Denise Evans, Juan Carrascoso and Paul Davies in Volcano's Manifesto at BAC

Manifesto, by Volcano Theatre Company, is proving to be remarkably elusive. Although the production toured the UK, there is very little information about it online and I have had to piece together the sparse information I've found from newspaper theatre listings that often offer no detail besides the date and the theatre. However, in spite of putting together a decent list of tour dates, I have ended up discarding them all bar one, which is the only one I'm sure Michelle played.

It might be easier to explain my thought process if I provide all the dates I've found before explaining why I've discounted most of them. These are dates for Volcano's UK tour of Manifesto. If any other researchers would like the sources please get in touch.

26 - 27 Apr 1994 | Chapter Arts Centre, Cardiff;

1 May 1994 | Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal;

4 May 1994 | Phoenix Arts Centre, Leicester;

6 - 7 May 1994 | Alhambra Studio, Bradford;

9 - 10 May 1994 | Emlyn Williams Theatre, Mold;

16 - 18 May 1994 | Dancehouse, Manchester;

23 May 1994 | Swansea Grand Theatre;

16 Jun - 3 Jul 1994 | Battersea Arts Centre.


Now to the process of elimination. We know that Michelle was touring Scotland with The Android Circuit from 19th April to 14th May so straight away we can discount all the Manifesto performances from Cardiff through to Mold. I also took the liberty of discounting Manchester since, while she could technically have got from Paisley on 14th May to Manchester by 16th May, this would have allowed little time for rehearsals. I can probably discount Swansea for the same reason, but the main reasons I believe Michelle only joined the cast of Manifesto for the Battersea leg are these:

There's quite a time gap between Swansea and Battersea for which I can find no other performances though, granted, I haven't determined how long the production ran at the Swansea Grand and, since Swansea is Volcano's home town, it was likely more than just the one night. However, it's still a gap consistent with major changes to the production. The production summary by Theatre Wales states that the production was "re-worked" with Michelle's cast, suggesting a larger overhaul than simply a re-casting. Additionally, the show's opening at BAC on 16th June was preceeded by two preview performances on 14th and 15th June (The Times, 14th June 1994 - see slide on Manifesto page), again consistent with major changes to the production and a new cast. So it appears reasonable to deduce that the original cast played the tour through to Swansea and then the second cast incorporating Michelle Gomez, Juan Carrascoso, Denise Evans and Fabrice Guillon took over at the Battersea Arts Centre.

I have already contacted Volcano but they were unfortunately unable to help. I am currently making enquiries to theatre collections archives in hope of finding the missing information and I will update the Manifesto page with any relevant findings.


Featured image:

Promotional/performance photograph from the Battersea Arts Centre Digital Archive, featuring Denise Evans, Juan Carrascoso and Paul Davies in a scene from Volcano's 'Manifesto' at BAC.

Source: BAC
Date: 1994
Rights: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.

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