THE tenth annual Manchester 24:7 Theatre Festival kicks off in St Peter's Square today and promises to be the most exciting yet.

Shining a light on new talent in writing, directing, performing and producing the festival, which runs at New Century House until Friday, also seeks to cement Manchester's status as a hub for culture and the arts.

This year’s 24:7 features 10 pieces by 11 emerging writers, covering a diverse range of styles and subjects.

The premier of 'The Tongue Twister' by Manchester based writer Luke Walker is set to be the family-friendly production at this year's event.

Set in a land where rhyming is banned it tells the story of Plug who, after eating a mysterious red lollipop, rhymes all the time.

Written and produced by Manchester-based writer Luke Walker and directed by Alyx Tole, both veterans of 24:7 Theatre Festival, performances of 'The 'The Tongue Twister' will run from today until Friday at New Century House in Manchester.

Luke's previous credits as a writer for 24:7 Theatre Festival include 'Mind The Gap' (nominated for a Manchester Evening News Award for Best New Play) and 'Make Believe'.

Alyx has previously directed 'Make Believe', 'The Transit of Venus' and last year's family-friendly show 'Billy', which was also voted a festival favourite by audiences.

After working as an actor in children's theatre for several years this is Luke's first transition to writing for a young audience.

He said: "I wondered what a world would be like where rhyming was illegal, and the only way to explore this was to have a character who suddenly begins to rhyme all the time.

"Working as an actor and touring all over Europe, I have seen a wealth of productions and the best speak both to children and adults on different levels.

"While writing the play I discovered that the forbidden rhyme is wonderfully fun to play around with but is also an incredible metaphor in which to invest.

"I hope that this is a play that will speak to every generation of a family audience".

Director Alyx Tole said: "Luke first gave me the play to read four years ago and I can't wait to explore this darkly comic world.

"He has risen brilliantly to the challenge he set himself of writing in verse."

To find out more about the festival and buy tickets visit