Get ready for the return of arts and culture in Manchester as Trafford’s leading arts venue, Waterside, has officially announced they will be re-opening their doors for artists and audiences from Monday 17 May. They have an exciting summer and autumn programme planned, with something for everyone including live theatre, music, visual arts, comedy, dance and spoken word.

Some of the highlights include the annual ten-day summer arts festival, Refract:21 (Thursday 22 to Saturday 31 July), outdoor productions of The Great Gatsby and Mr Stink, comedy nights with stand-up favourites like Paul Foot, Mark Watson and Sofie Hagen and one off in conversation events with music legends John Lydon and Francis Rossi.

Despite the challenges the venue has faced over the past year, Waterside continued to deliver a strong programme of online activity, engaging over 38,000 people with multiple virtual performances and participatory events such as the Heroes in Motion challenge and a digital version of Pride in Trafford. Waterside has also supported a photography graduate exhibition, First Light, and has helped a number Greater Manchester-based theatre makers to create new work.

The annual Pride in Trafford Festival kicks off on Monday 17 May and lasts until Saturday May 22 to tie in with the venue’s opening week. The rainbow flag will be raised outside the Sale Town Hall to mark IDAHOBIT (International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia and Transphobia). Throughout the five-day exploration and celebration of identity and LGBTQ+ life in Trafford, Waterside will run a small programme of one-off comedy, cabaret, storytelling, dance, and theatre shows showcasing local and up and coming LGBTQ+ artists and performers. For those who love their LGBTQ+ entertainment to be that little bit “extra” – Thursday night’s Disco Tea Party combining disco and drag is one not to be missed.

Waterside will also be one of 40 venues taking part in Here & Now, a national and local celebration of culture within communities, marking the National Lottery’s 25th birthday. 40 brand new projects have, or are due take place, in and around 40 arts centres across the country, led by artists and co-created with local people.

A project that promises to be colourful, immersive, and connect and reunite the local community through a process of collaboration with the people of Trafford: We Are Collective, a multi-media installation in the gallery spaces at Waterside, opens this summer from Monday 17 May until Saturday 31 July.

In addition to a summer season of family theatre, comedy, live music, and exhibitions – Waterside will be running its vibrant flagship ten-day arts festival, Refract:21– from July 22 inviting audiences to see and experience things differently. Full programme details will be announced later this month, and audiences can expect a colourful, community-focused programme of experiential and celebratory work. For full details of Waterside’s return, visit their website via the link below.

Mon 17 May, Waterside,
1 Waterside Plaza, Sale, Trafford, M33 7ZF, UK
Simran Dey
Published on:
Fri 23 Apr 2021