Carol Glover and Jill Hyde, the group have expanded their cast, and are delighted that Sandy Cross, Christian Callow and Rob & Lucy Sellors will also be taking part, plus there are a few surprises along the way.

This summer’s performances take place at Ballakermeen Studio One Theatre on 22nd July at 7pm and 23rd of July at 2.30pm. As well as the support of the Studio 1 Team, Steve Brookes and Rebecca Watson, the group is delighted that there will be two students involved from Ballakermeen High School, Tom Baggaley assisting with technical aspects of this year’s production, and Dylan Leonine filming the performances. Members of the Douglas Choral Union, who have adopted the MGDG as their charity, will be helping the stage crew.

The cast includes a number of famous Manx Victorians and characters from Manx Literature, and as with all of our productions, features a love triangle, a long journey, trials and tribulations and of course a Happy Ending – which we will celebrate in the traditional Manx way this year!

Tickets for this year’s two shows are on sale from 1st July 2014, by contacting Margaret Clucas on 662554, and we look forward to seeing family, friends and supporters at this very special production by the Manx Gateway Drama Group.