Illuminate: A Journey of Seven Stories at Manchester Central Library

Sara Jaspan, Exhibitions Editor
Joel Chester Fildes

Illuminate at Manchester Central Library, Manchester 24 — 25 November 2017 Entrance is free — Visit now

In 2004, the critic and co-founding editor of Private Eye, Christopher Booker, published his gargantuan 34-year-long labour of love; The Seven Basic Plots: Why We Tell Stories. In it he attempts to put to rest the age-old riddle of how many stories exist in the world, arguing that everything from Beowulf to The Ugly Duckling can be boiled down to one of seven archetypal plots: Overcoming the Monster, Rags to Riches, The Quest, Voyage and Return, Comedy, Tragedy, and Rebirth.

It is from this overarching principle that Illuminate takes its lead. For two unique evenings in November, over 60 international and Manchester-based artists are set to take over Central Library with an immersive live performance exploring the role that stories play in helping us to understand ourselves and our place in the world.

The piece will unfold in seven parts (one per plot) across seven locations throughout the library, taking full advantage of its iconic architecture, whilst also seeking to transform how audiences perceive and engage with this important public space. Atmospheric lighting and an original live soundtrack by award-winning composer, Miguel Marin, will accompany a rich tapestry of movement and dance, resonating throughout the building’s sweeping corridors and domed ceilings.

And as if this weren’t enough, there’s also a free countdown programme of events scheduled in the lead up to the main performance, including a pop-up dance piece taking place outside the library entrance and the chance to go behind-the-scenes and watch the rehearsal and pre-production process unfold.

Created and produced by Manchester’s internationally-renowned dance theatre company, Company Chameleon, Illuminate is a special commission to celebrate the organisation’s 10th birthday. It forms part of Library Live; Manchester Central Library’s cultural events programme, where unexpected, sociable and stimulating things happen.

Illuminate at Manchester Central Library, Manchester 24 — 25 November 2017 Entrance is free Visit now

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Where to go near Illuminate: A Journey of Seven Stories at Manchester Central Library

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