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2023: The Factory: Made in Manchester



imagine... tells the story of Manchester’s colossal new cultural venue - Aviva Studios - the home of Factory International and the Manchester International Festival.\n\nWith multiple flexible spaces, including one large enough to house a jumbo jet, it is the UK’s largest cultural investment since Tate Modern. A destination for the arts and music, it has been described as the most important cultural development in Europe.\n\nThe possibilities offered by this vast and ambitious building have been explored to the full by its opening production, Free Your Mind – an epic, immersive dance retelling of the 1999 film The Matrix, which foretold the importance of AI.\n\nimagine... will take viewers behind the scenes of this striking production with local boy and Oscar-winning director Danny Boyle, choreographer Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy and composer Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante, and will also explore the creative processes of designer Es Devlin and writer Sabrina Mahfouz as they prepare to present their show, and this new building, to the world.\n\nFor Manchester, this moment is about more than launching a new venue – it is the culmination of decades of cultural regeneration, which began when Factory Records and the Hacienda put the city on the musical map. It is also a bold statement about the future of the arts in the north and the role they can play in all our lives. But at a cost of £240 million (more than twice its original budget), in a climate of cuts and a cost-of-living crisis, the pressure is on for this expensive new venture to bring jobs, training and creative opportunities to communities across the region. \n\nAlan Yentob hears from local performers, artists, city leaders and students, and watches as the Free Your Mind cast take to the stage for their world premiere with a performance that, in the words of Danny Boyle, seeks to ‘hand over the keys of the building to the people of Manchester’.

Source: BBC 4

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