The first live event since March will take place at HOME Manchester’s theatre when poetry and spoken word collective Young Identity launch their new book.

HOME’s Resident Artists Young Identity will be launching their new book, Working From HOME, with an evening of emceeing, poetry and performance as they showcase their creative responses to work performed at HOME across all three of HOME’s artforms – theatre, film and visual arts.

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Young Identity have a long history of delivering dynamic poetry and spoken word workshops and performances for young people at HOME, Contact and at events across Manchester and across the globe.  They have performed across the UK and internationally alongside the likes of Lemn Sissay, Saul Williams, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Kae Tempest.  The one-off special event in support of the book highlights the work they have produced over the first five years of HOME Manchester.

HOME last presented work in March before the venue was forced to close due to COVID-19, and reopened on 4 September after 168 days of closure, with its five cinemas, bar and restaurant the first to come back. During this closure period, HOME has continued to work online, presenting new artist commissions in theatre and visual art, including a digital festival featuring brand new work from six Young Identity members, part of the critically acclaimed Homemakers series.

HOME’s 500-seat Theatre 1 has been reduced to a capacity of just 120 to allow space for social distancing.

Dave Moutrey, HOME’s Director and CEO, said: “Much has changed since we closed in March, but we must do all we can to bridge the potential growth in social inequality as a result to this pandemic. This is why, despite limited capacity due to social distancing, we will make every ticket available for no more than £10. In addition, we will give equal weight to delivering work online, to ensure that audiences who cannot return just yet can still engage with new, relevant work.”

700 seats are currently being held off sale to allow for social distancing, and so the arts centre has also launched a new campaign, Empty Seats, to highlight the £130-per-week cost of each unfilled seat and the effect that the ongoing coronavirus pandemic is having on arts venues.

Roisin Joyce, HOME’s Director of Development, said: “We’re so excited to be reopening our building to the public – but the arts are still facing one of the most pressing challenges we have ever known. Reopening our doors comes with a huge financial risk, caused by the fact we’ve had to take 700 of our theatre and cinema seats off sale to enable us to socially distance our audiences.

“We’re launching this campaign with the message that an empty seat is just that – it can’t perform any other function for us, be that pulling a pint in our bar, selling a ticket at box office or assisting our technicians with their lighting rig. An empty seat is worth up to £130 per week – and so we are asking the public to step up to the challenge of helping us make up that shortfall until we’re back to full capacity.”

Young Identity’s Working From Home comes to HOME Manchester on 13 October 2020.