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NEWS: Contact launches 2014 Flying Solo Festival

Flying SoloFlying Solo is Contact’s annual festival exploring the unique experience of solo and one-to-one performance. The 2014 festival features an international line-up of artists, including a Basset Hound called Major Tom and a host of new works seen for the first time.

It includes two new Contact commissioned works from Greg Wohead and Jackie Hagan; the return of Sophie Willan’s The Novice Detective following extensive national touring; Kaleider’s You With Me – a one on one performance by phone delivered as you walk through the city; the fantastic Victoria Melody who takes a wry look at human and canine beauty pageants with her Basset Hound, Major Tom and much more as follows.

The following four shows are presented by The Basement and East by South East, in association with Contact and Word of Warning as part of Flying Solo.

Sylvia Rimat: If You Decide to Stay. Wednesday 12 March, 7pm. £9/5. Over 15s.

A playful and quirky investigation into decision-making, the neurons involved in the process, the difficulty many of us have to know what we want (really) and the complexity of the worlds around and within us. Sylvia Rimat retraces a lifetime of decision-making and celebrates the choice each audience member made to join her.

Kindle Theatre: A Journey Round My Skull. Wednesday 12 March, 9pm. £9/5. Over 14s.

A passionate love story which examines the complexity of the human brain by exploring the perplexing world of auditory hallucinations. Enveloping the audience in a fantastical sound-world, it investigates what makes us who we are and the lengths we might go to in order to cure ourselves of our most painful and embarrassing memories. A playful examination of our relationship with our mind, memories and imagination.

Rachel Mars: The Way You Tell Them. Thursday 13 March, 7pm. £9/5. Over 14s.

Turning the spotlight on the inner workings of comedy, The Way You Tell Them interrogates the desire and – sometimes uncontrollable – compulsion to be funny. Using real-life material, classic jokes and a wolf suit, Rachel questions how we use and abuse humour.

Jo Bannon: Exposure. Wednesday 12 and Thursday 13 March, 5-7pm and 8-9pm (every 12 minutes).

£3 or free with a ticket to any other Contact show on 12 or 13 March.

Exposure is the beginning of an investigation into how we look, how we are looked at and if we can ever really be seen. This intimate one to one performance is a tender and tentative look into autobiography, asking how fully we can reveal ourselves – to ourselves, to another, with another.

Kaleider: You With Me. Wednesday 12 to Saturday 15 March

3pm, 4pm, 5pm, 7pm, 8pm, and 9pm. £9/5. Over 16s.

You With Me is a unique experience for one audience member at a time, taking you on a playful journey through Manchester. Over the course of a 45-minute phone call, a very personal story emerges, with you at the centre.

Greg Wohead: The Ted Bundy Project. Friday 14 and Saturday 15 March, 8pm. Tickets: £6/3. Over 18s.

A few months ago Greg stumbled upon a video on YouTube: an interview with serial killer Ted Bundy the day before he was executed. He couldn’t stop watching… and wondered why. Join Greg as he explores his curiosity with a collection of objects, a slideshow, a wig and a confession tape.

Hanneke Kuijpers: Ego 1.04. Friday 14 and Saturday 15 March, 9pm. Tickets: £9/5. Over 16s.

After having lived as seven different artists, Amsterdam performer Hanneke is ready to abandon herselves to her Manchester public. A seductive trip through longings, fears, passions, and wherever the ego leads you. Ego 1.04 is a multi-disciplinary performance where spoken word, music, and movement mix.

Flying Solo Pitch Night. Saturday 15 March, 6.30pm. Free. Over 14s. Hosted by Sophie Willan.

Eight solo performers pitch to win mentoring support, rehearsal space and the opportunity to develop and perform their show at MC Theater in Amsterdam before bringing it back to Manchester for Flying Solo 2015.

Iron-Oxide: HeLa. Tuesday 18 March, 8pm. £11/6. Over 12s. Written and performed by Adura Onashile.

In 1951 Henrietta Lacks walked into the coloured section of the John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore with a pain in her abdomen. A biopsy revealed a cancer that would kill her just months later. A cell sample taken without her permission was used as the raw material for some of the most important scientific discoveries of the past 100 years.

Against a backdrop that charts the scientific milestones of the HeLa cell Line; this production seeks to bring Henrietta Lacks back to life, using testimony from her family members, the scientific community and the doctors that treated her. HeLa is an engaging exploration of the vast scientific progress made possible by the cells of one, unknown woman.

Victoria Melody: Major Tom. Thursday 20 March, 8pm. £11/6. Over 14s. Post-show talk.

This one-woman, one-dog show features Victoria and her Basset Hound, Major Tom. It recounts how research into pedigree dog shows led them to compete at Crufts and the Mrs England 2013 beauty pageant.

Jackie Hagan: Some People Have Too Many Legs. Saturday 22 March, 7pm. Tickets £6/3. Over 14s.

Jackie Hagan is a council estate Rainbow Brite. Last summer she suddenly had her leg amputated and never got told why. This is the infectiously optimistic story of a dog-eared family that learned to say ‘I Love You’, some constantly hung over nurses and a big fat false leg called George.

Sophie Willan: The Novice Detective. Saturday 22 March, 8:30pm. Tickets: £9/5. Over 14s.

Sophie’s father is missing, leaving a crumpled photo and a 90’s pop album with encrypted lyrics… With help from the audience and her slightly psychic Gran, Sophie is determined to crack the case. Directed by Nathan Evans.

For more information visit the Contact Website

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The Reviews Hub - Features
Our Features team is under the editorship of Nicole Craft. The team is responsible for sourcing interviews, articles, competitions from across the country. The Reviews Hub was set up in 2007. Our mission is to provide the most in-depth, nationwide arts coverage online.