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Contact Manchester 50th birthday season

Contact’s 50th birthday year starts this August, with a season of some of its most distinctive work and projects to date.

The autumn season showcases new Contact-supported shows, new work from the Contact Young Company and new touring shows and emerging artists.

Contact’s Young Company will premiere Halo (October 24-26) directed by the theatre's artistic director, Keisha Thompson. It's inspired by the Halo Code, a campaign for the protection and celebration of Black hair and hairstyles in schools and workplaces.

From November 22-26, Contact premieres 14%, a new play by Keisha Thompson, set in a train carriage. The two-hander sees protagonists Nadia and Nik attempt to quantify their Britishness. Piloted as a "Talawa First" in 2021 and now premiering alongside the World Cup and supported by the National Football Museum, 14% addresses racism in football culture and the politics of DNA testing.

Amy Vreeke in Glowing
Amy Vreeke in Glowing

Glowing (October 18-22) is a new theatre and comedy show by Amy Vreeke About the myths of motherhood.

The Trauma Show. Pic: Tom Kennedy
The Trauma Show. Pic: Tom Kennedy

Demi Nandhra’s The Trauma Show (November 15-16) comes about through her obsession with childhood trauma, naming it, analysing it, healing from it, and getting on stage to perform it.

Special events include With My Ear To The Wall (October 10), an audio installation featuring interviews with Contact participants, inspiring a sense of closeness and almost voyeuristic curiosity about mental health.

There is also a large selection of touring shows, starting on September 29 with a full-length ensemble production from Spoken Movement. Family Honour blends hip hop and theatre from internationally award-winning choreographer Kwame Asafo-Adjei.

Not Your Circus Dog
Not Your Circus Dog

Following on is Not F**kin Sorry (September 29-30) from Not Your Circus Dog, a sell-out show from the Soho Theatre. This collective of learning disabled and neurodivergent performers performs shamelessly sexy, punk cabaret.

Groove (October 5-9) is a new performance from critically acclaimed OUTBOX featuring a cast of intergenerational dancers and actors, while Lava Elastic (November 11) is the UK's first openly neurodiverse comedy/performance/poetry night created by Sarah Saeed (aka operatic comedy diva Marianna Harlotta).

Pigfoot (November 1-3) is a multi award-winning theatre company telling stories about the climate crisis while minimising its own carbon footprint.

Daytime Deewane (November 22-24) by Azan Ahmed is the latest production from Half Moon, the UK’s leading small-scale young people’s venue and touring company. Inspired by the daytime raves of 1990s British Asian culture, Daytime Deewane explores the beauty and struggle of living with a multi-cultural identity as a teenager.

Split Britches – Lois Weaver (lelt) and Peggy Shaw – in Last Gasp. Pic: Christa Holka
Split Britches – Lois Weaver (lelt) and Peggy Shaw – in Last Gasp. Pic: Christa Holka

Last Gasp (November 30) lands somewhere between the live and the virtual. Peggy Shaw and Lois Weaver as Split Britches combine spoken word, movement and Zoom to respond to a world turned upside down.

20 Stories High is bringing its double bill Touchy Live (November 10-12) with live music, hip-hop, film and poetry, from Liverpool’s finest rappers, singers, and poets.

Keisha Thompson said: “It is Contact's 50th year from August. The autumn season will celebrate dynamic new work from some incredible talent, and highlight some of our precious alumni. Whether you fancy spoken word, theatre, comedy or dance or ingenious new multi-media works, we will have something for you. You have my word!”

Tickets and info here


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