As Nick Crowe wrote in this month’s Prospect, the lineup of Manchester’s 2nd International Festival looks “so remarkable—Steve Reich, Kraftwerk, Zaha Hadid (below), and Marina Abramovic on just the first two days—that director Alex Poots has surely made a pact with the devil.”
Having now witnessed the festival for myself, I am sure that he has. And I only sampled a few of the myriad attractions. I got a sneak preview of architect Zaha Hadid’s exquisite chamber music hall, a brief look into rehearsals of Anthony and the Johnson’s one-off performance at the Manchester opera house, as well as the full-blooded experience of Punchdrunk and Adam Curtis’s magnificent “It Felt Like A Kiss.” I also spent a night playing bingo in the Royal Exchange, courtesy of Neil Bartlett’s new play “Everyone Loves a Winner” and watched the unveiling of Gustav Metzger’s Dadaist “Flailing Trees.” My account of my time there is free to read exclusively online here.
The festival continues until 19th July and will feature acts ranging—widely—from hip-hop legends De La Soul to a Rufus Wainwright opera. It is simply not to be missed. For tickets and more information visit the website.