Following a hugely successful preview run this summer, Factory International has revealed more details of the official opening season at Aviva Studios.

Matrix-inspired dance, stunning portraits, jaw-dropping circus and music from Manchester legends all form part of the official debut programme, with £10 tickets available for every show.

Free Your Mind kicks off the season, with a large-scale and mesmerising retelling of the classic sci-fi film The Matrix, alongside a programme of free public events, running from Wed 18 Oct – Sun 5 Nov.

The creative team behind the production boasts an array of incredible talent, including Danny Boyle and Sabrina Mahfouz, co-founders and artistic directors of the Olivier award-winning Boy Blue Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy, Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante and world-leading designer Es Devlin.

An immersive installation from Es Devlin also takes over the warehouse space at Aviva Studios as part of the free opening programme.

Then, over the course of nine days this November, The Welcome fills every inch of the mammoth new space ‘with a cultural celebration like no other.’

Dubbed as a celebration of Greater Manchester, its people and the new building, the programme spans everything from showstopping live performances to immersive installations.

The Welcome has been curated by the Factory Assembly, a group of local residents who have spent the last two years working on their dream programme.

Running from Sat 11 – Sun 19 Nov is Inside Out, a stunning portrait exhibition that features 200 images of community leaders from across Greater Manchester that were nominated by other residents. Also on display throughout the duration of The Welcome is Under Construction, a collection of images paying tribute to the people behind the scenes of the new building.

Kalabanté Productions bring their unique take on circus performance to the venue for four shows, promising a high-energy celebration of Guinean culture in the form of a multi-sensory extravaganza inspired by daily life in the country.

On Sat 18 Nov, a Street Culture Takeover will see a full day of activities that range from artists going head-to-head in rap battles to skateboarders strutting their skills, before concluding with a huge celebration in the Warehouse space.

On Sun 19 Nov, visitors can take part in a free dance class, Deep Flow, a mass group performance led by Company Chameleon that embraces the connection between mind and body.

The Welcome: Community Takeover will be running over the course of the whole nine days — a series of free events, workshops, performances, panel discussions and film screenings. Dates and times for this lineup are set to be announced soon.

Looking further ahead, December will see two incredibly special one-off gigs, as for the first time, Johnny Marr and his band will be joined by a 30-piece orchestra for an expansive celebration of the last decade of Johnny’s solo work, 10 years since the release of his 2013 debut solo album, The Messenger.

Hip-hop and soul duo, Children of Zeus, have also curated a night of special guests who have inspired and influenced
them over the years. Performing with a full live band, joining them on the night are rap-and-grime MC icon Ghetts, and legendary R&B outfit Loose Ends.

For more information about any of Factory International’s opening programmes, head over to the website.

A Manchester Wire Partnership post
Fri 13 Oct - Sun 19 Nov, Aviva Studios,
Water St, Manchester M3 4JQ
Bradley Lengden
Published on:
Wed 13 Sep 2023