Following the success of the first ever Refract festival last summer – Waterside announces the exciting and eclectic line-up for Refract:18. Promising ten jam-packed days of the very best in summer programming, Refract:18 is bursting with experiential performance, live music, comedy, theatre and family events inviting you to see things differently at Trafford’s vibrant arts venue.
Refract:18 runs from Thursday 19th to Saturday 28th July, bringing together a carefully curated programme, jilted from convention, for audiences of all ages. Expect the unexpected, from miniature theatre in a magical canvas dome, a pop-up cabaret club, mini music festival for kids and arts and craft meets silent disco as well as music from cult British band Tankus the Henge, an immersive gig from multi-instrumentalist Minute Taker and Manchester’s finest Reggae pop outfit Jeramiah Ferrari.
Kicking off Refract:18 is award-winning PanGottic’s ‘catupultastic’ evening of clowning, contraptions, comedy and courage in Long Shot while later in the festival Cabaret From The Shadows sees the theatre transformed into a pop up cabaret club for one night only to present this hilarious, mischievous, sexy and unnerving show.
Music lovers are in for a treat with Manchester’s most exciting genre weaving group – Jeramiah Ferrari. The North West based band has forged a superb reputation for live sets, fusing styles of reggae, rock, ska and pop to make a truly memorable and essential new sound. Singer-songwriter and multi- instrumentalist Minute Taker (Ben McGarvey) also makes his Refract debut with his immersive show. Inspired by imaginative artists such as Kate Bush, David Bowie, Tori Amos and Bjork, McGarvey creates haunting piano songs with multi-layered ethereal vocals, distorted electronic beats and otherworldly synthscapes. Rock, Funk, blues, ska, roots and gypsy rhythms unite on stage with Tankus the Henge.
Laughs a plenty are also on offer at this year’s Refract:18 with all tastes catered for. Queer cabaret mayhem is guaranteed with Mother’s Ruin and we will see comedy mixed with musical madness in Showstopper! – The Improvised Musical, a brand new musical created from scratch and performed live from audience suggestions.
Families with kids big and small can enjoy a bumper programme of theatre, crafts, puppetry, music and more, including Our Kids Social’s Make, Do & Bop who will bring us silent disco fun to let imaginations run wild!
For arty adults with a penchant for doodling, grab a pen, or a brush and get your creative juices flowing in Overdrawn, a free and one-off interactive art event. Lovers of art can also experience re:cast – a series of art installations around Waterside’s spaces during the festival.
Darren Adams, Producer of Refract and Manager of Waterside comments:
“We are absolutely thrilled to present our second Refract festival bringing more artists and performers to our venue, presenting a bold and ambitious programme. Our inaugural festival last year drew in over 20% of new audiences and welcomed many of our loyal visitors to experience unexpected and innovative work. Building on last year’s success we’re delighted with the quality and diversity of the Refract:18 line-up.”
More information at www.refract.org.uk
Header image shows: Showstopper