Directed by Danny Boyle, Free Your Mind is a Matrix-themed large-scale performance spectacular and the first production at Manchester’s landmark arts venue Factory International.
Located on the site of the old Granada TV studios, the £186m Factory International is set to be “a global destination for arts, music and culture”. Designed by Ellen van Loon of international architectural firm OMA, Factory International promises to be an arts venue like no other – a blend of a fixed theatre space and an ultra-flexible warehouse. Super-sized moveable walls will allow for different configurations and performance possibilities, allowing the venue to offer intimate performances alongside grander, large-scale events.
Specially created for the opening of Factory International, Free Your Mind – we’re told – is planned to be a work of epic proportions. A dramatic and visceral cross-art collaboration, the production will feature eye-popping visual effects and an ensemble of professional dancers performing alongside hundreds of Manchester participants.
Crafted and performed for Manchester, the birthplace of the world’s first industrial revolution, Free Your Mind will examine the potential of the digital revolution. Inspired by some of the Matrix films’ most iconic scenes, this world premiere performance will take audiences on a “thrilling journey through the Matrix”, provoking visions of an alternative future and “a new realm of possibilities”.
With hip-hop choreography by Kenrick ‘H20’ Sandy MBE, a powerful score from Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante MBE (both co-founders and artistic directors of the Olivier-award winning Boy Blue), immense stage sculptures by world-renowned designer Es Devlin and work by the acclaimed writer Sabrina Mahfouz – all directed by Danny Boyle – Free Your Mind certainly looks to set out the ambition and vision for Factory International.