MIF19 takes place from 4-21 July 2019 …

Manchester International Festival (MIF) has announced the first artists for its 2019 programme, with each commission set to offer a distinctive and very personal take on how we relate to today’s world. Featuring artists from across the globe creating an enormous variety of new work in spaces throughout the city.

TREE – Created by Idris Elba & Kwame Kwei-Armah

Tree‘ takes audiences on a thrilling journey in search of the soul and spirit of contemporary South Africa. Created by Idris Elba, whose album Mi Mandela provides the soundtrack, and Kwame Kwei-Armah, the dynamic new artistic Director of London’s Young Vic, this major world-premiere production takes place in the round within Upper Campfield Market Hall, one of Manchester’s most atmospheric spaces.

Idris and Kwame’s new work features music, dance, and film combined with an exciting cast to explore the past, present and future of a country at a crossroads – all through the eyes of one young man on a journey of healing.

Idris Elba said “Kwame and I have both had a strong desire to work with each other for a long time now; we’ve known each other since we were in our very early twenties and have talked about the kernel of an idea for this show for a while. Our joint ambition being to make a piece of work inspired by South Africa, using the album Mi Mandela as a starting point. We’ve both experienced personal moments of healing connected with the country and we’re starting to explore that together. For me, an interesting part of the process is looking at the next part of the story; the new universe that sprung up after Mandela. To be able to investigate that with Kwame, a writer with such tremendous vision for whom I have great respect and love, and within the artistic community of MIF, is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time.”

Kwame Kwei-Armah said “The idea of dancing with a friend whose art and ideas have inspired me for as long as we have known each other simply thrills me. To bring this work to MIF and the Young Vic is as exciting as it gets for me.

Skepta

DYSTOPIA987‘ – Skepta invites you to enter another world in this series of intimate and immersive experiences. Held in a secret Manchester location, Dystopia987 is a waking dream that presents Skepta’s singular vision of the future: deep, dark, radical and riveting.

Featuring a live set from Skepta, guest appearances from hand-picked performers and DJs, a wealth of new technology and a cast inhabiting a hidden netherworld, Dystopia987 is a journey into eternity – a future riddled with uncertainty and fear but rich in wonder and possibility.

Since emerging as a producer and MC in 2004, Skepta has become one of the most significant British artists in music today. The Mercury Prize winner and BRIT Award nominee has built a diverse audience through both recordings and live performances, and his enduring influence is felt throughout contemporary culture.

Skepta described the project as “Real Life Magic”.

MIF Artistic Director and CEO John McGrath said: “I’m thrilled to be announcing the involvement of such extraordinary artists in Manchester International Festival 2019… Idris Elba is one of the most dynamic creative figures working today, and in this new collaboration with the wonderful Kwame Kwei-Armah, he brings his vision and passion to a brand-new piece of musical theatre. And Skepta, an artist known for pushing musical boundaries, is going to be surprising everyone with a vision of the future that is immersive, high tech and personal.”


Tickets will go on sale to MIF Members at 10am on Monday 29th October with general on sale at 10am on Thursday 1st November.

Find out more and book tickets here.