Home has announced its spring and summer season of theatre and dance with world premieres, new productions, major revivals, international collaborations and even performances at secret locations across the city of Manchester.
So what’s on at Home?
There’s so much going on – dance, theatre, festivals. Here are some of the highlights …
Festivals at Home:
¡Viva! Spanish & Latin American Festival returns for 2017 (Friday 31 March-Monday 17 April), featuring two UK premieres from two of Spain’s most exciting companies, One-Hit Wonders by Sol Picó, the winner of the prestigious Spanish National Dance Award 2016, presenting some iconic pieces from her 23 year career; and Agrupación Señor Serrano’s Birdie, the hit show of the international festival circuit, an inventive multimedia performance using Hitchcock’s The Birds to explore the politics of global migration using absurd humour and sharp social criticism; Emma Frankland returns in collaboration with Juan Carlos Otero, Keir Cooper & Lola Rueda with the world premiere of Republica, a fusion of anarchic theatre and dance, in which a flamenco dancer, a guitarist and a stripper will aim to reclaim the forgotten history of events leading to the Spanish Civil War.
SICK! Festival 2017 (Wednesday 8 – Saturday 25 March), hosted by Home, promises to be the antidote to the physical, mental and social challenges of life and death. At the forefront of the arts and health agenda, the festival brings together an outstanding international arts programme with perspectives from academic research, clinical practitioners, public health professionals, charities and most importantly, those with lived experience of the issues under discussion.
The Flare International Festival of New Theatre (FLARE17), running Thursday 4 until Saturday 8 July, sets out to find some of the most exciting new makers of experimental theatre working internationally, and brings them together to perform in Manchester.
Across 28 venues countrywide (including Home, the Lowry and Bolton’s Octogon Theatre), Greater Manchester’s (and many of the country’s other) youth theatres, schools and colleges perform in the National Theatre’s Connections festival, a celebration of young people, theatre-making and the importance of access to the arts. Each year the National Theatre commissions ten new plays for young people to perform, bringing together some of the most exciting writers with the theatre-makers of tomorrow. Wednesday 26 – Saturday 29 April
Dance at Home:
Olivier award-winning company Boy Blue Entertainment make their debut at Homewith a brand new hip hop dance triple bill Blak Whyte Gray, choreographed by Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy (Romeo & Juliet, Home), making its Northern premiere following performances at Sadlers Wells. These three new works explore a world in flux and in the mood for change. Thursday 9 until Saturday 11 February.
MK Ultra (Wednesday 3 and Thursday 4 May) sees Rosie Kay return to Home following her productino of 5 Soldiers in the venues opening season. A high energy, supercharged mash-up of thrilling dance, music and imagery, inspired by the bizarre realm of pop culture mind control conspiracies, MK Ultra is the latest production from one of the UK’s leading female choreographers, whose works are renowned for their athletic movement, rigorous research and intelligent theatricality. Rosie Kay Dance Company won Best Independent Dance Company in the UK Critics’ Circle National Dance Awards 2016.
The world premiere of Paul Auster’s City of Glass (Saturday 4 until Saturday 1 March), presented by Tony Award-winning 59 Productions, Home and Lyric Hammersmith in what promises to be a dazzlingly original and visually breath-taking stage adaptation. The production is directed by 59 Productions’ Leo Warner and adapted by Olivier Award-nominated playwright Duncan Macmillan from the first novel of The New York Trilogy. The production will be accompanied by an Auster-inspired film season, with titles chosen by the novelist. Paul Auster will also be at the venue for a book reading and signing on Friday 10 March
Home presents the first UK revival of the award-winning Rose by Martin Sherman (Thursday 2 May until Saturday 10 June). Academy Award nominee Dame Janet Suzman will return to the stage for the first time in seven years as the eponymous Rose in this one-character theatre production. Rose is directed by Richard Beecham, whose recent production of Arthur Miller’s epic Playing for Time at the Sheffield Crucible garnered rave reviews.
A new production of Anton Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya will be directed by Home’s artistic director Walter Meierjohann as part of a building-wide season focusing on Russia (Friday 3 until Saturday 18 November).
Home will host Operation Black Antler (Wednesday 7 until Saturday 17 June) – a site-specific and experimental theatre piece for nine people at a time by four-times BAFTA nominated artists’ group Blast Theory and critically-acclaimed theatre company Hydrocracker, inviting audiences to enter the murky world of surveillance and question the morality of state-sanctioned spying. By assuming the role of an undercover officer, Operation Black Antler encourages us to consider what is and isn’t acceptable in the name of security, across secret locations in Manchester.
What’s else is on at Home?
Rufus Norris, Director of the National Theatre, collaborates with Carol Ann Duffy, Poet Laureate, to create and direct My Country (Tuesday 18 – Saturday 22 April); a work in progress, which gave people across the UK a voice to share their views of the country and town they live in, their lives, their future and the EU referendum. press night Tue 18 Apr).
Gecko return with The Wedding (Tuesday 12-Saturday 16 September), created by Amit Lahav, Artistic Director of Gecko, and co-commissioned with HOME. An extraordinary ensemble guides audiences through the struggle between love and anger, creation and destruction, community and isolation.
Multi award-winning duo Sh!t Theatre follow up their smash-hit show Women’s Hour with their Fringe First Award-winning and Total Theatre award-nominated Letters to Windsor House (Wednesday 19-Friday 21 April). With songs, politics, dodgy landlords and detective work, this national housing crisis gets deeply personal in a hilarious and heart-breaking show for Generation Rent.
Presented by THISISPOPBABY & Soho Theatre, the Queen of Ireland, Panti Bliss, invites you into her gender-discombobulating, stiletto-shaped world, exposing the stories behind the make-up – from performance giant to accidental activist. High Heels in Low Places (Tuesday 25 April) traces her journey from small-town boy kicking against traditions; to towering plastique woman in false lashes making history.
Heralded as one of the most exciting young theatre companies making work today. Breach Theatre will present Fringe First-Award winning Tank, exploring the difficulties of bridging cultural divides, the politics behind the stories we tell, and what happens when a dolphin is injected with LSD. Thursday 4 – Saturday 6 May.
Nominated for Best Show by an Emerging Artist at Total Theatre Awards 2015, Soho Theatre present Jack Rooke’s Good Grief (Wednesday 17 – Friday 19 May), a critically acclaimed debut blending comedy, storytelling and film to explore how we treat the bereaved and the state of welfare for grieving families.
Multi award-winner Kieran Hurley weaves a picture of a familiar city at its moment of destruction in critically acclaimed Heads Up (Thursday 18-Saturday 20 May), the 2016 The Scotsman Fringe First-Award winner, asking what would we do if we found ourselves at the end of our world as we know it.
Following a successful 2016, the Manchester Theatre Awards will return to Home on Friday 17 March 2017 for another celebration of local theatre. Hosted by Justin Moorhouse, the nominees will be announced in the coming months.
HOME – image courtesy Machteld Schoep