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MIF: Full 2015 Programme Revealed

Bjork, Albarn and Peake return for the fifth edition of the Manchester International Festival (2-19 July)

Written by . Published on March 5th 2015.

MIF: Full 2015 Programme Revealed

MANCHESTER International Festival (MIF) unveiled their full 2015 programme today at a launch event in what will soon become the festival's new base at Old Granada Studios.

"Over the past decade, MIF has helped cement Manchester's position as a major player on the global arts scene, while attracting tens of thousands of visitors from around the world."

Icelandic artist Bjork - who debuted her Biophilia project at the festival in 2011 - will perform a one-off show at the Castlefield Arena on July 5, while Maxine Peake will also return in an adaption of Caryl Churchill's 1994 play, The Skriker, at the Royal Exchange Theatre.

Damon Albarn will debut his third MIF project Wonder.landa contemporary musical adaption of Lewis Carrol's Alice in Wonderland - at the Palace Theatre alongside National Theatre Director and Dr Dee collaborator, Rufus Norris, and Olivier-Award winning author and playwright, Moira Buffini.

One of 2015's most provocative and intriguing talents, FKA Twigs (main image), will invite audiences to watch her create seven short films during a seven day residency at Old Granada Studios, while Brooklyn's Reggie 'Roc' Gray and his 'bone-breaking' Flex dance team will also perform at the studios.

Bjork MifBjork returns to MIF

Maxine Peake will perform in The SkrikerMaxine Peake will perform in The Skriker

To mark ten years in the city for both MIF and The Warehouse Project, the notorious club night will stage two special nights of live music and DJs at the Mayfield Depot; while the BBC Philharmonic and one of Britain's brightest young composers, Mark Simpson, will premiere The Immortal - inspired by John Gray's The Immortalization Commission - at the Bridgewater Hall, complemented by a rendition of Mozart's Requiem.

As revealed in November, Professor Brian Cox will star in the festival's riskiest performance to date (so risky it's unlikey to be ready by July and is likely to air in 2016). The Age Of Starlight will bring together Oscar-winning director Kevin MacDonald (Last King of Scotland), the Oscar-winning CGI team of Tim Webber and Framestore (Gravity), 'the UK's most famous graphic designer' Peter Saville, and inventor Rony Abovitz and the team at Magic Leap, for a world-first show about the origin of the universe.

Mif Age Of StarlightAge Of Starlight

Mif 2013MIF 2013: Festival Square

Turner Prize-winning artist Douglas Gordon (Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait), world famous pianist, Hélène Grimaud and actor Charlotte Rampling will present a portrait of the wolf in Neck of the Woods at the new £25m HOME arts centre, with another of Manchester's shiny, new cultural centres, the £15m refurbed Whitworth, hosting a joint performance by two of the world's most eminent cultural figures, German visual artist Gerhard Richter and Estonian composer Arvo Pärt.

Part will also team up with Manchester Camerata for a further one-off MIF performance of orchestral and choral works at the Bridgewater Hall on 12 July.

Choreographer Wayne McGregorRandom Dance and Paris Opera Ballet dancers, have joined visual artist Olafur Eliasson and Mercury Prize-winning producer/composer Jamie xx to create Tree of Codes - a new contemporary ballet at the Opera House inspired by the book of the same name by Jonathan Safran Foe.

Jamie XxJamie Xx

FlexN dance troupeFlexN dance troupe

Venezualan-born electronic hip-hop producer Alejandro Ghersi, aka Arca, will team-up with long-time collaborator, London-based artist Jesse Kanda, for a one-off performance at the Halle St Peter's, while digital artist Ed Atkins will capture and document performing MIF artists in Performance Capture, a studio, exhibition and screening space at the Manchester Art Gallery.

Aumbry and Great British Menu chef, Mary-Ellen McTague, has been commissioned to create a magical Alice in Wonderland culinary tour of Manchester Museum, while CBeebies favourite, Mr Tumble, will perform a series of shows for the kiddywinks at the Opera House.

Interdependence is a two-day event of discussion and debate involving graphene scientist Sir Konstantin Novoselov, MIF's CEO and founding director Alex Poots, author Veronica Gonzalez Pena, and artists Olafur Eliasson and Jeremy Deller, while comedy innovators The Invisible Dot Ltd. will present a series of original works in Albert Square's Pavilion Theatre.

Confidentail editor and Blue Badge Guide, Jonathan Schofield, will also be running a series of one-off walking tours around Manchester in partnership with the festival, exploring some of the city's finest sites and hidden spots.

DJs including Mary Anne Hobbs and Dave Haslam will also be playing free sets at the heart of MIF in the Festival Square on Albert Square, where there'll be more live music, bars, food trucks and menus from celebrated Michelin-starred chef Paul Heathcote throughout the eighteen days.

MIF CEO and founding director Alex PootsMIF CEO and founding director Alex Poots

Alex Poots, founding CEO and Festival Director said: “For our fifth Festival, in our tenth year, we remain committed to working with some of the world’s greatest artists, supporting them to make their most ambitious and best work. For my last Festival it is such a pleasure to welcome many new artists and some returning artists to MIF.
"Over the last decade, MIF has helped enable artists to develop their art forms and at times foster connections between different art forms. The best of these works have shown the interdependence between creative disciplines that may not, on the surface, seem to have as much in common, but actually have a deep rooted artistic compatibility.”

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, said: "Over the past decade, MIF has helped cement Manchester's position as a major player on the global arts scene, while attracting tens of thousands of visitors from around the world, providing an important economic boost to the city, and inspiring members of our communities to get involved in the arts.

"The calibre of internationally renowned artists, musicians and performers announced for this summer's event demonstrates that MIF is continuing to break new ground and will continue to showcase Manchester as a vibrant centre of innovation and creativity."

In 2013, it was estimated that MIF welcomed nearly 250,000 attendees (including 50,000 attending free performances) and benefited the city economy to the tune of £38m - read our 2013 report here.

 2015 will be the final MIF for founder Alex Poots, who will take up a new role at New York's $400m Culture Shed - read here.

MIF 2015:

For more information visit mif.co.uk

Tickets (FREE - £46.25) go on sale from Friday 6 March - book here.

10% of all tickets are only £12 for Greater Manchester residents on or below the living wage.

There'll also be free events for over 100,000 people at this year's festival.

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9 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousMarch 5th 2015.

All the best stuff had already been announced IMO. Very excited re. Age of Starlight and I have a soft spot for the MIF Damon Albarn stuff since seeing Monkey.

Voice of the Ironing BroadMarch 5th 2015.

And here is hoping that they have revised their policy of giving only a quota concessionary prices where those with a disability have to compete against students. In a city with a huge number of able bodied students guess who misses out on tickets.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousMarch 5th 2015.

ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ. Come on £12 tickets are amazing. I shouldn't think they even have to do this! Just be grateful surely...

AnonymousMarch 5th 2015.

Yes, but £12 tickets to people earning less than £14k as long as they're honest about their income?

AnonymousMarch 6th 2015.

It's pretty standard to offer discounts to the under 25s/Disabled people/People on Jobseekers, with the idea that the Arts should be accessible, and need to work to be so, not just the privilege of the elites. MIF's discounting looked like a bit of an afterthought last time round after people looked askance at the MacBeth prices, but at least they're in place from the start this time round.

AnonymousMarch 6th 2015.

So let me get this straight. I have to pay full price, yet some son of Chinese billionaires studying in Manchester, a rich Wilmslow Pensioner and some scrubber on the dole gets cut price tickets?!

AnonymousMarch 6th 2015.

Are you seriously going to argue against getting younger and poorer people interested in the Arts?

AnonymousMarch 7th 2015.

"Some scrubber on the dole"? Get a grip.

Voice of the Ironing BroadMarch 7th 2015.

The issue is not that there is differential scale. But that last year there was full price band and then a quota that lumps together students, low income and those with disabilities. Once that quota is gone it is gone. A disabled person who cannot come with out a carer has to pay twice over ..once for them and once for the carer to accompany them. So disabled people compete for their reduced price tickets against able bodied students. Before I do anything with the disabled person I care for I have to check travel arrangements, check running times, check access, check toilets and I guess a lot of that information is not up yet. And then when it comes to it they might not be up to going. Accessibility isn't just about price.

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