MIF has invited Turner Prize-winning artist Douglas Gordon (Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno) and celebrated pianist Hélène Grimaud to create Neck of the Woods, a portrait of the wolf brought to life in a startling collision of visual art, music and theatre.
On the stage of HOME, Manchester’s new centre for international contemporary art, theatre, film and books, legendary actor Charlotte Rampling (The Night Porter, Broadchurch) will recite and perform the story of the wolf as never before.
Grimaud will curate and perform a series of works for piano, while Gordon will create the visual world. They have collaborated with Rampling and New York- based novelist and playwright Veronica Gonzalez Peña, weaving together stories, music, motifs, phrases and fragments to build this lyrical and beguiling work.
In a new partnership to support their ongoing creative development, the Sacred Sounds Women’s Choir, first formed for MIF13, will perform as part of the soundscape to the production.
Veronica Gonzalez Peña is author of the critically acclaimed novels Twin Time: or, how death befell me, and The Sad Passions, both published by semiotext(e). Her short stories have been widely published and anthologised. Gonzalez Peña is also founder of rockypoint press, a series of artist-writer collaborations, including prints, a reading series, and films. Her pamphlet So Far From God, a study of the Mexican drug war, was written for the semiotext(e) exhibition in the 2014 Whitney Biennial.
British conceptual artist Douglas Gordon has received countless accolades for his work including the Turner Prize, the Premio 2000 (La Biennale di Venezia), the Hugo Boss Prize (Guggenheim Museum), the Roswitha Haftmann Prize (Kunsthaus Zürich), and the Käthe-Kollwitz Prize (Akademie der Künste). Gordon has exhibited internationally, with major exhibitions including 24 Hour Psycho, Timeline at The Museum of Modern Art (New York) which also travelled to MALBA Colección Costantini (Buenos Aires), Pretty much every word written, spoken, heard, overheard from 1989… at the MART (Italy), Superhumanatural at the National Galleries of Scotland, Between Darkness and Light: Works 1989–2007 at Kunstmuseum Wolfsburg (Germany), and Blood, Sweat, Tears at DOX Centre for Contemporary Art (Prague) and Tate Britain. Gordon has also exhibited his work at the Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles), the Fundació Joan Miró (Barcelona), Museum für Moderne Kunst Frankfurt am Main, and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, as well as many other galleries worldwide. On screen, his work includes Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait, k.364 and Henry Rebel: Drawing and Burning.
Hélène Grimaud is one of the most celebrated pianists of her generation and has toured extensively with many of the world’s major orchestras and conductors. An exclusive Deutsche Grammophon artist since 2002, she has recorded a number of works of great acclaim with the label. These have been awarded numerous accolades, among them the Cannes Classical Recording of the Year, Choc du Monde de la musique, Diapason d’or, Grand Prix du disque, Record Academy Prize (Tokyo), Midem Classic Award and the Echo Award. Grimaud is also an ardent and committed chamber musician who performs frequently at the most prestigious festivals and cultural events with a wide range of musical collaborators. Between her debut in 1995 with the Berliner Philharmoniker under Claudio Abbado and her first performance with the New York Philharmonic under Kurt Masur in 1999, just two of many acclaimed musical milestones, Grimaud made a wholly different kind of debut; in upper New York State she established the Wolf Conservation Center. Her love for the endangered species was sparked by a chance encounter with a wolf in northern Florida which led to her determination to open an environmental education centre. She is also a member of the organisation Musicians for Human Rights. Her books include Variations Sauvages and Leçons Particulières.
Charlotte Rampling’s distinguished career spans fifty years. Her many honours and awards include an OBE, the Legion d’Honneur, Best Actress from the European Film Academy for Swimming Pool and most recently the Best Actress Silver Bear at the 2015 Berlin Film Festival for 45 Years. Rampling’s breakout role was in the film Georgy Girl in 1966. Her many films that followed include The Damned, Vanishing Point, Henry VIII and His Six Wives, The Night Porter, Farewell, My Lovely, The Verdict, Max, Mon Amour, On Ne Meurt Que Deux Fois, The Wings of the Dove and Under the Sand. More recently she has performed in The Statement, Immortel Ad Vitam, The Duchess, Never Let Me Go, The Eye of the Storm and Melancholia. On television she has appeared in ITV drama Broadchurch, HBO series Dexter and BBC’s Restless. Rampling made her theatre debut to great acclaim in 2003 in Petits Crimes Conjugaux at Paris’ Theatre Eduoard VII. Other stage credits include The False Servant (National Theatre), Strindberg’s The Dance of Death (Théâtre de la Madeleine, Paris) and The Night Dances (international tour).
Commissioned by Manchester International Festival, HOME, Bergen International Festival/KODE, FAENA ART and MIF Creative.
Produced by Manchester International Festival. Supported by the Foyle Foundation and MIF Creative Circle.
Full details of the festival visit:
MAXINE PEAKE TO STAR IN CARYL CHURCHILL’S THE SKRIKER DIRECTED BY SARAH FRANKCOM WITH MUSIC BY NICO MUHLY AND ANTONY
Manchester International Festival invites the remarkable team behind MIF13’s The Masque of Anarchy back to present The Skriker. This landmark revival of Caryl Churchill’s extraordinary collision of ancient fairy story and portrait of a fractured England will star Maxine Peake in the title role directed by Sarah Frankcom and will feature specially commissioned music by Nico Muhly and Antony.
…long before that, long before England was an idea, a country of snow and wolves where trees sang and birds talked and people knew we mattered…
In a broken world, two sisters meet an extraordinary creature. The Skriker is a shapeshifter; an old woman, a child, a death portent. She is a faerie come from the Underworld to pursue and entrap them, through time and space, through this world and her own.
One of the nation’s favourite actresses, RADA trained Maxine Peake has had a prolific run of top quality dramas in recent years; See No Evil: The Moors Murders, Red Riding, The Devil’s Whore, Criminal Justice, Little Dorrit, Henry IV, The Secret Diaries of Miss Anne Lister, BAFTA nominated dramas Silk, The Village, Room at the Top, Hancock & Joan, The Street and Shameless.
Maxine has enjoyed a range of colourful roles in film and has starred with many of our sought after home-grown talent. She starred in the feature Private Peaceful with acting heavyweights Frances de la Tour, the late Richard Griffiths and promising newcomer, Jack O’Connell; Run and Jump, a beautiful Irish independent film, intense British thriller Keeping Rosy and rock ‘n’ roll movie Svengali, playing opposite Martin Freeman and our very own Vicky McClure and Jonny Owen, have been movie releases in 2014 alone. Maxine was recently seen in the Academy Award winning film The Theory of Everything which also starred Eddie Redmayne, Felicity Jones, Emily Watson, Charlie Cox, Harry Lloyd and David Thewlis.
With a rich list of credits in front of the camera, Maxine’s career in theatre is as equally impressive. She has performed at some of the most prestigious theatres in the country including The Cherry Orchard, The Relapse and Luther (all National Theatre), The Deep Blue Sea and Hamlet (both West Yorkshire Playhouse), Mother Theresa is Dead and How To Hold Your Breath (Royal Court Theatre), The Children’s Hour (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester) and Miss Julie (Theatre Royal Haymarket and Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester). Maxine recently made headlines taking the title role in Hamlet at the Royal Exchange in a radical re-imagining of William Shakespeare’s play.
It was only a matter of time until she concentrated her talents on script writing. Starting with her first radio play Beryl: A Love Story on Two Wheels, which was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and nominated for a Sony Radio Award, it was obvious that her talents lay in writing stories as well as telling them. With a particular focus on writing female led and female fronted drama, Beryl was adapted into a stage play, penned again by Peake, and produced at the West Yorkshire Playhouse as part of the Tour de France Grand Départ. The production’s run was extended due to rave reviews and high demand for tickets. Her second play, Queens of the Coal Age, another hit for Radio 4, revisited the incredible story of Anne Scargill and the miner’s wives who attempted to save pits from closure by occupying a mine.
Two films will be coming to cinemas in spring 2015, starting with the release of Hamlet, which was filmed during the run at the Royal Exchange, and Carol Morley’s black comedy The Falling, also starring Game of Thrones star Maisie Williams. This brilliant and very distinctive feature is about an epidemic of fainting that grips a girls school in the 1960s. It was premiered at the London Film Festival with a flurry of 5 star reviews and was described as ‘entirely absorbing’ and ‘terrific film-making.’
Sarah Frankcom is the current Artistic Director of the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester. After working as a drama teacher in the East End, Sarah started working with new writers and in drama schools. She spent time at the National Theatre studio, Oval House, The Red Room, and taught at The Poor School. Originally joining the Royal Exchange as Literary Manager, her recent productions have included: Yen, Hamlet (with Maxine Peake), Simon Stephen’s Blindsided, That Day We Sang, Royal Exchange & MIF13 co-production The Masque of Anarchy (with Maxine Peake), Black Roses, Three Birds, Orpheus Descending, Miss Julie (a new version by David Eldridge), Beautiful Thing, A View From The Bridge, Winterlong (by Andrew Sheridan – Bruntwood Prize winner), Punk Rock (by Simon Stephens – MEN Award for Best Production), Blithe Spirit, Three Sisters, On The Shore of the Wild World (by Simon Stephens – Olivier Award for Best Play) and Kes. Her work has also been seen at the National Theatre, Bush Theatre, Lyric Hammersmith, Soho Theatre and the Crucible.
Caryl Churchill is one of Britain’s most formidable and influential playwrights who explores themes of feminism, power and sexual politics in her work. In 2010 Churchill was inducted into the American Theater Hall of Fame cementing her status as one of the world’s most influential playwrights. Cloud Nine was the first play of Churchill’s to receive wide-spread critical acclaim and subsequently won an Obie Award in 1982. Following this, Churchill wrote many hugely acclaimed plays including Top Girls, A Number, Serious Money, Drunk Enough to Say I Love You and Love and Information.
Nico Muhly is a composer of chamber music, orchestral music, sacred music, opera, ballet, and music for collaborators across a variety of fields. He has composed on commission from St. Paul’s Cathedral and Carnegie Hall, and has written choral music for the Tallis Scholars and the Hilliard Ensemble, songs for Anne Sofie von Otter and Iestyn Davies, an encore for violinist Hilary Hahn, and a viola concerto for Nadia Sirota. The Metropolitan Opera commissioned him to compose an opera based on Marnie, Winston Graham’s 1961 novel which was adapted into a film by Alfred Hitchcock in 1964.
Muhly has scored ballets for choreographer Benjamin Millepied and films including The Reader and Kill Your Darlings, in addition to arranging music by Antony & the Johnsons, Björk, Grizzly Bear, and the National. His debut CD Speak Volumes (2007) was the first of many collaborations with the artists of Reykjavik’s Bedroom Community label, and with singer/songwriter Thomas Bartlett (Doveman), he is half of the gamelan-inspired song project Peter Pears. He lives in New York City.
Antony is a Mercury Music prize-winning musician and visual artist, best known as the lead singer of the band Antony and the Johnsons. Antony and the Johnsons first appeared as a small orchestra in 1997, performing as part of William Basinki’s installation Life on Mars. Their debut album followed in 2000 but it was their second album I Am A Bird released in 2005 which brought international acclaim and won the band the Mercury Music prize. In addition to his work with Antony and the Johnsons, Antony was the composer and music curator for The Life and Death of Marina Abramović which was part of MIF11. His other collaborations include work with Bjork, Riccardo Tischi of Givenchy, filmmaker Charles Atlas, Lou Reed, Yoko Ono, Laurie Anderson and Hercules and Love Affair.
Commissioned and produced by Manchester International Festival and the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.
THE INVISIBLE DOT LTD PRESENTS…
THE INVISIBLE DOT LTD PRESENTS TOM BASDEN’S THE CROCODILE, ADAM BUXTON & FRIENDS AND THE INVISIBLE DOT CABARET FROM 3 – 18 JULY 2015 IN PAVILION THEATRE AT FESTIVAL SQUARE
Manchester International Festival invites industrious comedy innovators The Invisible Dot to curate a programme of intrepid and original works in Pavilion Theatre at Festival Square, which includes the world premiére of The Crocodile adapted by Tom Basden, Adam Buxton’s latest work and The Invisible Dot Cabaret.
The Invisible Dot Ltd: ‘The Invisible Dot Ltd has a long history of presenting work in dynamic festival environments so we are thrilled to present our three-part comedy programme, which is also the first comedy programme in Manchester International Festival’s history. The Invisible Dot’s programme is laced with firsts: The Crocodile is a brand-new fiercely funny play, bringing together a unique creative team in Tom Basden and Ned Bennett; and Adam Buxton will bring his latest never-performed-in-Manchester material. Manchester has a thriving comedy scene and we are thrilled to be bringing our original and intrepid programme to new audiences.’
Written by Tom Basden and directed by Ned Bennett, The Crocodile is based on the short story of the same name by Fyodor Dostoevsky. The Crocodile will play from 14 until 18 July.
Tom Basden: ‘The Crocodile is a daft and deft satire on art, animals and selling out, this is a show about ridiculous people demanding to be taken seriously, and what happens when you attack the system from within (the belly of a Crocodile).’
Tom Basden is a BAFTA-nominated British actor and comedy writer who is well-known for his work with the comedy sketch group Cowards and frequent collaborations with Tim Key. Tom’s writing credits include the BBC2 comedy thriller The Wrong Mans that starred James Corden, Channel 4’s Fresh Meat, Party (Arts Theatre) and Joseph K (Gate Theatre) which was longlisted for the Charles Wintour Award for Most Promising Playwright at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. In 2013, The Invisible Dot produced Tom’s play Holes at the Edinburgh Fringe, which later transferred to the Arcola. Tom’s acting credits include BBC farce W1A and ITV2 comedy series Plebs.
Ned Bennett is a theatre director who has recently achieved widespread critical acclaim for his work on Pomona (Orange Tree Theatre, Richmond) and Anna Jordan’s Bruntwood Prize Winning play Yen (Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester). In addition to this Ned has also directed Primetime (Royal Court Upstairs), Tracey Letts Superior Donuts (Southwark Playhouse), Philip Ridley’s Mercury Fur (Old Red Lion & Trafalgar Studios) and Alistair McDowall’s site specific Some Stories: Blue Rabbits.
Cult geek, award-winning radio host and tech guru Adam Buxton premieres his latest material and introduces his funniest friends. Adam Buxton & Friends will run from 3 until 5 July.
Adam Buxton: ‘No British city’s bester than wonderful Manchester.
According to my cousin, the music scene is buzzin’!
When I have the time to spare I love to take the train to there.
The people are intensely nice. But nothing really rhymes with nice.’
Adam Buxton is an English comedian and actor who first came to prominence with The Adam and Joe Show on Channel 4 and later on BBC Radio 6Music, which he presented alongside Joe Cornish. A regular on TV panel and comedy series, Adam has appeared on Have I Got News For You, Never Mind the Buzzcocks, The IT Crowd and Armando Iannucci’s Time Trumpet. In addition to his work on television, Adam’s film credits include Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz, Stardust and Son of Rambow.
The Invisible Dot Cabaret will feature a late night line-up from The Invisible Dot’s most celebrated jokers, including James Acaster, Tom Basden, Natasia Demetriou & Ellie White, Mae Martin, Nick Mohammed, Sheeps and Liam Williams. The Invisible Dot Cabaret will play on 9, 10, 11, 15, 16 and 17 July.
James Acaster began performing stand-up comedy in January 2008. In 2010 he supported Josie Long for the whole of her UK tour Be Honourable. In 2011 he supported Milton Jones for the whole of his UK tour The Lion Whisperer. James took his first full solo show Amongst Other Things to the Edinburgh festival in 2011, it went well. In 2012 he took his second solo show Prompt to the Edinburgh festival where it was nominated for Best Comedy Show at the Foster’s Comedy Awards. In 2013 he performed at the New Zealand International Comedy Festival where his show was nominated for Best International Show. In 2013 he took his third solo show Lawnmower to the Edinburgh festival where it was nominated for Best Comedy Show at the Foster’s Comedy Awards. He has decided that winning things is overrated. James has appeared on Nevermind the Buzzcocks, Russell Howards Good News (BBC Three), Dave’s One Night Stand (Dave), Live at the Comedy Store (Paramount) and Chris Addison’s Show and Tell (E4). He has his own Radio 4 series James Acaster’s Findings and regularly features on The Josh Widdicombe Show on XFM. He is from Kettering and can play the drums.
Natasia Demetriou is an accomplished comedy actor and writer. Her writing credits include Anna & Katy (C4), NewsJack (BBC R4) and Midnight Beast (BBC3). As a performer, she has appeared in Seann Walsh’s Edinburgh Spectacular (BBC3) and was in the third series of BBC3’s Live At The Electric as a series regular performing as her make up artist character Linda. Other credits include Kayvan Novacks’s Pilot Parent’s Evening for 2LE, Badults (BBC3 and various Channel 4 mini pilot Comedy Blaps. Natasia has a project in development Objective and will be performing her debut show at Edinburgh festival this year.
Ellie White is an extremely talented character comedian who will be playing the regular role of Rachel, Daniel Simonsen’s character Erik’s girlfriend, in the second series of BBC2’s House of Fools alongside creators Vic and Bob as well as Matt Berry and Morgana Robinson. Ellie has appeared on Tim Key’s Late Night Poetry Programme with Tim and Tom Basden as well as on Newsjack Series12. She also appeared in three episodes of Newsjack Series 11 in 2014 and is developing a project with Hat Trick. Ellie performed her brilliant debut solo show Humans at the Edinburgh Festival in 2014 with the Invisible Dot and PBH’s Free Fringe. She was chosen as picks of the festival by The Independent and Time Out amongst others and had great reviews and sell out audiences.
Mae Martin is a writer and stand-up comedian. Mae trained in improvisation and sketch comedy for four years at the Toronto outpost of the internationally acclaimed comedy institution, The Second City. Notable alumni of Second City in both Toronto and Chicago include Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Steve Carrell, Mike Myers, Dan Aykroyd, Catherine O’Hara, John Candy and Bill Murray. Performing comedy since she was aged 13, Mae received her first Canadian Comedy Award nomination at 15, and at 16 made her Canadian television debut on The Comedy Network’s Cream of Comedy. Since moving to the UK in 2011, she has established a fervent young following and was awarded Best international Performer at the Brighton Fringe and has been a finalist in The Hackney New Act of the Year Awards, The Musical Comedy Awards and the Amused Moose Laughter Awards. It was Mae’s appearance as the stand-up guest on Russell Howard’s Good News (BBC3) that first catapulted her into the consciousness of the UK’s online teen community. The clip now has half a million views on YouTube, and Mae has emerged as a bright new role model for nervous teens everywhere. In Mae we now have comedy’s most naturally charismatic young storyteller. She finds her punch lines in thoroughly unlikely places – combining wickedly astute social observation with nostalgic references to her pseudo-anguished past.
After supporting Nina Conti on her UK wide tour in early 2014, Mae remounted her Edinburgh fringe show Slumber Party at The Soho Theatre for two sold out nights which was recorded and released for iTunes the following Autumn and is Mae’s first commercial stand-up release. Fuelled by the quarter-life anxieties of London’s twenty-somethings, in Slumber Party Mae resurrects the awkward moments of her adolescence. Drawing razor-sharp comparisons between the hopes and aspirations she held in her teens with the social quandaries she copes with in her daily life, Mae paints herself as the innocent trier her audience all aim to be. This is a charm-offensive from a truly masterful anecdotist. Mae has enjoyed many live appearances on radio throughout 2014, such as performing stand-up for The Phil and Alice Show’s Lolz Lounge for BBC Radio 1 and again for their Live at the Edinburgh Festival feature, as well as Series 2 of live comedy night Sabotage for BBC Radio 4 Extra and again for the third series of Life: An Idiots Guide where Stephen K Amos and some of the comedy circuit’s best stand-ups attempt to unravel the knotty problems of modern life. Mae is the regular host of cult London hit Popcorn Comedy, currently residing at The Hackney Picturehouse. She has also toured with The New Wave, a compilation of the brightest, most exciting, dynamic and ground breaking comedy performers in the country, produced by The Invisible Dot – producers of highly inventive, often left-field comedy shows. Mae now curates her own monthly stand-up night, For Once in our Terrible Lives, in venues across London. Mae has written for series 10 of Newsjack on BBC Radio 4 Extra and for Endemol and Beyond’s new all-female sketch series Sketch My Life for YouTube. In 2013, Mae appeared on the second series of ITV2’s comedy panel show Fake Reaction and Channel 4’s 50 Funniest Moments of 2013. Mae now has her own YouTube channel with over 6,500 subscribers already and over 14,000 followers on Twitter.
Nick Mohammed is a talented writer-performer whose most recent live character comedy show Mr. Swallow – The Musical received phenomenal critical acclaim in Edinburgh 2014 and transferred to Soho Theatre. Nick is also an established actor, recent regular roles include Malcolm in Drifters for E4 and Mr Love in Hank Zipzer for CBBC he will be appearing in the second series of both shows late 2014/early 2015. Other guest credits include Cuckoo series 2, Siblings and Uncle all for BBC Three. Nick’s most recent writing credits include pilot Morning Has Broken which he co-wrote and co-starred in with Julia Davis for Channel 4. He also recently developed a multi-character vehicle One Small Leap with Adam Riches for Tiger Aspect. Nick is a successful radio broadcaster, following the success of his hit BBC Radio 4 debut Quarters he then went on to write and record Nick Mohammed In Bits and most recently completed recording the second series of his hit comedy series Detective Sergeant Nick Mohammed which aired Summer 2013.
Sheeps are a highly acclaimed sketch troupe consisting of Daran (‘Jonno’) Johnson, Alastair Roberts and Liam Williams. Sheeps have featured on Radio 4 as part of sketch series Sketchorama and Sabotage and can regularly be seen performing at The Invisible Dot. Sheeps have their own vehicle in development with Big Talk Productions and this year returned to Edinburgh with their fourth show, Wembley Previews, which won rave reviews.
Liam Williams is a stand up, comic writer and actor and one third of acclaimed sketch troupe Sheeps. He has made a series of Channel 4 mini pilots Blaps (featuring Alison Steadman, Charlotte Ritchie, and Duncan Preston) with Baby Cow and is subsequently writing a pilot for Channel 4 based on them entitled Sad Lad Stories. He has another sitcom pilot, Baby, in development with Big Talk Productions. For radio, Liam is writing a pilot for Radio 4, Stories From My Teenage Years, and is also part of a gang show pilot for Radio 4 called Ears on the Net which will air later in the year. Liam took his debut show to Edinburgh festival in 2013, which was a critical hit and earned him a Fosters Best Newcomer Nomination. He went on to perform runs at The Invisible Dot, Soho Theatre and a small nationwide tour of the show. This year he returned with his second hour, Capitalism, which received rave reviews and for which he was nominated for the Fosters Best Show Award. The show later transferred to the Invisible Dot – where it sold out – the Soho Theatre and now tours nationally. This Autumn Liam will be seen in comedy pilot, Martin, for ITV, made by Baby Cow. He is also currently writing a sketch show for BBC iPlayer and will be appearing in Comic Relief.
Commissioned by Manchester International Festival. Produced by Manchester International Festival and The Invisible Dot Ltd.
THE TALE OF MR TUMBLE
JUSTIN FLETCHER INVITES YOUNG AUDIENCES TO STEP INSIDE THE COLOURFUL WORLD OF ONE OF OUR MOST CHERISHED TV CHARACTERS IN THE TALE OF MR TUMBLE
Manchester International Festival has invited Justin Fletcher, known to millions through the CBeebies show Something Special, to bring The Tale of Mr Tumble, a very special new show to the glorious and intimate surroundings of Manchester’s Opera House.
This funny, engaging and visually exciting show will give children the chance to see Mr Tumble live and up close as he and his family share some of their fondest memories.
Audiences will find out how he became the joyful entertainer familiar to so many, following his journey from bouncing baby Tumble (with his bright red nose already in place), through his singing and dancing school years, right up to the present day.
‘MIF and Justin Fletcher have a shared interest in making really good work for young audiences. He’s a superstar in the world of children’s TV, but his work is clearly part of a long tradition, and there’s a line that stretches from Justin all the way through his teacher Jack Tripp and back to Buster Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and the greats of silent comedy. I hope that seeing Mr Tumble live and in the flesh in the historic setting of the Opera House will spark a life-long love of theatre in our youngest audiences.’ Alex Poots, CEO & Artistic Director, MIF
Mr Tumble will be joined by his friends and family including Grandpa Tumble and introducing Tootsie. Featuring songs new and old and a choir of Makaton signing stars, there will be plenty of opportunities for audience participation in this high energy event.
MIF Creative, the Festival’s creative learning programme, is working with primary schools across Manchester to find and develop our Makaton signing choirs. Over the whole run, 400 local children will appear onstage with pre-school hero Mr Tumble, sharing their Makaton skills with each other and our audiences. Makaton is the specialist communication language that Mr Tumble and Something Special have done so much to popularise.
Written by Will Brenton, The Tale of Mr Tumble will be a real opportunity to step inside the colourful world of one of our most cherished TV characters.
Commissioned by MIF Creative. Produced by Manchester International Festival.
Supported by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, The Austin and Hope Pilkington Trust and MIF Creative Circle. In association with CBeebies.
Starring Justin Fletcher
Director Will Brenton
Designer Hayley Grindle
WONDER.LAND, A NEW MUSICAL DIRECTED BY RUFUS NORRIS WITH MUSIC BY DAMON ALBARN AND BOOK AND LYRICS BY MOIRA BUFFINI
wonder.land is a new musical inspired by Lewis Carroll’s iconic Alice in Wonderland, with music by Damon Albarn and book and lyrics by Moira Buffini (Tamara Drewe, Handbagged). Directed by the National Theatre’s incoming Director Rufus Norris.
wonder.land is a Manchester International Festival/National Theatre co-production. Commissioned by Manchester International Festival, National Theatre and the Théâtre du Châtelet. Welcome to wonder.land, where you can be exactly who you want to be.
Aly, 12, loves this extraordinary virtual world. Bullied at school and unhappy at home, wonder.land lets her escape from her parents, from teachers, from herself.
Online, Aly becomes Alice: brave, beautiful and in control. But some of the people she meets – the weird Dum and Dee, the creepy Cheshire Cat, the terrifying Red Queen – seem strangely familiar.
As hard as Aly tries to keep them apart, real life and wonder.land begin to collide in ever more curious and dangerous ways.
wonder.land is designed by Rae Smith, with projections by 59 Productions and lighting by Paule Constable, the design team behind War Horse.
Damon Albarn and Rufus Norris return to MIF after their acclaimed opera Dr Dee (MIF11, ENO 2012). Following its premiere at Manchester International Festival 2015, wonder.land will visit the NT’s Olivier Theatre in November 2015 and the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris in 2016.
Moira Buffini: ‘’I have never written a musical before so I am in at the deep end – but with two wonderful collaborators in Damon and Rufus. It has been a real pleasure so far and to my surprise I have enjoyed writing the lyrics most of all.
Alice offers a great challenge. Carroll’s stories and Tenniel’s drawings are hard wired into our subconscious; characters curious and bold, treading a line between dream and reality. Finding a way to reinvent these icons for the digital age has been a fascinating journey.’
Damon Albarn: ‘I’m fascinated by the idea of going down a rabbit hole, the otherworldliness and what that might mean. Alice aside, The Queen of Hearts, The Duchess, White Rabbit, Caterpillar were the most threatening characters of my childhood. I was genuinely very frightened of them as a kid, which is probably why I was interested when Alex Poots suggested a reworking.’
Alex Poots, CEO and Artistic Director, Manchester International Festival: ‘In Alice in Wonderland we have found something I have been looking for for some time: an inspiration that is both curiously and eccentrically English and yet has a universal currency. It is the perfect combination for this fantastic creative team and for Manchester International Festival.’
Damon Albarn, Music
Moira Buffini, Book & Lyrics
Rufus Norris, Director
Rae Smith, Set Designer
59 Productions, Projections
Katrina Lindsay, Costume Designer
Paule Constable, Lighting Designer
Paul Arditti, Sound Designer
Javier De Frutos, Choreographer
David Shrubsole, Music Director
Mike Smith, Music Associate
James Bonas, Associate Director
Full details of the festival visit:
Thursday 5th March 2015