Entertainment & Arts

Manchester International Festival line-up unveiled

Maxine Peake Image copyright Jonty Wilde
Image caption Maxine Peake will play a menacing shape-shifting fairy in Caryl Churchill's play The Skriker

Artist Gerhard Richter, actress Maxine Peake and musician FKA Twigs have been added to the line-up for this year's Manchester International Festival.

Richter and composer Arvo Part will unveil works that have been inspired by, and dedicated to, each other.

Peake will star in a revival of Caryl Churchill's play The Skriker, with music by Nico Muhly and Antony Hegarty.

And FKA Twigs will invite people to watch her making seven short films during the 18-day event in July.

The full programme for the fifth edition of the biennial festival was published on Thursday.

It also includes a previously announced musical based on Alice in Wonderland by Damon Albarn and a family show starring Justin Fletcher, AKA Cbeebies' Mr Tumble.

There will be a preview of a groundbreaking 3D installation featuring Professor Brian Cox - but the full show has been put back to 2016 because the technology, which is being developed by US company Magic Leap, is not ready.

Festival director Alex Poots said the event was dedicated to "new works by leading artists and innovators of our time, drawn from across the broadest range of human creativity".

Image copyright Alex Poots
Image caption Work by Arvo Part (left) and Gerhard Richter will be paired at the Whitworth gallery

Mr Poots introduced Gerhard Richter, one of the world's most celebrated living artists, to Estonian composer Arvo Part two years ago.

The resulting works - Richter's Ashes and Doppelgrau and Part's choral piece Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fatima - will be paired in the newly renovated Whitworth gallery.

At the Royal Exchange theatre, Maxine Peake will play a menacing shape-shifting fairy in the supernatural thriller The Skriker, which was first seen at the National Theatre 21 years ago.

FKA Twigs, who was nominated for the Mercury Prize last year and has become known for her striking videos, will host her seven-day residency at the former Granada Studios, where small groups will watch her in action.

Image copyright Antony Crook
Image caption FlexN Manchester will feature dancers from Brooklyn and Manchester

Other festival events will include:

  • Actress Charlotte Rampling and pianist Helene Grimaud in Neck of the Woods, a performance celebrating the wolf in fairytale and legend, with visuals by Turner Prize-winning artist Douglas Gordon.
  • CGI artist Ed Atkins using motion capture technology to record festival performers for an exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery.
  • Bjork performing a one-off concert at the Castlefield Arena.
  • 26-year-old composer Mark Simpson - former BBC Young Musician winner and the new BBC Philharmonic "composer in association" - creating a oratorio inspired by early 20th Century seances.
  • Flex dancers led by Reggie "Roc" Gray in a show with street dancers from Manchester.

The festival runs from 2-19 July.

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