Stars Head for Manchester International Festival

Lancashire Telegraph, 1 March 2012

Organisers of the world-renowned Manchester International Festival have announced the line-up for this summer’s showcase of world premieres and special events. With some astounding previews the festival is one of the biggest and most influentual arts festivals in the world.

Massive Attack v Adam Curtis, Kenneth Branagh performing Macbeth, Neneh Cherry and Goldfrapp performing live with the RNCM String Orchestra are just some of the artists.

East Lancashire-born managing director Christine Cort has encouraged people from East Lancashire to go along to the festival, which starts on July 4. She said: “The festival is going to be excellent. I am trying to get people from East Lancashire to come along because it shouldn’t be missed. Because of the direct train services from Clitheroe to Manchester it makes it easy for everyone. It’s not expensive either because we have so many free activities that are going on for the whole family. All people need is their train fare and they can come and hang out in the festival square.”

The festival square will host a programme of free outdoor music complemented by the best food and drink with locally brewed Thwaites cask ales will be joined by a specially produced MIF Festival Ale across three bars.

Due to start in just in just 125 days, visitors from all over the world have already booked tickets to see the world’s biggest name.

Tickets have already sold out for Macbeth, so this year an extra 5,000 people will be able to see Kenneth Branagh on stage while his performance is projected on screen in the festival square.

There will be 20 world premieres during the festival which lasts for 18 days and is held every two years.

In July there will be work exhibited in some of Manchester’s historic industrial spaces including The Biospheric Project. This will see the Biospheric Foundation investigating some possible answers, creating and experimenting with sustainable food systems in a disused mill in the centre of Salford, on the banks of the River Irwell.

Alex Poots CEO and artistic director of MIF has encouraged everyone from Lancashire and beyond to visit Manchester and discover ‘the power of illusion and the illusion of power’. He said: “The arts are for all of us, they fire our imaginations and offer us invaluable insights into the world in which we live. We have commissioned artists and many of them will go on to make their debuts around the world once they have been to Manchester. The line-up is incredible and almost everything in our programme is a UK exclusive.”

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