Film: We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, Cornerhouse, Opens Friday 12 July
‘It is the role of good journalism to take on powerful abusers, and when powerful abusers are taken on, there’s always a bad reaction. So we see that controversy, and we believe that is a good thing to engage in.’ So says Julian Assange: whistleblower, hacktivist and founder of WikiLeaks, a website that facilitated the largest security breach in US history.
This meticulously researched documentary by Alex Gibney (My Trip to Al-Qaeda), a man that Esquire has called ‘the most important documentarian of our time’, explores the freedom of information and the process of activism in the C21, the moral responsibilities and ethical questions that are raised by the controversial actions of WikiLeaks, Assange, and military source Bradley Manning.
£5.50 full price (concs available). Tickets available here.
MIF: The Machine, Campfield Market Hall, Castlefield, Opens Friday 12 July, 7.30pm
We humans tend to possess an innate distrust of machines, computers, robots, parking meters, printers and the like.
So in 1997 when Deep Blue, a computer built by tech giant IBM and Taiwenese inventor Dr Feng-Hsiung Hsu beat Garry Kasparov, the world’s greatest chess player, many envisioned that we were done for. It was only a matter of time before Skynet, or iRobots, or HAL 9000 enslaved the human race beneath a tyrannical regime overseen by destructive sentient machines.
Director Josie Rourke and playwright Matt Charman deal with this concept of Man vs Machine and the human drama at its core with the world premiere of The Machine. A gripping, often humorous and also tragic tale that tells the tale of when the machine, arguably became more powerful than the human mind.
£35, £25, £12. All information and tickets for MIF available here.
Cabaret: Shangri La, Carlton Club, Prestwich, Friday 12 July, 8pm
This not-for-profit alternative cabaret event held once a month in Prestwich has now been running since 2007, and still manages to pull in a loyal gathering of 80-100 people. A near miracle organiser Debbie Wells explains, “We do it for the pure love but we must be mad. We just wanted to bring something to the cultural desert that is North Manchester.”
This time around Shangri La will be hosting label director, composer and musician Louis Barabbas (frontman of The Bedlam Six), alt-burlesque performer Heidi Bang Tidy and her ‘kinky lollipop lady’, Puppetual Motion hosted by PICO the sponge and female stand-up Kelly J Roberts, who, unusually amongst female stand-ups (here’s looking at you Miranda) is actually pretty funny.
£5 on the door including the world’s crappest raffle, probably. More info here.
Tour: BBC North Open Day, MediaCityUK, Salford, Friday 12 July, 10am – 5pm
It’s easy to beat on the BBC… So I will. Apart from paying off departing executives with ridiculous £1m severance packages (that’s you Byford, you knob), insisting on giving Russell Howard a platform to not be funny and persisting with Snog Marry Avoid (I mean…), the BBC does quite good things now and then.
Keeping David Attenborough alive so he can continue to caress our eardrums, fantastic interactive sports coverage (London Olympics, Wimbledon) and now they’re giving us free tours around the veritable OZ that is the BBC’s new northern base at MediaCityUK.
Take a sneak peek behind the scenes, see how the magic happens, go AWOL.
The sessions run for 30 minutes on a first come first served basis. Sessions start in the Quay House reception on the hour, every hour from 10am – 5pm (excluding 1pm – when they’ll be going for a £500 per head media lunch, on expenses naturally).
FREE. More info on the BBC tour here.
Music: MONEY, Pavilion Theatre, MIF Square, Albert Square, Friday 12 July – Saturday 13 July, 8.30pm
Much like their current moniker, band names with this four piece Manchester lot are interchangeable. They’ve previously been called Books, Youth, Méké Menété and most interestingly, KUNST, named after the former German professional footballer and bawdily named Stefan Kuntz… yeah the one that put England out of the Euros in ’96 (possibly true). “We don’t really mind what our name is, as long as we make music that we are proud of”, the band say. Hmm quite.
Selling out gigs before they’d even released a single, the band has also staged a series of notorious all-night secret hoedowns in abandoned factories and office buildings across the city. Mysterious. The band has recently caught the attention of influential label Bella Union and will be releasing an album full of their powerfully sincere and orchestral-inspired music in the very near future. Hear all the material here at MIF first, meaning you can strut around the indie bars of NQ with a ‘yeah saw them ages ago… you know… before they got big’ attitude.
Surprise: Flyer Fiction, Cornerhouse Bike Stands, Friday 12 July – Monday 15 July
There’s something quite refreshing and novel about the idea that somebody out there is willing to add something creative to your bicycle rather than taking a pair of bolt cutters to it, riding off and selling it to Tattoo Terry down the local for a 20 bag of finest Afghan Kush.
But that’s exactly what writer Sarah-Clare Conlon is planning to do. If you leave your bike on the stands outside Cornerhouse this weekend you may very well get a nice surprise when you come to collect it. From Friday she’ll be creating flash stories inspired by the ebb and flow of bikes left on the stands outside Cornerhouse, and leaving them for the owners to find on their return. Unless, of course, somebody nicks them.
Sarah-Clare will be in the Cornerhouse Café on Friday 5-8pm, Saturday 2-5pm, Sunday 11am-2pm and Mon 8-11pm.
Tour: The Secret Naughty Wet Tour, City Centre (tbc), Saturday 20 July, 6am
Cheating this one since it's two days outside our cut off point for this week but because it's an unusual 'thing to do' it's in there anyway. Details are secret (how MIF), but guests will need to bring waterproofs up to the waist, torches, a good level of fitness and be ready for a very early morning start.
The price for the tour is £10, it's led by Jonathan Schofield and includes basic torches, plus a printed history of the route given at the end of the tour.
Meeting point: city centre, to be confirmed. Book here.
Proms: Proms on the Green, The Horse and Jockey, Chorlton Green, Sunday 14 July, 12pm
Can there be anything more quintessentially British than heading down to a village green on a Sunday afternoon for a few ales, maybe a Pimms or two, a picnic hamper full of miniture pork pies and a slab of Wensleydale, a plaid blanket and a bit of Summer Proms. The only way it could be more British is if the village was named Slackbottom Cockernhole upon Knob. But it’s not… it’s in Chorlton.
A community event organised by The Horse and Jockey, the mini-proms will feature soprano Aimee Toshney, Ed Billingham on classical guitar and the Questi Venti string quarter. Best of all it is completely free. More pennies for cheese.
FREE. More information here.
Music: Rihanna, Diamonds Tour 2013, Manchester Arena, Monday 15 July – Tuesday 16 July, 7.30pm
Apart from taking snaps of her arse, crotch-gesticulation and having undercover trysts with fist-happy on-off lover and Jacko-wannabe Chris Brown, Rihanna does a bit of the music thing now and then. The Diamonds and We Found Love singer had to add an extra date to her previous Manchester stop-off in June due to unprecedented demand.
Having bashed out seven albums in as many years while completing five world tours, the Barbadian beaut has become a perennial figure on the pop-landscape in recent years and her tour is likely to reflect the sheer amount of output.
Expect flesh, 47 costume changes, mammoth production values and her to show up at least 45 minutes late. Well she is a pop-star after all.
£40.25 - £71.50. Grab any remaining tickets for Rihanna in Manchester here.
MIF: Goldfrapp with the RNCM String Orchestra, Albert Hall, Wednesday 17 July – Thursday 18 July, 9pm
The electro synthpop duo (there’s two of them?) are set to release their sixth studio album later on this summer and have chosen Manchester’s International Festival as the platform in which to debut their new material live for the very first time, in its entirety. Plus a few fan-faves like Ohh La La, I need lalalalalala, I need ohh lalalala. Quite right too.
These one-off shows (well there’s two one-off shows actually) are to be performed with the Royal Northern College of Music’s string orchestra within the newly refurbed Albert Hall venue on Peter Street.
Talking to the Guardian about playing MIF, Alison Goldfrapp said, “It is such a great festival so it was an honour to be asked to play. It's a bit of a dream to play with a lovely orchestra in the amazing Albert Hall. We couldn't resist.”
Although if you’re expecting a gold miniskirt don’t bother – she’s done with them apparently. It’s the rickets. Shame.
£30. Currently sold out. But more tickets are expected to be released on the day so keep an eye out here.
Opera: Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca, Royal Opera Live, The Piazza, MediaCityUK, Thursday 18 July, 7.30pm
Beamed over live from the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden to the Piazza in MediaCity by the magic and wonders of technology and loads of wires and satellites and stuff, will be Puccini’s, and one of the world’s most famous and widely performed operas Tosca.
A tale of passion, revenge, loss and intrigue, a beautiful diva and the loathsome Police Chief, Scarpia. The screenings are completely free and no tickets are required, however you are encouraged to get down early if you want to grab one of the limited deckchairs.
Or just bring your own camping chair, but make sure its comfy. Operas tend to be a bit… well, long.
FREE. More info here.
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