Categories for news

December 15, 2017 - news

MIF Recommends: December highlights

As we approach the end of 2017 (what a year it’s been!), here’s our pick of what to do to finish off the year on a cultural high, or to kickstart your new year in January with some great art and culture. Guys and Dolls at the Royal Exchange The timeless musical is relocated to Harlem during its renaissance and…

December 13, 2017 - news

MIF17 shows make it into The Observer’s Top 10 of 2017

We love end of year lists and we’re thrilled that two of our sold-out MIF17 shows have made The Observer critics’ Review of 2017. BambinO was picked as one of Fiona Maddox’s Top 10 best classical performances of the year, and The Welcoming Party was chosen by Susannah Clapp as one of 2017’s theatrical highlights. It’s wonderful to see our shows for young audience receive…

December 12, 2017 - news

Why not give the gift of MIF Membership this Christmas?

With access to updates on The Factory developments in 2018, priority ticket booking, dress rehearsal tickets, an exclusive member event as well as discounts on Festival Square during the Festival, MIF19 Membership is the perfect gift for any performance loving friend or family member. MIF Gift Membership costs just £27.50 a year (£55 in total). Please email members@mif.co.uk or call…

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Lubaina Himid wins Turner Prize 2017

Congratulations to Lubaina Himid for winning the Turner Prize last Tuesday. The judges praised her “uncompromising tackling of issues including colonial history and how racism persists today”. For MIF17, we were privileged to have Lubaina Himid design this striking backdrop for our debate series Interdependence, which she also spoke at. You can watch her talk at  Interdependence: We Need to talk…

November 9, 2017 - news

MIF Recommends: November Highlights

How is it November already?! We think it’s the perfect time to stay out of the cold and warm your soul with culture. Here’s our pick of this month’s top cultural highlights: JUBILEE at the Royal Exchange Theatre Raucous, irreverent and gloriously rude – the world premiere of JUBILEE hits the Royal Exchange Theatre from 2 – 18 November. With…

November 8, 2017 - news

Relive What Is the City but the People?

To open MIF17, 150 local people walked down a specially built runway threaded through Piccadilly Gardens for What Is the City but the People? Two large video screens beamed out beautifully crafted portraits of the participants and told their individual stories. The live event was a joyous celebration of everyday people with incredible personal stories to tell. We’re thrilled that What…

November 6, 2017 - news

Are you one of the 4,500 local people who was actively involved in MIF17?

Are you one of the 4,500 local people who was actively involved in Manchester International Festival this year?  If so, we want to hear from you…. You might have been a performer, a Festival in My House host, a workshop participant or a member of the My Festival network – all are welcome. We’re holding four workshop sessions to get…

October 31, 2017 - news

Watch CEREMONY: The Return of Friedrich Engels on BBC4 on Sunday

CEREMONY: The Return of Friedrich Engels film will be broadcast on BBC4 this Sunday 5 Nov at 9:40pm and is available to watch on BBC iPlayer here until Dec 5. Friedrich Engels arrived in Manchester in 1842 and documented the plight of the city’s working classes in The Condition of the Working Class in England (1845). 172 years later, Turner…

October 26, 2017 - news

Party Skills for the End of the World at Shoreditch Town Hall Feb 2018

The skies are strangely orange. Things aren’t going as well as we thought. The rent’s gone up. Money is tight. It’s a bit too warm for the time of year. You can’t breathe this dirty air. You’re not sure who you can trust any more. What is that man doing over there? What did she just say on the news…

October 25, 2017 - news

Tree of Codes Headlines Sydney Festival 2018

The choreographer Wayne McGregor, the artist Olafur Eliasson, the musician Jamie xx will be bringing their collaborative spectacular, Tree of Codes, to headline the 2018 Sydney festival, the second curated by the artistic director, Wesley Enoch. This dazzling contemporary ballet, performed by Company Wayne McGregor, brings together choreographer Wayne McGregor, installation artist Olafur Eliasson and electronic composer Jamie xx to…

October 11, 2017 - news

Listen to The World Was Once All Miracle on BBC Radio 3

We are thrilled to have another chance to listen to Raymond Yiu’s wonderful The World was Once All Miracle which was recorded at MIF17. For MIF17, acclaimed composer Raymond Yiu set text from six Anthony Burgess poems into The World Was Once All Miracle, a major symphonic song cycle given its world premiere by brilliant baritone Roderick Williams and the BBC…

October 5, 2017 - news

MIF17 Highlights

“One of the leading worldwide incubators for new, cutting-edge art. Though the festival has an international outlook and reputation, it also showcases Manchester stories and talent.” New York Times, June 2017 The sixth Festival was our biggest to date, 18 extraordinary days of performances and exhibitions presented in landmark locations, hidden spaces and a host of unique venues across Greater…

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Dawn Reflections

Our Artistic Director and CEO John McGrath looks back to a great, and very busy, MIF17 in his blog. Manchester Airport 5am.  The 6.30am plane to Berlin has become a bit of a fixture in my life in the past eighteen months, as so many of the artists who made MIF17 happen turned out to be based there – theatre…

September 26, 2017 - news

MIF on tour

Over the last ten years, MIF has worked closely with other cultural organisations around the world, collaborating creatively and financially to make ambitious, international projects possible and create opportunities for productions to be seen internationally. We are therefore delighted that so many of our shows are currently on tour, with many more still to be announced. Here’s what MIF is…

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MIF Recommends: October Highlights

As the October evenings grow longer and darker what better way to spend your time than enjoying the host of events that are programmed during this busy event packed month. Whether your interests lie in literature, science or crafts! Here are our pick of the cultural highlights that we feel should not be missed:   Journeys Festival International hosts 2…

September 5, 2017 - news

New Order + Liam Gillick: So it Goes.. sees OGR Torino team up with MIF

OGR Torino announces an exciting new relationship with Manchester International Festival (MIF) with ∑(No,12k,Lg,17Ogr) New Order + Liam Gillick: So it goes.. This remarkable project, seen at MIF this summer, will have its Italian premiere at OGR. New Order will take over OGR for a special show, created in collaboration with two close associates: visual artist Liam Gillick, who has…

July 27, 2017 - news

News from our Friends

Manchester International Festival finished 11 days ago – are you missing us yet? If MIF17 has whetted your cultural appetite, you may be interested to hear about a number of exciting events being presented in Manchester and beyond over the next few months by some of our friends and partners. Here are some highlights… Rambert presents Ghost Dances at The…

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MIF17 Survey Card Winner

We had thousands of people fill out the MIF17 survey cards which were all entered into a prize draw.  We then asked the Festival’s Artistic Director John McGrath to pick a card out of the pile to randomly choose a winner of a Fitbit Charge 2 – congratulations to Roberto Mancini! Thank you to everyone who took the time to…

July 5, 2017 - news

The French Disconnection

Thomas Ostermeier’s production of Didier Eribon’s Returning to Reims arrives at a moment of great global flux – not least in the country where it’s set. Matt Trueman asks the director what one man’s memoir can tell us about the wider world today.   Once deemed the ‘enfant terrible’ of German theatre, Thomas Ostermeier has grown into a disruptive force…

June 28, 2017 - news

Returning to Reims rehearsal images

We’ve got these great photos from the Returning to Reims rehearsals… In Ostermeier’s typically multilayered production, set in a recording studio, an actress (Homeland’s Nina Hoss, a leading member of the Schaubühne ensemble) tapes a documentary voiceover based on Eribon’s memoir, and begins to reflect on her own background as the daughter of a union leader and activist. How has…

June 23, 2017 - news

Five foodie questions: Ginger’s Comfort Emporium

We end our five-day, five-question survey of Festival Square food traders with a very naughty dessert. After our chats with Honest Crust, Manjit’s Kitchen, Heathcote & Co with the Staff of Life Bakery and Hispi, we’re ending the week by catching up with Ginger’s Comfort Emporium, who’ll be returning to Festival Square from Friday 30 June until Sunday 16 July……

June 22, 2017 - news

Five foodie questions: Hispi

It’s day four in our five-day, five-question survey of our lovely Festival Square food traders. After our chats with Honest Crust, Manjit’s Kitchen and Heathcote & Co with the Staff of Life Bakery, we’re talking today with the team from Hispi, who’ll be making their Festival Square debut from Friday 30 June to Sundsy 16 July… First things first: who…

June 21, 2017 - news

Five foodie questions: Heathcote & Co and Staff of Life Bakery

  Every day this week, we’re having a quick chat with one of the five excellent food traders who are on Festival Square from Friday 30 June to Sunday 16 July. After Honest Crust and Manjit’s Kitchen, we’ve two for the price of one today with Festival Square’s first foodie collaboration between Heathcote & Co and the Staff of Life…

June 20, 2017 - news

Five foodie questions: Manjit’s Kitchen

All week on the blog, we’re asking five quick questions to each of the five food traders who are on Festival Square from Friday 30 June to Sunday 16 July. After Honest Crust got us started yesterday, we’re speaking today with the very excellent Indian street food specialists at Manjit’s Kitchen…   First things first: who are you? I’m Manjit…

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From drawing board to Festival Square

Over the last few months, we’ve been working closely with students from the Unit X programme at Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University. With guidance and support from Manchester-based design and making agencies Ferrious and OH OK LTD, the students have designed the interiors, seating areas and furniture for Festival Square. You can see the students’ work for yourself…

June 19, 2017 - news

Five foodie questions: Honest Crust

This week on the blog: a bunch of fives! For the next five days, we’ll be asking five questions to each of the five food traders who are on Festival Square from Friday 30 June to Sunday 16 July. First up, it’s some old friends of the Festival: Honest Crust, whose pizzas were such a huge hit at MIF15… First…

June 15, 2017 - news

What’s on the menu in Festival Square?

  Festival Square’s food traders have a new home for MIF17! Designed by Paloma Gormley of Practice Architecture and Nicolas Henninger from the Office for Crafted Architecture, our new Festival Barns are currently being built in Albert Square in preparation for Festival Square’s opening at noon on Friday 30 June. But who’s going to be serving food and drink in…

June 13, 2017 - news

Let MIF & Guardian Weekend set you up on a blind date!

  © The Guyliner Single Folk! Let MIF & the Guardian Weekend set you up on a blind date on the runway at What is The City but the People? We’re looking for a pair of local folk to have a Guardian blind date at What is the City but the People?, our opening event. You’ll meet your date on…

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Trailer: Paleman – Dark Matter

Manchester-born musician and DJ Calum Lee – aka Paleman will debut his Live Show as part of the Dark Matter event series curated by Mary Anne Hobbs. Paleman’s first performance of his new Live Show will combine his elegant electronics and jazz drumming. To celebrate this special debut, MIF caught up with Calum at his studio in London to chat…

June 12, 2017 - news

Trailer: The World Was Once All Miracle

  We caught up with composer Raymond Yiu to talk about The World Was Once All Miracle, a new song cycle inspired by the work of Anthony Burgess and marking 100 years since his birth. The concert also features the first European performance of Burgess’s own Symphony in C, along with a work by a composer whose music has influenced…

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Fatherland Album Release

We’re now just a few weeks from the world premiere of Fatherland, and are very happy to announce that Karl Hyde and Matthew Herbert will be releasing Fatherland (Original Music from the Stage Show) a collection of recordings from the show. You can hear a taste of the soundtrack in our trailer below: The album comprises the original recordings made through…

June 9, 2017 - news

MIF17 Volunteer Launch

On a balmy Thursday evening the Whitworth hosted the unofficial start of Manchester International Festival: our volunteer launch party! Over 450 volunteers will support the running of the Festival by providing a friendly welcome across our venues and events. After a speech from Artistic Director John McGrath and a beautiful poem by Judith (a long-term volunteer at the Festival), singer…

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Festival Square Q&A: OH OK Ltd

    We’ll have brand new furniture and interior designs in Festival Square this summer courtesy of the students at Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University – and with thanks to local design agency OH OK Ltd, currently based at PLANT, NOMA, who helped guide the designs through to fruition. We asked them about how they came to be involved…

June 5, 2017 - news

Festival Square – the build begins!

As you may have noticed, we’ve started our build on Manchester’s Albert Square, soon to become Festival Square. We’ve began construction on the Festival Pavilion and the Glass House – and this weekend, we’ll be holding the last of our public making workshops with OH OK Ltd, creating a whole new range of furniture for the Square. Festival Square will…

June 2, 2017 - news

Trailer: Cotton Panic!

Watch the haunting new trailer for Cotton Panic! starring the ethereal Jane Horrocks. The film hints at the amazing soundtrack you’ll hear as part of this compelling show about the Manchester Cotton Famine. Cotton Panic! tells the story of the catastrophe that befell the North and its people, all thanks to events that took place thousands of miles away. Created by…

June 1, 2017 - news

More tickets, extra shows, Guardian Guide

If you pick up a copy of The Guardian this Saturday (3 June), you’ll find a special edition of the Guardian Guide dedicated entirely to the Festival. The MIF17 Guardian Guide contains exclusive interviews with MIF17 artists such as New Order, Liam Gillick, Jane Horrocks, Karl Hyde, LEVELZ and Gruff Rhys, plus features about many other Festival shows and much…

May 26, 2017 - news

A Statement from Manchester’s Arts and Cultural Organisations

We have all been deeply saddened at the tragic events of Monday at Manchester Arena.  Our hearts go out to the families, friends and loved ones of the victims, and to all of those affected by this terrible attack.  The fact that the attack took place at a concert, where young people were gathered to enjoy music and each others’…

May 24, 2017 - news

A statement on Monday night’s attack

Wednesday 24 May To Our Friends, Supporters and Partners: The events of Monday night have horrified everyone in Manchester and beyond.  Our thoughts are first and foremost with the victims and their loved ones, targeted on an evening when they had come together to celebrate music and friendship. As many of you will have witnessed, the response in the city…

May 19, 2017 - news

Interdependence line-up announced

Leading thinkers, artists and academics will all appear as part of Interdependence across three Saturdays in July. Speakers including Vicky Featherstone, Wayne McGregor and Peter Saville will come together across six sessions as part of MIF’s series, Interdependence: We Need To Talk. Presented in association with Vice, The Guardian and FutureEverything, Interdependence: We Need to Talk is three days of artist-led…

May 18, 2017 - news

Engels begins his journey to Manchester for Ceremony

Friedrich Engels – philosopher, writer, radical thinker – is coming back home to Manchester. Found in a somewhat disheveled state in a tiny village in eastern Ukraine, a two tonne, 3.5 metre high Soviet-era statue has hit the road to head back to where it all started. Over the coming weeks it will traverse Europe on the back of a…

May 17, 2017 - news

Trailer: Fatherland

Check out the trailer for Fatherland –  a bold, ambitious new play co-created by Frantic Assembly’s Scott Graham, Karl Hyde from Underworld and playwright Simon Stephens (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time), exploring contemporary fatherhood in all its complexities and contradictions. Fatherland premieres at MIF17, 1-22 July, Royal Exchange Theatre.  

May 15, 2017 - news

Who do you know in Manchester?

As we draw nearer to MIF17’s spectacular opening event, What Is the City but the People?, we’re on the hunt for a specific set of very special people to walk down the runway on Thursday 29 June. Do you know one of the following? Somebody who will become a UK Citizen on Thursday 29 June A couple getting married on Thursday 29…

April 20, 2017 - news

OH OK, Manchester Metropolitan University’s School of Art and MIF – Making Workshops

We always strive to improve our Festival Square from Festival to Festival – and for 2017 we are excited to be working with Manchester Metropolitan University’s School of Art for the 3rd Festival in a row – on our most ambitious project to date. Led aesthetically by the design of Paloma Gormley (Practise Architecture) and Nicholas Henninger (Office for Crafted…

April 7, 2017 - news

Dark Matter artist Clark releases new album ‘Death Peak’

Dark Matter artist Clark has released his eighth album, entitled Death Peak, on the legendary Warp Records, following 2014’s brilliant self-titled Clark LP. Simultaneously dystopian and euphoric, Death Peak invites listeners to push their boundaries with nine tracks that take you visceral journey through the spectrum of Clark’s sound. Stream the album below in full. Clark headlines the 02 Ritz…

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MIF17 tote bag design winner

We’re really pleased to announce that the winner of our competition to design an MIF17 tote bag is Paul Richards. The judges, who included our Artistic Advisor Peter Saville, were impressed by the overall standard and quality of the work that came in. However, they were unanimous that Paul’s design hit the brief and delivered a design that perfectly captures…

April 3, 2017 - news

Sampha releases new film ‘Process’

MIF17 artist Sampha has released an accompanying film to his recent album ‘Process’. Directed by LA based director Khalil Joseph (behind Beyoncé’s Lemonade, amongst others), the film is dedicated to Sampha’s mother, who passed away in 2015. Watch a clip below, or stream all 37 minutes through Apple Music. Sampha performs at Albert Hall on Wednesday 5 July for Manchester International…

March 17, 2017 - news

In pictures: MIF17 launch

On Thursday 9 March, around 500 people gathered together in the industrial depths of Mayfield to hear about the programme for Manchester International Festival 2017. The event saw MIF’s Artistic Director and Chief Executive John McGrath introduce the commissions you’ll experience in the 2017 festival with selected MIF17 artists Karl Hyde, Yael Bartana, Mary Anne Hobbs, Jane Horrocks, Bernard Sumner and more…

March 13, 2017 - news

Six of the best

Thanks to our new creative development scheme, six artists are about to go behind the scenes to experience how MIF projects are put together.   At the start of 2016, we welcomed 100 local artists to an open evening at the MIF offices. When we asked how they’d like to forge stronger links with the Festival, many of these artists…

March 9, 2017 - news

MIF17 – a picture of the world today

John McGrath, MIF’s Artistic Director and CEO, walks us through the packed and varied programme for this summer’s Manchester International Festival. If artists help us to see new possibilities, we surely need them now more than ever. For my first Festival as Artistic Director, I’ve followed the proven but bold MIF formula of inviting around 30 of the world’s most…

January 21, 2017 - news

What if Women Ruled the World?

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January 20, 2017 - news

Design brief – MIF17 tote bag

January 12, 2017 - news

MIF announced as operator for Factory

We have great news to share today – Manchester City Council has granted planning permission for Factory, an exceptional new arts and culture centre for Manchester. MIF will be the operator for Factory, creating a year-round programme of work and running the building, which is due to open 2020. Factory will give audiences the opportunity to enjoy the broadest range…

January 9, 2017 - news

Two months to go…

As the launch of MIF17 draws nearer, John McGrath, MIF’s Artistic Director, looks ahead to a busy and exciting year. It’s 9 January 2017. In exactly two months’ time, on 9 March, we’ll be announcing the full programme for MIF17. Here at MIF HQ, we’re busy gathering details for the brochure and website, finalising some very important stuff (‘Hey everyone,…

November 16, 2016 - news

Racing towards MIF17

We’re launching the first MIF17 projects today – and John McGrath, MIF’s CEO & Artistic Director, is here to run you through the programme.   One of the things that most amazes me about an athlete like Mo Farah is that having produced the run of a lifetime to win the Olympic 5,000m final, he immediately goes back and starts…