Factory International shares Spring programme with huge artists announced for landmark venue

2024 is shaping up at Aviva Studios

By Natalie Rees | 19 January 2024

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Manchester’s landmark arts venue Factory International has revealed the artists and shows making up its Spring programme.

Following the success of The Welcome opening season before Christmas, Aviva Studios has hosted music legend Johnny Marr, epic opening show Free Your Mind, directed by Danny Boyle and Boy Blue, and Yayoi Kusama’s eye-popping You Me And The Balloons.

Boasting live music, theatre, workshops and more, Factory International has now announced more details of its programme for the next few months.

The newly-released line-up is headlined by artists including Mercury Prize-winning musician Sampha, a new stage work by Maxine Peake and the UK premiere of Robert Wilson’s Jungle Book. 

Kicking off a series of live music events at Aviva Studios is Sampha, who will perform two very special shows on Thursday 15 and Friday 16 February. 

Presented in the round in the warehouse space, fans can expect to hear songs from his second full-length album LAHAI – which follows his acclaimed, award-winning debut Process. 

Other music highlights include two nights from electronic icons Underworld (12-13 April), songwriter and Big Thief lead vocalist Adrianne Lenker (25 April) and Death Songbook, a reimagining of iconic songs exploring love, loss and transcendence from the Paraorchestra, Brett Anderson and Charles Hazlewood. 

The Spring theatre offering includes The Fête of Britain (22-24 February), a trio of works responding to a world in crisis and the climate emergency. The four-day takeover has been curated by Hard Art, a collective of huge artists, musicians and creatives including Brian Eno, Es Devlin, Cornelia Parker and Jeremy Deller.

Paraorchestra Death Songbook © Kirsten McTernan - 336

Through a mix of plays, talks and performances, the ‘fete’ will ask how we can face up to the challenges of the 21st century and make the world safer, fairer and better.

Fix+Foxy’s theatre production Dark Noon (6-10 March) will also take to the stage at Aviva Studios, exploring the great American myth of the Wild West.

Elsewhere on the bill, original new theatre and dance works will be performed at the new venue. Specially commissioned by Factory International, visionary director Robert Wilson joins forces with Coco Rosie for the stage adaptation of the Jungle Book (28-31 March). In addition, Maxine Peake heads up the new, feminist reimaging of John Bowen’s Robin Redbreast (17-26 May). 


John McGrath, artistic director and chief executive of Factory International, said: “It’s been such an honour and thrill to welcome sold out audiences to an amazing series of projects in the opening months of Aviva Studios, from Yayoi Kusama’s You Me And The Balloons, to our epic opening show Free Your Mind, to local hero Johnny Marr, artists and audiences have truly embraced our new space. 

“For the new year, we want to show our venue’s potential to respond to the world’s most pressing issues – with urgent new work responding to the crises we see all around us, while also providing moments of joy and celebration with some of our most exciting musicians and artists, global and local.”

Head to the Factory International website for more details and ticket info.