Performers from Manchester's Contact Young Company

Young actors devise post-colonial tours at Manchester Art Gallery

Alex Stevens, 14.06.19
Promenade performances use spoken word and movement
A group of young actors is running tours of Manchester Art Gallery (MAG) this week as part of a residency that aims to question our collections, buildings and culture in a post-colonial context.

Performers from Manchester-based theatre group Contact Young Company and spoken word charity Young Identity are running promenade performance tours at 3pm and 7pm on 14 and 16 June.

Three different tours have been devised by the group following visits to local cultural spaces including MAG, the Whitworth, Portico Library and Chuck Gallery.

Audiences are divided on arrival at the evening events, and the tours involve spoken word and movement.

The project has been directed by and Tunde Adefioye, a city dramaturg at Brussels’ KVS theatre, and local poet Ruby-Ann Patterson.

“Galleries tell us about who we used to be, who we are and our future,” says Adefioye. “Importantly they define the stories we tell ourselves about our collective identity.

“It’s really important that we critique these places and the people in power. We need to question the narrative being told because it will define the stories we tell about ourselves.”

The project’s title, Old Tools > New Masters ≠ New Futures, is a reference to a 1979 speech by American civil rights activist Audre Lorde.

Two days of tours took place earlier this week, being hailed as “explosive, thoughtful and youthful”.

Old Tools > New Masters ≠ New Futures, presented by Contact Young Company and Young Identity, will run at Manchester Art Gallery on 14 June and 16 June.