iOrganic at Chetham’s Library

One of the things I love about living in Manchester is that iconic, valuable spaces are given over to intimate, site specific performances.  And so it is with The Unreal Tour from iOrganic, a half hour short story tour of Chetham’s Library in the darkening evening, torches included.

iOrganic are a performance company founded by Lenni Sanders and Harry Jelley.  This is the culmination of their six week residency at the library, as ‘their invented lies and crowd-sourced half truths intertwine with the Library’s actual history’.  Follow them through the shelves of books as they create an imaginary cabinet of curiosities that reflect the library’s possible history.  Listen to apparently factual accounts of a local art collector’s inability to have his pieces chosen for a Manchester Art Gallery exhibition.  In the room where Engels wrote The Condition of the Working Classes in England, feel the memories of everything that has ever happened there, and how each object in the room has recorded the passing of time.  Wonderfully thought provoking and atmospheric.

Above all, these are fascinating, well written stories that make you think, and make you smile.  But there’s an element of randomness to each journey and you don’t get to see everything in the half hour.  Where are my fake moustaches to nip into the next tour?

Theatre lover, amateur director, occasional actor, writer.

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