Refract Festival returns this July to Sale’s Waterside Arts Centre for its third year with Refract:19. Bringing together established favourites as well as new faces, the festival reimagines the arts centre both inside and out featuring diverse cultural events such as tightwire stunts, audio-visual premieres, Edinburgh previews, and even a special children’s version of Silent Disco. We’ve chosen our top five events to look forward to during the ten day programme.

1. Highflying Japanese art Wiredo
The opening event of the festival, is also one of the most intriguing. Featuring a combination of tightwire stunts (like a tightrope, but, well, a wire) and Shibari, Japanese rope art, Wiredo starring Hanna Moisala, explores the inner balance of human nature and the body’s abilities to be manipulated. Moisala, a tightwire expert from Finland, stars in this production from Lumo Company in what is set to be a captivating evening of exploration of human movement.
Thu 18 Jul, 7pm, Ages 14+ £12/£10, Robert Bolt Theatre,

2. Comedy with Tony Law, Sophie Willan + Alun Cochrane
Those choosing to Summer in Sale rather than Edinburgh don’t have to worry about missing out on their comedy fix thanks to this massive triple headliner bill on the first Friday of the festival. Tony Law, Sophie Willan, and Alun Cochrane will all be familiar faces and names to those who keep up with their TV comedy as well as the more alternative brand. With three very different styles of humour, all are much loved and respected comedians with individual sell-out shows to their name performing under one top comedy bill.
Fri 19 Jul, 8pm £15, Robert Bolt Theatre,

3. AV dream sequences with Wolf Hours: Minute Taker
Spanning a variety of artistic styles, this audiovisual performance from Ben McGarvey, a Manchester based singer songwriter, alongside a range of filmmakers. Through a set of various dream sequences, Wolf Hours delves into the minds of different gay men at various points over the past century. The films are soundtracked to haunting electronica from McGarvey that is influenced by artists such as Kate Bush, Tori Amos, and David Bowie.
Thu 18 & Fri 19 Jul, 8.30pm, £15, The Chambers,

4. Youtube Live with Claire Gaydon’s See-Through
When Claire Gaydon saw a poll that stated that 34% of young people wanted to be a YouTuber for a career when they grew up, it piqued her interest and she decided to give it a go. Gaydon performs entirely with her back to the audience as her show, a mix of documentary, live performance and parody delves into what it means to live your life online for an audience. Though in this performance she really is live and unedited, with no cuts for a better take.
Sun 21 Jul, 7pm £10, Ages 14+, The Chambers,

5. The Anarchist’s Mobile Library heads to Alty
With plenty of offerings for the smaller festival goer, The Anarchist’s Mobile Library pulls up at Altrincham Library. A retro, 1970s pop-up caravan called Sydney is the setting for 3 children and 1 adult at a time to take a journey through children’s literature and the characters who kick against the norms. The audience take on the storymaker’s role as the budding storytellers get to ‘make your own adventure’ around the caravan. For anyone aiming to foster a love of stories and where they can take you, this strange library seems a good place to start.
Fri 26 & Sat 27 Jul, throughout the day, ages 5+, £14 per session (3 children and 1 adult), Altrincham Library, 2 Pott Street, Altrincham WA14 1AH.

Waterside, 1 Waterside Plaza, Sale, Manchester, M33 7ZF, Tel: 0161 912 5616, times and prices vary,

Thu 18 Jul - Sat 27 Jul
Joe Daly
Published on:
Sun 21 Jul 2019