The Bridgewater Canal is an iconic part of Manchester’s history. Built in 1761, the canal was commissioned by Sir Francis Egerton, the third Duke of Bridgewater, to transport coal from his mines in Worsley to the industrial areas of Manchester. It was the first canal to be built that didn’t follow an existing watercourse.
To celebrate its birthday, three award-winning artists have teamed up with over 150 locals to create the Bridgewater Canal Precarious Carnaval.
After spending a year living along the canal, acquainting themselves with the waterway and the people around it, Lowri Evans, Renato Bolelli Rebouças and Rodolfo Amorim collected stories, took portraits and met with locals in preparation for this event.
They have collaborated with over 30 community groups and hundreds of people to stage Precarious Carnaval, a mixture of performance, party and procession.
“It will be dark as well as colourful to reflect the complicated legacy of the Industrial Revolution that exploded right here from a mine in Salford” says Lowri Evans. “We’re using Brazilian Carnaval, where the world tips upside down for one day, to celebrate and question what’s going on.”
Combining theatre, art and elements of Brazilian street parties, you are invited to adventure through the past, present and future of Bridgewater as you walk a five mile stretch of the canal.
The event will be split into three acts. The first begins at 8pm on Friday 5th July with guests invited to meet at Barton Aqueduct for a walk into the sunset.
Act II, a walking adventure from Boothstown Marina to Worsley’s Humpback Bridge, takes place on Saturday from 2pm. The final act – or grande finale – embraces the tradition of Brazilian carnival, with colourful riots and performances taking to the streets, and will take place at the Patricroft Recreation Ground on Sunday 7th July from 2pm. These walks will repeat every 10 minutes until 5pm, with each walk taking about an hour.
And it’s completely free. The artists simply invite you to explore the history and future of Bridgewater Canal.