The word 'Ahead' in big letters, with an industrial infrastructure in sepia in the background.

About Works Ahead 2023


Our annual sampler evening of new performance returns to Contact with a trio of new works-in-development from artists Christian Asare, Jade Williams, Kellie Colbert — searching for identity on the tightrope of our histories, amidst the isolation of our immediate pasts and within the armour of our presents.

Works Ahead is a project developed out of the old Method Lab & SeedFund schemes which hÅb ran with greenroom until 2011. Since 2012 it has offered over thirty-five small, supported, work-in-development commissions for artists selected from the previous year’s Emergency platform and/or other events. Support includes mentoring and a public showing of the next stage of the work, in partnership with Contact.

Access and Content Warnings


If you have any access needs you want to discuss with us, please call the box office Tuesday to Friday between 12pm – 10pm on 0161 274 0600.

Alternatively, you can email the box office on, or get in touch via direct message on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram (@contactmcr on all three platforms).

Learn more about access at Contact here.

Content Warnings

Works include complex themes that may disturb, specifics follow.

Jade Williams — references slavery.
Kellie Colbert — includes optional audience interaction; references anxiety, depression, online trolling, trichotillomania.

For more information, please head here.


Christian Asare · DUAL

Colour is much like music — every hue a note on scale, every tone a pitch that carries…

Complimentary and juxtaposed — they yet prevail…

Explores the fluid multiplicity of Black identity through an interdisciplinary diasporic lens — combining visual art, poetry, and Afro-contemporary choreography.

Christian is a Black British interdisciplinary artist with Ghanaian ancestry and heritage. With a background in choreography and contemporary dance, his specialisation in Afro-contemporary performance adds a unique flair to his work. Moreover, he is an independent fine artist who creates oil paintings with a particular emphasis on elevating Afrocentric imagery, portraiture, abstraction, and Afrofuturism.

Jade Williams · In Search of Pablo

"Black, brilliant, and Manc" — born in 1810, Pablo Fanque was the first Black circus owner in Britain. Come & delight in tales of Pablo’s Fantastic Fair as I channel his story to explore my own journey to being Black, brilliant, and Manc.

An exploration of belonging and Black identity in the diaspora.

Jade is a Black, Queer, multi-disciplinary artist and experienced teacher from Manchester working in dance, poetry, writing, performance, and creative facilitation. She has worked closely with Community Arts North West, Curious Minds, and DIY Theatre on projects for young people in Greater Manchester.

Kellie Colbert · Dedicated To The One I Love

And tell all the stars above. This is dedicated to the one I love.
(Love can never be exactly like we want it to be.)

An exploration of love, betrayal, and care.

Kellie is a Greater Manchester-based performance maker. She would describe herself as an autobiographical artist, who creates work that is honest, relatable, and at times self-critical. Kellie uses spoken word and symbolism to explore memories, often focusing on themes of mental health and feminism. She aims to create performance that is both self-exposing and empathetic.


Works Ahead 2023 commissioned by hÅb + Contact; produced by hÅb.

Project Mentor: Peader Kirk · Thanks to Keisha Thompson & Tania Camara. · #WorksAhead

Dates & times