The Lowry Theatre celebrates 18th birthday with festival dedicated to ‘Coming of Age’

Debbie Manley | 18th January 2018

Lowry Theatre

The Lowry theatre and arts centre in Salford celebrates its 18th birthday in 2018 and will mark the milestone through its biennial Week 53 festival, which will have a ‘Coming of Age’ theme, Thursday 17 to Monday 28 May

The festival includes 66 contemporary art, dance, drama and spoken word performances by more than 130 artists from seven countries.

Six artists and companies have already been confirmed in the line-up, including: an exhibition of paintings by Royal Academician, Chantal Joffe; the first ever stage adaptation Nigel Slater’s award-winning autobiography, Toast; and a new production of the classic thriller, Brighton Rock by Pilot Theatre.

Eleven more artists and companies are announced today. They are:

  • The English language premiere of Hikikomori – theatre production by Joris Mathieu inspired by the half a million reclusive young Japanese adults who have withdrawn from social life
  • TOOT Theatre’s Sixteen rights of individuals within the care system
  • The world premiere of Seven Inch – a spoken word comedy performance about loneliness and music’s digital coming of age by Manchester artist, Fat Roland
  • An immersive performance examining the institutionalisation of people with learning disabilities by Access All Areas Theatre – specially commissioned for Week 53
  • Stand-up from Chortle Award-nominated comedian, Kiri Pritchard-Mclean, who will reflect on her experiences of mentoring vulnerable young people through her show, Appropriate Adult
  • Daughter Daughter – an emotive new dance show about fatherhood inspired by real stories from men and their daughters by Joseph Toonga and Just Us Dance Theatre
  • A celebration of all things digital from the last 40 years in Hacked on Classics by Seb Lee-Delise, which takes a look at how popular retro gadgets actually work
  • A live-media performance by fuse* called Dökk, inspired by the natural evolution of Ljós (‘light’)
  • Michael Keegan-Dolan’s Swan Lake / Loch na hEala – a magical new staging of the classic ballet from one of Ireland’s foremost dance and theatre-makers which collides ancient mythology and the complexity of modern Ireland
  • – a series of events at which teenagers take control by Canadian company Mammalian Diving Reflex
  • And Scottish Dance Theatre will present Fleur Darkin’s Innocence – a unique playroom performance that invites little ones (and their adults), to explore William Blake’s imagination and enter a realm of mystery, fun and adventure.

Julia Fawcett OBE, chief executive of The Lowry, said: “Week 53 champions bold and experimental art across all genres and represents a period in our calendar when anything is possible.

“This year’s festival focusses on ‘the coming of age’ and the multitude of scenarios in which that ‘process’ takes place. It coincides with a milestone for The Lowry – that being the 18th anniversary of our opening – which gives the theme an added significance to our staff and long-standing patrons.”

Some elements of the programme are free of change and those that are ticketed are set-priced at £10 or £20. For all ticketed performances there will be an allocation of ‘Pay What You Decide’ seats available both in advance and on the door – to encourage audiences to ‘try something new’.

The inaugural Week 53 festival in 2016 drew over 10,000 visitors – 33% of which had never been to The Lowry before. The programme comprised 63 performances by more than 200 artists and further strengthened The Lowry’s position as the most visited cultural destination in the North West.

The Lowry opened on 28 April 2000 as ‘The National Landmark Millennium Project for the Arts’. The building was officially opened six months later by The Queen on 12 October 2000.

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