Contact today announced the second part of its radical, diverse and entertaining programme taking place across Manchester as work on its Oxford Road building redevelopment begins. In the City Part Two showcases the best of Contact: its produced work, partner artists and the award-winning Contact Young Company. The season has been programmed in conjunction with Re:Con, Contact’s team of young programmers and producers.
The season, which runs from August to December 2018 begins with a family circus double bill, Switch and Tipping Point at Upper Campfield Market from 15 – 19 August. Circus company Ockham’s Razor will work with Contact and young people from north Manchester to develop Switch, a brand new performance inspired by aerial circus, breakdance, martial arts and Shaolin stick fighting. Ockham’s Razor’s award-winning Tipping Point sees breath-taking aerial acrobatics as five performers use poles to swing, climb and astound high above the audience.
Having concentrated on female-led stories this spring, Contact Young Company turns the tables and explores what it means to be male in the 21st Century with Oh Man, a new devised production taking place from 30 August – 02 September at a secret Manchester location. The Company will work with director Hetain Patel using interviews from real boys and men from across generations, weaving the stories together with everyday movement and striking visuals to create a familiar and provocative performance.
Young Identity and Contact will join forces at Band on the Wall for One Mic Stand on 27 September. Young Identity is a group of Manchester’s finest young spoken word performers and has worked in partnership with Contact for the past 10 years. One Mic Stand is a boisterous night of poetry and music featuring extraordinary upcoming talent.
Following an impressive run of 5-star reviews during its run in Sheffield, Contact is thrilled to be hosting Rent Party from 10 – 13 October at The Klondyke in Levenshulme. Presented by Contact, Darren Pritchard Dance and Black Gold Arts Festival, dancers, singers and musicians will put on a party like no other, which explores what it means to be young, gifted, black, poor and gay!
From 16 – 27 October, Contact will be taking over STUN Studio at Z-Arts for two weeks of established and new commissions. Keisha Thompson’s critically-acclaimed Man on the Moon begins the fortnight from 16 – 20 October. Using poetry, looped sounds and storytelling, Man on the Moon tells the story of Keisha’s relationship with her reclusive dad. This is followed by Elmi Ali’s new show Water Seeds not Stones from 20 – 23 October, inspired by the mobile street sellers of Manchester’s Market Street. Nima Séne asks what it means to be ‘beige’ and black through her TV show alter-ego in Beige B*tch, a Contact and Live Art UK Diverse Actions co-commission from 26 – 27 October.
Long established queer performance platform Mother’s Ruin takes to the stage at the Royal Exchange Theatre on 20 October for another edition of Mother’s Bloomers, a space for local alternative artists to present adventurous and bold short new works. This is followed on 16 – 17 November by a preview of The Year my Vagina Tried to Kill Me from stand-up comedian Amy Vreeke. Amy was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2016 and takes a frank and funny look at this life-altering disease.
Contact concludes the year at Hope Mill Theatre with The Forest of Forgotten Discos! from 11 – 23 December. Written by Jackie Hagan, this new and exciting show is aimed at children aged 5 upwards and features creative BSL integration and relaxed performances. The show guarantees to be fun for everyone, no matter what their family looks like.
Matt Fenton, Artistic Director at Contact said:
“We’re so pleased to be working with inspiring artists and companies with a long history with Contact, a who’s who of the most exciting and diverse artists working in the UK right now: Hetain Patel, Ockham’s Razor, Darren Pritchard, Cheryl Martin, Sonia Hughes, Keisha Thompson, Elmi Ali and Jackie Hagan. While we present our incredible performances and projects at unexpected locations across Greater Manchester, work to transform Contact’s building on Oxford Road is well under way.”
Nasima Begum, Re:Con young programmer said:
“This season sums Contact up perfectly – it is entertaining, inspiring and accessible for everyone. We’re excited to be bringing Contact to even more interesting and unusual locations and working with such amazing partners to spread the Contact message to Greater Manchester and beyond!”