STUN EVENTS


Here is a list of our current events. Click to book tickets for our members Masterclasses or Shows

Marcus Hercules presents PRISON GAME

Fri 3 March | 7:30pm | STUN Studio at Z-Arts

 

 

When prison is your world, how do you function within society?

This gripping, and at times chilling, one-man physical theatre performance is the story of how prison can define a man.

Developed using real life accounts of extraordinary experiences this mainly biographical story deals with the effects of institutionalisation on the psyche of an individual and the people around them.

“Sharp, funny, skilful and moving.” – The Observer

“Hercules is a fine vocal performer.” – Manchester Theatre Awards

“Hercules plays all the roles himself, switching with effortless ease from Jamaican patois to Manchester street slang… It’s a rollercoaster ride of characters which makes for compelling viewing.” – North West End

To Book Visit: www.z-arts.org/events/prison-game/

You can watch the Prison Game trailer Here

STUN (Sustained Theatre Up North) partner up with long-time collaborators Fade to Black Film Festival and the Mbari Group to present a series of feature-length films under the banner ‘Fade to Black Season – Generations‘.

 

dtrt1 Generation Revolution thumbnail concerning-violence-header-image

Taking place over three Friday evenings, from November 25th, audiences can see films that in some way chronicle and examine how race relations have changed from the 1950s to the present day. There will be Q&As and talks alongside each film that will tap into current debates and discuss the political situation at hand. STUN Studio is the perfect venue for this, as one of Manchester’s few spaces dedicated to BAME film, theatre and current political debate. Fade to Black is Manchester’s only Black Film Club specialising in Black Films.

#blacklivesmatter

***
Friday December 9th

CONCERNING VIOLENCE
7pm – 10pm | STUN Studio at Z-arts
BOOK TICKETS (£7/5)

From the director of The Black Power Mixtape comes a bold and fresh visual narrative on Africa, based on newly discovered archive material covering the struggle for liberation from colonial rule in the late ’60s and ’70s, accompanied by text from Frantz Fanon’s The Wretched of the Earth. Narrated by Lauryn Hill.

“Archival footage provides a damning indictment of European imperialism from the director of ‘The Black Power Mixtape.’”

Variety


”Concerning Violence is one of the best documentaries to hit this year’s Sundance. It also acts as an excellent companion piece to We Come As Friends, another great doc about imperialism in Africa that’s been playing the fest. It stands alone both as a work of history, sociology, psychology, and philosophy.”

Movie Mezzanine


BOOK: http://www.z-arts.org/events/concerning-violence/

Presented by Word of Warning, STUN + Black Gold Arts Festival

header_chanje

Thursday 6 October 2016, 6-10pm

Join us on Thursday 6 October for an evening of the different in Hulme — a unique insight into eight new works in various stages of development, from first sketches to ready-to-go shows…

Feat. Maya Chowdhry, Jamil Keating, Chanje Kunda, Afreena Islam, Cheryl Martin, Chelsea Morgan, Toni-Dee Paul and Yvonne Shelton.

From the earth beneath our feet to the stars in our skies, an evening of emerging works by a group of artists as diverse as their subject matter. Quantum mechanics, homelessness, food and sex brought together in a series of tabletop performances, installations and sit-down shows.

Installation, 6-8.30pm. FREE

Jamil Keating | Asteroid RK1
Chelsea Morgan | Tented
Yvonne Shelton | Testimony

Tabletop Trio, 6pm. £6/3

Maya Chowdhry | Peas on Earth
Afreena Islam | Daughters of the Curry Revolution
Toni-Dee Paul | My Father’s Kitchen

Double Bill, 8.30pm. £6/3

Chanje Kunda | Superposition
Cheryl Martin | Who Wants to Live Forever (extract)

Venue + Booking Details for Installation
Date: Thursday 6 October 2016, 6-8.30pm
Venue: Z-arts, 335 Stretford Road, Manchester, M15 5ZA
Tickets: FREE no booking required, come + go as you please.
Venue (Z-arts) Tel: 0161 232 6089

Venue + Booking Details for Tabletop Trio
Date: Thursday 6 October 2016, 6pm (very limited capacity)
Venue: Z-arts, 335 Stretford Road, Manchester, M15 5ZA
Tickets: £6/3, available from Mon 19 Sep.
Venue (Z-arts) Tel: 0161 232 6089

Venue + Booking Details for Double Bill
Date: Thursday 6 October 2016, 8.30pm
Venue: Z-arts (incl STUN Studio), 335 Stretford Road, Manchester, M15 5ZA
Tickets: £6/3, available from Mon 19 Sep.
Venue (Z-arts) Tel: 0161 232 6089


Access Information

Divergency is primarily an adult-focussed event, some works will not be suitable for younger viewers (i.e. under 18s). It takes place in a number of different spaces and formats — some seated, some standing, some spoken word, some visual, some limited capacity, some participatory. We apologise but some of the work may not be wheelchair accessible. For specific age and access information please email info@habarts.org or call 0161 232 6086.


Credits

Divergency is an ongoing artist development programme supported by hÅb +STUN; supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. | Header image: Chanje Kunda

www.divergencymcr.org | #Divergency | Black Gold Arts Festival

Thursday 29 September 2016 | 6.30 – 9pm | STUN Studio at Z-arts

Please Note: We expect this showing to be very busy and limited space is available. Please book in advance where possible to avoid disappointment.

Inspired by Barack and Michelle Obama’s first date, SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU recounts the eventful summer day in 1989 when a young law firm associate named Barack Obama tried to woo lawyer Michelle Robinson during a daylong date.

“92% fresh”Tomatometer

“A tremendous walk-and-talk romance that would work just fine devoid of context. But it’s that context that puts it over the top – into “best of the year” territory.” – J. Olson – Cinemixtape

“…perceptive, intelligent, entirely credible imagining of how these two very bright young lawyers broke the ice during a long afternoon and evening in Chicago in 1989.”The Hollywood Reporter

BOOK TICKETS NOW £7/£5 concs.

 

STRIKE A POSE: Dance Cinema Event
7 Oct | 7.30pm
Tickets £10 / £6
12A
Please note, this event is now sold out – call Z-arts Box Office on 0161 232 6089 to be added to a wait list. 

Black Gold Arts Festival with the help of Queer Media, has bagged the Northwest premiere of Strike A Pose.

What does it take to express yourself? The surprising and moving story of Madonna’s most famous troupe of dancers.

In 1990, seven young male dancers – 6 gay, 1 straight – joined Madonna on her most controversial tour. On stage and in the iconic film Truth or Dare they showed the world how to express yourself. Now, 25 years later, they reveal the truth about life during and after the tour. Strike a Pose is a dramatic tale about overcoming shame and finding the courage to be who you are.

In a one-off special event taking pace in the STUN Studio at Z-arts, this screening of the film will be accompanied by a spectacular dance piece choreographed by rising star Natasha Gooden and performed by Manchester favourites House of Ghetto.

Stike A Pose_Smaller image_STUN

Praise for Strike A Pose
“Resilience and spirit come through strongly” — The Hollywood Reporter, David Rooney
“An uplifting survival tale.” — The Playlist/Indiewire, Jessica Kiang
“A perfect love song by Gould and Zwaan to the exceptional men those boys turned out to be.” — The Huffington Post, E. Nina Rothe

Black Gold Arts Festival is supported using public funding by Arts Council England. Supported by STUN, Contact, Commonword, and Divergency.

Strike A Pose website
Twitter: @StrikeAPoseDocu

 

BGAF footer

CLAY: a live dance performance
28 Oct | 7.30pm
Tickets £8/£5
All ages
BOOK HERE

Screen Shot 2016-08-13 at 16.52.16 CLAY  sombrero y bata de cola

It is said that clay is the matter that we are made of. Buried in that matter are the memories that mould our experiences, our understandings and gestures. Memories that seem to belong to a time long before our very thoughts were shaped. Ancient yet familiar, they accompany us from places that only our cells have been.

In CLAY Asha Thomas, American contemporary dancer and Yinka Esi Graves, British flamenco dancer, draw from their collective memory and experiences to create a unique language between them. It is their very dancing that goes in search of the past whilst being informed by it. One dancer of half Jamaican and Ghanian descent and the other from a long line of southern baptist preachers, explore the connections between who they believe themselves to be, and the unconscious parts that make up who they are.

It is the place where this duo’s dance influences cross that evokes memories of imagined lands, all to the unique soundscape of flamenco and electric guitarist Guillermo Guillén.

CLAY is a powerful game between solo pieces and explosive pas de deux, of their rhythms and unique expression. It asks us to locate the parts of ourselves that have formed over long periods of time, surviving the wear of migration to still be found today.

Choreographed and performed by Yinka Esi Graves and Asha Thomas.
A STUN (Sustained Theatre Up North) and Châteauvallon- Scenes nationale co-commission

For more information about the artists and the making of CLAY, visit: http://clayperformance.blogspot.co.uk/ 

**
SEE ALSO:

CLAY open rehearsal
28 Oct | 1pm – 2:30pm 
FREE
All ages

The artists of CLAY are proposing an open rehearsal where the public will be able to get a behind-the-scenes look into the creative process of the production. The artists find it important to share with the community all of the aspects that are involved in putting together a dance performance, whether it be collaborating with the lighting designer, refining and perfecting the dance movements, or the interactions between the dancers and the musician/composer.  Afterwards, the audience will be given an opportunity to ask questions about the piece, to gain insight into the artist’s individual backgrounds, and to learn about the peculiarities of working and living internationally. 

BOOK FOR CLAY OPEN REHEARSAL HERE

**
CLAY Workshop

26 Oct | 5:30pm
£2
Ages 15+

The dancers in CLAY will offer a dance workshop that will expose the students to the different genres shown in the piece: flamenco, contemporary dance, and other social dances from the African diaspora. The students will experience how the artists of CLAY have chosen to interconnect the different styles and will also have the opportunity to explore themes that include sensibility to music and rhythm, bodily coordination and strength, and self expression through different dynamics.

BOOK FOR CLAY WORKSHOP HERE

BHMGM Master Logo

21 Oct Keisha Thompson web image

21 October | 7:30pm
Suitable for ages 12+
FREE, please book your seat using the link below.

“My dad is a conundrum. He shapes his tongue like a crescent, then beams his way upwards. Most times he leaves me books, books and books covered in stardust. Other times he leaves me with a heavy sense of dread. How do you communicate with a man who has a moon where he should have a head?”

A new show from one of Manchester’s best and brightest up-and-coming talents.

Written and performed by Keisha Thompson | Directed by Benji Reid
A STUN (Sustained Theatre Up North) commission

 RESERVE YOUR FREE SEAT

This was a speech delivered by Tanzil Chowdhury on behalf of the Northern Police Monitoring Project at Fade to Black’s screening of ‘The Hard Stop‘ at STUN Studio at Z-arts on the 29th July, 2016.


Narratives

“I’d like to first start by talking very briefly about “truth.”

For many thousands of years, thinkers from around the world and throughout time have tried to determine what we mean by the truth- whether there is some kind of independent, objective reality out there and how we go about determining this objective reality. This branch of philosophy is typically called epistemology.

Some philosophers however, contest that there is an objective reality out there or that, while there might be, it is not possible for human beings to determine that objective reality.

Some of those people say we have to stop talking about truth therefore and have to start talking about discourses or narratives.

Discourses or narratives aren’t about trying to resemble truth (as they would doubt such a thing exists) but are about how we describe things and events and produce meaning for those things and events. Most importantly however, narratives are necessarily linked to power.

So the way a discourse or narrative is shaped necessarily reflects some power imbalance present.

This seems a much more appropriate way to understand how the state and media frame events and people- events like deaths by the police and those people who are its victims. Discourses and narratives therefore, are not only not about truth, but importantly reflect how these institutions, like the state, media and police reflect the power differences between them and the public whose opinions are shaped by these very discourses.

So when we talk about anything the police does, we need to recognise that the police are producing their meaning of what these events and people mean.

I imagine I am preaching to the converted when I now describe how Mark Duggan was vilified almost immediately after his execution.

So firstly, Police told the media that there had been a ‘shootout’, thus insinuating that Mark had a gun- and then later explicitly came out to the media confirming this. This was affirmed later by the shooter, V53, who said he was 100% sure Mark possessed a firearm. There was also the now infamous photo of a ‘hard faced Mark Duggan’ which was actually a cropped image of Mark mourning the passing of his daughter- the cropped version was published across the tabloid press with accompanying sensationalist headlines. At the Public Inquiry, a police officer from the witness box described Duggan as being “among Europe’s most violent criminals.”

Now a few days after the killing, the IPCC said there was no evidence that Mark had shot first. The IPCC said a few days after that, that they may have misled journalists on suggesting Mark had fired shots. Please take a moment to appreciate how catastrophic a blunder this was- but instead as a naive public we accepted this as a admirable concession. These public bodies need to be held to an incredibly high standard given the power we instil with them. Most conclusively however, in 2014 an inquest found that Duggan had not been carrying a weapon- though remarkably, his killing was deemed lawful.

Let’s be clear however. The moment that the term gang or gangsters had been uttered in the same sentence as Mark’s name, the damage had been done and his murder had been seen, not as another tragic episode of the institutionally racist police force’s vilification and disproportionate surveillance, stopping and searching and harassment of the Black community, but as the heroic bobbies ridding our streets of another gangster.

Only now, despite the years of research (much conducted by local academics such as Patrick Williams) are MPs beginning to recognises the toxic and racist labelling of groups of young black men as gangs. Let’s be honest, gang is used because its slightly less acceptable today to say that the police are killing, arresting and harassing black people.

This following quote from the Institute of Race Relations sums it all up saying:

“On examining deaths that have occurred over the years involving members of the African-Caribbean community in particular, it becomes clear that, in the immediate aftermath of death, information is placed in the public domain, citing unnamed police sources, which casts doubt on the character of the deceased, tending to frame him as a violent and dangerous black criminal. 

Mark Duggan had already been labelled a ‘gangster’ or ‘suspected gangster’ and the Daily Telegraph and the Sun, amongst others, had published stories that he was linked to ‘Manchester gangsters’.[13] The Daily Mail went even further claiming that ‘Duggan was a “crack dealer” linked to a string of feared gangs’.[14]”

The police and state don’t deal in truth, they deal in narratives.

Final two points – often families like the Duggan’s, Alder’s, Rigg’s, Graingers etc have sometimes been labeled paranoid, conspiracy theorists whenever they level attacks about how the police and state surveillance their families and campaigns.

But then 2 things happened.

The first is that it emerged that Doreen Lawrence (the mother of Stephen) and her family had been spied upon by undercover police.

The second is that of Hillsborough. What the Hillsborough Inquiry illustrated is how the State and its agencies shaped narratives to mitigate or avoid accountability. For many, it had taken the phenomenon of state cover up and collusion, spying and sureveille-ancing out of the realm of conspiracy and into the realm of possibility.

It’s therefore essential that we all re-think Duggan, Alder, Smiley Culture, Joy Gardner, Anthony Grainger, Habib Paps Ullah etc.

Linking US and UK & the ‘History of ideas’

I want to firstly mention  a common criticism levelled at the Black Lives Matter Movement. Firstly, to those that say All Lives Matter – African Americans comprised 15% of all police deaths in 2015, but only make 2% of the population. So at the very least, race plays a part.

Now while there are differences with the hypothetical I am about to present, imagine for a moment saying to Jews in the 1930s while they were being systematically executed, All Lives Matter. Or saying All lives matter to Bosniain Muslims while 800 of them were executed in Srebenicia.

Of course, all lives matter.

But in the states, Black lives have never really mattered. African Americans are underrepresented in key areas of employment, overrepresented in the mass private prison industrial complex and let’s not forget that the US was built on the backs of their ancestors. And perhaps most significantly, the only time the US government bombed its OWN citizens, was a black neighbourhood in Philadelphia in 1985.

But why do these remote historical things matter?

It is important to understand how ideas repeat themselves throughout time, albeit with different contents, contexts and situations.

In 2015, more African Americans were killed by the police than were lynched during the worst year of the racist Jim Crow laws. This is liberal America. And there are also the appalling responses to natural disasters in predominately black areas in the US, the selective grief of those they mourn, the US media’s sanitisation of terrorists going on shooting rampages in black churches, stop and searches etc etc.

But to quote Akala’s fire in the booth, ‘That’s America, This Britain, something similar, some different.”

1558 deaths have occurred in police custody or contact since 1990, 60 which were by way of shooting. Indeed in 2012, greater Manchester police killed Anthony Grainger not too far away from here.

500 Black and Asian people have died in suspicious circumstances while in state detention in the past 24 years according to a study conducted last year by the institute of relations.

In Greater Manchester, as a black person, the moment you step out of this building, you are almost 3 times more likely to get stopped and searched than your white counterparts.

And as I speak to my friends, many whom are respected community organisers and youth workers in this area, Operation Excalibur, the GMPs ‘gang’ program, seem to be adopting a tactic of ‘stop and harassing’ of predominately black youth in the area.

And of course there is also a context too in the UK that the Black Lives Matter UK movement will soon articulate- not of slavery of the black population, but of colonialism, of socially engineered poverty, of criminalisation following the Windrush and gentrification- which I won’t go into now.

The point am trying to make is this- we have to stop looking at these events in their historical context and instead start looking at them in their genealogical context. What do I mean by that?

It means that we have to stop presuming that just because time passes, we think ideas and the society and institutions they create necessarily progress and get better.

They don’t.

Ideas, unless they are challenged, just reformulate themselves which is why in 2015 more people were killed in liberal America, than lynched in the worse years of racially segregated American.

The content, contexts and situations of these ideas of oppression may change, but the ideas endure.

Only once we know that, will we stop relying on these same ideas, and the institutions and paradigms they produce, and will we begin to emancipate us.

No Justice, No Peace, Rest in Power Mark Duggan.”

Tanzil Chowdhury
@tchowdhury88

Friday 29 July 2016 | 6.15 – 9pm | STUN Studio at Z-arts

Please Note: We expect this showing to be very busy and limited space is available. Please book in advance where possible to avoid disappointment.

In August 2011, 29-year-old Mark Duggan was shot and killed whilst being arrested by armed police in Tottenham, London. This incident ignited a riot that escalated into a week of the worst civil unrest in recent British history. 
This film explores the life and death of Mark Duggan, and features his childhood friends, Marcus and Kurtis, as they struggle to come to terms with the death of their friend – whilst also waiting to see if the inquest into his shooting will provide them with a satisfactory version of the truth.

“Moving and insightful documentary about the controversial shooting of Mark Duggan.”
Film List

“A hard-hitting doc exploring the fallout from the killing by police of Tottenham man Mark Duggan.” ★★★★
Time Out London

Film of the Week, British Film Institute

Fade to Black is also pleased to welcome guest speakers Carol Duggan – Mark’s aunt, Tanzil Chowdhury – Northern Police Monitoring Project, Colette Williams – BlackLivesMatter Manchester, and supported by local poet Mark Mace Smith.


BOOK TICKETS NOW
 £7/£5 concs.
Recommended age tbc

All proceeds from this event will be donated to the following organisations:

 

 

HardStop_Final_ONLINE3

Friday 17 June | 7:30pm | STUN Studio at Z-arts
**includes post show discussion**

Phina Oruche is having an identity crisis.

Best known for her role as aloof supermodel Liberty Baker in ITV1 drama Footballers’ Wives, Phina, now in her 40s, has started to question who she really is.

Spending more than two decades of her life taking on other people’s identities – first as a New York fashion model and later as an award-winning TV actress – has taken its toll.
Her new one-woman show, Identity Crisis, was written as part of her Masters degree and although it is based upon her own life story, it explores identity struggles that are common to all of us.

Through its low-key staging, the show provides a perfect vehicle for Phina’s larger than life characterisations. From Amy Tan, a working class white girl with a Scouse brow and a taste for spray tans and black lads to Antonio de Silva, a football crazy Italian living in LA who misses his mum, Phina brings a colourful cast of eight characters to life, all of whom are having their own identity crises.

The tale begins with the real life story of the sudden death of Phina’s 19-year-old niece in her house in 2011 and the ensuing press intrusion.

Phina said: “After years of identity struggles, writing this show has given me the freedom to play characters I would never get cast as…”

Audience Feedback:
“A stunning bravura virtuoso debut…”
“…as good as anyone I have ever seen on screen or stage…”


BOOK TICKETS NOW

£10/£6
Z-arts, 335 Stretford Road, Hulme, Manchester M15 5ZA
0161 232 6089

Recommended age 14+

Hear Phina talk about the show on BBC Radio Derby

Nubian Times preview

www.phinaoruche.com
www.facebook.com/ThePhinaOrucheShow
Twitter: @PhinaOru

Phina_ohJospehine Phina_ohglory Phina_comedy

Saturday 12 March 2016 | 7:30pm | Z-arts

Immerse yourself in the majesty, passion and music of West Africa in this epic story of Mali.

Discover a royal family, torn apart by jealousy, plots and exile and a prophecy which hinges on the most reviled woman in the kingdom. Can her child bring the kingdoms of West Africa together?

Jan Blake, one of the world’s best-loved storytellers, together with two exceptional West African musicians, Kouame Sereba and Raymond Sereba, share a rarely told version of The Birth of Sundiata Keita, the visionary leader of the great Malian Empire. Songs of the Gban people, guitars, Nordic flutes, djembe drums and kalimbas and the extraordinary dodo mouth bow, cradle the story in an evocative soundscape.

The Old Woman, The Buffalo and The Lion of Manding is produced by Adverse Camber productions, one of the UK’s most celebrated storytelling companies. This tale reaches across the centuries, from its origins in 13th Century Africa to the recent conflicts of our own time when its telling was forbidden.  Enjoy a performance that is by turns delicate, dramatic, moving and truly uplifting; an epic tale of love, courage, faith and strength that has been told in Mali for many hundreds of years.

“An utterly compelling and passionate piece, with a voice and rhythm all of its own”
Festival at the Edge Storytelling Festival

“A rare and unique performance”
The Crick Crack Club

Running time: 2 hours 20 mins, including interval

BOOK TICKETS NOW **TWO FOR ONE OFFER AVAILABLE**
(£10 / £8)
Z-arts, 335 Stretford Road, Hulme, Manchester M15 5ZA
0161 232 6089

Ticket Offer
Two for One ticket offer available both online and by calling the box office. When booking online, simply select your tickets and it will automatically deduct the cost of one ticket.

Recommended age 14+

www.adversecamber.org
facebook.com/adversecamberstories
@adversecamber20

Friday 12 February 2016 | 5.30pm | STUN Studio at Z-arts

Dating and the concept of love has changed so much over the last decade or so. Go back 50 years the man had to make the first move. But now dating is a commercial enterprise and a powerful emotional minefield. Online dating and social networking are the norm with the rise of dating websites and apps, like e-Harmony, Match.com, and of course, Tinder.

This no-holds-barred documentary from leading multi award winning British filmmaker Menelik Shabazz combines frank, intimate and humorous interviews alongside carnival footage and spoken word to explore modern relationships. The film focuses on the UK’s Black British community as a microcosm of British society. Individuals, groups, psychologists and comedians consider love, sex, intimacy and forgiveness

“Menelik Shabazz’s exploration of relationships in the UK’s black British community is laidback and likable” – The Guardian

BOOK TICKETS NOW

Recommended age 18+

RUNNING ORDER:
5.30pm
– Introduction by film maker Menelik Shabazz
6pm to 8pmLooking for Love (Approx running time 117 minutes)
8pm – Q&A
8.45pm – Fade to Black

Look4Love_TDHAF_Flat_CMYKFinal2

STUN_large_Waiting to Exhale

FADE TO BLACK & STUN Invite you to come and celebrate the 20th Anniversary film release of the 1995 box office sensation WAITING TO EXHALE, based on the Terry McMillan novel of the same name.

Reacquaint yourself with Savannah, Bernadine, Gloria and Robin as they navigate through their careers, family and romance…

WAITING TO EXHALE is an all African American cast (well apart from you know who!) and follows how four friends bond over the shortcomings in their love lives — namely, the scarcity of good men, relationships with married men, betrayal of an affair, divorce, but also the joy of finding new love… remember the scene when Gloria first meets Marvin and sashays her cute self across the road and says with the naughtiest grin, “Ooh, I hope he’s not still watching…he’s still watching.”

Friday 11 Dec | 18:30 | STUN Studio at Z-arts, M15 5ZA | £5
BOOK TICKETS NOW
*includes buffet & bubbly*

FREE SYMPOSIUM EVENT
Friday 4 December, 11.30am – 2pm
STUN Studio at Z-arts, 335 Stretford Road, M15 5ZA

> BOOK TICKETS NOW

***
Benji Reid and Sustained Theatre Up North (STUN) invite you to a rare critical dialogue,
A Question of Black Physical Theatre & Dance.

Over the past 30 years Black Physical Theatre & Dance has been delivered through the vision and politics of some of the world’s most interesting theatre makers, such as Denise Wong, Amani Naphtali, and Benji Reid. Whilst some archives exist, less has been documented about what one might call the engineering behind the art form, namely the energies and ideas motivating works in the Black Theatre & Dance canon such as Ragamuffin and Super Heroes.

Does a distinctive art form exist that is sufficiently unique and nuanced to be called Black Physical Theatre or Dance? What are its processes and products? Who are its champions and challengers?

Speakers include leading physical theatre practitioner Benji Reid; founder of the influential Black Mime Woman’s Trope, Denise Wong; and dramatist, writer (Ragamuffin), director and film maker Amani Naphtali. There will also be a film screening featuring artists Juliet Ellis, Amani Naphtali, Victor Romero, Robert Hilton, Diane Morgan (Nitro), Vicki Amedume (UpSwing), DeCypher (Auden Allen), and a live performance-in-progress by Michelle Scally Clarke, STUN’s Appetite commissioned artist.

**
Agenda
11.30am Welcome: Garfield Allen, STUN
11.45 – 12.00pm Starter, Discussion: Masterclass
12.00 – 12.10pm Speaker, Benji Reid: Background to the project
12.10 – 12.30pm Performance-in-progress: Michelle Scally Clarke
12.30 – 12.45pm Round Table discussion
12.45 – 12.55pm Speaker: Denise Wong – Black Mime
12.55 – 1.15pm 
Round Table discussion
1.15 – 1.30pm Film screening
1.30 – 1.40pm Speaker: Amani Naphtali
1.40 – 2pm Round Table discussion
2pm Conclusion and Networking

**
Speaker Biographies
Benji Reid | benjireid.com | @benjireid
Benji Reid is a singular talent. His vision as Performer and Creative Director has made him an Award Winning and senior contributor to the Black Physical Theatre canon over the last 30 years. Having produced & performed over 30 cultural works for leading international cultural institutions led by The National Theatre, Birmingham Rep, PS122 (New York), + Sydney Opera House, Reid is without a doubt one of the most compelling cultural makers in contemporary British theatre.

“It’s director Benji Reid’s choreography and stage-pictures that are the real stars here. Inspired seemingly by everything from basketball itself to computer games, slow-motion replays, via architecture, geometry, and probably some abstruse sport theory of which I know nothing”.  – Andrew Haydon, Theatre Critic

Amani Naphtali | @Brixton_inc
Amani Naphtali is a trained dramatist, writer, director and filmmaker.  He was the founder member and Director of the groundbreaking Double Edge Theatre co and is currently Artistic Director of Brixton Inclusive. He is a dedicated exponent of the African Ritualistic genre and a pioneer of Multi Genre interdisciplinary practice. He has directed musicals, films and dance productions.

His plays include The Remnant, Valley of the Blind, Song of Songs, a multi art form, rap musical inspired by the Last Poets entitled Vibes from the Scribes and The Word Temple, a visionary performance piece inspired by Poetic Spoken Word. He also wrote and directed the experimental film, The Black Bohemians (1990) and a fiction film Circles of Fire (1997) which opened at The British Short Film Festival. His productions also include Ragamuffin (1988) Oval House, (1990) Hackney Empire (2002) Contact, West Yorkshire Playhouse, Theatre Royal Stratford East and The Birmingham Rep. Ragamuffin was one of the 80’s / 90’s most successful and groundbreaking theatre productions.

Denise Wong
Denise Wong joined Black Mime Theatre Company when it was founded in 1984, becoming Director in 1986. She directed all 16 of the theatre’s productions between then and 1997, including Mourning Song, Forgotten Heroes, E.D.R. and HEART. In 1990, she formed the Black Mime Women’s Troupe. She was instrumental in presenting notions of a Black British Mime Aesthetic. She has run the Streets Alive company since June 2001, directing the plays of the Main Company, and co-directing with Pippa Bailey The Little Match Girl, a site specific piece using pyrotechniques created by the World Famous.

Other work by Denise includes directing Driving Force for Union Dance Company and for Adzido Pan African Dance Ensemble, Oya’s Choice in 1994, Thand ‘Abantwana in 1995 and Shango The God of Thunder in 1996. Before moving on to Streets Alive, Denise was Trainee Associate Director at Birmingham Repertory Theatre.

**
Live performance-in-progress: Michelle Scally Clarke / Appetite Commission
Michelle Scally-Clarke is a Leeds-born writer and performer. She is a published poet with two novels I Am and She Is currently in print. Michelle has performed with some of the UK’s most recognised poets such as Linton Kwesi Johnson, Benjamin Zephaniah, Lemn Sissay and Simon Armitage, and has toured as a solo performer throughout the UK and internationally including America, Europe, Jamaica and the Cayman Islands. Michelle has also performed in theatre including productions Word Temple and Carnival Messiah in which she played the lead role Mama God.

Appetite was an open call for artists to respond viscerally, in ways that explore emotional and physical longing for an idea, place or thing, with a small commission and a week of mentoring with Benji Reid attached. This performance-in-progress is the result.

***
A Question of Black Physical Theatre
brings together a creative team led by Benji Reid and Sustained Theatre Up North (STUN) to offer a selection of opportunities.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

BReid

Friday 27 November 2pm – 5pm

STUN Studio at Z-arts, 335 Stretford Road, M15 5ZA

Ages 16+

FREE

For five full days a small group of artists have been playing, learning and exploring with leading physical theatre practitioner Benji Reid. This is your opportunity to share the results of this process in a free afternoon of showing and feedback.

BOOK TICKETS NOW


Participating artists

Chanje Kunda | chanjekunda.com | @ChanjeKunda
Manchester based poet, writer and performance artist Chanje Kunda performs nationally and internationally. As a poet she has played alongside some of the most influential modern poets including Benjamin Zephaniah and Linton Kwesi Johnson. Chanje was most recently at STUN Studio at Z-arts with ‘Amsterdam’, and is currently under commission to BBC Radio 3.

Tania Camara | tcamara1994.wix.com/taniacamara | @TaniaCamara2

Born in Lisbon, Portugal and currently a resident of Manchester, United Kingdom, Tania Camara creates work that challenges the concept of nationality, belonging and the black performing body. A graduate of the University of Chichester, her practice focuses on nationalism, patriarchy, double consciousness, memory, interaction, identity and communication, and international relations.

Debbie Bandara | debbiebandara.com | @Dabrhythm

Debbie is a professional dancer, choreographer and dance teacher working in the North West. Her choreography for performances and festivals are based on a variety of different styles ranging from Indian and African to Contemporary and hip-hop. A graduate from the Royal Academy of Dance, her work has been seen at Riverside Arts Theatre, Waterside Arts Theatre, Contact, Night and Day, Nantwich Arts Festival, Unity Theatre, One World Festival and Oily Cart to name a few.

Adam John Roberts | adamrob1.wix.com/adamjohnroberts
A graduate from Liverpool John Moores University, Adam has performed in various contexts including on the BBC showcase with Strictly Come Dancing, the Backstreet Boys, and 12 Degrees North, and also participated in other projects with Cheshire Dance, Tmesis Theatre and DanceXchange. Following his MA, Adam wants to co-found an autism-specific integrated dance performance company which also offers performance opportunities, dance training and careers advice to autistic dancers.

**
More Information: A Question of Black Physical Theatre

Over the past 30 years Black Physical Theatre has been delivered through the vision and politics of some of the world’s most interesting theatre makers, such as Denise Wong, Amani Napthali, and Benji Reid. Whilst many of these archives have been chronicled there has been very little documented about what one might call the engineering behind the art form, namely the energies and ideas motivating works in the Black Theatre canon such as ‘Ragamuffin’ and ‘Super Heroes’.
– Is there a distinctive art form that is sufficiently unique and nuanced to be called Black Physical Theatre?
– What are its processes and products?
– Who are its champions and challengers?

A Question of Black Physical Theatre brings together a creative team led by Benji Reid and Sustained Theatre Up North (STUN) to offer a selection of opportunities.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

**Last minute spaces now available – deadline to apply 12 noon Thursday 19 November**

BReid

If you are an artist living or working in the North West, there are two spaces available on a masterclass with Benji Reid, taking place at STUN Studio (at Z-arts, Manchester M15 5ZA) Monday 23 – Friday 27 November, 10am – 5pm each day.

This is a unique opportunity to work in a small group with leading physical theatre practitioner Benji Reid, offering you a chance to:
– share specific challenges in your artistic journey
– benefit from coaching from your peers
– work on and explore issues that are directly relevant to you.

The week will culminate in a small public sharing at 2pm on Friday 27 November, with feedback and discussion.

To apply please send us (*you can apply as an individual or as part of a group):
– A short summary of what you’d like to explore (max 200 words)
– an up-to-date CV
– any images or weblinks that feature your work.

Applications should be sent to Benji Reid, c/o info@hybridconsulting.org.uk, by 12 noon on Thursday 19 November.

 

***
Workshop Sharing:
Friday 27 November 2pm
STUN Studio at Z-arts
directions

Artists and audiences are invited to join us for a small public sharing and feedback of the week-long Benji Reid masterclass.

BOOK A FREE TICKET
***

More Information: A Question of Black Physical Theatre
Over the past 30 years Black Physical Theatre has been delivered through the vision and politics of some of the world’s most interesting theatre makers, such as Denise Wong, Amani Napthali, and Benji Reid. Whilst many of these archives have been chronicled there has been very little documented about what one might call the engineering behind the art form, namely the energies and ideas motivating works in the Black Theatre canon such as ‘Ragamuffin’ and ‘Super Heroes’.

– Is there a distinctive art form that is sufficiently unique and nuanced to be called Black Physical Theatre?
– What are its processes and products?
– Who are its champions and challengers?

A Question of Black Physical Theatre brings together a creative team led by Benji Reid and Sustained Theatre Up North (STUN) to offer a selection of opportunities.

Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

BGAF_BANNER_BANNER_FINAL

We would like to invite you to our first Black Gold Arts Festival, celebrating the success of culturally diverse performances developed in partnership with Sustained Theatre Up North [STUN].

Black Gold Arts Festival features recent work by black artists from the North developed through Manchester’s Sustained Theatre Up North’s STUN Studio and produced around the city. All the shows are tour-ready, have been enthusiastically received by audiences and critics alike, and have strong workshop and engagement packages.

 

BGAF_LOGO_B_WManchester is rich in culturally diverse performing arts talent, and STUN has been increasingly important in making sure that talent has the space to experiment and thrive. Besides celebrating this, we also want to support and to bring new BAME talent forward. So we want to throw a big arts party festival with just a sample of our awards-nominated and award-winning artists, and a seed commission for a culturally diverse newcomer.
To give folks even more reason to celebrate, we’d like to announce a £2,000 commission for a new work by a BAME Northern performance practitioner.For our first Black Gold Arts Festival, we have shows by four outstanding Mancunians:
For our first Black Gold Arts Festival, we have shows by four outstanding Mancunians: 

 

BOL_POSTER_3_copyBody of Light, by Darren Pritchard [Marcel Lenormand, Designer]

Light meets bodies in motion, all using a Kinect: Dance made both beautiful and accessible to everybody.

www.thebodyoflight.dance

Tickets – www.z-arts.org/events/body-of-light

 

 

 

 

Alaska, by Cheryl Martin [Dir. Darren Pritchard] CHERLY_FLYER

Tells the story of a black perimenopausal lesbian’s descent into suicidal depression and her emergence from it.

“It is a devastatingly beautiful show, poetic narrative and heart achingly profound… people should go” Audience Member

Cheryl has won Manchester Evening News Theatre Awards as both writer [ Best Community Production,Heart and Soul, Oldham Coliseum] and director [Best Studio Production, Iron by Rona Munro, Working Girls/Contact], an Edinburgh Fringe First as co-director and producer of Traverse Theatre’s Breakfast Series The World Is Too Much, and this year a Lloyd’s Bank regional award for the immersive play she directed for Community Arts Northwest,Rule 35, and longlisted for the Polari Book Prize for her collection of poems, Alaska[Crocus/Commonword], the inspiration for this play

www.cherylmartin.co.uk/about

Tickets – www.z-arts.org/events/alaska

 

CHANJE_FLYERAmsterdam, by Chanje Kunda [Dir. Juliet Ellis, Movement Darren Pritchard]

Fusing spoken word, physicality and music, Amsterdam is a high-powered, supermodern 21st-century play of love and lust.

Seduced by the attractions of the city and a charming Surinamese man she met on holiday, Chanje embarks on a voyage into the unknown. What will be her fate?
Chanje Kunda is a poet, playwright and performance artist. Based in Manchester, she performs nationally and internationally. This show, Amsterdam, was nominated for Best Studio Production by the Manchester Theatre Awards after a national tour and rave reviews.

www.chanjekunda.com/#sthash.UyFEWdk3.dpuf

Tickets – http://www.z-arts.org/events/amsterdam

 

I Wish I Had A Moustache, by Keisha Thompson

a4_moustache__1_[Dir. Martin Visceral,


Movement Darren Pritchard]

Can you be a modern-day feminist and also feel the immemorial need to shave your legs? How much are we willing to consciously change about ourselves before the soul disowns us?

Young Identity’s Keisha Thompson will go on a comedic, at times disturbing, journey to find out if she has a problem with her gender, her culture, or just herself, in her debut solo show.

iwishihadamoustacheuk.tumblr.com

Tickets – www.z-arts.org/events/i-wish-i-had-a-moustache/

 

BPSO

BlackPoetsSpeakOut

Marcus Hercules - Our Stories
Pamela Raith Photography_Tonya Bolton_032

How would you describe yourself and what you do?

If I was to describe myself in five words I would say I am Trailblazing, Authentic, Creative, Compassionate & High-Spirited. I am not afraid to speak about taboo issues and spark debate. My work takes people on a journey that’s universal yet deeply personal, challenging yet compelling, entertaining, educational & empowering.

As well as being an accomplished actress & author, I am also an Empowerment Specialist  and motivational speaker with over 15 years’ experience of training other artists and working with vulnerable people, particularly young people who have poor emotional well-being, mental health and social difficulties.

I am really passionate about utilising the creative arts to help people break destructive cycles and move forward into the life they want and deserve.

As the founder of not-for-profit organisation ICU Transformational Arts, I deliver engaging arts programmes that help break destructive behaviour patterns, re-engage people in education/community and reduce risky behaviour.

Born and bred in Birmingham, I have been writing all my life. Published in numerous short story & poetry anthologies and academic journals, I have performed extensively throughout the Midlands and also internationally. I have also co-authored 18 books and written many plays on a wide range of topics.

Tell us a bit about your connection with STUN.

I have been a fan of STUN (Sustained Theatre Up North) for a long time and inspired by its tireless dedication to the growth of BAME Creatives across the UK.

As an organisation we are extremely passionate about bringing issues relevant to to BAME communities and artists into national focus, redress the balance and shake up the arts landscape.  We wanted to partnership with STUN to reach more diverse audiences across Manchester & beyond, particularly BAME communities.

What got you started?

I have been writing since I was a small child. I can honestly say that writing saved my life. I was one of only 3 black children at my primary school and I was brutally beaten by teachers and bullied by the pupils for being Black. Writing became the outlet that helped me deal with the many emotions I was feeling.

What was your big breakthrough?

Writing & performing Holy & Horny is without a doubt one of the most powerful experiences I’ve ever encountered. (read more…)

hab_logo_tw_160_160Emergency is our annual platform for live art + contemporary performance, featuring at least 25 short pieces of work over a day/evening in Manchester…

Staged for the first time entirely in the cavernous realms of Z-arts, our fifteenth Emergency takes place on Saturday 4 October 2014 (12noon-10pm) — a free micro-marathon of the bizarre + the beautiful popping up all over the building; primarily an adult event, from 3pm onwards we advise that work may not be suitable for under 18s. To get a feel for it see 2013’s programme + gallery.

Emergency is:
• a free, public micro-festival + open submission platform;
• an opportunity for artists to meet, show and peer-review work;
• a selection event for a number of small Works Ahead commissions to be developed + supported by hÅb.

Enquiries: emergency@habarts.org ¦ http://emergencymcr.org ¦ #EmergencyMcr

Emergency 2014 is presented by Word of Warning, STUN + Z-arts; produced by hÅb; supported using public funding through Arts Council England, funded by Manchester City Council, supported by STUN + Z-arts; a greenroom legacy project.

Holy&Horny_2xA5pps_Pg1Back by popular demand, Holy & Horny is a “Hilarious, powerful and deeply moving” sell-out show that celebrates women’s sensuality and spirituality.

Written and Performed by Tonya Joy Bolton, this extraordinary play is a compelling story of love, longing and the ultimate betrayal.

In the production, Actress and Author Tonya Joy Bolton explores one woman’s struggle to remain holy despite being as horny as hell! She draws on a variety of artforms such as comedy, mime, physical theatre, song, poetry and drama.

Sheila, the frustrated Christian woman and her alter ego Eve, the sexually uninhibited poetess, are just two of the 20 characters played by Tonya. Brilliantly directed by Jon Trevor, this enthralling show follows Sheila’s amazing journey as she embarks on a set of disastrous dates which lead to unexpected life-changing consequences.

“This is a show that is honest and unflinching throughout. It is a powerful, moving and hilarious show that should not be missed.” Redbrick Magazine (read more…)

Amsterdam by Chanje Kunda

Tour Begins October 3rd http://www.chanjekunda.com/tour-dates/

New_amsterdam_a5flyerV6MEDIA

(read more…)

IMG_5731DivergencyMcr was a two week residency which worked with artists from diverse backgrounds already working with live work. The project looked at data, hosted workshops and explored the nature of live art for diverse artists.

The project was chronicled on the DivergencyMcr blog.

Below is an extract of one of those sessions.

 

LIVE ART from AlbinoMosquito on Vimeo.

Our Choice Their Chance

Fri 30 & Sat 31 May 2014
4.30pm & 7pm
(There are two separate performances each evening, each lasting approximately 1 hour)

£5/£3 concessions
Age guidance: 12+
Click here to buy tickets

Are you ready to choose or will you leave things to chance?

Welcome to the Gallery of Decisions, a space where we make the decisions that affect the course of our lives… Do we give in to peer pressure or keep our principles?… Go for that new piercing?… Shower or bath?… Pepsi or Coke?????

Join us as we move, improvise, rap and body-pop through a tombola of outcomes; a random raffle of live performance and digital wizardry, shuffled and dealt out by an exciting new group of diverse young artists.
Will you choose to join us?

Our Choice Their Chance is produced by Community Arts North West (CAN), a Manchester-based arts organisation working with urban communities from Greater Manchester to create access to cultural production. (read more…)

ccn_webversionSTUN and hAb have been commissioned to run one of four short Creative Case residencies. The recent announcement was welcomed by both organisations who have immediately started the work.

Of the commission, the project managers said (read more…)

SelinaParticipate in a Workshop with artist Selina Thompson at STUN Studio on Monday 9th June 5.30 (for 6) – 9pm.

Selina Thompson is an artist and performer based in Leeds. Her work is playful, participatory and intimate, focused on the politics of identity, and how this defines our bodies, lives and environments. Her recent work includes Dark and Lovely – storytelling from within a giant tumbleweave tent; It Burns It All Clean a commission for West Yorkshire Playhouse’s Transform Festival and Chewing The Fat, coming to Manchester in Autumn 2014.

Of this workshop she says:

I want to spend a couple of hours working with people on the importance of bringing their own authentic voice and stories, to the work they make. I feel that our lived experience, our thoughts, dreams and fears bring something truly unique and sincere to the work that we make: but that it can be quite scary doing that in a performance context, so it’s important to invest time and energy into nurturing our capacity to do that, and to keep things as ‘real’ – and in some cases unpolished – as we can. So we’re going to be doing exercises, (writing, performing, some where we’re just imagining and plotting things together), to help you feel more confident in bringing your voice, and your heart to your work: in a way that allows you to connect with your audience but doesn’t leave you feeling exposed.
We’re also going to devote some time to the very serious business of being silly
It’s important
selinathompson.wordpress.com

Direct URL: https://habarts.wufoo.eu/forms/divergencymcr-booking-form/)

For info/queries contact: afreena@habarts.org

Pinocchio

We’re delighted to announce that the Breaking Cycles hit show Pinocchio is about to take to road again for two month tour of England, before return to the North West in March. The full list of tour dates is as (read more…)


BenjiExpress Yourself

Benji Reid – Masterclass

STUN is running a two hour masterclass lead by Benji Reid.  If you’re interested in developing your practice from conception to competition, utilising different theatre and physical techniques – then this is the masterclass for you.

  • Place:             STUN Studio,  Z-arts 335 Stretford Road, M15 5ZA
  • Date:               6th December 2013
  • Time:              2pm – 4pm
  • Price:              Free  16+
  • Contact:         STUN for booking a space on 07977 122 723 (spaces are limited)

Benji is currently the Artistic Director of Mars. (Manchester Artistic Research Studios).

Mars is a theatre-making program aimed (read more…)


Marcus ChristmasOnce upon a Christmas time there was a home full of warmth, laughter and mince pies.
Rella lives happily with her rich father, his new wife and her two daughters.
Until her father passes away and the riches disappear. Happiness is replaced with resentment, jealousy and loneliness.
This Christmas come hear three sides to this modern tale. Rella find strength when a huge secret is revealed.

Place: STUN Studio, Z-arts 335 Stretford Road, M15 5ZA
Date: 7th December
Time: 3pm
Price: £5 (no conc.) Contact Z-arts to book a ticket

Hercules Productions Christmas Showcase

a3_IOSK_postersRASA

Theatre Wed 27 – Sat 30 Nov. 7.30pm

at Watermans

Shahrukh Khan means different things to each of the three lodgers of Serene Cottage. Leading separate lives, these middle-aged women come together once a week for their ‘King of Bollywood’ fan club meetings, gathered around the DVD player held in the communal lounge of their suburban home. Until one day a young man appears (read more…)

Chairs’ Update

We, at STUN have spent a considerable amount of time carefully planning our future. It is essential to STUN that our members are our top priority and that the financial decisions we make match our creative goals for the artists we will support through the artist cycle.

Miselo Kunda_5771email2Lets talk: –

Free Space

Staffing

The launch (read more…)

8.STUN MASTER-1Blackpool STUN Road-Show – STUN

Greetings ………..

Over the last 6 months Sustained Theatre Up North, STUN, have been engaged in a series of Roadshows within the Northwest and on Wednesday 20th November we will be holding our final Roadshow in Blackpool and we are hoping that you will be available to present your work at this event.

This event will give you the opportunity to (read more…)

gina-yashere cropExclusive Interview with Gina Yeshere at Contact Theatre (read more…)

90DC_e-flyerImage2_w

Manchester Museum 10th October – 17th November 2013

migrant art – alternative connections – cultural boundaries

A rare exhibition of work by a new wave of visual artists whose experiences include life as refugees in the UK engaging with objects from The Manchester Museum

Opening event:

In Conversation with artists and curators plus (read more…)

Fade to Black film festival will be screenings films at Z-Arts every Thursday in October starting this week.The Fade

The New Black Film Collective is collaborating with Z-Arts,

STUN and The Mbari Group to screen some of the most (read more…)

oteloburning

STUN’s Lwimbo Kunda and Deyika Nzeribe are hosting a pilot Film Festival called Fade to Black in collaboration with Z-arts and The New Black Film. The aim of the film nights is to inspire artists and ignite conversations to produce new work and new collaborations. (read more…)

all my sons swings

Michael Buffong returns to the Exchange to direct Arthur Miller’s landmark play – a searing investigation of honesty, guilt and the corrupting power of greed.

The play was Arthur Miller’s first success, establishing him as a leading voice in theatre.

ALL MY SONS is set in 1947 and Joe and Kate Keller, an all-American couple, have the ghosts of World War II living in their own backyard.

Joe is a successful, self-made businessman, (read more…)

TNB Manchester is an exciting new film club designed to fill the gap in Black cinematic provision with an added cultural experience. TNB (The New
Black) is a nationwide network of film exhibitors and the project is supported by the National Lottery through BFI and Creative England.

First of a series of four film events is REINCARNATED

3 Oct, 7pm, Z-arts main theatre space, £3.50

Reincarnated (18)
Hip Hop artist Snoop Dogg changes his name to Snoop Lion, travels to Jamaica, emerges himself in Rastafarian culture and produces his first reggae record.