Billed as an ‘antidote to the physical, mental and social challenges of life’, SICK! Festival has an ever growing reputation as one of Europe’s finest festivals something noted by their 2015 EFFE Festivals Award, an accolade rewarding the 12 most outstanding European festivals from a pool of 760. The SICK! Manchester programme kicks off at the start of March, and runs for three weeks, taking in innovative and fringe theatre and performance at venues around Manchester. Below are three key performances to book ahead for. Other events to look out for include a new show at the Whitworth, and film screenings at Home and a politically charged theatrical work by acclaimed Swiss director, Milo Rau, which explores how children respond real-life narratives of violence, and how adults respond to seeing children acting out or investigating these narratives in Five Easy Pieces. Click here for full listings.

New drama: The Game at Contact Theatre
A play about prostitution and the overt and hidden power structures and consequences that come with it, The Game sees five men from Manchester volunteer for ‘The Game’ with no knowledge of what they are about to do, or with any script to guide them. The Game aims to give an insight into a prevalent but hidden sub-culture and the way it is viewed by the mainstream culture.
Wed 15 Mar, 7pm, £13,

Exploring identity: Jaamil Olawale Kosoko’s #Negrophobia at Stun Studio (pictured)
Hitting on current themes in identity discourse, #Negrophobia will set out to examine the exotic fear associated with the black body. Jaamil Olawale Kosoko sets out to use identity mash up to provide a revealing look at contradictory feelings of desire and fear touching upon trans identity, the role of patriarchy in Black masculine identity, all from a mind on the verge of collapse.
Sat 18 Mar, 9pm, £10,

Football-dance-theatre: Michael Essien I Want To Play As You at Contact Theatre
Football has always played a major part in racial and class politics and culture in Britain and Europe. It is portrayed as a mertitocractic route out of poverty for talented, driven young men – a view helped by the working class millionaires on the back pages of the newspapers and taking up huge parts of culture. However, for those that make it, many more do not and have to face a life without the riches or success they have strived for. Taking its name from ex Chelsea and Ghana midfielder Michael Essien, one of the stars of noveaux riche Chelsea, this football-dance-theatre performance takes a startling look at 6 West African footballers highlighting the under-class of poor, desperate African footballers in Europe striving for a decent contract, let alone the millions a year. Straddling hope and despair and riches and poverty, it’s an important look at class, race, and hope.
Fri 24 Mar, 7.30pm, £15,

Wed 8 Mar - Sat 25 Mar
Joe Daly
Published on:
Mon 13 Mar 2017