Manchester International Festival is in its final week, and it’s not too late to grab tickets. From dance music in the Cathedral to comedy in Manchester’s ancient mills, the biannual festival has again pulled out all the stops. Here are just some of the many MIF highlights coming up this week – check the MIF website for £12 concessionary tickets.

Cotton Panic! Historical musical by Jane Horrocks & more
Historic drama meets industrial music for Cotton Panic! (Sat 8 – Sat 15 Jul, Upper Campfield Market Hall, times vary, £25,, a tale co-created by Jane Horrocks and Nick Vivian along with Wrangler, a band that features Stephen Mallinder from Cabaret Voltaire. The performance tracks the US Civil War’s devastating effect on the supply of cotton, the fibre that famously made Manchester prosperous.

Fatherland: dramatic musing on contemporary fatherhook by Frantic Assembly’s Scott Graham and Karl Hyde (Underworld)
Frantic Assembly founder Scott Graham teams up with Underworld’s Karl Hyde and playwright Simon Stephens for a collage of music and movement about fatherhood (until Sat 22 Jul, Royal Exchange, 7.30pm, £16.50 – £35, For the immersive show, powered by a 13-strong cast, the trio took inspiration from conversations with fathers and sons in their home towns. Remaining tickets can now be booked through the Royal Exchange rather than through MIF.

Ride – gig at the Ritz
When Ride last released an album, Shed Seven and Menswear were in the top ten. The Oxford shoegazers had left it all behind, but now return with new album ‘Weather Diaries’ produced by electro DJ Erol Alkan. Tickets are still available for this one-off appearance for MIF (Tue 11 Jul, O2 Ritz, £12 – £25, 7pm, Support comes from Bristol noise rock combo Spectres.

New music: Kiran Leonard: ‘Song of the Husband’ at Festival Square
Talented Saddleworth songsmith Kiran Leonard brings a new art-and-music project to MIF’s Festival Square. In ‘Song of the Husband’ (Wed 12 Jul, Pavilion Theatre, 7.30pm, £12, www., an archaeologist find a distant song on a faraway planet ravaged by time – and discovers what artists have to say when their world is dying. This is an exclusive musical performance – and exhibition – by the prolific 21-year-old, told across ten short chapters.

10000 Gestures
Fans of dance should look out for acclaimed choreographer Boris Charmatz’s ambitious new work for MIF. For his first ever event in Manchester, 25 dancers will perform 10,000 Gestures (Thu 13 – Sat 15 Jul, Mayfield, 9.30pm, £25, in a hurricane of activity, without repeating a single movement. In addition to these three dates, Charmatz will explore themes further at the weekly discussion forum We Need to Talk About Truth (Sat 15 Jul, Albert Hall, 10.30am, £5,

Free art event: Turner prize nominated Phil Collins presents Ceremony
Turner Prize-nominated artist Phil Collins brings MIF to a close in a most unusual way. He will bring a Soviet-era statue of Friedrich Engels (pictured) from the Volga, Europe’s longest river, and install it permanently in the centre of Manchester. The statue’s welcoming (Sun 16 Jul, NCP Bridgewater Hall Car Park, 6pm, FREE) will be soundtracked by Mica Levi, Gruff Rhys, and stories from Manchester workers gathered from Collins’s year-long MIF residency.

Sat 8 Jul - Sat 22 Jul
Fat Roland
Published on:
Wed 12 Jul 2017