FestiVal fever 2009

Here I am me and my first post!

Since it’s summer (according to the calendar anyway) and it’s also festiVal time I will give a little update on what I’ve been going to and/or wish I had(n’t) locally in the last few weeks!

July, being my bday month I thought to myself, let’s get cracking and make the most of my last few days in my 20’s! I think I did pretty well!

Coming back from a trip from L’Ile de Beauté Corsica – where I was a crooner, a rally driver, a scuba diver, a camper, a swimmer, and a lover, and I was then warmed up, ready for my upcoming Mancunian activities!

Manchester International Festival 2009 (finished on the 19/7 )! I took part in some of the production/events as a volunteer and as an educated visitor (??). It was an incredible experience. I managed to be a driver for Anthony and the Johnsons, personal driver round Manchester! I then took part in the 4h long live art experiment for the original Marina Abramovic . It all started pretty well, I was a sound engineer for the first hour while Marina was preparing us to enjoy 3h of live weird performance, and then I turned gallery assistant for the remaining 3h.

  • H+1 with a naked Chinese artist who kept staying round me – Yingmei Duan – I was supposed to interact with her but wasn’t really sure to what extent since she was naked and walking around me! Weird.
  • H+2 with Alastair MacLennan who walking like a little crab around a massive table covered in soil, pigs heads and trout, surrounded by shoes of all sorts– one of the ‘you had to be there’ type of experience….
  • H+ 3 was spent with a tiny French lady Marie Cool playing with installations made out of paper, strings and elastic bands.

My breaks were spent wondering the other 8 rooms enjoying the experiments – a naked lady falling down the stairs in slow motion (…), a Chinese lady playing with radio and jello, a girl falling on a bed/mountain top less, another girl under a pile of animal skins to name but a few! A strange evening to say the least…

Then there was the much more classic experience of the visionary work of Zaha Hadid Architect’s acting as an beautiful écrin for the music of Bach! Let’s not forget Flailing trees, and the really original b Rufus WrainwrightPrima Donna! Also had a dance to the sound of Micron‘s dj in the great tepee standing on Albert Sq. and a little picnic on the sun loungers. Great times! I can’t wait for 2011!

I also tried some fun activities: Kayaking one eve at Salford Quays water Sport Center ! Really great fun.

Then I moved on to volunteering for 24:7 Theatre festival that took place from the 20/7 to 26/7. 21 original 1h long plays! I managed to see and work on only 6 of them sadly!5:30 (2 unlikely people sharing emotional stories about themselves), The Last Chair (absurd comedy about chairs… and their extinctions), Remember Me (love story and death story to the sound of 90’s house music), Maine Road (Chavy family tribulations with some City references), Lub You (3 years old boy and a baby verbalising their thoughts! Original and moving somehow!), Dancing to the sound of crunching snails (Loved the game plays and the idea of family drama/comedy – I did laugh quite a lot, gaining unlimited entry by the writer!!).

In the mean time, my fourth decade arrived and to celebrate (I don’t commiserate!) the tribe and I ended up having a gargantuesque tablée in the lovely Ning! Malay- Thai restaurant nicely set up on Oldham St in the Northern Quarter of Manchester. Lots of nice food, hats, cards and cakes! Frogs even actually … El Roberto!

To finish my bday month of celebration, the Manchester Jazz Festival that took place all of last week, kind have passed me by totally sadly and only saw a few gigs on St Ann sq while on my lunch break or after work… Not a great deal to say other than it was wet and jazzy! I think by then, my excitement, and involvement in the Mancunian cultural scene was just like the weather – wet! Too much of a good thing…

So what’s next Manchester?

Coming up in my little box of suggestions and ideas are a few things I will sort out over the next few days!