A massive new dance, music and visual effects immersive experience inspired by The Matrix movies is coming to Manchester.
Free Your Mind will be the opening show in October 2023 of new £186m cultural venue Factory International in Manchester, and will be directed by award-winning film and stage director Danny Boyle.
Boyle’s vision for the show is to bring together spectacular visual effects, professional dancers and actors, plus local participants to recreate scenes from the Matrix movies. Choreography will be by Kenrick “H20” Sandy, music by Michael “Mikey J” Asante, stage sculptures by the designer Es Devlin, plus spoken words by playwright and poet Sabrina Mahfouz.
Free Your Mind will run from 13 October to 5 November 2023 at Factory International.
Factory International is designed by Ellen van Loon, a partner at the Office for Metropolitan Architecture, and the spaceship-like industrial warehouse style building has been built on the site of the former ITV Granada TV studios – the original home of the cobbles of Coronation Street.
A major feature of the venue is its enormous movable walls, which will allow a multitude of different configurations, turning the space into vast arenas or intimate performance spaces.
The venue is funded by the government, Manchester City Council and Arts Council England, and is the largest investment in a UK cultural project since the opening of Tate Modern in 2000.
Factory International will be led by artistic director and chief executive John McGrath, with programming by the Manchester International Festival. Next year’s MIF23 will run from 29 June to 16 July 2023, and include a major Yayoi Kusama art show at the venue – You, Me and the Balloons – as part of the festival in July and August 2023, involving spectacular inflatable sculptures.
The venue will stage around 80 gigs a year, and following Free Your Mind the Factory will host a 9 day programme of welcome events called The Welcome (11 – 19 November 2023), including art, music, circus and fashion.