NEW DAWN FADES: The Stage Play & Graphic Novel

"Tremendous ... Gritty ... Polished" (Nigel Carr 'Louder Than War')


 “New Dawn Fades – A Play About Joy Division and Manchester” chronicles the rise and fall of the ground-breaking post-punk band, and the 1970s Manchester music scene  

  This is the story of four ordinary lads who, inspired by the punk revolution of the 1970s, came together to form one of the most influential bands of all time, Joy Division.  This unique production places the band within the context of Manchester’s history as a city with a vibrant reputation, setting the scene for a completely new and fascinating look at the Joy Division story.    

Anthony H Wilson guides the audience through the heart and soul of both the band and the city, introducing an array of historical figures, including Roman General Julius Agricola, Dr John Dee, Frederich Engels, and the Buzzcocks!  The result is a spellbinding journey of love, passion, progress, grief, and, of course, music. Drawing inspiration from the enigmatic lyrics of Ian Curtis, with a soundtrack featuring live performances of his most beloved tracks.  

A smash hit when it debuted at the Greater Manchester Fringe Festival in July 2013, New Dawn Fades was subsequently staged at the Macclesfield WinterFest in Ian Curtis’ home town, where it played to capacity audiences and standing ovations. Tours in 2015, 2016, and 2018 followed, with more acclaimed performances in Chester, Leeds, Bury, Liverpool, Bury St Edmonds, and London.  

European dates are in the pipeline.

Photo: Shay Rowan

Ian Curtis (Joseph Walsh), Bernard Sumner (Nathaniel McCartney), Peter Hook (Bill Bradshaw), and Steven Morris (Matthew Melbourne).

The Dancehouse, Manchester. April 2018.

Photo: Shay Rowan.

Tony Wilson (Al Donohoe), Bernard Sumner (Nathaniel McCartney), and Peter Hook (Bill Bradshaw)

Tony Wilson (Al Donohoe), Bernard Sumner (Nathaniel McCartney), and Peter Hook (Bill Bradshaw).

The Dancehouse, Manchester. April 2018.

Photo: Shay Rowan

New Dawn Fades - 2018 stage production

BBC 6 Music, Joy Division, Mary Ann Hobbs

Mary Ann Hobbs: BBC Radio 6 Music

*** Click on the photo to access the interview ***

Mary Anne is joined by writer, performer and artist Brian Gorman, the man behind the graphic novel and stage play on Joy Division titled 'New Dawn Fades'.

2015 Trailer


Video trailer for the 2015 touring  production.

Photographs by Shay Rowan and Elspeth Moore.

Theatre Reviews


Reviews for NEW DAWN FADES:

"This is an essential piece of popular culture and not to be missed."

Nigel Carr, Louder Than War

Read the full review here:

“… a spellbinding and brilliant play about one of the greatest bands of all time. I totally urge anyone left out there who believes in music to go and see it.”  

John Robb, Louder Than War, 

 “I was crying. It was very emotional at the end. It captured everything perfectly. I loved it; it had everything – the music and the emotion... there was such a buzz in the building.”  

Rowetta, Happy Mondays 

 “New Dawn Fades is more than a play about Joy Division; it’s about Manchester, friendship, love and heartbreak … it’s clear this is a piece full of energy.”  

Tracey Lowe, The Good Review 

It’s all very entertaining and works unexpectedly well, especially at capturing the spirit of the times...”  

Kevin Bourke, Manchester Evening News  

 “This is a very ambitious play and (the director) works wonders to achieve many complex scenes with style.”

  Dave Cunningham, The Public Reviews 


"A powerful and irresistible glimpse of an exciting time for the development of Manchester, Salford and alternative pop culture.”  

Matt Charlton, 

Let's just say, this is an experience you won't easily forget.”  

Mary O’Meara, Mudkiss Magazine 

The Graphic Novel

Published November 2018

NEW DAWN FADES costs £15 (Plus £2 UK P&P), and can be ordered by emailing me at

New Dawn Fades Graphic Novel Martin Hannett
Ian Curtis