MIF21: The Global Playground

Kristy Stott, Theatre Editor
Image courtesy of Chris Nash.

The Global Playground at Great Northern, City Centre, 2–18 July 2021, from £10.00 - Book now

Following the huge success of The Welcoming Party at Manchester International Festival in 2017, Theatre-Rites return to the festival with The Global Playground. Fusing dance, music, theatre and puppetry, this bright, family-friendly show explores the concept of play and how we connect with one another. This exciting and innovative production will premiere simultaneously at Manchester International Festival 2021 and online this July.

A bright, family-friendly show exploring the concept of play and how we connect with one another.

The Global Playground follows a group of dancers who meet to create a film with their nervous and chaotic director. Things begin to get wonderfully weird when the camera takes on a life of its own. The performance examines how a camera’s gaze often reveals more than we bargained for. The show will be presented both live in-person and online meaning digital viewers will gain a unique insight as the camera becomes a character, in its own right, on stage.

Inspired by our experiences of connection and disconnection throughout the lockdown, The Global Playground examines the magic of first encounters and the ways by which we reach out to each other. During the coronavirus pandemic, we have adapted the ways by which we communicate we can now connect with anyone, anywhere in person and on-screen. This uplifting premiere invites us to celebrate the people we are and those we like to spend time with, while also examining essential human relationships in a society where our digital and real-life selves coexist.

This uplifting premiere invites us to celebrate the people we are and those we like to spend time with.

Choreographed by Gregory Maqoma (Tree, MIF19) and created by a team of international collaborators, The Global Playground marks the 25th anniversary of the award-winning experimental theatre company, Theatre-Rites. Since 1995, the company have pioneered cross-artform theatre for children and family audiences. For this production, the company are working with an incredible ensemble of performers and creatives. The cast includes dancers Jahmarley Bachelor (Zoonation), Annie Edwards (A Kate Prince Company), Kennedy Junior Muntanga (Phoenix Dance) and Charmene Pang (Isadora Now: A Triple Bill, The Barbican). They will be joined by acclaimed puppeteer Sean Garratt and Birmingham Symphony Orchestra percussionist Merlin Jones.

With an exceptional bunch of cast and creatives, we think that The Global Playground is a warm-hearted reminder to treat other people with kindness and compassion, whether you’re connecting digitally or in-person. The perfect sentiment for children and family audiences returning to live theatre after the lockdown.

Stream The Global Playground on demand via MIF LIVEthe Festival’s broadcast channel, accessible via the MIF website or via the ‘Book Now’ button below.

The Global Playground at Great Northern, City Centre

2–18 July 2021
From £10.00

Dates and Times

  • 2 July 2021 11:00 am
  • 3 July 2021 11:00 am
  • 3 July 2021 3:00 pm
  • 4 July 2021 11:00 am
  • 4 July 2021 3:00 pm
  • 8 July 2021 7:00 pm
  • 9 July 2021 7:00 pm
  • 10 July 2021 11:00 am
  • 10 July 2021 3:00 pm
  • 11 July 2021 11:00 am
  • 11 July 2021 3:00 pm
  • 14 July 2021 7:00 pm
  • 15 July 2021 7:00 pm
  • 16 July 2021 7:00 pm
  • 17 July 2021 11:00 am
  • 17 July 2021 3:00 pm
  • 18 July 2021 11:00 am
  • 18 July 2021 3:00 pm
  • Always double check dates and times with the venue before making a special visit