Press Release: Z-arts commission The Welcoming Party for Manchester International Festival

Press Release: April 2017

Z-ARTS COMMISSION THE WELCOMING PARTY A SITE-SPECIFIC MIX OF INSTALLATION, LIVE MUSIC, PUPPETRY AND DANCE FOR FAMILIES AND CHILDREN FOLLOWING STORIES AND REAL LIFE EXPERIENCES OF JOURNEYS

A brand-new commission by Manchester International Festival, Theatre:Rites, Z-arts and Ruhrtrieniale Festival of the Arts

Z-arts, 335 Stretford Road, Manchester, M15 5ZA

How do we welcome new arrivals? What stories have they to tell? 

Award-winning family venue Z-arts and Theatre-Rites, one of Europe’s most imaginative theatre companies will bring a brand new immersive production, The Welcoming Party, to the 2017 Festival. Commissioned by Manchester International Festival, Theatre-Rites, Z-arts and the Ruhr Triennale International Festival of the Arts the piece will take audiences on an intriguing journey of magical realism. Moving through the historic 1830 Warehouse of the Museum of Science and Industry, audiences will be invited to explore how we can offer a welcome to people who are on a journey to find a place to call home.

A mixture of installation, live music, puppetry and dance, the production for children aged 8 plus will be performed by an international ensemble and explore the many ways in which we can be welcoming; investigating the power of the personal and collective gesture, big and small. Drawing on the company’s personal experiences, collected during a six week devising process, Theatre-Rites will tell stories from around the world across the different spaces of the warehouse.  In a celebration of difference, The Welcoming Party¸ communicates with audiences in inventive and unconventional ways creating a wonderful visual language that is accessible to all.

Director Sue Buckmaster said:  “I would like to encourage our audience to ask: Why would they join the Welcoming Party? Why would others not join? What different reasons do we have for why we would join? The young people in our audience will certainly be bombarded in their future by requests to join and sign up to many causes and kick starter schemes which will influence their society and the way they make choices. So it feels right to give them a chance to “play” with this idea.”

The Welcoming Party will take you on an exciting journey through a historic hidden warehouse at the Museum of Science & Industry. You’ll walk alongside people who have travelled here from towns and cities far beyond Manchester, all looking for a place where they can feel safe and sound. And along the way, perhaps you can help them find what they’re looking for. A beautiful blend of puppetry, performance, dance and live music for both children and family audiences, The Welcoming Party invites you to think about what it means to feel different – and why we should all be proud of who we are.

Z-arts and Theatre-Rites share the same ambition to celebrate the power of theatre to allow us all to reflect on the world around us, inspiring and nurturing the youngest generation of theatre-goers.  As such, we are delighted to announce that The Welcoming Party marks our first collaboration with Theatre-Rites as an Associate Company of Z-arts, so we can all look forward to new collaborations with them over the coming years.

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For further information, images, or for interview / press review ticket requests, please contact Laura Stevens at laura@z-arts.org or 0161 232 6077.

NOTES FOR EDITORS

Z-arts is Manchester’s only dedicated venue for children and family theatre and the leading partner in Big Imaginations, a consortium of North West venues and promoters bringing world class family theatre to the region. Z-arts mission is to inspire young people through all forms of art and help them begin their creative journey.

Theatre-Rites is one of the UK’s leading theatre companies, known for their site-specific, puppetry and object animation work. Working across artforms they create innovative theatre for children and adults to share together. Influenced and inspired by their audience, Theatre-Rites feeds the imaginations of young people, giving them a memorable theatrical experience.

Manchester International Festival (MIF) is the world’s first festival of original, new work and special events, staged every two years in Manchester, UK. MIF launched in 2007 as an artist-led festival presenting new works from across the spectrum of performing arts, visual arts and popular culture. MIF has commissioned, produced and presented world premieres by artists including Björk, Steve McQueen, Robert Wilson, Wayne McGregor, Maxine Peake, The xx, Zaha Hadid Architects, Damon Albarn, Punchdrunk, Elbow and Marina Abramović.

Listings Information

1830 WAREHOUSE, MUSEUM OF SCIENCE AND INDUSTRY
WATER STREET ENTRANCE, MANCHESTER
M3 4PU

For everyone aged 8+

Dates

Tue 4 July (preview) 7pm

Wed 5 – Sun 9 July

Wed 12 – Sat 15 July

7pm

Sat 8, Sun 9, Sat 15 July

& Sun 16 July

11.30am & 3pm

Accessible performances

Thur 13 July at 7pm

BSL interpreted performance

Sat 15 July at 11.30am
Relaxed performance

PRESS NIGHT: 5 JULY

Book tickets

mif.co.uk | 0843 208 1840

Tickets £15 / £10 for under-16s
£12 tickets for Greater Manchester residents on a lower wage