Week 53

Running until Sunday 8 May – The Lowry presents Week 53, a festival of innovative, provocative national and international work.

By Manchester's Finest | Last updated 6 June 2016

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Running until Sunday 8 May – The Lowry presents Week 53, a festival of innovative, provocative national and international work.


Within the week The Lowry opens its doors (and this includes areas of the building normally off-limits to the public) with the aim to reward the compulsively curious, challenge convention and celebrate creativity.

With a programme of events that includes 200 international artists and 63 performances and exhibits this is truly the time, if ever, to get down to The Lowry and explore what’s on offer.

Chief Executive Julia Fawcett OBE talks about the importance of Week 53 and what it means for The Lowry in its 16th year:

‘Each year at The Lowry we welcome more than 850,000 people into our fantastic building. We work with more than 350 artists and companies and we stage more than a 1000 performances each year.

Underpinning all of this amazing work is the really important fact that The Lowry exists here, in its community, in Salford.

Week 53 is about doing something different in the context of our busy building and our busy life. It’s an intervention where we’re going to stop the clocks, we’re going to pause, and the whole organisation is going to take a breath, and we’re going to offer up this building and this organisation to artists. We want artists to work with us to create new work that reimagines the building, that provokes boundaries and discussions, that blurs the boundaries between art forms, that encourages our audiences to find places, spaces, work and meaning in the building in a new way.’

With events ranging from exhibit to stage and everything in-between it’s difficult to know where to start.

Here are a few of our must see’s –


Syzygy – Katie Paterson

When it’s 3pm in London and 10am in New York, have you ever wondered what time it is on Mars? Your SatNav knew it was 160 miles to London. Did it know it was 160 million miles to Venus? How different would ‘Moonlight Sonata’ sound if it had been sent into space and reflected from the surface of the moon itself?

Katie Paterson is one of Britain’s most talented and sought-after young artists. She explores our place in the Universe and the Earth’s relationship with myriad other celestial bodies through a series of compelling and thought-provoking installations and art works.

Paterson’s work ranges from a piano playing the moon’s interpretation of ‘Moonlight Sonata’ to a case filled with letters, each announcing the death of star.

Paterson’s poetic and far-reaching vision encourages us to ponder our infinitesimal existence in a Universe so vast and beautiful that it is literally breath-taking.


An Anatomie in Four Quarters – Clod Ensemble

The anatomy of The Lowry’s 1,700 seat Lyric Theatre will be dissected, and an audience of only 200 invited to explore the auditorium and stage as an international cast of dancers and musicians present Clod Ensemble’s celebration of the structure of the human form. Set to an original score including live strings, percussion and voice, An Anatomie in Four Quarters is a performance on the move, with the audience experiencing radically different viewing positions throughout the theatre. The production draws on a rich history of anatomical study and drawings, from the Renaissance anatomists to x-ray film footage of the human skeleton – An Anatomie in Four Quarters investigates human beings’ insatiable desire to get closer to things and discover what lies beneath the skin.


30 Days of The Smiths – Jackie Kay and Oberman Knocks

30 Days of The Smiths is a new art soundscape for the festival. It subtly interweaves moments of the music and lyrics by one of the most influential British bands of all times, The Smiths with the dominant voices and electronic music by Oberman Knocks.

The music and the legacy of The Smiths are synonymous with Manchester and Salford, and Jackie Kay (Scotland’s National Poet and Chancellor of the University of Salford) took these lyrics as a starting point to draw extraordinary stories from local people with the surname Smith.

Oberman Knocks then created an immersive audio artwork 30 Days of The Smiths that reflects a contemporary audio landscape of the lives and landscape of Salford.

With a programme jam packed with artists, performances and exhibits, Week 53 is a festival not to be missed.