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Manchester International Festival Activites

04/20/2007 11:14:16

As recipients of the Lever Prize 2007, Manchester International Festival has developed a programme of activities especially designed to encourage NWBLT members and their employees to engage with the Festival and take an active part in the events.

These ideas have been developed in conjunction with NWBLT and Arts & Business Northwest - who have provided funding to deliver these activities.


This seminar was jointly hosted by the Northwest Business Leadership Team, Manchester International Festival and the Cultural Leadership Programme at Manchester Art Gallery on 30 March.

The speakers were:
James Purnell, Minister of State for Pensions Reform and MP for Stalybridge and Hyde
Karen McCormick, CEO, Cheshire Building Society and NWBLT member
Martin Beaumont, Group Chief Executive, The Co-operative Group and NWBLT member
Hilary Carty, Director, Cultural Leadership Programme
Ruth Mackenzie, General Director, Manchester International Festival

For further information on this seminar including speaker biographies, full research documents, and a summary of a report (on this issue) published by PWC contact

Tracey Low at


MIF has set up an education programme of workshops around the Festival commission, Monkey: Journey to the West, a circus opera for the 21st century, based on an ancient Chinese legend but reworked as a dazzling spectacle involving more than 40 Chinese acrobats, vocalists and performing martial artists. These workshops are being delivered in partnership with the Chinese Arts Centre in Manchester, and focus on themes drawn from the show itself. Workshop participants will also have the opportunity to see a dress rehearsal or preview of the show itself. As NWBLT members, we would like to offer you the opportunity to get directly involved in this education programme, by identifying local schools which you think would benefit from this work workshop programme. With the kind support of Arts & Business Northwest, we are able to offer workshop opportunities to NWBLT-nominated schools free of charge – simply contact Tracey Low on 0161 238 7300 or at to find out how to access this fantastic proposal.


MIF has created a thriving Corporate Membership Scheme, which allows businesses to actively demonstrate their support for the Festival, and gain access to a number of benefits including corporate tickets, corporate hospitality at Festival Events, and access to official after-show receptions as well as individual Festival memberships for staff.

MIF would like to offer NWBLT member companies a £500 discount on the normal joining fee of £4,500 plus VAT. If you are interested in joining the Corporate Membership Scheme, please contact Richard Sanders for details on 0161 238 7316 or at


MIF would like to offer NWBLT members a discount on normal ticket prices for several of the Festival’s commission events. These shows are premieres, which have been specially created for Manchester International Festival and have never been seen before in the UK. The following commissions are included in this offer:

Monkey: Journey to the West: The Festival’s launch event is a circus opera, based on an ancient Chinese legend but reworked as a dazzling spectacle, involving more than 40 Chinese circus acrobats, vocalists and performing martial artists.

Matinee and evening performances on Weds 4 July at the Palace Theatre - £10 discount ontickets priced £42.50/£37.50/£32.50

For All the Wrong Reasons: A new work from Lies Pauwels, Victoria (Belgium), one of the rising stars of European theatre. Her work combines theatre and dance, strange personalities, and unexpected moods. The characters on stage are in the middle of their struggle with life. They try to understand it, but something doesn’t fit.

Saturday 7 July and Monday 9 July at the Contact Theatre - £5 discount on tickets priced £10

The Cunning Little Vixen & Alphabicycle: For this unique family concert, the enchanting film version of Janácek’s much-loved work The Cunning Little Vixen will be screened for the first time with live accompaniment by the Hallé. Great music and vivid animation magically combine in a moving tale of love, death and re-birth to create the first animated opera.

Wednesday 11 July at the Bridgewater Hall - £10 discount on tickets priced £28 and £33

The Pianist: Based on the memoirs of Wladyslaw Szpilman and best-known as an Oscarwinning film by Roman Polanski, this is the harrowing story of one man’s time in the Warsaw Ghetto during the Nazi occupation. In an entirely new performance using Szpilman’s original text and the ravishing music of Chopin, this moving account unfolds against the iconic setting of a warehouse attic in one on Manchester’s most historic buildings.

Tuesday 10 July at the Museum of Science and Industry - £5 discount on tickets priced £25

Dead Wedding: Cult puppetry company Faulty Optic and contemporary composer Mira Calix reinvent one of the great myths in a visual and sonic feast. Eurydice dies tragically on her wedding day but Orpheus, her fiancée, bargains to bring her back from the Land of the Dead.

Friday 6 July at the Library Theatre - £5 off tickets priced £15

The Ground Beneath Her Feet: After the novel by the same name by Salman Rushdie, and described as the greatest rock and roll novel, The Ground Beneath Her Feet is a mythological story of celebrity, desire and great music, and provides a powerful new source for this major new production.

Friday 29 June at the Bridgewater Hall - £10 discount on tickets priced £28 and £33

To book tickets for any of these shows, go to and follow the links to “find tickets” for the show you are interested in. In the ticket selection screen, use the pull down list in the NWBLT Offer section to choose the tickets you require, and enter your Special Offer Code, AANDB1 in order to obtain the relevant discount. Please note that the ticket prices in the pull down list show the discounted price you will pay, not the full ticket price.

For further details on show content and this special offer, please contact Catherine Pank on 0161 238 7327 or at