Manchester’s Contact theatre to close for huge renovation

0 79

By Megan James
Photograph: Joel Chester Fildes

The iconic Contact Theatre will be closing its doors by the end of December 2017 for a major £6.75 million renovation, but its performances will continue at various locations across the city of Manchester.

James Ducker, Marketing and Communications Canager at Contact explained, “For the full building refurbishment we’re looking at access, visitor experience, but then also creating new space for us to work with artists, and performers to develop work as well. The big difference downstairs we’ll see a reconfiguring of the ground floor.”

The renovation is partly funded by Wellcome Trust, with the charitable organisation donating £600,000 for an extension on the side of the building.

Ducker said, “That’s basically looking really at health and well-being and how we produce work around that. We will also have a new member of staff who will be a health and science producer.”

During the renovation the theatres staff will relocate to the Millennium Powerhouse Youth Centre in Moss Side, which will also host some of Contacts year-long free participatory activities, in order to increase the amount of young people making use of the free services.

Paul Fletcher, Chief Executive at Manchester Young Lives said, “Manchester Young Lives is delighted to welcome Contact to the Powerhouse; this will open up opportunities for talented young people in Moss Side and surrounding neighbourhoods to engage with the arts.”

Other performing arts institutions such as The Lowry in Salford, The Palace theatre on Oxford Road and The museum of Science industry on Liverpool Road, have all partnered up with Contact to hold a range of different shows by the company.

The theatre will also be travelling to new locations such as Alankar a running saree shop in the heart of the curry mile, for a site specific performance named Hand Looms, written by Rani Moorthy and directed by Alan Lane of Slung Low productions.

The intimate performance will explore the generational differences between mother and son, when deciding whether to run their business traditionally or to follow a more lucrative modern route.

Ducker added, “It’s a really great opportunity for us to get into venues that we’ve not worked in before and work with different creative teams in the city. Also to tap into different audiences, so hopefully we’ll take our audience with us but also we will gain others from the different venues, and then once we’re open hopefully they’ll make the journey up to Oxford Road to come and see us.”

Contact Theatre is due to open around March 2019, with the performance season aiming to start in Autumn of that year.

About the author / 

Humanity Hallows

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

More News Stories:

  • Interview: Cassia On Their Latest Single ‘Drifting’, Unexpectedly Writing In Cape Town + Working In Their New Berlin Studio

    Not many bands can blend genres so easily or as smoothly as Cassia. The Manchester-born group released their debut album Replica last year and were awarded an abundance of acclaim for their efforts. It was a masterpiece in combining tropical sounding melodies, with well-placed indie-rock twists. They proceeded to charge into the beginning of 2020 with their melodic…

  • Film Review: Nightcrawler – The Devils’ Code For Journalism

    Recent lockdown measures and self-isolation has given many young freelance journalists and filmmakers time to contemplate on how this pandemic is affecting their craft. Fledgling journalists embarking on careers in this competitive industry will be affected the most. Renowned UK publisher Reach Plc. has informed journalists to work remotely, but with the new academic due…

  • Interview: Get to Know Ambient Rock Group Fox Violet

    aAh! Magazine remotely catches up with Thea, the front-woman of Fox Violet. Thea tells us about their new single, the challenges of being a woman in rock music and how Fox Violet are staying musically active during the current situation. Tell us a bit about Fox Violet? “My name is Thea, and I front the…

  • Interview: Get to Know Film Composer Katya Richardson

    aAh! Magazine catches up with Katya Richardson, a composer based in Los Angeles, who has been writing music for filmmakers and choreographers. Tell us a bit about your yourself, your music and how did you start making music? “I’m a film composer based in Los Angeles. Although classically trained, I play jazz piano, sing, and…