Contact’s annual Flying Solo festival returns this May with an eclectic mix of performances, including spoken word, live art, dance and theatre. Engaging an audience and owning the stage is a hard feat for most performers, but as a solo performer it takes a certain kind of execution and stage presence to get it right. Contact, in celebration of this, have brought together a collection of raw and unique national and international talent to the stage, presenting performances from the likes of the brilliantly funny Kate O’Donnell, winner of Brighton Fringe LGBTQ Award 2015 Jenna Watt and BBC’s 2009 Poetry Slam champion, poet and performer Ben Mellor.

How we live now: Contact Young Company presents Climate of Fear
Exploring a multiplicity of themes, ranging from identity, race and politics, Flying Solo exhibits perhaps its broadest spectrum of acts yet. Opening with Climate of Fear, brought to us by the award winning Contact Young Company, alongside poet and director, Zena Edwards, the show is based around a series of monologues inspired by the stressful demands of living in the 21st century, delving deep into the heart of our relationship with the emotion anger.
Thu 5 – Fri 6 May, 7.30pm, £11/6,

BBC’s Verb New Voice: Matt Miller
Biographical performances are also an occurring theme at Flying Solo this year, one of which is the BBC’s Verb New Voice, Matt Miller, and his spoken word show, Sticking. Directed by international theatre artist Peader Kir, Miller combines a mix of his experiences of firsts (first love, moving away from home, starting university and sex) to present an amalgamation of first class storytelling, poetry and music to bring a show that will ignite nostalgia and empathy with its audience.
Sat 7 May, 7pm, £11/6,

Trans-comedy: Kate O’Donnell (pic)
Kate O’Donnell is another of the Flying Solo festival’s artists to draw on their life experiences, albeit Kate’s story being slightly different to Matt’s. Growing up in the Midlands in the 1970s as transgender woman, Kate’s magical show Big Girl’s Blouse explores her life experiences with the use of plenty of humour, singing, dancing and all round theatrical glitz. Prepare to be bedazzled and, as David Hoyle says, ‘Do not attend if you cannot love!’. Premium tickets are available, including cabaret seating and a glass of Prosecco.
Fri 13 – Sat 14 May, 8.30pm, £20 premium, £15/10,

Thu 5 – Sat 14 May, Contact Theatre, Oxford Road, Manchester M15 6JA.
Tel:0161 274 0600,

Thu 5 May - Sat 14 May
Emma Prendergast
Published on:
Fri 13 May 2016