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While we’re sad to say farewell to Ceridwen Short who has worked in our Marketing team for the last 4 years, congratulations are also in order. Ceri is joining the marketing team at the Science and Industry Museum and we cannot wait to see what she gets up to!

Having been with us through thick and thin, Ceri looks back her favourite Contact shows before she embarks on her next adventure and it certainly takes us down a tearful (happy tears of course) memory lane.

“Theatre and performance have always been a big part of my life. Since joining the team at Contact nearly 4 years ago I have loved discovering exciting new artists and the variety of different styles and type of events here.

I have loads of fond memories so it was really difficult to choose just a few highlights, but here are my top 6 Contact shows from my time here (in no particular order).”

Stuart Bowden: She Was Probably Not A Robot – May 2016

Having only started as a member of the Sales Team in March 2016,  this must have been one of the first things I saw at Contact and I absolutely loved it. This one-man show by Australian theatre-maker Stuart Bowden, was part of Flying Solo Festival – Contact’s celebration of solo performance. It was absolutely hilarious, with a touch of melancholy and told a bizarre love story in a post-apocalyptic world.

Stuart was also a really nice guy and really fun to have in the building, if this guy doesn’t make you laugh then I don’t know what will. Hear more from him here.

Peaches Christ & Jinkx Monsoon: Return to Grey Gardens – Oct 2016

I love watching RuPaul’s Drag Race so I was so excited to invite a group of mates up to Manchester to see Jinkx Monsoon perform live in this drag parody of Grey Gardens. We made a day of it, watching the original Grey Gardens documentary in the afternoon and then getting dressed up and heading out to Contact to enjoy the show together in the evening.

Luckily this turned out to be the first of many times that Jinkx performed at Contact and in Manchester and has become a bit of a tradition that me and my friends enjoy together whenever they are back in town.

We’re looking forward to seeing Jinkx back in Manchester again soon when they return with BenDeLaCreme this December for All I Want For Christmas Is Attention.

Prime Cut Productions: Scorch – May 2017

This show was part of Sexuality Summer School in 2017 and told the story of first love told through the eyes of a gender-curious teen.

Quite a few of my top picks are solo performances. I think when one person can captivate an audience and keep your attention for a whole hour that’s something really special.

Scorch dealt with situations that many people won’t be able to relate to, but did it with sensitivity and empathy that brought the audience into the story, regardless of their own experiences. I could have watched Amy McAllister all day, the physicality of the performance was captivating and Amy moved elegantly between different emotions and characters.

Mawaan Rizwan: Twerk in Progress – Dec 2017

I love stand-up and Mawaan Rizwan is now one of my favourite comedians. I first saw him perform an artist’s provocation as part of Power Through Diversity and then again as part of the Queer Comedy line up so I was thrilled when he returned to Contact with his solo show, Twerk in Progress.

He brings warmth and energy to the stage and his quirky, innocent style is hilarious and catches you by surprise. He’s a very physical performer and it’s an absolute joy to watch Mawaan turn something every day like a mango or a baby wipe into something hilarious, and then suddenly surprise you with a clever twist or serious undertone.

I have seen Mawaan perform several times since this show and always make sure I have a ticket when I see he’s in town.

Paul O’Donnell: We’ve Got Each Other –  2017

This one is THEE show that I come back to if anybody ever asked me which show I would watch again, this one is a big favourite. If I see Paul O’Donnell is touring near any of my friends home towns I would definitely urge them to go.

We’ve Got Each Other is so joyful and I’ve never seen anything like it. The concept sounds simple at first, Paul has written a Juke Box musical using the songs of Bon Jovi, well, just that one song… but without the budget to produce the show, Paul takes us through every moment, every dramatic light change and every chasse. This performance is hilarious and each moment is perfectly timed. With little more than a vivid imagination and a clipboard, Paul managed to create a whole spectacle that has the audience up on their feet and joining in by the end.

Fuel Theatre: Barber Shop Chronicles – Mar 2019

This was such a brilliant show and a great experience. I was met with amazing energy from the moment I entered the Royal Exchange Theatre as African beats and a soundtrack inspired by the show was playing around the building.

The energy continued throughout the hilarious and heartwarming performance as we met characters in Barber Shops in Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos, Accra and London. The Royal Exchange was a stunning venue to include in our IN THE CITY tour of Manchester.

And finally…

The Forest of Forgotten Discos! (Dec 2018) gets an honourable mention as it is an absolute festive treat for all ages and was a joy to work on.

Thank you for joining me on my trip down memory lane. If you want to share any of your own favourite Contact memories, tweet the team at @contactmcr.