Theatre to Take Centre-stage As Line-up For Manchester International Festival Is Revealed
Kenneth Branagh, Neneh Cherry, Maxine Peake, Sir John Tavener, Massive Attack and The xx Are Among theStar Names at This Year's Festival
Manchester Evening News, 28 February 2013
Kenneth Branagh, Neneh Cherry, Maxine Peake, Sir John Tavener, Massive Attack, Goldfrapp, The xx, world-renowned pianist Martha Argerich and Manchester band Delphic have been revealed as the star names at this year's Manchester International Festival.
Branagh and Peake were joined by the festival's chief executive Alex Poots in the city today to announce the full programme for the biennial event, which takes place right across Manchester from July 4 to July 24.
In its fourth year, the festival maintains a diverse mix of music, arts, theatre and chat, but in 2013 theatre takes centre stage. And MIF will also bring some long-forgotten spaces back into use, including the former Methodist-owned Albert Hall and the disused railway station and storage facility Mayfield Depot.
Hollywood actor Willem Dafoe returns for a second time to co-star in a production of 'The Old Woman' with dancer and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov, directed by Robert Wilson - who worked on 'The Life and Death of Marina Abramovic' in 2011's festival.
Branagh's appearance in 'Macbeth' was revealed last month and tickets for the intimate shows at a still-secret deconsecrated Manchester church sold out in minutes. In response, the festival will now broadcast a live production onto a big screen at the Bridgewater Hall car park on July 20 for an audience of around 5,000.
Peake will star in a one-woman adaptation of Percy Bysshe Shelley's 'The Masque of Anarchy', a political poem about the Peterloo Massacre in which 15 Mancunians perished and hundreds were injured as they campaigned for parliamentary reform, staged in the Albert Hall just metres away from the original massacre.
And casting continues for 'The Machine', the story of chess player Garry Kasparov which is being directed by Salford-born director Josie Rourke and performed at Campfield Market Hall - home to Bjork's Biophilia in 2011.
In music, the Festival Pavilion in Albert Square will host residencies from Delphic, who will rework their new album Collections with a host of international musicians for three nights; Swedish musician Neneh Cherry, who showcases her new album RoketNumberNine in the opening weekend; and young music pioneer and grime music enthusiast Jamal Edwards.
LCD Soundsystem's James Murphy unites with Too Many DJs (aka Soulwax) to play four vinyl-only club nights on a custom built sound system at the Co-operative Ballroom in New Century Hall, The xx play several nights at a secret venue throughout the festival, spiritual singer Abida Parveen makes a one-off rare appearance at the Bridgewater, and Goldfrapp unite with the RNCM string orchestra for two nights at the Albert Hall.
John Tavener will be joined by the BBC Philharmonic and the MIF Sacred Sounds Women's Choir to premiere three new pieces of music, Scottish band Mogwai will soundtrack a film about legendary footballer Zinedine Zidane, and Bestival organiser Rob da Bank teams up with Manchester photographer Kevin Cummins for a audio-visual exploration of Manchester music through the decades and the alphabet.
In art, duo Massive Attack join 'It Felt Like A Kiss' and 'The Crash Of The Elysium' director Felix Barrett and filmmaker Adam Curtis, group show do it 20 13 takes over Manchester Art Gallery with interactive performance pieces, and at Mayfield Depot a collaboration of artists stage free exhibitions during the day and Stavinsky's 'The Rite of Spring' soundtracks a dancing cloud of bone china dust by night.
Innis Goris brings 'Once Upon A Time' to Manchester Town Hall, a mixed media performance based on children's stories for families, and Indian artist Nikhil Chopra responds to Manchester's textile industry with 'Coal on Cotton', exploring how these commodities maintain modern day slavery.
DJ and author Dave Haslam also returns with a series of In Conversation events, this time with Neneh Cherry and Jamal Edwards, and as one of the stellar Manchester DJs lined up to play for free at the Pavilion throughout the festival alongside Will Tramp, Drunk at Vogue and Disco Mums.