Win 2 Tickets to Up Down Man

A pair of tickets to see Up Down Man in Salisbury on Saturday 5 March at 2.45pm

A couple of years ago I sat laughing, sobbing and shaking with emotion alongside my Mum and with Tom from The Future's Rosie in the audience, as we watched Up Down Boy, the most powerful stage show imaginable, featuring a young man growing up with Down's syndrome.


You can read my 5* review of Up Down Boy here.

I am now excited to announce that a sequel has been created and we have two complimentary tickets to be won. Just complete the Rafflecopter form below to be in with a chance.

Good luck!

We asked Heather Williams (Artistic Director of Myrtle Theatre Company who also plays Matty’s mother in both plays) to explain a bit more about the development process and how Nathan has been involved:

"Up Down Boy was written from the mother’s perspective and was largely autobiographical. The sequel, Up Down Man, offered the opportunity to create a piece of theatre reflecting the thoughts, feelings and experiences of someone with a learning disability. To that end we placed Nathan at the centre of the creative process from the outset.

During an initial research and development period, Nathan was encouraged to lead the process at every opportunity - from taking physical warm-ups, to guiding improvised scenes, choosing characters for the actors to play and deciding on scene content. The result was a freedom to create and play – and a great deal of joy in the room.

It also became very clear that Nathan's greatest desire was to "speak" through his body - that dance and movement gave him the opportunity to communicate with depth and profundity in a way that he finds challenging with the spoken word. He had sessions with five exceptional young dancer/choreographer/movement artists, developing his skills in contemporary dance, street dance, ballet, line dancing, ballroom dancing and contact improvisation. Nathan relished these sessions but more importantly showed astonishing alacrity in learning new skills and techniques, new ways of moving, of expressing himself.

It was thrilling to see how the time and extra resources allowed Nathan to express himself in a way we didn't think possible. The speed he developed as a creative artist was remarkable."

Up Down Man
A Myrtle Theatre Company and Salisbury Playhouse production
The Salberg at Salisbury Playhouse
Wednesday 24 February to Saturday 12 March
Press performance: Thursday 25 February at 7.45pm

Nathan Bessel stars as Matty in Up Down Man

Myrtle Theatre Company and Salisbury Playhouse present Up Down Man which runs in The Salberg at Salisbury Playhouse from Thursday 24 February to Saturday 12 March.

Written and directed by award-winning playwright Brendan MurrayUp Down Man asks the question that faces every parent of an adult with a learning disability – what will happen when I’m not here?

Up Down Man is the sequel to Up Down Boy which was produced in 2012 and 2013 and was performed in The Shed at the National Theatre as part of Limited Editions where Nicholas Hytner said “it brought an audience to the National that we'd like to see much more of".

Once again starring the gifted and charismatic performer Nathan Bessell as Matty Butler, Up Down Man follows Matty into adulthood where he is facing new challenges following a family bereavement. Inspired by the real stories of families of young people with Down’s syndrome, Up Down Man is told from Matty’s point of view using a combination of dialogue, original music and dance.

Up Down Man is presented in a funny, provocative and moving style that invites audiences to look at the world in a new way.

Heather Williams (most recently in Sally Cookson's Sleeping Beauty at Bristol Old Vic) returns to play Matty’s mother, Odette, alongside Emily Bowker as Darcy, Kieran Buckeridge as Mr Fox, Vic Llewelyn as Martin and Bryn Thomas as the dancer.

Up Down Man is designed by Katie Sykes with lighting by Michael Straun and choreography by Bryn ThomasKieran Buckeridge is Musical Director and Composer.

Based in Bristol but working nationally and internationally, Myrtle Theatre Company creates ambitious, original theatre that articulates the thoughts and feelings of people whose voices are often unheard.

Salisbury Playhouse is a regional theatre committed to developing and producing new work as part of a varied programme that reaches annual audiences of over 100,000 from across the south of England.

Running alongside the production will be a range of complementary events including a Relaxed Performance, a family post-show discussion and a forum for health professionals.

Up Down Man runs in The Salberg at Salisbury Playhouse from Wednesday 24 February to Saturday 12 March. For tickets or further information please contact the Ticket Office on 01722 320333 or visit

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