Real Life Theatre Company Presents…



Winner of 2018 Stage Door Award For Excellence at the Manchester Theatre Awards

Our Tenth Anniversary Show…

JB Shorts Reloaded Poster


An evening of Six Fifteen Minute World premieres by Top TV Writers

8 Albion Street


M1 5LN

Tues 19th March - Sat 30th March (No performances Sun 24th & Mon 25th March)

7.30pm (doors open 6.40pm)

MATINEES : SAT 23rd March & SAT 30th March @ 3 pm

All Tickets: £9

Advanced Booking At: We Got Tickets

The Plays


Written & Directed by James Quinn

Assistant Director: Aileen Quinn

5.50pm on a Sunday afternoon somewhere in the Premier League. The players and the officials have done their bit. But the pundits and the presenters have barely started.

From JB Shorts 1 – March 2009

Featuring Alexandra Maxwell, Philip Shaun McGuinness, James Quinn, Callum Sim & Peter Slater


By Peter Kerry

Directed by Chris Bridgman

Two ordinary commuters on an ordinary railway station in an ordinary town. A story of shared history and betrayal.

From JB Shorts 2 – October 2009

Featuring Andrew Bentley & Laura Littlewood


By Dave Simpson

 Directed by Alice Bartlett

After exaggerating and lying about their physical attractiveness on a dating website, Andrew and Angela meet up.

From JB Shorts 9 – March 2013

Featuring Susan McArdle & Will Travis


By Diane Whitley

Directed by Rachel Brogan

An elderly couple celebrate their Golden Wedding anniversary. But do the snapshots of their seemingly idyllic life together reveal the whole story?

From JB Shorts 5 – March 2011

Featuring Glenn Cunningham, Julie Edwards, Beth Nolan & Sean Ward


By Lindsay Williams

Directed by Miranda Parker

On a trip to the seaside, Nellie meets retiree, Frank. A last chance of happiness? Or will the ghosts of her past continue to haunt her?

From JB Shorts 14 – Nov 2015

Featuring Richard Hawley, Jeni Howarth-Williams & Kerry Willison-Parry


By Trevor Suthers

Directed by Brainne Edge

Six actors in search of a play. A chaotic rehearsal in cramped conditions - but who is directing who?  The question remains ; is this a play or isn't it?

From JB Shorts 2 – Oct 2009

Featuring Arthur Bostrom, Lucie Browne, Martelle Edinborough, Darren Jeffries, Emily Spowage & Rob Stuart-Hudson

Photos by Sean Mason at Pull Focus Productions

Getting Involved


JB Reloaded is now FULLY CAST. 8 JB debutants join 14 alumni from the original productions for this tenth anniversary retrospective. Once again thank you so much to all those who applied to be part of JB Reloaded. As ever, we were overwhelmed by the volume of interest and were spoilt for choice in making our final decisions. Thanks again.

Writing for JB Shorts

JB Shorts invites guest writers to join the team for each production. There is a 'waiting list' of guest writers for future shows and the team is not currently inviting any script submissions.

History of JB Shorts

JB Shorts began as a conversation between two writers, Trevor Suthers and John Chambers, who imagined a festival of short plays written by established TV writers. It could have been one of those drunken conversations that never go anywhere but instead Trevor and John followed it up by finding a venue at Joshua Brooks, then bringing on writers Peter Kerry, James Quinn, Lindsay Williams, Dave Simpson and Diane Whitley.

With the expert help of director Roger Haines, the first JB Shorts was produced in March 2009 to widespread critical acclaim. No-one had quite expected the atmosphere in the dark cellar of Joshua Brooks to be so exciting, or the audience to be so enthusiastic.

It was meant to be a one off event but the writers realised that this was a chance to try out ideas and produce new and exciting work. So the group of original writers along with Roger Haines got together and decided to turn it into a bi annual event.

Since then JB Shorts has continued to grow year on year. We are very lucky to have some amazing directors, and actors work on the show and the quality is constantly improving. The event is still run by the original writers but now also attracts many guest writers who relish the chance to write in the short form

JB Shorts is a profit share show and involves a lot of hard work from all involved. It continues to be a big success on the Manchester scene attracting some of the best local talent and most loyal audiences around. In November 2016, the move to 53Two ushered in a new era in the JB Shorts story…

The Venue


Find out about our new home over on their website!

What They Said

What others say about us

'JB Shorts 16 presents a smorgasbord of fantasy, farce, satire and sheer silliness... It’s a cracker of a evening.'

Paul Vallely. Read his 4 **** review here at The Independent

'The JB Shorts evenings have become one of the best-loved fixtures on the Manchester theatre scene'

Kevin Bourke. Read the review at Manchester Theatre Awards

'Long live JB Shorts'

Tracey Lowe. Read her 4 **** review here at The Good Review

'As for JB Shorts, I can't recommend it highly enough'

Alfred Hickling, THE GUARDIAN

'An evening of funny, gutsy and inventive theatre'


'Fast moving, funny and touching. The most enjoyment I've ever had in a cellar.'

SIMON ARMITAGE, Poet, Novelist & Playwright

'I had such a good time at JB Shorts. Funny, poignant, and never time to get bored. It's a great format.'

CHRIS HONER, Artistic Director, Library Theatre

'JB Shorts is becoming a salient feature on the Manchester theatre landscape.'

Paul Vallely. Read his 4 **** review here at The Independent

'Master Craftsmen at Work… a truly wonderful night out'


'A unique opportunity to see master craftsmen at work - and enjoy a wonderful night out'

NATALIE ANGLESEY, Manchester Evening News

'JB Shorts are Inspirational. Great writing, great acting - and it's in a pub! What more could you want for a storming night out?'

MAXINE PEAKE, Actress - The Village, Silk, Criminal Justice, Shameless, See No Evil, Little Dorrit, etc, Artist in Residence at the Royal Exchange Theatre

'…A Magical combination of short plays that steal your attention and refuse to give it back…unmissable'


'As for JB Shorts, I can't recommend it highly enough'

The Guardian

Joanna Ing is impressed with JB Shorts 10 at Joshua Brooks, Manchester.

Read her 4 **** review here at Whats On Stage

'JB Shorts is an accessible and friendly night out in a relaxed venue. It's also an excellent showcase for Manchester's writing and acting talent. I've been twice and will definitely be there again!'

CHRIS MONKS, Artistic Director, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough

'JB Shorts is a cracking night out at the theatre. Not to be missed.'

DAVID LLOYD, Ex-Lancashire & England Cricketer, now a TV Commentator

'A superb collection of funny, thought-provoking and hugely entertaining plays. I'll continue to wear my JB Shorts with pride.'

PHIL MEALEY, Writer & Co-creator of Early Doors, Sunshine

'Shorts and snappy . It works every time…… a "must-see" on the Manchester cultural calendar'