News Published 18 March 2011

Manchester International Festival 2011

New work from Punchdrunk and Damon Albarn.

Rosanna Hall

A children’s show from immersive theatre specialists Punchdrunk leads the recently announced line-up of the 2011 Manchester International Festival. The company’s Adam Curtis-collaboration It Felt Like a Kiss, was for many the highlight of the 2009 festival; their new show, The Crash of the Elysium, has been specially conceived for children aged six to twelve.

The festival will also feature the world premiere of The Life and Death of Marina Abramović, a biography of the performance artist fusing art, theatre and music. The piece will star both Abramović and Willem Defoe, feature songs written and performed by Antony of Antony & The Johnsons and be directed by Robert Wilson.

Other theatre highlights include Victoria Wood’s The Day We Sang, a Manchester love story, and an as yet untitled piece by Johnny Vegas. Damon Albarn will be collaborating with theatre director Rufus Norris to create a work about Doctor Dee, the alchemist, astrologer and favourite obsession of Peter Ackroyd and Iain Sinclair.

The 2011 Manchester International Festival will incorporate over twenty commissions, premieres and special events by leading artists from around the world, some which have been three or more years in the making. Acts will include blind Malian superstars Amandou & Mariam’s Eclipse, a concert held entirely in the dark, and hip hop legend Snoop Dogg, who will be performing jhis genre-defining debut, Doggystyle.

Bjork fans will be able to witness the world premiere of her Biophilia live show, while Sinead O’Connor offers three intimate shows featuring both old and new material.

The festival also sees a many free events such as Sacred Sites, an inititive which invites leading singers to perform in local sites of worship, a longer take on Dickson Despommier’s Vertical Farm concept and Lavina Greenlaws exciting Audio Obscura at Manchester’s Piccadilly Station.

The Manchester International Festival will run from 30th June to 17th July 2011. For tickets and further information, visit: Manchester International Festival

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Rosanna Hall is a contributor to Exeunt Magazine

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