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Live Updates

By the Manchester International Festival team

All times stated are UK

And that's it for MIF 17 - it's been a joy.

Thank you so much, whenever you are, for joining us

Festival Square

That's the end of the stream, the end of Ceremony, and the end of our Manchester International Festival coverage 2017.

We hope you've had a fabulous 18 days - we've had groundbreaking performances, new musicals, returning heroes, celebrations of the people of Manchester and so much more.

It'll be two years before we do it again - so make the most of the rest of the evening - We'll see you all in Festival Square.

Make sure you take a look at the photos and videos above, we've had some truly sensational talent grace our doors this year, and we couldn't be prouder.

With huge thanks to the BBC, for letting us take over this page - it's been an honour. See you next time!

Singer Gruff Rhys - three things you need to know


As singer Gruffdd Rhys sings as part of our closing Ceremony, we thought it only right that we fill you in on the need to know about him.

1. He's a member of the Welsh group Super Furry Animals, whose hits include Something 4 The Weekend, Juxtaposed with U and Demons.

2. His father was Ioan Bowen Rees, Welsh poet.

3. He has a cherrypicker license, which is excellent in anyone's book.

Is a moral reversal taking place?

The Engels legacy

A moral reversal is taking place – the old media empire, the scaremongering, anti-immigrant, anti-other press that deals in low- and high-level fear, has lost its footing. Young people born in the 1990s and 2000s don’t read these papers, and if you tell them they should be ‘afraid’ of Britain returning to the 1970s, they say it sounds great, what’s the problem? Indebted, badly-paid with zero hope of getting a house or having any kind of future that contains within it any sort of positive horizon, why would young people vote for the executioners of hope, the very people who had it easy telling them they just need to work hard and they too will succeed? Except they’re not even being told that any longer, more just keep your head down, get a rubbish job if you can, stop complaining. So what if it’s a rich country? You’re still poor!

Nina PowerSenior Philosophy Lecturer at Roehamption University

Read full article Austerity is Over by Nina Power.

Wait, is that Maxine Peake?!

Yes, yes it is.

'If Engels were to walk the streets of Manchester today, what would he make of it?'

The unveiling of the statue of Engels in Manchester is an important symbol of the contributions he made. It is a fitting reminder of his commitment to the city and the working class. Yet it should serve as more than a historical monument. If Engels were to walk the streets of Manchester today, what would he make of it? The city, its inhabitants and its workplaces have undergone a deep transformation, but the relationships of exploitation are still clear to see. Whether the exploitation is obvious or subtle, takes place online or in physical workplaces, like Engels we too need to stand against the social violence of capital. So the statue should also be a call to action: that the future belongs to those exploited workers.

Dr Jamie Woodcock

Read full article All Work and No Play.

Phil Collins: what you need to know


English visual artist Phil Collins is the mind behind Ceremony, our closing event with 1418-Now and HOME arts centre. Here are three things you need to know:1. He used to be a barman at Manchester's legendary Hacienda nightclub.2. He was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2006.3. In 2002, when Saddam Hussein was still in power, he travelled to Baghdad and made a video piece called Baghdad Screen Tests.

I'd say even now I think about Morrissey at least ten times a day every day. I can't have a cheese and pickle sandwich without wondering if Morrissey likes them.

Phil Collins, quoted in The Guardian

'The condition of the working class is the condition of the vast majority'

Friedrich Engels

The condition of the working-class is the condition of the vast majority of the English people. The question: What is to become of those destitute millions, who consume today what they earned yesterday; who have created the greatness of England by their inventions and their toil; who become with every passing day more conscious of their might, and demand, with daily increasing urgency, their share of the advantages of society?

Friedrich Engels, The Condition of the Working Class in England, 1845

Want to know more about Mary Burns?


Our Creative50 cohort know all about Mary Burns - and have created this very film, in order that the rest of us might know too:

View more on facebook

Fabricator – Nicola Ellis - @_Nicola_Ellis_ /

Textile dyer – Natalie Linney - @TalieLinseed /

Sculpture designer: Jasmine Walne @jwalnedesign /

Films/projections: Jamie Starboisky @jamiestarboisky / Composition/cello: Chris Lyon @gymnastband /

Recording/sound design: Manoli Moriaty @manolimoriaty /

Poetry: Ella Otomewo @black_poetess /

Poetry: Kofi Gyamfi - Instagram: @kofz_jamz

Wait, why should we care about Engels?

Stay right here, we've got all you need to know

Who is the man at the heart of this piece?

We've commissioned some amazing pieces to get you totally up to speed on Engles and everything he did for Manchester - you can start by reading this article by Historian Sheila Rowbotham

Friedrich Engels, the man who was to become Karl Marx’s closest collaborator and loyal friend, arrived in Manchester for the first time in 1842, aged 22. The son of a wealthy German textile manufacturer could well have been oblivious to the brutal consequences of rapid industrialism. Instead, he set about documenting the careless brutality of the newly concentrated form of capitalism that surrounded him.

Sheila RowbothamHistorian

And we're live!

Welcome to our closing Ceremony

Thank you for joining for our closing Ceremony, a celebration of the local communities of Manchester, as we welcome a brand new statue of Friedrich Engels - a local hero.

Why are we so excited to welcome back a statue? We'll get into all that soon enough. For now, sit back, and enjoy!

Our closing Ceremony - 45 minutes until we go live!


Missed out on ticket to our closing spectacular, or just not quite lucky enough to live in bonny Manchester? Never fear, we are here for you.

We'll be live-streaming the entirety of Ceremony from when it begins at 6pm sharp - so grab a glass of your favourite liquid, gather those you with to celebrate with, and let's see out this festival in style. #loveMCR

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View more on twitter
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Tiny Metal Islands


Kate Radford

MIF17 Creative 50

Inspired by our show Last And First Men, Creative50 artist Kate Radford decided to journey into using new technology, whilst questioning exactly what might happen if we were to become dependent on that technology.

Take a look at her finished film here, and read about her experience of making it...

View more on youtube

'I was inspired by the form of Last and First Men. The multi-faceted layers of composition, film and story. During my time with MIF we have been learning a lot about digital technology. Although I was inspired by the form, I allowed myself to explore my own feelings of future. Particularly inspired by my new learning. A potential future of how technology can decay our connections. I made this Art entirely on my own. With just lots of different types of equipment. It was very lonely. It may not be the best technology. Sometimes I get confused as to which part is more important. It is very different to how I often make art, with people, and spaces. And things. And feeling together. If we are not careful perhaps it will be human nature that is left derelict.

Kate Radford

What is the show but the audience?


Jenny Gaskell

MIF17 Creative50

What Is The Show But The Audience? is a series of interviews about shows from this year's festival with Mancunians who never normally go to see theatre shows.

With the promise of a free ticket and free chips/pint/cup of tea afterwards, Creative50 artist Jenny Gaskell took brand new audience members to shows to find out what they thought.

This project hopes to treat 'new audiences' as more than just useful data for venues and festivals to analyse, offering the public more authority to define what the theatre means to them and who it might be for.

View more on Soundcloud

This project was made by Jenny Gaskell as part of MIF 17 Creative50 programme.

'Solidarity can inspire people across the world'


Isaac Rose

MIF17 Creative50

Creative50 artist Isaac Rose has been inspired by the journey our statue of Friedrich Engles has made across the world, and has created two pieces of art linking this bold movement to that of the Manchester people who travelled to Spain to fight Franco in the 1930s.

Take a look at the two GIFs he's created, and be proud of your Northern roots!

"Ahead of tonight's closing piece, 'Ceremony', I wanted to reflect on the idea of the journey of the statue. To me it represents not only the physical fact of something moving across borders, but the fact that ideas and internationalist solidarity can inspire people across the world. In response, I made two gifs. The first tracks the journey of the statue, and the second juxtaposes that with another story- of those people from Manchester who travelled to Spain in the 1930s to fight Franco and defend the values of the Spanish Republic. Their story is as relevant today as it ever has been. No pasaran!

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

MIF GIF a day


Creative50 Tara Collette artist sees us out in style, with a celebration of No End To Enderby - one of the many exhibitions that are STILL open and free for you to visit today:

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Take a look at all the GIFs she's created for the festival - they are genuinely beautiful.

Noodlemoon - a timelapse illustration of Holly Herndon


Becki Miller

MIF17 Creative50

Brilliant illustrator and Creative50 artist Becki Miller was inspired by our Holly Herndon Dark Matter gig, and has created this hypnotising piece in response:

View more on facebook

Responding to Holly Herndon's gig for Dark Matter, the artists on stage (Holly, Colin Self and Matt Dryhurst) were just crying out to be illustrated! All three were so engaging, their performance and visuals inspired the theme of this piece, Noodlemoon.

Becki Miller, Creative 50 Artist

Erm the Artist online

Erm the Artist on Facebook

OneFiveEight online

Some of our favourite shots from Cotton Panic!

Filmed in the gloriously atmospheric Upper Campfield Market Hall

You can now watch Jane Horrocks' gig-musical Cotton Panic! by going to our Facebook page, but we wanted to whet your whistles by giving you a taste of what you're in for.

A whirlwind of Manchester history, and the story of how this city stood in solidarity with the slaves of the American Deep South, it's a very relevant exploration of politics, community, and standing up for what's right.

Cotton Panic!
Cotton Panic
Cotton Panic
Cotton Panic
Cotton Panic
Cotton Panic

Restore To Factory Settings - a response to Available Light


Fascinated by the context in which our dance piece Available Light was first created (post-war America, in a collaboration between Lucinda Childs, Frank Gehry and John Adams), one of our Creative50 artists Amrit Randhawahas created adigital collage, made up of photograph taken on 35mm film at the show.

Available Light

I felt the context of post war + post modernism were appropriate areas to explore in the present day. In this era of information, I often feel confused by the bombardment of news stories, especially those concerning war. Thinkers like Berger and Sontag helped me develop a thought around how to interpret the images we see everyday. Their writings focus on print media - I am much more concerned with how digitally we see not just other humans, but ourselves.

Learn more at:

Instagram @amritrandhawa

Let's hear it for our volunteers

Where would we be without you?

Festival Square

We just wanted to say an enormous thank you to the hundreds of fantastic volunteers who help us keep this festival ship afloat - without you, we'd surely sink without a trace.

Many of our volunteers are great photographers, take a look at the amazing moments (such as the one above, taken by Martin Bush) they've captured over the last few weeks - and join us in shedding a small tear that it's all coming to a close...

9 x 5 + 1 =

A #creative50 response to Engels

Nas Malik

MIF17 Creative 50

Brilliant local artist Nas Malik has been inspired by the work of Friedrich Engels, and his relentless pursuit of justice for the workers of Manchester.

With this in mind, he has created a short video approaching the work of Engels in a modern way - exploring some of the ideas of work, aspiration and personal happiness in 2017.

Shot entirely on a mobile phone, local Manchester workers were filmed for a six minute period in one continuous unbroken shot. They were all asked the same five questions, plus one more. Take a look at the mesmerising result:

View more on youtube

The Title 9 x 5 + 1 = not only refers to the nine participants and questions they were asked but also refers to the standard 9 to 5 hours and sometimes an extra hour after work we devote to our jobs.

Learn more here: -

What happened to the couple who met on our opening runway?

What Is The City But The People

They were brave enough to arrange a blind date knowing that they'd only meet each-other on a runway viewed by thousands - but what happened next?


Frankie and and Bruce were two of the Manchester residents who proudly walked the runway of our opening ceremony What Is The City But The People. Bruce presented Franki with a rose, they hugged, and then walked off into the sunset. So, did romance blossom?

“We got on really well and we’ve seen each other again for a second date. We went back to Piccadilly Gardens - but this time to a restaurant and had a good night there too.”


On the night itself the crowd’s response was amazing. I was nervous meeting a bloke at the end of the catwalk, but the evening was lovely and we had a really nice night.


With a third date in the works, we're calling this a romantic success. At the next festival, could we organise our first ever MIF wedding?

Mary Burns: Who was the woman behind Friedrich Engels?


Eight amazing Creative50 artists have collaborated on a new project celebrating the woman who inspired Friedrich Engels, Mary Burns.

Mary Burns: “Behind ev’ry great man, there had to be a great woman”, in response to tonight's closing show Ceremony, where we welcome a new statue of Engels to the city centre.

To ensure that this amazing woman - long term partner of Engels and the one who introduced him to the Manchester working classes - gets the recognition she deserves, they have created a sculpture of her, along with video projections, audio, and poetry and spoken word.

Take a look at the final video they made below - it's absolutely vital watching before our Ceremony tonight!

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Take a look at the amazing creative team involved:

Fabricator: Nicola Ellis - @_Nicola_Ellis_

Textile dyer: Natalie Linney - @TalieLinseed

Sculpture designer: Jasmine Walne @jwalnedesign

Films/projections: Jamie Starboisky @jamiestarboisky

Composition/cello: Chris Lyon @gymnastband

Recording/sound design: Manoli Moriaty @manolimoriaty

Poetry: Ella Otomewo @black_poetess

Poetry: Kofi Gyamfi - Instagram: @kofz_jamz

Talk to gran today at 2pm - where do you feel most welcome?


Beka Haigh

MIF17 Creative50

Frolicked Puppet Theatre Company's resident octogenarian, Gran, just saw our show The Welcoming Party by Theatre Rites this week, and was so moved that she thought she would extend that welcome to all of you, out in the Twitter-verse.

We'll let her tell you more, if she can make her way up the hill, that is...

View more on twitter

She would like to know where you feel most welcome, and why, either via @Yorkshire_Gran or you can tell her in person, online, today at 2pm. Get yourself a cuppa and come and tell your story...

Gran is created by our brilliant Creative50 Artist, Beka Haigh.

Read the full credits here and visit Frolicked online here.

Women Rule Manchester - celebrate the women of our city


Women Rule Manchester (or #WomenRuleMcr) is a brilliant 3 hour durational interview project capturing the diverse identity and opinions of Manchester's women, their relationship to the city and their hopes for the future.

The inteviews were then condensed to this fantastic short video, giving us a fantastic snapshot of the women of Manchester:

View more on youtube

Women Rule Manchester aims to inspire discussions surrounding identity, culture, womanhood, feminism and the future whilst exploring the confessional nature of internet culture, aiming to inspire intrigue and sentiment. The project is inspired by the work of theatre companies Quarantine, Forced Entertainment and performance artists such as Marina Abramovich, also taking influence from viral style videos.

Megan GriffithCreator, Women Rule MCR

The piece was created by our Creative50 artist Megan Griffith and Girl Gang Manchesterin response to our shows What Is The City But The People and What If Women Ruled The World?, and saw approximately 35 women from different generations and backgrounds share their unique perspectives on topics personal, local and political.

To find out more about the project and the people behind it visit: @girlgangmcr #girlgangmcr #womenrulemcr @meganmegamegme

Watch the full live stream here.

One Sided Story - a response to One Of Two Stories, Or Both


Rizwana Hussain

MIF17 Creative 50

One of our specially commissioned Creative50 artists Rizwana Hussain has taken a look at ideas of misinformation, hearsay and variety of opinion in her utterly unique Twitter-bot project One Sided Story.

View more on twitter

In response to 'One of Two Stories. or Both', I created Laura Taylor, a twitter bot, that represents a multiple of individuals of varying backgrounds, ages and ethnicities who live in a two mile radius from one another. This was to recreates a sense of what was happening in different people's lives in my current home of Oldham, Greater Manchester. Laura is a mixture of any five individuals from the area at any given time. What would a representation of these diverse set of individuals look like, talk about and express about their life? How misrepresentative and random could this bot get, a bit like misunderstandings and hearsay that happens when stories are retold.

Rizwana HussainCreative50 Artist

You can follow Laura: @One_Sided_Story


Twitter: @rizwana_h Instagram: rizhussainWeb:

Baryonic Empathy: a musical response to Dark Matter


Sound artist and one of our #creative50 Jim Fortune has created a series of amazing sound pieces in response to our Dark Matter gigs

In answer to the multitude of styles and genres. I have created 12 pieces of music combining diegetic sound, different tempos and dark matter theory.

Jim FortuneCreative50 artist
View more on youtube

Follow Jim on twitter and Facebook to see the entire series as they’re published.

Cut Some Shapes! A response to 10,000 Gestures


Emily Dobson

MIF17 Creative50

We love this cheerful, lovely animation by one of our Creative50 artists Emily Dobson, inspired by the movements she observed in our dance show 10,000 Gestures.

View more on youtube

I was inspired by Boris' choreography with the movement of the familiar gestures and tapped into what the familiar is for me when I draw. The short animation contains hand drawn lines and scribbles centred around the sharp fast movement of what is vaguely human and performing a dance. As I produced the work it slowly became a visual representation of my own thoughts and feelings when watching the performance.

Emily DobsonCreative50 Artist

Music: No Frills Salsa Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

'25 digital dancers, an infinite number of gestures'


Elisa Morais

MIF17 Creative50

Elias Morias

Local artist and one of our #creative50 cohort Elisa Morais has created an amazing video, Machine de la Danse, in response to our show 10,000 Gestures.

Machine de la Danse is a choreography for digital dancers. It was made in collaboration between Elisa Morais, her long term collaborator María Álvarez (collectively known as Sois de Traca) and a digital machine that generates random gestures, in a quest to explore themes of uniqueness and technology.

Watch Machine de la Danse right here.

The machine is a piece of code created in Processing that acts as a choreographer generating geometrical dancing pieces whose ephemeral gestures are captured and structured.

Sois de Traca / twitter @SoisDeTraca

Listen to Crescent - a sublime response to Fatherland


Shaquille Silva

MIF17 Creative 50

Shaquille Rayes, singer, songwriter and one of our hugely talented #creative50 artists, has produced a beautiful song in response to our show Fatherland.

It's special for a lot of reasons, but we'll let Shaquille explain in his own words.

This song is a celebration and tribute to my father, who didn't have to be there, but chose to be. It was written, as part of MIF's Creative50, in response to a play called Fatherland, which I saw on the same day I was told my dad had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer. The song takes inspiration from the play both lyrically and musically, and addresses the spectrum of light and dark that life is.

Shaquille RayesCreative50 artist
View more on youtube

We're honoured to present this song, and recommend you stop what you're doing right now, and listen to it.

Insta: @shaquillerayes


It's the final day! Let's see out the festival in style

What to do today

It's here! 18 days later, and we're all (just about) still standing.

Tonight we finish with our amazing public closing ceremony - created by artist Phil Collins, and bringing a local hero back to our city streets.

In the meantime, there's still plenty on - that's right, we intend to pack our final day as full as we possibly can.

So we've got the final shows of Party Skills For The End Of The World and The Welcoming Party, a fantastic set in Festival Square by Spring King + Let's Eat Grandma, our True Faith, ToGather and Music For A Busy City exhibitions are still open and free) and our game commission can still be played right here.

What are you waiting for? Grab this year's festival while you still can! a new game commission for #mif17 from Nina Freeman

Cotton Panic! now available to watch, right here

Watch Jane Horrocks in a world exclusive

We're delighted to tell you that you can now watch a full performance of the brand new industrial gig-musical Cotton Panic!, created by and starring Jane Horrocks and Wrangler.

Watch this recorded stream and see a beautiful merging of music, projection, morality, politics and - of course - Jane's gorgeous voice.

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Audience reactions to Cotton Panic!

(and Jane's reaction to those reactions, gosh it gets complicated)

You might not be able to watch Cotton Panic! live just yet (soon we'll share where you can see it online), but we're happy to show you some reactions from those who have...

First, a word from the queen herself...

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Now, let's get to what the audiences say

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And that's it for Interdependence!

Thanks so much for watching the debate

For those who missed today's live-streams about truth and change, you'll be able to catch them on our Facebook page.

Thanks to all our speakers, and to VICE for bringing so many amazing people to our stage.

Join us tomorrow for our closing ceremony, aptly named Ceremony, as we welcome home a local hero. We'll be streaming it live from 6pm, so we'll see you then!

Joel Golby judges your Facebook photos

VICE staff writer Joel Golby uses photos audience members have sent in of their Facebook profiles to talk about the impressions we hope to make on other people.

Being actively attractive in your Facebook picture is rude. It's not in the spirit of things.

Joel Golby, VICE