Secret MIF venue announced for Party Skills for the End of the World

The secret location for Manchester International Festival (MIF) show, Party Skills for the End of the World, has been revealed.

Created by award-winning theatrical innovators Nigel Barrett and Louise Mari, of the acclaimed Shunt collective, Party Skills will be installed at Salford’s University’s RIBA Stirling Prize winning Centenary Building, constructed in 1995. The show, which is a co-commission and co-production between MIF and Shoreditch Town Hall, will play alongside famed Mancunian chef Mary-Ellen McTague’s sold-out Dinner Party at the End of the World.

Dinner Party at the End of the World will see McTague (of Aumbry, Real Junk Food Project) feed 20 guests a “last supper” designed to explore “themes of survival, extinction, scarcity and opulence”, giving diners a creative experience of what we may eat at the end of days. 

Said professor Allan Walker, dean of the University of Salford’s School of Arts and Media faculty: “Manchester International Festival has a great history of bringing together the most adventurous pioneers from the global art world to showcase what’s possible when creative figures collaborate. These values of creativity and collaboration are embedded in everything we do at the University of Salford and so it’s absolutely fitting that we are working with MIF this year. I’m very excited that not only will we be hosting this exciting production but that our students will be given the opportunity to work behind the scenes on a performance which will be seen by theatre lovers from all over the world.”

The Party Skills audience will be submerged in the production as turmoil and uncertainty sweep the world. With the help of volunteers, partygoers will learn the essential skills needed to survive and savour life when everything you’ve taken for granted has disappeared – from starting a fire and making balloon animals, to mixing the perfect Martini and skinning a rabbit.

Added Barrett and Mari: “We are so excited to be able to work in this amazing steel and glass space, built as a crystal palace for progress, a sparkling cathedral for curiosity in media and the arts. Here everything is visible and yet reflected back at you. It feels both expansive and claustrophobic. You can see and hear everyone wherever you go and can be seen and heard everywhere too. Sometimes it feels like you are in a ship and sometimes a prison.