Flare International festival of new theatre launched in spectacular style at HOME Manchester last night with a blistering performance from all girl rock band PINS followed by an address and recital from Manchester poet Tony Walsh’s now legendary ‘This is the place’ familiar to many after his emotional reading at the recent Manchester vigil.
Flare17 Artist Director Neil Mackenzie, announced to audiences how putting together the festival had reminded him of how extraordinary an art form theatre can be and reminded us all of the importance of celebrating the good of what not only theatre can be but also what it can offer to each of us. The festival which features 65 different artists from 7 different countries is an opportunity for audiences to invest their belief and trust in new experiences and absorbing performances.
The first performances of the festival took on the form of an intriguing and absorbing double bill. Firstly One by BOG from the Netherlands, an award winning solo by Lisa Verbelen, in which she uses the melody of her own voice to examine everything around her, time, space, light, sound, people, thoughts, feelings, actions and demonstrates to audiences how everything which comes and goes is ultimately connected. With a rolling screen delivering the score for this four-voiced one woman choir, Verbelen engages the audience beautifully as she builds layer upon layer in this simple yet effective piece, proving both visually and audibly that movement is both constant and all consuming .
The second piece of the double bill in stark contrast to One by Bog is the Leopard Murders by K.U.R.S.K. The piece recalls the story of George Ebrecht, grandfather of K.U.R.S.K. director Timo Krstin and former Nazi SS officer who post WWII joined the peace movement. Ebrecht as a failed artist found his forte as a hate speech writer and soon rose amongst the ranks of Hitler’s men achieving the status and success he had long desired. K.U.R.S.K examine the drive and ambition of Ebrecht and look at how this need for success and recognition can manifest itself in each of us, they cleverly examine the pushing of political arguments whether it be for the left or the right wing and how our own personal agenda can steer us down paths which seemingly offer the most rewards and recognition. There is an interesting element to the piece examining the genetics of families, can the opinions and passions of our forefathers be passed down through the generations and if so is there anything we can do to stop the unstoppable? Thought-provoking and engaging theatre.
Double Bill – One and Leopold Murders can be seen again this evening Wednesday 5th July at HOME for more information head to www.flarefestival.com