Factory International Opening Season

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
Factory International Opening Season
Image courtesy of Factory International.

Factory International Opening Season at Aviva Studios, Manchester 30 June — 19 November 2023 Entrance is free — Visit now

2023 is set to be a bumper year for art and culture in Manchester. This year brings the next edition of Manchester International Festival (29 June – 16 July) alongside many exciting new cultural openings across the city – the most notable, of course, being the imminent arrival of Factory International. We’re thrilled that this brand-new landmark space is set to welcome its first visitors from June and there’s loads to look forward to. Prepare to fill that crisp new diary as we preview the Factory International Opening Season.

You, Me and the Balloons
Yayoi Kusama and Dots Obsession, 1996-2011 Installation (Watari Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo). Courtesy of Ota Fine Arts, Victoria Miro and David Zwirner.

This brand-new landmark space is set to welcome its first visitors from June.

Factory International throws open its doors and kicks off a tremendous year-round programme with a major exhibition. The striking centrepiece of the 2023 edition of Manchester International Festival, You, Me and the Balloons celebrates three decades of Japanese contemporary artist Yayoi Kusama’s striking inflatable sculptures. Hypnotic and truly spectacular, Kusama’s psychedelic larger-than-life creations are the perfect pairing for the new venue’s vast warehouse space. Tickets are already on sale for You, Me and the Balloons. Meanwhile, the full MIF23 programme will be announced in spring, with priority booking for Factory International Members.

Following on from MIF23 in the summer, the official opening show for Factory International happens in the autumn. Free Your Mind is an unmissable dance adaptation of the classic sci-fi film The Matrix. Crafted and performed for Manchester, this world premiere production has been created by a top-notch team with direction from Danny Boyle. The performance will meld together Kenrick ‘H20’ Sandy’s mesmerising hip-hop choreography and Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante’s explosive musical score (both artists are co-founders and artistic directors of the Olivier-award winning Boy Blue) with eye-popping stage sculptures by British set designer Es Devlin and spoken word by the acclaimed playwright and poet Sabrina Mahfouz.

Free Your Mind at Factory International.
Free Your Mind at Factory International. Image courtesy of North Design.

Later in the autumn Factory International will host The Welcome, a huge nine-day house-warming celebration to mark the opening of the venue. The Welcome will bring a vibrant variety of art to the building – expect everything from music, circus and fashion to exhibitions and food. Perhaps most impressively, The Welcome has been developed in collaboration with the ‘Factory Assembly’, a group of local residents who have taken the lead on the project. Developed by Manchester for Manchester, Factory International is about meeting people, having fun and sharing cultural experiences together.

Factory International is about meeting people, having fun and sharing cultural experiences together.

To keep bang-up-to-date on all of these shows and much more – be sure to sign up to Factory International’s newsletter. It’s a free subscription and you’ll be among the first to hear about new events and exclusive ticket offers. Additionally, you can become a member of Factory International too; membership gives you access to priority booking, members-only events, exclusive digital content and a members-only e-newsletter. Membership is just £36 at the moment and you’ll receive a special welcome gift when you sign up.

Factory International Opening Season at Aviva Studios, Manchester 30 June — 19 November 2023 Entrance is free Visit now

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