SICK! Festival heads north for the first time this March aiming to shock and inform an even larger audience in 2015 with events spread across venues in both Manchester and 250 miles south in Brighton.
Fourteen years ago in a small Irish town, four women decided to die. Over 40 days they prepared themselves for the end, destroying every trace of their existence. They left nothing behind.
The festival runs from Monday 2 March to Wednesday 25 March and asks audiences to ponder current social taboos including abuse, sex and suicide through theatre, dance, literature, film, performance, public installations and debate.
Sick! seeks to highlight difficult topics predominantly personal to individuals and share them collectively in the hope of overcoming them.
Be sure to bring an open mind and prepare to be stunned, humbled and humoured. Full programme here.
Below are some of the SICK!est Manchester events...
IS THERE EVER SUCH A THING AS A RATIONAL SUICIDE? | Manchester Museum | Tues 17 March | 7.30pm | £4 (£2 donated to charity)
Various speakers attempt to conclude if suicide can ever be deemed rational. With suicide so often viewed as an unrational act, how should we respond if this unthinkable acts seems well-thought out and, in some cases, the right thing to do? Should be an incredibly interesting listen.
IN FRONT OF THE CHILDREN | The International Anthony Burgess Foundation | Sun 8 March | 3pm | £8/5
This event aims to emphasise how readily available pornography is to young people and ask whether it is ultimately a threat, or whether it provides useful information to beginners. The Manchester events includes speakers: Paul Burston, host and founder of LGBT literary salon Polari; award-winning novelist and author of Animals, Emma Jane Unsworth; and Clarissa Smith, Professor of Sexual Cultures at University of Sunderland.
THE UNSPEAKABLE CRIME: RAPE by Sara Hardy and Blue Ryan | International Anthony Burgess Foundation | Sun 15 March | 6pm | £5
This film documentary takes a look at rape from a different perspective. It shows the process from incident through the courts and beyond. Using real life documentary footage from real victims at Manchester's St Mary's Sexual Assault Centre, the film follows Juliet, attacked by a stranger, and Kellie, who had known and trusted her attacker for over a decade.
LIPPY by Dead Centre | The Lowry | Weds 25 March | 8pm | £14
Widely acknowledged as the most extraordinary piece of theatre to emerge from Ireland in years. Fourteen years ago in a small Irish town, four women decided to die. Over 40 days they prepared themselves for the end, destroying every trace of their existence. They left nothing behind.
WHY BE NORMAL? | Manchester Museum | Tues 10 March | 7.30pm | £4 (£2 to LGBT charity)
Questioning conformity and morality, in particular regard to our sexual preferences, this debate will explore what it means to 'be normal'. What is 'normal'. Why not be different? Aren't we all what we're born with anyway?
SLAPTALK by Action Hero | Whitworth Gallery | Thurs 19 March | 3-9pm | FREE
Inpired by boxers at a pre-fight weigh in, this performance seeks to emphasise the violence prominent in everyday language from both adults and children. Speaking to each other and to the audience via a live feed from a camera to a monitor, the performers rant, insult and threaten each other in a scripted version of a pre-fight press conference.
SO YOU CAN FEEL by Pieter Ampe | Contact Theatre | Tues 3 March | 8pm | £10
After a series of duets and a quartet, dancer and performer Pieter Ampe is going solo. Are we aware of how others perceive us? Which energy do we emanate through our bodies? Do we need to be liberated? Ampe will find out.
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