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In 2020-21 Contact are launching new seed commissions. These offer £1500 to artists who are alumni of Contact programmes, to test and develop ideas for new pieces of work. We are thrilled to choose Adam Ali and Miray Sidhom as two of our 2020-21 seed commissioned artists.

We will be working closely with Adam and Miray, (both former members of Contact Young Company) through their first research and development process, linking them with artistic mentors and professionals (such as academics and community members), and helping to shape their themes. We were blown away by Adam’s and Miray’s proposals, and the political and social themes being explored in ways very personal to them.

Adam Ali: Arrival

Arrival (working title) is Adam’s debut solo show exploring the complex issues surrounding being Muslim and queer.

Adam Ali is a British Libyan actor. Growing up in North Manchester, he found himself involved in The Television Workshop Salford where he discovered performance arts which led him onto Royal Exchange’s Young Company and Contact Young Company. He currently plays a lead character on Apple TV’s new show Little America. Executively produced by Kumail Nanjiani, Little America is an anthology of funny, romantic, heartfelt, inspiring, and surprising stories about the lives of immigrants in the United States. This year will see the international release of EUROPA, a new Italian American feature directed by Haider Rashid. The film follows the harrowing story of Kamal, a Syrian teenager played by Adam as he escapes Migrant Hunters in the border between Turkey and Bulgaria.

Adam was also a valued member of Contact Young Curators, who worked with Manchester International Festival and Japanese Art Collective Chim↑Pom on MIF and Contact Co-Production A Drunk Pandemic.

Arist Miray Sidhom stands in front of shelves of bread, holding a large gold loaf

Miray Sidhom: BREAD

Miray Sidhom is an emerging theatre practitioner, combining elements of film, soundscapes, spoken-word poetry and movement to create experimental and thought-provoking performances. Miray studied Contemporary Theatre and Performance at MMU; since graduating, she has been part of Contact Young Company, collaborating with other artists to create three shows, and going on to be the Assistant Artist for CYC’s Baby Fever. Independently, Miray created If I Knew it was Harmless I would’ve Killed it Myself an original, experimental solo production performed at Manchester Fringe Festival 2017.

BREAD (working title) is Miray’s new solo show. The show will take the universal concept of bread and deconstruct it to unravel its historical significance, its cultural implications, and its role in society through a multi-modal performance. The piece will explore bread as the beginning of agriculture, as a religious symbol, a tool of protest and a weapon of war. Bread in language, bread in the home, in the sacred and profane. The things that make bread and the things bread makes. The way bread breaks. The ritual of baking and sharing of bread.