Manchester International Festival goes local for 2017

Manchester International Festival (MIF) has announced its programme for 2017, the first under new artistic director and CEO John McGrath. The programme focuses on immersive programmes, audience participation as well as shows that connect directly with the people of Manchester and the city’s history.

A number of names immediately catch the eye including actor Jane Horrocks, who will star in a theatre production about Manchester’s textile past titled Cotton Panic!; Simon Stephens, whose new play Fatherland will feature music from Underworld’s Karl Hyde; and Boris Charmatz, who launches his latest dance show 1000 Gestures at the festival.

Commenting on Cotton Panic!, McGrath said: ‘Jane Horrocks is one of the North West’s great talents, and in this collaboration with Nick Vivian and Stephen Mallinder, she will be putting her unique skills to very exciting use.  Combining a two-hundred-year-old story with a very contemporary musical universe, this piece of gig theatre will be a rare and inspiring moment.’

Other highlights include a world premiere of Thomas Ostermier’s adaptation of Didier Eribon’s memoir Returning to Reims, an opening parade titled What Is the City but the People? coordinated by Jeremy Deller, and an immersive theatre experience titled Party Skills for the End of the World.

MIF runs from 29 June – 16 July 2017.