HOME Manchester has announced the launch of a brand-new temporary outdoor venue on First Street – Homeground.

Homeground will feature live entertainment across two stages, with a 400-seat socially distanced outdoor theatre and second stage featuring free live performances.

As part of the programme of events to run at Homeground, HOME will stage productions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Alice in Wonderland.

The temporary outdoor arts space will be located on an 80,000 square foot future development site on First Street, next to HOME Manchester.  The venue is set to open on 28 May, running throughout the summer and hosting works by partners including Frog & Bucket, Contact and Trans Creative as well as music, cabaret and comedy.

The opening of Homeground will also create 450 new employment opportunities for freelance artists and creative practitioners.

Speaking about the concept, Dave Moutrey, HOME’s Director and CEO said, “As we start to emerge from the strangest year many of us have ever experienced, arts and culture play a vital role in the recovery of the country. We all want to bring a sense of hope and joy back to our communities, and to provide more opportunities for an artistic freelance sector decimated by the pandemic. And we want accessibility for all to be at the heart of this project, which is why there is a low-cost or free programme, as well as free performances for schools. People in our city, especially young people, have been deprived of live theatre for the past year – we want this to be a celebration of Manchester’s creativity and resilience.

“I’m delighted to announce Homeground, which will be a safe and enjoyable space for the people of Manchester to have fun, reconnect and celebrate the city’s artistic talent in all its forms.”

What is taking place at Homeground?

A Midsummer Night’s Dream will run from 3 June until 26 June with tickets priced from £10 (adults) and £5 (children).  The reworked version of SHakespeare’s classic story of young lovers and warring fairies features a unique and irreverent twist, featuring original music from members of The London Snorkeling Team.  The production marks the third collaboration between Filter and Sean Holmes following the previous success of Three Sisters and Twelfth Night.  Tickets go on sale on Tuesday 20 April.

Alice In Worderland will run from 15 July until 7 August, with an up-to-date take on the family favourite featuring new and contemporary Manchester songs.  The production has been written by Stockroom and directed by Lekan Lewal.

Alongside the main performance programme, there will be a free stage in the food and drink terrace. The Manchester Stage will have a different curator from the city every week, including Manchester Folk Festival, Contact, and DJ slots curated by DJ Paulette.

There will also be food and drink from stallholders including Black Market Espresso, Brazilico pizza, Wolf to the Door cocktails and Tibetan Kitchen.

Further shows are set to be announced.

Homeground site ahead of construction – image courtesy Drew Forsyth.jpg