With the ¡Viva! 2017 Festival now in full swing at home, we take a look as some of the theatre shows coming up:
Thursday 6 and Friday 7 April – UK Premiere
Presented by Agrupación Señor Serrano
Birdie is a multimedia performance with live video, objects, Hitchcock’s The Birds revisited, scale models, 2000 mini animals, wars, smugglers, a massive migration and three performers handling this messy world with wit, criticism and commitment with humankind. Founded in Barcelona, Agrupación Señor Serrano is a theatre company that creates original productions based on stories drawn from contemporary times. They won the Silver Lion 2015 from the Venice Biennale.
Thursday 6 – Saturday 8 April
Presented by HOME
As part of ¡Viva! 2017, Home explores two scripts from Barcelona playwright Josep Maria Miró Coromina, presented as scratch performances on Home’s main stage with actors from the Greater Manchester area.
Speaking of the Barcelona Now presentation, Home’s Artistic Director: Theatre Walter Meiejohann commented, “After our very successful stripped back production of Chamaco last year which highlighted the cruel and poetic reality of Havana, we are delighted to be presenting two plays by one of the most exciting Barcelona playwrights of his generation, Josep Maria Miró Coromina. Smoke and Archimedes’ Principle will be performed script-in-hand by eight Manchester-based actors and we are delighted that Josep will be present for the performances and to take part a discussion about the Barcelona theatre scene.”
Scratch Performance: Smoke
Thursday 6 April (7pm) and Saturday 8 April (7pm)
Presented by HOME, directed by Walter Meierjohann
Two couples meet in the hotel of a developing country, where they are confined for three days due to an outbreak of violence in the area, a situation that has necessitated an escalation of security measures and the temporary closure of the international airport. The older couple, a former diplomat and his wife, has been living comfortably in the area for years. The young couple is there to adopt a baby girl. The encounter exposes the delicate balance of their existence and leads them into a spiral of lies and betrayals. As the violence escalates outside and both couples find themselves trapped with no escape, the tension builds in Catalan writer Maria Miró Coromina’s claustrophobic political thriller.
Smoke features David Fleeshman, who starred in, amongst many others, two Library Theatre Company productions, Hard Times and Glengarry Glen Ross, and also in Chamaco in ¡VIVA! last year, and Meriel Scholfied, who appeared in a number of LTC productions over the years, including If I Were You and The Seagull, at The Lowry, as one of the couples.
Scratch Performance: The Archimedes Principle
Friday 7 April (7pm) and Saturday 8 April (9pm)
Presented by HOME, directed by Samuel Ward
How safe are our children in the care of a stranger? How much do we know about the people we work with? How far would we go to protect ourselves? In a town haunted by an incident at the nearby Scouts centre, regular swimming lessons come to a halt when an instructor is accused of inappropriately touching a child during a lesson and the dangers of social media creep to the surface. When history appears to repeat itself, what can we do but expect the worst?
Archimedes’ Principle (2011) takes place over the course of one afternoon. A young swimming coach is accused of inappropriately touching one of the children. What seems at first an innocent mistake slowly entangles the audience in an interrogation of action and word, asking us to consider what happens when what we do doesn’t match what people see.
Samuel Ward was the Assistant Director on HOME’s recent well-received production of Ghosts, and is currently on the second year of a Theatre Directing (MFA) course at Birkbeck, University of London. Archimedes’ Principle features Chris Jack, who appeared in Home’s opening production The Funfair; Kelly Hotten, who played Resa in the Christmas 2015 production of Inkheart and recently appeared in both The Nightwatch and A Doll’s House at the Royal Exchange; Tachia Newall, who appeared in the LTC’s site-specific production of HOME patron Jackie Kay’s Manchester Lines at Number One First Street and Arabian Nights at The Lowry; and Manchester Metropolitan University graduate Ali Gadema, recently seen on our stage in MMU’s double-bill of two Lorca plays, Doña Rosita the Spinster and Blood Wedding.
On Sat 8 Apr, Josep Maria Miró Coromina will be in conversation with Walter Meierjohann at 15:00, tickets £3. Book tickets for both shows and see the ‘In Conversation’ event for free.
In addition to the theatre shows and excellent selection of films showing during Viva, Home will also host a contemporary visual art group exhibition, La Movida, from 14 April until 17 July.
Curated by Sarah Perks, with new commissions by Luis López Carassco, Clara Casian and La JohnJoseph, the exhibition takes the artistic and socio-cultural movement La Movida (literally ‘the scene’) of post-Franco Spain as its thematic heart, focusing on the opening of the debate of politics and sexuality.
The exhibition sets new commissions reacting to the movement alongside existing international works that explore major conceits of La Movida less directly including freedom & excess, civil rights & counterculture, hedonism and transgression. Forty years since the transition to democracy, the exhibition and its related films, performance and literature present a re-imagining of a movement with a strong contemporary artistic and socio-political resonance today.