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Contact Theatre this autumn

Anish Roy and Varun Raj in Brown Boys Swim. Pic: Geraint Lewis
Anish Roy and Varun Raj in Brown Boys Swim. Pic: Geraint Lewis

Contact Theatre in Manchester has announced a 2023 autumn season with a combination of shows that "challenge perceptions, platform today’s most exciting artists and advocate for a brighter tomorrow".

The season follows a year of reflection on the organisation's 50th anniversary. Artistic director and CEO Keisha Thompson said: "Our autumn season is a love letter to the themes that make Contact one of the most exciting venues in the UK; humanity, resilience, empathy, experimentation and connection."

The season features two world premieres: Census (August 10-11), a Contact commission by Malandra Jacks, a digital-led theatre show that celebrates the North Manchester heritage and Moston spirit and asks questions about what class means.

Keisha Thompson will premiere her new play in partnership with Manchester's National Football Museum, 14% (October 14-28).

Poster for Keisha Thompson's new play 14%
Poster for Keisha Thompson's new play 14%

Set against the frenzy of the Lionesses' success, the multi-sensory show takes us inside the post-match train carriage as we follow British footballer Nadia and her unnamed, unborn baby. Contact is also screening some of the Women's world cup games during the competition from late July.

Contact also welcomes Edinburgh hit Brown Boys Swim to Manchester (October 25-28), a poignant play hailed as a triumph by some reviewers. Themes of friendship, resilience and the overcoming of adversity make Karim Khan's play a brave, honest look at the issues faced by young people.

Playwright Tim Crouch will bring his "act of collective imagining", Truth’s a Dog Must to Kennel to Contact (November 16), a virtual adaptation of King Lear. Crouch offers a fresh perspective on power, truth and art.

Tim Crouch in virtual King Lear, "Truth's a Dog Must To Kennel"
Tim Crouch in his virtual King Lear, "Truth's a Dog Must To Kennel"

Half Moon will present Hot Orange (November 28-30), an immersive exploration of friendship and the moment of falling in love by Amal Khalidi and Tatenda Naomi Matsvai. Hot Orange follows Amina and Tandeki as they navigate what it takes to sustain love and friendship beyond childhood idealism, and reflects Contact’s commitment to giving LGBTQIA+ experiences a platform.

Contact will also be collaborating with Manchester Literature Festival in events featuring Max Porter (October 7), Zadie Smith (October 9) and Linton Kwesi Johnson (October 14).

During the autumn, Contact will also be laying the groundwork for the launch of Re: Fute, a new festival refuting the past and evoking conversations about a shared vision for the future.

Christmas brings the panto Cinderella (December 9-31), presented by eight-freestyle and Contact Young Company.

More info and tickets here


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