Fancy enjoying a spot of dance, music and puppetry this summer? Then look out for The Global Playground as it premieres at Manchester International Festival this July. And if you can’t make it to Manchester, you’ll be able to catch it online too.
The Global Playground is a quirky show about making connections. It’s a family-friendly tale from Theatre-Rites, the highly acclaimed children’s theatre company. They’re celebrating their 25th anniversary this year, so what better time to catch one of their performances?
What is The Global Playground about?
But what is the show about? The Global Playground follows a group of dancers who meet to make a film with their nervous and chaotic director. But things get wonderfully weird when the camera takes on a life of its own. It examines how a camera’s gaze often reveals more than we bargained for. And you can expect a vibrant mix of dance, music, theatre and puppetry in the show.
It will be presented both in person and online, so you can watch it from the comfort of your home if you fancy. And if you’re watching digitally, you will gain a unique insight, as the camera itself becomes a character on stage.
Throughout lockdown, human relationships have both grown and become more disjointed through digital connections. We can now connect with anyone in person and on screen. But is the camera our friend, our playmate, or something else entirely? The Global Playground explores the magic of our first encounters and is perfect for children and families to watch. You’re invited to celebrate who we are and who we cherish — reflecting on a society where our digital and real selves coexist in discord or cohesion.
Who’s in the show?
This show will be amplifying diverse voices from a team of international collaborators. And the cast includes acclaimed dancers Jahmarley Bachelor (Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, ZooNation; Mariposa: A Transgender Tragedy, Denada Dance), Kennedy Junior Muntanga (Phoenix Dance Theatre; Akram Khan Company) and Charmene Pang (Iceland Dance Company; Isadora Now: A Triple Bill, The Barbican). They’ll be joined by puppeteer and actor Sean Garratt (A Christmas Carol, National Theatre of Scotland and renowned percussionist Merlin Jones (Birmingham Symphony Orchestra; Opera North).
The Global Playground will be directed by Theatre-Rites’ Artistic Director, Sue Buckmaster, with choreography from acclaimed South African dancer Gregory Maqoma (Vuyani Dance Theatre). And designing the production is renowned scenographer and artist Ingrid Hu (A Slightly Annoying Elephant, Little Angel Theatre). Plus, composer Ayanna Witter-Johnson (London Symphony Orchestra; The Hip-Hop Shakespeare Company) will be joined by sound designer Nick Sagar (Horrible Histories ‘Tudors & Egyptians’, UK tour) to bring the musical elements to life.
To mark their 25th anniversary, Theatre-Rites will also be publishing a book. It celebrates the company and the incredible artists they have worked with. The book will also tell the fascinating story of Artistic Director Sue Buckmaster, who lives with ME, and her puppeteer father who inspired her work. And it will be published on 29th July.
When: 2nd – 18th July 2021 (There’s a BSL performance on 10th July 2021 at 11am)
Where: Unit 5, Great Northern Warehouse, 235 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4EN, and online
£: Tickets cost £12 for adults, £6 for children and £10 for lower-waged GM residents (Suitable for ages 8+ years and under 16s must be accompanied by an adult)
More info: theatre-rites.co.uk