The award-winning Hope Mill Theatre in Ancoats is to undergo a transformation for its next production.

It will be made to resemble a warehouse on the edge of a border. Members of the audience will have their tickets checked and processed on arrival and receive a map before crossing the border.

It’s for Be/Longing, the latest production from Take Back Theatre, the political theatre collective set up by actress Julie Hesmondhalgh, writer Becx Harrison and visual artist Grant Archer in 2015 as an artistic response to urgent political and social issues.

It will be an evening of artistic installations which aims to eradicate some of the myths and misconceptions surrounding migration, drawing on extensive research on migration provided by The Migration Lab at the University of Manchester.

Hope Mill multi-media production aims to challenge preconceptions about migration I Love Manchester

In the main theatre space, a 40-minute live scripted piece will explore borders of all kinds, from the physical act of crossing a border, to everyday borders and what it means to belong.

The bar will host an installation exploring newspaper reportage as part of which copies of Not The Fake News, a publication produced by Dr Cathy Wilcock and Manchester-based asylum seekers and journalists, will be available.

Ten phone installations will play stories of migration. Short films to be screened include Grant Archer’s film Borders featuring dancer Yandass Ndlovu and Go Golden, a collaboration between animation filmmaker Elisa Morais and Manchester-based electronic duo Gymnast.

There will also be a screening of MaxÏmo Park’s Risk to Exist video, created to raise awareness of the charity MOAS.

“Hopefully the fusing of academic findings and the creative engagement of the theatrical experience will bring the many stories to light, and provide a beautiful and informative evening for our audiences in the wonderful Hope Mill Theatre,” said Julie Hesmondhalgh.

Be/Longing runs at Hope Mill Theatre from Tuesday 31st October – Saturday 4th November, with all proceeds going to migration charities Revive, United for Change, Operation Florian and MOAS.

Tickets £12/£10 concession

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