MIF19: Invisible Cities at Mayfield

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
MIF19 Invisible Cities at Mayfield Manchester International Festival 2019
Photo: Jason Bell

Invisible Cities at Mayfield at Mayfield, Manchester 4 — 14 July 2019 Tickets from £10 — Book now

Inspired by Italo Calvino’s 1972 novel of the same name, Invisible Cities is a world premiere performance created for Manchester’s vast and historic Mayfield site. Distilling both the essence of Manchester International Festival and the ambition that looks to define The Factory, Invisible Cities is set to be a fantastical journey, and an exploration of what is possible in live performance.

Offering an enchanting recipe of theatre, choreography, music, architectural design and project mapping, this new and groundbreaking performance will bring a fascinating series of imaginative and extraordinary cities to life. Zenobia, a city of joy; Beersheba, a celestial city of gold; Isadora, a city of promise, seduction and desire.

An exploration of what is possible in live performance

Invisible Cities centres on the uneasy relationship between young explorer Marco Polo and Kublai Khan, the capricious leader of a huge empire. City by city, the young explorer must transcend the language barrier between himself and the emperor, to describe the vast and spectacular empire.

This flagship performance will see designer and video artist Leo Warner, founding director of 59 Productions, join forces with award-winning Belgian choreographer Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui; writer and performer Lolita Chakrabarti and Rambert, one of the world’s leading and most exciting dance companies.

Warner is a pioneer of ‘live film-making’ in theatre and has created award-winning projects to much acclaim. Often working theatre and film together in an equal partnership, The Guardian have referred to his work as ‘an entirely new art form’ and ‘a high watermark for multimedia theatre’. Warner led the 59 Productions team on the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, working directly with Oscar-winner Danny Boyle.

Invisible Cities is definitely a must-see

As it did for last year’s Everything that happened and would happen, Mayfield offers itself up as the perfect backdrop for this grand and monumental performance. Calvino’s original novel describes 55 imaginary cities – if anywhere could accommodate this, it’s Mayfield. With this powerful line-up of creatives and Mayfield’s rich heritage and architectural quirks, Invisible Cities is definitely a must-see at MIF19.

Invisible Cities at Mayfield at Mayfield, Manchester 4 — 14 July 2019 Tickets from £10 Book now

Where to go near MIF19: Invisible Cities at Mayfield

Music venue
The Star & Garter

The Star and Garter is a legendary Manchester pub and music venue located in a grade II listed building on Fairfield Street.

Event venue
Depot Mayfield

A former railway station now acting as a multi-purpose event space and home to various pop-up events

Event venue
Freight Island

Freight Island is back after a winter break, with a sparkling new line-up of events and happenings.

Mayfield Park

Manchester has a new green heart: The 6.5 acre Mayfield Park, complete with the largest public playground in the city.

One Star Doner Bar
Bar or Pub
One Star Doner Bar

One Star Döner Bar is the latest addition to the fast-growing Escape To Freight Island, the exciting urban market located at Depot Mayfield.

GRUB Manchester

Manchester’s legendary independent street food festival GRUB has found a permanent home in the Green Quarter, aka Cheetham Hill.

Music venue
Progress Centre

Having served two summers of temporary parties, Progress Centre has been reinvented into a new permanent outdoor club in central Manchester, which is hosting a string of massive parties this…

Spirit Studios

Spirit Studios now houses 10 unique studios, an on-site live venue, DJ booths, editing suites and more. Recently, kitting out many of its studios with new state-of-the-art Audient desks and it soon will welcome its very own radio station.

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