After two years in the making, Manchester International Festival is finally go (July 1). It’s been a difficult year to curate a festival in – particularly a festival which has a reputation for staging intimately, as well as on a grand scale – but somehow the team has pulled off another exciting two-week calendar. Not got a ticket for anything yet? Well, there’s still time – and here’s some of the hottest remaining tickets available.

MUSIC: Arlo Parks & The Royal Northern College of Music | Central Hall, Manchester Central | Th 8 & Fri 9 Jul | £10-£22.50 Adv

Upped from one date to two, Arlo Parks and the Royal Northern College of Music fill out the cavernous main hall of Manchester’s former railway station. She’s a month off turning 21, but already Parks has got a bag full of Brits nominations, a top selling album, and sold out UK and US tours under her belt. She’s an inspired choice for a MIF-style classical reworking, too – her sweet neo-soul voice just begs for a string section to accompany it.

Windmill Street, Manchester M2 3GX
FOOD: MIF21 Supper Clubs | San Carlo Bottega, Selfridges, Exchange Square | Mon 5 & Tue 6 Jul, Mon 12 & Tue 13 Jul | From £130 for two people

One of the more indulgent of the MIF events, these intimate evening supper clubs are making Monday and Tuesday nights special throughout the festival as Anna Søgaard of Erst (July 5), Julià Castelló of Tast (July 6), Mary-Ellen McTague of Eat Well MCR and the Creameries (July 12), and Isobel Jenkins of Isca Wines with Josh Al-kazhraji of the Moorcock Inn (July 13) takeover the San Carlo kitchen for a series of 7pm sittings. Tables for two or four are available.

ART: The Long Waited, Weighted, Gathering | Manchester Jewish Museum | Fri 2 - Sun 18 Jul | £6 (concs available)

For the last two years, Manchester Jewish Museum has been undergoing a £6m transformation to add a world class exhibition centre extension that equals the beauty of the 1874 Spanish-Portuguese synagogue at its centre. Relaunching as part of MIF, the museum welcomes Turner Prize winner Laure Prouvost with a show that acknowledges how critical the Jewish community has been in creating a diverse and dynamic community in Manchester. Expect to hear the voices of the past as you enter the space – which, for social distancing reasons – is by timed, ticketed entry only.

190 Cheetham Hill Road, Cheetham Hill, Manchester M8 8LW
FILM: Laurent Garnier: Off The Record | Central Hall, Manchester Central | Sun July 11 | £10 Adv

A former Haçienda head, now total techno grandaddy, Laurent Garnier heads to MIF’s big music hub on the central Sunday of the festival with his new film Off the Record – his love letter to the scene, a sort of chronicle of the rise of techno through his eyes and ears and across an outstanding 30-year career. Directed by Gabin Rivoire, Laurent Garnier: Off the Record gets its UK premiere at MIF21, and so Laurent and Gabin are staging a post-screening Q&A after it with another couple of Haçienda legends – Dave Haslam and Jon Dasilva.

Windmill Street, Manchester M2 3GX
THEATRE: The Global Playground | Great Northern Warehouse | Fri 2 - Sun 18 Jul (tickets available for July 2-4 only) | £12 adults, £6 children Adv

Theatre Rites return to MIF with another mash-up of dance, music, theatre and puppetry – created with a family audience in mind. In fairness, their last production for MIF, The Welcoming Party, was a dark and disturbing parade piece about the agony of forced migration that all ages could relate to, and The Global Playground promises to be just the same. It too taps into a dark period for us all: the isolation of lockdown and how our relationships with people have gone on screen and rarely in person. As usual, Theatre Rites has a way of finding the light in these hard topics, and The Global Playground reminds us all to cherish those moments together and to fill our relationships with kindness and care

235 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN
Thu 1 Jul - Sun 18 Jul
Sarah Walters
Published on:
Thu 1 Jul 2021