Past MIF stars return for Factory season

Published: 2 December 2023
Reporter: David Chadderton

Jungle Book, 2019, Theatre de La Ville, Paris Credit: Lucie Jansch
Maxine Peake Credit: Paul Husband
Laurie Anderson Credit: Stephanie Diani

Factory International's 2024 programme at Aviva Studios will bring back to Manchester Robert Wilson, Maxine Peake with Sarah Frankcom and Imogen Knight and Laurie Anderson, amongst others.

Director Robert Wilson has joined forces with CocoRosie for their fourth collaboration in theatre: a stage adaptation of Kipling’s The Jungle Book which has already been seen in Paris, Florence and Antwerp before arriving in Manchester for its very first shows in English. With live by original music from CocoRosie, Robert Wilson has crafted a magical show set to delight children and adults alike.

Considered by some a precursor to The Wicker Man, John Bowen’s Robin Redbreast was first broadcast as a BBC Play For Today in 1970. Fifty years on, Maxine Peake, Sarah Frankcom and Imogen Knight, co-founders of Music, Art, Activism and Theatre (MAAT), are creating "an immersive theatrical reimagining" with electronica artist Gazelle Twin and Booker Prize-shortlisted writer Daisy Johnson, Robin/Red/Breast, which shifts the focus towards Norah, the woman whose body the local village claims as its own.

After presenting To the Moon for Manchester International Festival 2019, Laurie Anderson returns with a new "music and multi-media theatrical experience", ARK, asking the question: if we are headed towards disaster, will there be an Ark? ARK is an exploration of how the world might need to be reconfigured in order to be saved.

Also in the programme are Keith Khan’s The Accountants, which takes real data from India and China and transforms it into "a visual allegory for the stage", Huang Ruo’s City of Floating Sounds is a new "interactive symphony fusing music and technology" in which audiences will experience a journey around Manchester guided by fragments of sound, Marshmallow Laser Feast's Sweet Dreams is a "multi-sensory experience" which "invites audiences to explore their place in the food chain, wrapping big questions about appetite and desire in a surreal, immersive pop package" and dance artist Ivan Michael Blackstock's TRAPLORD is a dance performance meditating on life, death and rebirth.

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