HOME to launch new pop-up outdoor venue for food, drink and culture

Photo: Drew Forsyth
A huge new outdoor venue three times the size of Albert Square offering theatre, food, drink, shows, music, cabaret and comedy
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A huge new temporary outdoor venue including theatre, food, drink, shows, music, cabaret, and comedy will be launched by Manchester arts venue HOME this May.

Hoping to provide an outdoor summer destination for people looking for a safe and fun night out as lockdown eases, the new venue, named Homeground, will be located on First Street, near HOME’s existing building.

Built on a space three times the size of Albert Square, and with a Cabinet of Curiosities-themed design,  it will opens on Friday 28th May.

The first two shows to be announced are Filter’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which was first seen at Latitude Festival, and a brand-new production of Alice in Wonderland, created by Stockroom Productions especially for Manchester.

A Midsummer Night’s Dream will open on Thursday 3rd June and run until Saturday 26th June.

The show is the third successful collaboration between Filter and Sean Holmes, following the success of Three Sisters and Twelfth Night. It has received five-star reviews from critics and been described by audiences as ‘anarchic fun’. 

Featuring original music from members of The London Snorkeling Team, this remixed and reworked version of Shakespeare’s tale of young lovers and warring fairies is given a unique and irreverent twist.

Tickets go on sale on Tuesday 20th April, with early booking available for HOME Friends and members. 

Then later this summer, HOME presents a brand-new version of Alice in Wonderland – written by Stockroom and directed by Lekan Lewal. 

Featuring classic anthems alongside catchy new songs, this fresh adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s beloved story follows Alice and her little brother Lewis as they tumble into an alternative world full of magic and mayhem as Manchester turns to Madchester

It opens on Thursday 15th July and runs until Saturday 7th August. 

Tickets for both shows will be just £10 for adults. 

Photo: Paul Karalius

The venue will also host work by partners including Frog & Bucket, Contact and Trans Creative, as well as music, cabaret and comedy. 

A second stage, The Manchester Stage, will feature DJ slots curated by DJ Paulette, and a Manchester Folk Festival takeover, among other free events.

There will also be food and drink from stallholders including Black Market Espresso, Basilico pizza, Wolf at the Door cocktails and Tibetan Kitchen.

“As we start to emerge from the strangest year many of us have ever experienced, arts and culture play a vital role in the recovery of the country,” said Dave Moutrey, HOME’s director and CEO.

“I’m delighted to announce Homeground, which will be a safe and enjoyable space for the people of Manchester to have fun, reconnect and celebrate the city’s artistic talent in all its forms.”

The site has been designed by Cordelia Ashwell, of Decordia Events. 

“The idea behind the overall site design grew from a collaboration with HOME’s Curator, Bren O’Callaghan,” she said.

“From the outset, we felt that rather than try to disguise the brownfield nature of the site, we would lean into the detritus that accumulates in pockets of the urban fabric.

“Influenced by scrapyards, the neon graveyard of Las Vegas and remnants of stories that attach themselves to architectural salvage, we settled upon a method of display popularised by the Victorians and in municipal museums – the Wunderkammer, or Cabinet of Curiosities.

“In this way, seemingly random and otherwise ordinary objects become extra-ordinary.

“Bren and I have been hunting down key iconic artefacts, some of which we think the public will recognise, and others may come as a bit of a surprise.”

More shows and events will be announced over the coming months.

Homeground will open on First Street on 28th May. The venue will have its own Instagram account, @homegroundmcr, and you can find out more at homemcr.org/homeground.

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