HOME – Internationally significant but will Manchester love it?

I am fascinated by the effect HOME will have on the Manchester theatre scene.  The project is ambitious.  The venue will have an international flavour, and will at times fuse all three art forms (theatre, cinema and contemporary visual art) using a single focus.

The opening play is to be ‘The Funfair’, an adaptation by Simon Stephens of the 1932 Ödön von Horváth play Kasimir und Karoline.  This will be the inspiration for the visual arts exhibition ‘The Heart is Deceitful Above All Things’ and presumably related film (the Artistic Director of Film starts February).  This combined format will be repeated, for example during the ¡Viva! 2016 Spanish programme.  From a theatre perspective, I’d expect some innovative and interesting international theatre.

Main theatre HOME

Main Theatre, photo Paul Greenwood

The main theatre will seat 494.  There will also be a separate studio space although this will not be complete at the launch of the venue; the programming allows for a gradual build up of shows in order to learn how to best use the spaces within the building, and to complete the funding process.

Overall HOME is to have an international flavour, and will stage the UK premieres of foreign language plays.  HOME will also commission new writing, new translations and new adaptations.  There will be an emphasis on directors, and HOME will support emerging talent.  They will also work with existing companies in Manchester and the North; the Re:play festival is a great example of this.  What an opportunity if HOME provides the best local talent with access to a regional and international audience.

HOME will also create a joint production with Manchester International Festival, the details of which are still to be announced.  But this production will then tour with the ‘HOME’ brand, increasing the exposure of the name.  Surely this must be beneficial for Manchester’s standing in the world.  After all, a theatre such as this must become internationally known and attract visitors nationally and internationally to succeed.

So I am excited.  I am very excited by what this theatre can offer.  The only question is whether Manchester will warm to the venue, its location, its programming and the fact that it replaces two unique and greatly loved venues, the Library Theatre and the Cornerhouse.

But this is progress and HOME has the potential to be amazing.

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

2 Responses to “HOME – Internationally significant but will Manchester love it?”

  1. Andrew Wild says:

    Where is this located, Dave?

    • QuietManDave says:

      It’s at First Street, just after the A5103 goes under the Mancunian Way, just before GMex and the Bridgewater Hall. It’s part of the large new office development there.

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