There are many much more valid reasons to aspire to attend Manchester University, but one of the undoubted perks is having unfettered access to the majestic John Rylands Library. Often referred to as Hogwarts by students who should really be reading a higher class of literature, the building is Grade I listed, over 100 years old and houses a collection worth many millions of pounds – yet for three days, the Contact Theatre’s Young Actor’s Company (CYAC) is being given the keys to it for a set of very special performances. Entitled La Biblioteca (‘the library’ in Spanish) and directed by Andre Pink (of Dende collective), exact details are still very much under wraps, but it promises to give a glimpse of the building never seen before in a promenade performance in the Commedia dell’Arte tradition. Expect masks, stock characters and some improvisation as the story moves throughout the building and perhaps even in among the crowd – though it almost certainly won’t include any of the medieval illuminated manuscripts that usually live there.

Thu 1 Aug – Sat 3 Aug, John Rylands Library, 150 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3EH, 2.30pm (all days) 5.30pm (Thu 1 Aug only) 7.30pm (Fri 2 Aug, Sat 3 Aug), Free,

Thu 1 Aug - Sat 3 Aug
Matthew Britton
Published on:
Mon 29 Jul 2013