HOME’s new season of art, theatre, dance & film: Our highlights

Polly Checkland Harding
Man and woman levitating at window of caravan

Our top picks from HOME’s new programme – here’s what to put in your diary as a priority.

HOME has announced its new season of art, theatre, dance and film – and it looks amazing. Short runs, though, make for a packed schedule; so we’ve taken our pick of the very best of what’s on offer. Including: the return of the team behind Angel Meadow, a brand new TV festival, a simply extraordinary dance production and binaural technology that will have you immersed in the heart of the Amazon. Here we go.

THEATRE. The Encounter

The premise of The Encounter: to tell the (true) story of Loren McIntyre, a National Geographic photographer who ended up living with the people of the remote Javari Valley in Brazil, lost in the depths of the Amazon. The reality: far more complex than this. Each member of the audience has an individual set of headphones, immersing them in Simon McBurney’s tour de force performance with the use of binaural technology – a 3D audio experience that immerses you in the sounds of the rainforest. Intense, unmissable. 16-19 March, 2pm & 7.30pm, tickets from £24, side view & Concs available

FILM. Always (crashing)

Still from High Rise.

One of HOME’s (always excellent) film seasons, Always (crashing) has been scheduled to coincide with the release of High-Rise, a new adaptation of J.G. Ballard’s novel of the same name. It expands the release into a wider celebration of the author’s work, with the programme including The Atrocity Exhibition, Empire of the Sun and Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior. Look out for worlds on the brink of collapse this month. 18-31 March, see website for films in this season (Photo: High Rise. Image courtesy of HOME)

FILM. Viva! Spanish & Latin American Festival

Still from Gabor

For the first time ever, ¡Viva! (now in its 22nd iteration) will include a cross-arts programme of both film and theatre from across the Spanish-speaking world. Two weeks of international performances include work from the award-winning playwright Abel González, UK film premieres and a special presentation of work from surrealist artist, writer and filmmaker Leonora Carrington (who led an extraordinary life). 7-24 April, see website for the full programme (Photo: Gabor. Image courtesy of HOME)

ART. Imitation of Life: Melodrama and Race in the 21st century

Painting of two people kissing

Continuing in HOME’s rich cross-art form tradition, Imitation of Life is a group exhibition that takes its name from a 1959 film from the legendary German-American director Douglas Sirk. The show considers racial politics over the last 15 years in US and Europe – and, like the film, subtext and double meaning will run throughout. It will include a new commission from Sophia Al-Maria, whose Virgin with a Memory exhibition at The Cornerhouse in November 2014 was dark, provocative and excellent. 30 April – 3 July, free entry (Photo: Kampala Suburb, Michael Armitage. Image courtesy of HOME)

FESTIVAL. Pilot Light TV Festival

Co-hosted by HOME, Gorilla and the University of Salford, the first ever Pilot Light TV Festival has set out to make TV viewing communal again – reminiscent of the days when one family in a whole street would have a TV, so everyone had to gather round. Screenings of TV shows and web series will take place over four days, with highlights including under-appreciated satire and black comedy such as Chris Morris and Charlie Brooker’s Nathan Barley and 2006’s Snuff Box, favourite of Paul Rudd and Simon Pegg. It’s also an opportunity to meet the folks involved in the industry. 5-8 May, see website for more details

DANCE. 32 rue Vanderbranden

Man being blown backwards by umbrella

If this is a highlights piece, then this show is one of the highlights of the highlights. Winner of Best New Dance Production at the 2015 Olivier Awards, 32 rue Vanderbranden is a show for anyone who was enchanted by MIF’s Tree of Codes; two trailer homes in a landscape of snow and ice make up the cinematic set, where a small mountain community battle loneliness and fear expressed through gravity-defying movement set to a disturbing soundtrack of Bellini, Stravinsky and Pink Floyd. 23-25 May, 7.30pm, tickets £18-10 (Conc. available; Photo: 32 Rue Vanderbranden. Image courtesy Peeping Tom and HOME. Credit: Herman Sorgeloos)

THEATRE. On Corporation Street

Corporation Street following the IRA bomb

Another best of the best here – or so we predict. On Corporation Street sees ANU Productions, the company behind the extraordinary Angel Meadow (a sell-out immersive production in a disused pub in Ancoats), working with HOME again. On Corporation Street marks the twentieth anniversary of the IRA bomb in Manchester in 2016 with an occupation of HOME itself; a series of personal encounters will merge past, present and future to explore the memories and myths of Saturday 5 June 1996. 10-25 June, 6.pm & 7.30pm, tickets from £10 (Photo: On Corporation Street. Credit: @manchesterfire.)

THEATRE. Beyond Caring

Given four stars by The Guardian and The Telegraph, and dubbed ‘beyond praise’ by The New York Times, devised production Beyond Caring takes a brutally honest look at workers at a meat factory on zero hour contracts who, over time, get too close to one another too quickly. Exposing ‘the stories of an invisible class’, Beyond Caring is the product of investigation, first-hand experience and involvement from those on zero hours contracts. 13-16 July, 7.45pm, tickets £12 (Conc. available)

ART. Behind the Sun: Prêmio Marcantônio Vilaça CNI Sesi Senai

Man in gold with gask mask stands on red carpet over trash

The Prêmio Marcantônio Vilaça CNI Sesi Senai is the largest contemporary art prize in Brazil – and this exhibition is made up of five of its winners. Film, performance, sculpture, photography and performance will combine to challenge the carnival-esque stereotypes held about the country in a particularly pertinent exhibition to the Rio 2016 Olympic countdown. There will also be a film-based Brazilian Weekender 21-24 June. 23 July – 25 September, free entry (Photo: Berna Reale)

THEATRE. A Pacifist’s Guide to the War on Cancer

Commissioned and produced by Complicite, this production take a new look at cancer – with songs, sequins and a proper examination of the reality hidden behind the posters, news stories and political posturing. We suspect there might be a bit of a deconstruction of the combat-based language used around the disease; whatever the show turns out to be, though, it’s in the extremely capable (and rather talented) hands of Bryony Kimmings (whose prior work is subject to all sorts of acclaim), Brian Lobel and Tom Parkinson. 20-24 September, 2pm & 7.30pm, tickets £20-10 (Conc. available)

THEATRE. The Emperor

A collaboration with the Young Vic and Theatre de Ville, Luxembourg this time – for a show that sees the indomitable Kathryn Hunter (Kafka’s Monkey) return to HOME’s stage. Hunter will play a cast of characters, all servants to a despotic ruler whose authority is in the process of collapse. Based on an incredible book by the journalist Ryszard Kapuściński (someone Dostoyevsky credited as an influence), this is a play with powerful stories to tell. 28 September – 8 October, 7.30pm, tickets £26.50-£10 (Conc. available)

Culture Guides

Image credit: Maryna Makarenko, Sun-Eaters, 2022

Cinema

Classic pre-Code cinema, the Artist Film Weekender and the music of John Williams are amongst our highlights this month.

Exhibitions

Pause in the hustle and bustle of festive prep to take in some inspiration from this month’s top exhibitions.

The Ocean at the End of The Lane at the lowry

Families

It’s the most wonderful time of the year and Manchester is bursting with fun, family activities to keep the kids entertained in the run up to Christmas!

Poet Helen Mort. Photo by Jan Bella

Literature

There’s live literature and book-buying opportunities a-plenty as November unfolds and Manchester – celebrating five years as a UNESCO city of Literature – and the wider North region welcomes some great writers, both in real life and online.

Music

The festive season is here, and whether you want to escape it or embrace it, we’ve got you covered.

Theatre in Manchester and the North

Theatre

Alongside radical sci-fi adaptations and free arts festivals, we take a look at some of the Christmas shows happening in the North.

Classical Music in Manchester and the North

We preview the standout classical music events and venues in Manchester and the north.

Food and Drink

Explore the best restaurants and bars in Manchester and the North for autumn.

Tours and Activities

We’re deep into Autumn now but don’t let that stop you from finding a new tour or activity to get stuck into.

Things to do right now

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