It’s that time again. We’re gearing up for the next Manchester International Festival. It’s #6 and the first one with new artistic director, John McGrath. The Cogency has had the very great pleasure of working on every Festival so far and we’re excited about the plans for MIF17. The dates have been known for some time [29 June to 16 July 2017] and in the autumn, the first shows will be announced and put on sale.
One of the joys of working on MIF is the early involvement in the programme - hearing the plans and seeing the work develop from concept to fully developed project. As ever with work that is evolving, it demands regular re-appraisal to check that your understanding of the work is still in line with the work itself – what it will be, who its audience may be and how best to talk to them. Some of that process began in earnest last week when I spent the afternoon with MIF’s Janina and Nadja, looking at the shape of the Festival. Mapping the balance of programme: weekday vs weekend shows, matinees vs evening performances, the flow of the run, when shows open and whether that shape supports people seeing as much of the Festival as they want. As an insightful ex-boss* once told me: “a festival isn’t a festival unless it makes you make some hard choices”.
*apologies to John Cumming at Serious for any paraphrasing