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IN THE CITY PART THREE A city-wide performance programme during Contact’s building transformation.



Thanks to our Funders, Sponsors and Supporters, and to everyone who has donated to Contact online and in person. Core Funders:

Project Funders:

Project Partners:

Capital Funders:

Capital Corporate Partners:



Image © Joel Chester Fildes

We’re delighted to present the third part of Contact In The City, as work continues to transform our iconic building on Oxford Road. In 2019 we are building on the ambition of our previous In The City programme which took us to venues across Greater Manchester, including Palace Theatre, Upper Campfield Market Hall, and even a working sari shop. We’re thrilled to be presenting a major show from our regular collaborator, poet and writer Inua Ellams, whose National Theatre production of Barber Shop Chronicles will be at the Royal Exchange Theatre in March. We’re also staging a taster of our annual Queer Contact Festival as a compact weekender in February, featuring some of the best-loved elements of the festival, including the famous Manchester Vogue Ball.

Queer Contact will return full-force once we’re back at home in our building. In May we’re bringing a group of young activist-performers from Brazil who have made a sensational show about their protest to education cuts, which became a national phenomenon. We’re also presenting two shows from our brilliant Contact Young Company, the first in partnership with Battersea Arts Centre followed by a collaboration with local spoken word heroes, Young Identity. We’d love you to join us! Matt Fenton, Artistic Director

Contact is a charity dependent on our valued Funders, Trusts and Foundations, and the generosity of individual donors. To find out more about how you can support our work, please contact: Jane Hall, Development Manager via or call 0161 274 0657. 3

Artist’s impression of Contact’s transformation © Sheppard Robson / Yuwei Zhang

MAKING CONTACT: OUR TRANSFORMATION Contact is now undergoing a £6.65m building transformation. We are working with a dedicated group of young people, Con:Struct, architects Sheppard Robson, and contractors F Parkinson Ltd, to create a home for the next generation of audiences, artists and young people. The revitalised Contact will feature new facilities including a new performance space, recording studio, offices, rehearsal space, and café/bar, plus improved access for all visitors. The transformation will: • Increase the number and range of creative opportunities for young people • Strengthen our financial sustainability • Improve access throughout the building • Improve our environmental performance

For us to achieve our dream of a transformed and expanded artistic centre for all, we need to raise a further £500,000. We can’t do it without you! There are many ways you can help as an individual or corporate supporter. For more information please contact Jane Hall, Development Manager via or 0161 274 0657.

‘We are delighted to support this dynamic company and their exciting redevelopment plans, transforming their building to support the next generation of audiences, artists and young people’ Kate Vokes, Director of Culture, Bruntwood. 4


Image © Lee Baxter





‘I know more lives that have been transformed because of Contact than I can count. Some of the most prolific and creative artists I’ve met started out at Contact.’

Image © Lee Baxter

‘With so much young talent within the North West, Contact embraces the differences and opportunities that come with identity and diversity within the whole cultural spectrum.’ Image © Joel Chester Fildes





‘I make work to be shown at Contact to be part of that social change. Contact does more than get bums on seats, it encourages and supports us.’

‘Contact was my lifeline when I was a kid just out of care. It raised me, gave me my first break as a writer and performer.’



Image © Fotocad


QUEER CONTACT FESTIVAL WEEKENDER Celebrating LGBTQ+ arts and culture in Greater Manchester. While we’re still out of our building, we are presenting a special Queer Contact Weekender. It’s a taster of some of our most-loved festival events: Outspoken featuring queer women and non-binary spoken word artists; a special Mother’s Ruin cabaret; and the renowned House of Suarez and Contact Vogue Ball.

Fri 8 – Sat 9 Feb Venues include: The Lowry Waterside Arts YES Number 70 Manchester Academy


Image © Alex Brenner

Contact and The Lowry present



Described as ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin on acid’ (Total Theatre), No Kids is the latest energetic, hilarious, moving and thought-provoking play from the multi-award-winning Bristolbased company, Ad Infinitum.


Should we have kids, or not? George and Nir are a real-life same-sex couple trying to answer a question many of us face. Every consideration — adoption, surrogacy, co-parenting, the environmental impact of childbirth, the fears and anxieties, how the past affects parenting and much, much more — brings with it a succession of ethical challenges. Together, George and Nir confront this chaos head-on. And invite you along for the ride.

Fri 1 Feb, 8pm. £15 / £10 concessions. Over 14s. The Lowry Pier 8, The Quays, Salford M50 3AZ. Box Office: 0161 274 0600 Post-show discussion. One of The Guardian's ‘Best of Edinburgh Fringe 2018’ ★★★★ ‘Constantly compelling’ The Stage

★★★★ ‘Brimming with laughter and tears throughout’ British Theatre Guide Part of Queer Contact Festival 2019, Contact’s annual festival celebrating LGBTQ+ arts & culture in Greater Manchester.

Image © Holly Revell

Contact and Waterside Arts present

MOTHER'S RUIN Mother’s Ruin returns to Waterside Arts for Queer Contact 2019.

Fri 8 Feb, 8pm. £12 / £10 concessions. Over 16s.

An inter-stellar line up of Mother’s Bloomers’ rising stars converging with some of your favourite constellations from the Mother’s Ruin universe... expect a galaxy of irreverent and politically Queer wit speckled in polished stardust spectacular.

Waterside 1 Waterside Plaza, Sale, Trafford M33 7ZF

Box Office: 0161 274 0600 Presented in association with Waterside Arts, Contact and Royal Exchange Theatre. Part of Queer Contact Festival 2019, Contact’s annual festival celebrating LGBTQ+ arts & culture in Greater Manchester.


Image © Lucia Palmero

QUEER CONTACT AT YES Make a day of it? Check out our special queer artist talks and discussions, before moving on to see Outspoken, and topping it off in style with the Vogue Ball.


11am at YES Queer Contact Open Forum


Join us for a discussion with Contact staff, artists and young people about the future direction of Queer Contact as we reimagine the festival from 2020 onwards. Artists: find out about new commissioning opportunities for queer artists to create new work.

1pm at YES performingborders | LIVE | Tuna Erdem & Nima Séne Join us for an afternoon of conversation between Glasgow/ Berlin-based live artist Nima Séne and curator Tuna Erdem from the Istanbul Queer Arts Collective. performingborders | LIVE is a programme of events focusing on the exploration of personal, cultural and physical borders with UK-based artists and curators. For Queer Contact, we are bringing together two artists we love to discuss how experiences of otherness related to their queer, migrant and PoC identities shape their work. Curated by Alessandra Cianetti and Xavier de Sousa.

Tuna Erdem Image © Leman Sevda Daricioglu

Nima Séne as Beige B*tch

Queer Contact Open Forum Sat 9 Feb, 11am. FREE performingborders | LIVE Sat 9 Feb, 1pm. FREE YES, 38 Charles Street, Manchester M1 7DB Box Office: 0161 274 0600 Part of Queer Contact Festival 2019, Contact’s annual festival celebrating LGBTQ+ arts & culture in Greater Manchester.



Image © Isle of Red


OUTSPOKEN Curated by Mandla Rae. Outspoken returns for a spellbinding evening of poetry and spoken word performance during LGBT History Month. Mandla-Rae, Manchester poet and former young programmer, hosts Ella Otomewo, Billie Meredith, Maz Hedgehog and Bryony Bates for a celebration of Manchester’s queer women and nonbinary artists. Sat 9 Feb, 3pm. £10 / £8 concessions. Over 12s. Number 70 Oxford Street, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M1 5NH Box Office: 0161 274 0600 Produced by Contact. This event is supported by a grant from Superbia at Manchester Pride. In partnership with RAH! at Manchester Met. Part of Queer Contact Festival 2019, Contact’s annual festival celebrating LGBTQ+ arts & culture in Greater Manchester.





HOUSE OF SUAREZ AND CONTACT: VOGUE BALL Club culture meets high art, as Vogue Houses come together from far and wide to compete for dance supremacy in a catwalk spectacular reminiscent of 1970s/80s New York at its most glamorous. Celebrating global vogue culture, an extravaganza of costume and drama will be displayed as the fiercest voguers and performers battle in this multi-award winning event.

Sat 9 Feb, 7pm – 11pm. £35 seated front row / £25 seated. £15 standing. Over 18s. Manchester Academy 2 Oxford Road Manchester M13 9PR Box Office: 0161 274 0600 Part of Queer Contact Festival 2019, Contact’s annual festival celebrating LGBTQ+ arts & culture in Greater Manchester.



Image © Dean Chalkley


Contact and Royal Exchange Theatre present

BARBER SHOP CHRONICLES A Fuel, National Theatre and Leeds Playhouse co-production. One day. Six cities. A thousand stories. Newsroom, political platform, local hot spot, confession box, preacher-pulpit and football stadium. For generations, African men have gathered in barber shops to discuss the world. This dynamic new play leaps from a barber shop in London to Johannesburg, Harare, Kampala, Lagos and Accra. These are places where the banter can be barbed and the truth is always telling.

Thu 7 – Sat 23 Mar, 7.30pm. Various days, 2.30pm. Various prices. Over 12s. Royal Exchange Theatre St Ann’s Square, Manchester M2 7DH Box Office: 0161 274 0600 Co-commissioned by Fuel and the National Theatre. Development funded by Arts Council England with the support of Fuel, National Theatre, Leeds Playhouse, The Binks Trust, British Council ZA, Òran Mór and A Play, a Pie and a Pint. 17

Image © Mayra Azzi

Contact and Transform present




Their lives were changed forever by the high school occupations of 2015 and 2016 in Brazil.

Wed 8 – Thu 9 May, 7pm. £20 / £15 under 35 / £10 concessions. Over 12s.

Using dance, live music and performance they tell their extraordinary story. Get up close to the action as real life invades the stage for a party, a protest, an uprising.

Secret location.

coletivA ocupação is composed of students from different districts of São Paulo and they make projects that sit between art, activism and education. They regularly present their work at festivals and have toured to sell out audiences across Brazil.

Box Office: 0161 274 0600 Performed in Portuguese with English surtitles. Part of Resistance in Residence, a collaboration between Contact and Transform, supported by the British Council. Made with support from Casa do Povo, Forma Certa and Converse. Supported by British Council and The University of Manchester.


Image © Keisha Thompson

CONTACT YOUNG COMPANY + HOMEGROWN COMPANY: RAMPING UP In the first of two exciting co-productions, CYC will work with young creatives from Battersea Arts Centre’s Homegrown Company.


This cross-city cohort will collaborate with David Cumming (Kill the Beast) and Jess Thom (Touretteshero) to explore issues around accessibility in a post-Brexit society.


The piece will premiere at BAC’s wonderful Homegrown Festival (5th6th April) before heading to The Bread Shed in Manchester.

Fri 3 – Sat 4 May, 7.30pm. Sat 4 May, 1.30pm. £20 / £15 under 35 / £10 concessions. Over 12s. The Bread Shed 126 Grosvenor St, Manchester M1 7HL Box Office: 0161 274 0600 £3 from each ticket sold will support future CYC productions. Directed by David Cumming (Kill the Beast). Produced by Contact and Battersea Arts Centre.

CONTACT YOUNG COMPANY + YOUNG IDENTITY: OLD TOOLS > NEW MASTERS ≠ NEW FUTURES CYC and Young Identity join forces! Directed by Tunde Adefioye (dramaturg at KVS, the Royal Flemish Theatre in Brussels), this mouthy Mancunian mix-up will use both poetry and theatre as creative tools. They will explore what it means to decolonize public culture. What does a postcolonial future look like? Maybe it looks like Beyonce in the Louvre or a Black Panther out-take or maybe we can come up with something even better...

Wed 12 – Sat 15 Jun, 7pm. £20 / £15 under 35 / £10 concessions. Over 12s. Secret location. Box Office: 0161 274 0600 £3 from each ticket sold will support future CYC productions. Directed by Tunde Adefioye (KVS). Produced by Contact and Young Identity.


Image © Dominika Edwards

CREATIVE EXPERTS Contact’s Creative Experts are a group of young professional facilitators, performers and project managers. They can provide a number of services that can help your business by facilitating fresh, innovative and creative solutions. Our Creative Experts also work with local authorities, community organisations and the education sector. They use their wide range of live and digital art forms to create high quality bespoke workshops and participatory projects specifically designed to the requirements of each client. For more information please email or call us on 0161 274 0628.

CLIENTS + PROJECTS Chester Zoo — redeveloping the Safari Ranger Workshop Series around Palm Oil and deforestation to incorporate Creative Learning. Future Everything — providing creative community consultation workshops to inform the design of technology to make Manchester a Smart City. ONE Manchester — creative consultancy workshop exploring the Child Poverty Strategy for the Financial Inclusion Conference. University of Manchester — working alongside the Content Ambassadors staff team to develop a new structure and promotional video for the Content Ambassadors programme. Manchester City Council — wRap Up Service performance for the Work and Skills Conference. Reclaim Project — working with the young people of ‘Team Future’ to deliver a workshop looking at ways that drama can be used as a form of activism and provide inspiration for performances that can inspire social change.


VENUE INFORMATION We’ve moved! There are some changes to how you book your tickets, 24 hour online booking available at Concessions: Contact’s concessions have now changed. We offer concessions for: Low Income / Over 65s / Access / Under 18s / Students Proof of concession may be requested during your visit. Hours: Box office phone lines are open Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm. Opening times at our partner venues will vary. No booking fees: We don’t charge booking or admin fees for any events booked via Contact. Please note: Some of our events taking place at other venues will include additional fees. E-tickets: Save some time and opt for an e-ticket. E-tickets can be presented on your smartphone or printed at home. E-tickets are sent to you immediately so you don’t need to wait for the post to arrive. Non e-tickets can be printed and posted to you at a minimum postal cost. For ticket collection at the venue please arrive in good time. Latecomers may be refused entry into a show once the performance starts.

Advanced booking: Advanced booking is always recommended. Shows often sell out in advance and we cannot guarantee tickets will be available on the door. Refunds: We do not offer refunds on tickets purchased via Contact. Tickets purchased are non-refundable. Please contact our partner venues if you are booking via their Box Office as terms and conditions may vary. Donations: We are a registered charity. If you’d like to donate to our work with young people, you can do so when you book a ticket online, or via our Box Office. Charity number 501953. Wheelchair access will be available at our partner venues but please do contact us if you need any further assistance. Guide dogs can stay with you, or be looked after by a member of staff. Please contact our partner venues for further information on access.

GETTING HERE Contact has moved offices for 2019. There is no box office visitor area on site but tickets can be purchased via our phone lines and all tickets will be sent to you within 5 working days. If you have booked tickets via our partner venues please liaise with them directly for updates. For further details on our IN THE CITY programme please visit or call 0161 274 0600. 23



Thank you to our funders, partners and supporters, and all of the people who have donated online and in person. Registered Charity Number: 501953 All info correct at time of going to print. Check for up-to-date info. Cover image © Dean Chalkley Design: / Cog Design.