Entertainment & Arts

Manchester International Festival puts New Order and politics centre stage

New Order
Image caption New Order had hits like Blue Monday, Regret and True Faith

Seminal Manchester band New Order will be centre stage at this summer's Manchester International Festival.

The group will play five gigs inside a "unique installation" created by artist Liam Gillick, accompanied by a 12-piece synthesiser ensemble.

There will also be an exhibition of art inspired by the band and their original incarnation, Joy Division.

The full line-up for the 18-day biennial festival has just been announced. It begins on 29 June.

The festival is renowned for staging world premieres by leading artists and performers.

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Image caption Liam Gillick with an earlier work, Volvo Bar

Artistic director John McGrath said this year's event would reflect the current global upheaval and uncertainty.

"Everything has changed in the last 12 months, and our artists are responding in real time," he said.

"This is where MIF's commitment to commissioning new ideas from artists comes into its own."

Highlights include:

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  • Jane Horrocks (above) will star in Cotton Panic!, a new musical about the time when the US Civil War cut off cotton supplies to the mills of Lancashire
  • Composer Johann Johannsson, who was Oscar-nominated for the soundtrack to Arrival, will premiere Last And First Men - a film and live score narrated by Tilda Swinton and performed by the BBC Philharmonic
  • Karl Hyde of dance act Underworld will cover the walls of a venue with Manchester Street Poem - telling the stories of homeless people in the city
  • German-Egyptian artist Susan Hefuna will stage ToGather, an exhibition at the Whitworth gallery about migrants to Manchester, including a dance performance by Company Wayne McGregor and 20 immigrants
  • Double Oscar-winning documentarist Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy will create Home1947, a film installation about families who were affected by the partition of India
  • Thomas Ostermeier, artistic director of Berlin's renowned Schaubuhne theatre, will stage Returning to Reims, an "urgent response to the populist politics sweeping Europe"
  • The Welcoming Party, a family show by Theatre-Rites, will use puppetry and immersive theatre to tell the stories of young people who have travelled to Manchester in search of safety
  • Turner Prize-nominated artist Phil Collins will bring a Soviet-era statue of Friedrich Engels to Manchester, the city that shaped the co-founder of modern Communism
  • Scottish Opera's composer in residence Lliam Paterson will stage BambinO - an opera for babies

See the full line-up on the Manchester International Festival website.

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