As the warm weather draws to a close, Manchester’s autumn season of theatre starts to pick up with an incredible line up of innovative work. Minsk based Belarus Free Theatre presents the world premiere of Burning Doors across the UK, including refugee focused festival, Journeys Festival in Leicester. Built on incredible resilience, this refugee led company is committed to globally campaigning for human rights and artistic freedom, through their bold and honest theatre making.
A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer is the eagerly awaited musical from Complicite (The Encounter) and Bryony Kimmings premiering at HOME this autumn. Complicite’s ability to immerse the audience into worlds far beyond the confines of their everyday lives is a perfect marriage with Bryony Kimming’s sharp and devastatingly honest writing, a relationship that will hopefully shine through on stage in the autumn season at HOME. An important look on the harsh reality of cancer diagnosis and the journey to acceptance.
Scottish Dance Theatre bring their 2014 show YAMA to The Lowry – a show that blew me away at the fringe last year, I was excited to see it finally coming to Manchester. Damien Jalet’s incredible choreography is intensified by the simplicity of YAMA’s staging and extremely talented dance troupe. In its 30th year, the Scottish Dance Theatre is renowned for its distinct, confident and innovative image, unabashed and unwilling to hold back, bringing strength to the stage.
In the rush of Edinburgh, Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons was on the list, but I didn’t quite get round to seeing it, which is a shame because after its incredible receptions from audience and critics alike it seemed to be a stand out show at the fringe. Thankfully, Walrus Theatre are bringing the production to HOME’s Orbit 2016 – a celebration of new writing from the fringe. With the promise of bringing the most bold theatre making in the UK, Orbit 2016 looks like it will be the theatre festival of the year, showcased in one of the HOME’s most intimate spaces, Theatre 2.
And, if you’re planning on seeing more at the festival, be sure to see Jamal Harewood’s The Privileged. After its sell out run at Flare International Festival of New Writing last year, it’s sure to still be a popular show. Harewood’s live art, creates temporary communities within performance spaces, allowing issues of gender, race and identity to walk amongst us in the most bold and unusual ways. As part of this years Black Gold Arts Festival strong programme, the festival showcases BAME artists across Manchester and beyond, including Cheryl Martin’s beautiful show Alaska – a personal journey through mental illness, and finding self love.
Another show doing the rounds at the fringe is Am I Dead Yet? at the Lowry Studio. As frank discussion on the questions we have on death, Unlimited’s writing has been well received by critics, and is a definite must see in the Lowry’s studio programme this autumn.
And of course no autumn season is complete without Word of Warning’s Divergency micro-festival at Z-Arts. If you didn’t see it at Forest Fringe, then catch Afreena Islam’s Daughters of the Curry Revolution as part of a trio of table top performances. This evening of performances from a diverse range of topics and artists, opens up a myriad of questions and ideas from the regions brightest minds an creators.