Tea with Miss Horniman

A theatrical journey from Rep to the Rovers.

This Showcase Production celebrates the legacy of the Impresario, Annie Horniman, the quasi-eccentric feminist who kick-started the British Repertory Movement.

In 1907 she used her substantial inheritance to establish the first English Repertory Theatre: The Gaiety in Manchester. Her influence extended beyond the local area as her theatre staged plays with strong regional and
social relevance that became known as The Manchester School of Drama’.

“Tea with Miss Horniman”, devised and directed by renowned Manchester acting tutor David Johnson, tells of the life and achievements of the title character. It is an inspired approach; providing educational aspects (explaining the benefits of rep theatre) and also exploiting the opportunity to flatter outrageously Mancunian theatre goers who are portrayed as helping to shape the cultural taste of the nation.

Key scenes from iconic theatrical and television productions are enacted, ranging from the early 20th Century to the present day, to demonstrate the enduring influence of Miss Horniman and, by extension, Manchester.

Annie Horniman was responsible for encouraging the work of new writers and playwrights including WB Yeats and George Bernard Shaw. In 1933 she was made a Companion of Honour to the Queen and died i 1937 aged 77.