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  • Writer's pictureSTEVE COOKE AATA

HOME launch new outdoor venue to provide entertainment this Summer

By Steve Cooke

A huge new temporary outdoor venue including theatre, food, drink, shows, music, cabaret, and comedy will be launched by HOME in May to provide an outdoor Summer destination for people looking for a safe and fun night out as lockdown eases.

Built on a space three times the size of Albert Square, and with a Cabinet of Curiosities-themed design, the new venue, named Homeground, opens on Friday, 28 May, and will be located on an 80,000ft2 future development site on First Street, just next to HOME. It will feature a 400-seat socially distanced theatre space: the specially designed and purpose built, Covid-safe outdoor theatre. At the heart will be two magical, musical productions of classics: Filter Theatre’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and a brand-new version of Alice in Wonderland.

The venue will also host work by partners including Frog & Bucket, Contact and Trans Creative, as well as music, cabaret, and comedy.

A second stage, The Manchester Stage, will feature DJ slots curated by DJ Paulette, and a Manchester Folk Festival takeover, among other free events.

There will also be food and drink from stallholders including Black Market Espresso, Basilico pizza, Wolf to the Door cocktails and Tibetan Kitchen.

The project will create 450 new employment opportunities for freelance artists and creative practitioners, supporting the freelance economy which has been so badly hit by the coronavirus pandemic.

Thanks to generous support from Savannah Wisdom Foundation, tickets for the two HOME productions will be just £10 for adults and £5 for children. HOME will also be offering free performances for school groups.

Dave Moutrey, HOME’s Director and CEO said: “As we start to emerge from the strangest year many of us have ever experienced, arts and culture play a vital role in the recovery of the country. We all want to bring a sense of hope and joy back to our communities, and to provide more opportunities for an artistic freelance sector decimated by the pandemic. And we want accessibility for all to be at the heart of this project, which is why there is a low-cost or free programme, as well as free performances for schools. People in our city, especially young people, have been deprived of live theatre for the past year – we want this to be a celebration of Manchester’s creativity and resilience”.

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