Manchester’s Contact theatre is returning to their unmissable Oxford Road venue, with an ambitious reopening programme; as ever, supporting the next generation of audiences, artists and young people is at the centre of all that they do.

Beneath those castle-like turrets, Contact’s doors are reopening to the public for the first time since December 2017, emerging from the challenges of the global pandemic and having undergone a £6M building redevelopment (funded thanks to a £3.85million investment from Arts Council England plus generous grants from other supporters, trusts and foundations). This next stage in the building’s evolution sees Contact return with new and improved performance spaces; a purpose-built recording studio for young people’s music projects; a unique health and science development space created in partnership with Wellcome Trust; new offices for artists and cultural organisations to hire and work alongside Contact staff; a new and improved public bar; free work and social spaces; a new partnership with Manchester’s Indian street food heroes, Chaat Cart, and many other exciting new features.

Contact’s performance programme kicks off in October with Contact Young Company’s Everything All of the Time, directed by Contact’s Artistic Director, Matt Fenton. This is a physical and visual journey through a new world, squashed into an hour of hedonism, love, anger, nostalgia and hope. Pictured here is November’s Pink Lemonade (image by Bronwen Sharp). Very soon we’ll be sharing much more about the forthcoming programme, which you can also see on Contact’s website (link below).

Throughout redevelopment, Contact worked with local, national and international artists to create new models of arts engagement. In particular, they supported the expansion of The Agency, a youth enterprise project that works with young people to create social enterprises, events, projects and businesses that will have a positive impact on their local communities. During closure, the organisation also presented Contact in the City, a year-long diverse programme of performance taking place in partner venues and unexpected spaces, and, throughout the COVID-19 crisis, has​​ continued to host long-running music, drama and youth leadership programmes, and provide rehearsal space for early-career artists in Greater Manchester.

A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Wed 1 Sep, Contact Theatre,
Oxford Rd, Manchester M15 6JA
Brad Lengden
Published on:
Wed 1 Sep 2021