Contact Autumn 2017

Contact launch their Autumn Season with an impressive new website and a new image:

A theatre of the future where young people lead where everyone is welcome

Kicking off the season (20-23 Sep) is a fascinating show based on the fans in football that reverses the usual theatre structure.  I interviewed creator Yahya Terryn for We’re Not Really Here.

‘I wanted to write a script as good as that of a football match.  If you have a season ticket you start to know people around you.  You shout together.  By being there I really liked the singing, with between ten and twenty thousand other people almost breathing in and out together.

This will be the 11th version of this performance throughout Europe.  The audience are sat on the stage, and then 100 fans will be in the audience. There are famous moments from big football matches on a screen behind the audience. We made the very first show in ten days.  It was easy to gather material but the hardest thing was to find a structure.   It is like a football match.  We have the crowd and then everyone freezes except one or two people, who tell their story.  It is the group against the individual, it is the little stories that create the negative and positive energy.  We have done local teams but haven’t yet done a world-class team.  Within the individual stories we try to do something with the individual city.  We start with the players, then we look at who is famous and important.  You look for anecdotes and little stories.  The stories come to you.   We have original stories, but where we find better ones we will replace them.

I’m interested in why people are there, to understand why people go to the football.  Lots of people come to this play who may not have been to the theatre before. We’re recruiting 100 fans from 8 to 80, families.  You feel the bigger a team gets, the more intensive it becomes.  In other countries you learn a lot about how people are with their emotions.  For example in Helsinki they’re a bit closed.  It’s nice to feel the cultural differences.  I think there will be a lot of energy here in Manchester.’

It’s an impressive season very much in tune with what makes Contact such a great theatre.  Christopher Brett Bailey returns with Kissing the Shotgun Goodnight (4-5 Oct), combining trademark poetry, spoken word, sound and light into a ‘neo-noir fever dream’.  Spoken word performances Climate of Fear (3-6 Oct) and Young Identity: Hatch (18-21 Oct) bring inventive and incisive poetry and storytelling to the stage.  Le Gateau Chocolat takes a unique voice and performance style into ‘family friendly glamour and glitz’ with a reworking of the Ugly Duckling for children with Duckie (24-25 Oct).

Flying Solo Festival (27 Oct – 11 Nov) showcases new work from Jackie Hagan, Sheyda Darab, Desiree Burch and Kate O’Donnell.  Black Gold Arts Festival (17-18 Nov) includes Cheryl Martin’s Who Wants to Live Forever? and dance piece Nuclear.

Keisha Thompson presents Man on the Moon (21-25 Nov), a ‘truth-infused narrative’ exploring the cultural influences on her reclusive dad.  Keisha read an extract at the season launch; expect this to be moving, searching and poetic.  Powder Keg bring Morale is High (6-8 Dec), a fast paced music/spoken word exploration of how we might see the future, and whether we see the big picture or focus on the small things that matter.

Wrapping up the season, Slung Low return to recreate last year’s highly successful Christmas show The Siege of Christmas (13-20 Dec).

 

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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