This new play by writer/actor Brian Gorman tells the classic story of four lads who, inspired by the punk revolution, came together to form one of the most influential bands of all time, Joy Division.
Taking inspiration from Curtis’ enigmatic lyrics, the play also features versions of Joy Division’s most famous tracks performed live by the actors as part of the performance.
New Dawn Fades combines the band’s history with the histories of Manchester and Salford, and involves characters such as Johnny Rotten, The Buzzcocks, Karl Marx and the late Tony Wilson – band manager, journalist and legend – who guides the audience through 2000 years of history.
The band themselves are set in stone in their roles, Hooky is the thug with a heart of gold, Barney the insecure arty one, Steve the shy and quiet one and Ian Curtis the romantic dreamer with a backdrop of domestic drudgery and grayness which is central to this story.
Tony Wilson is played out in all his brilliant pretension, it makes you laugh at his madness and misty eyed at his memory. He interviews a Roman general, before speaking to John Dee the Mancunian alchemist - putting the radical nature of the city, from its history to its music, into focus. His involvement with Joy Division is described in his own inimitable way, with tears, laughter and memories of how things were, how things are and how things might be again.
This fact-based show is funny, serious, sad, enigmatic and not to be missed by any fan of punk, new wave or alternative music.
New Dawn Fades is at The Apex on Monday, April 4 and starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are £18, ring The Apex box office on 01284 758000 or see www.theapex.co.uk for more details or to book.