A Future-Focused Autumn 2023 Season From Contact

Our Go-To place on Oxford Road for: humanity, resilience, empathy, experimentation and connection
June 16, 2023

Contact has this week announced its highly anticipated 2023 Autumn Season, which features a heady combination of shows that really will challenge perceptions, platform today’s most exciting artists and advocate for a brighter tomorrow. 

The autumn season perfectly embodies Contact's vision for the future, following an incredible year of reflection on the organisation's 50th anniversary. With a renewed energy, The Contact team have confirmed they're sprinting into the future - and continuing to be amazing at pushing boundaries and igniting curiosity.

Keisha Thompson, Contact's Artistic Director and CEO, has expressed her excitement for the upcoming season: "This exceptional line up represents Contact's unwavering commitment to creative risk-taking, amplifying diverse voices, and engaging with urgent societal issues. Our 2023 Autumn Season is a love letter to the themes that make Contact one of the most exciting venues in the UK; themes of humanity, resilience, empathy, experimentation and connection. As we look to Contact’s next 50 years, we can’t wait for audiences to join us on this exhilarating journey”. 

Contact’s Autumn Season features two ground-breaking world premieres. First up is Census, a brand new Contact commission by Malandra Jacks. Contact, along with hÅb, willwork with Malandra Jacks to create a digital-led theatre show that celebrates their North Manchester heritage, brimming with Moston spirit, and asks questions about what class means today. 

Next, Keisha Thompson will premiere her brand new play, in partnership with the National Football Museum, the hotly anticipated 14%. Set against the frenzy of the Lioness’ success, this multi-sensory show invites you on a journey inside the confines of a post-match train carriage. Follow British footballer Nadia and her unnamed, unborn Baby. Prepare for a layered audio-visual experience where internal and external pressures rise.

Building on the success of the critically acclaimed production, Brown Boys Swim, in Edinburgh, Contact welcomes the powerful show to their stage. This poignant play, hailed by The Guardian as a triumph, will leave audiences moved and inspired. With themes of friendship, resilience, and overcoming adversity, Brown Boys Swim by Karim Khan takes a brave and honest look at the issues faced by young people.  

Celebrated playwright Tim Crouch will bring his audacious act of collective imagining - Truth’s a Dog Must to Kennel - to Contact. In this virtual adaptation of Shakespeare's King Lear, Crouch offers a fresh perspective on power, truth and art. Witness Crouch's mastery of storytelling and immerse yourself in this transcendent theatrical experience.  

Half Moon will also present Hot Orange, an immersive exploration of friendship and the moment you fall in love, by Amal Khalidi and Tatenda Naomi Matsvai. Hot Orange follows Amina and Tandeki as they navigate what it takes to sustain love and friendship beyond childhood idealism, and reflects Contact’s decades-long commitment to platforming LGBTQIA+ experiences

Contact are also excited to be collaborating with Manchester Literature Festival to present an array of spectacular events with Zadie Smith, Max Porter and Linton Kwesi Johnson. During Autumn, Contact will also be laying the groundwork for the launch of Re:Fute, a brand-new festival refuting the past and evoking conversations around a shared vision for the future. And, Christmas at Contact is shaping up to be a magical one, with tickets to Cinderella, presented by eight-freestyle and Contact Young Company, flying out the door. 

With a range of thought-provoking events, Contact's 2023 Autumn Season is set to challenge, inspire, and ignite curiosity in audiences of all ages. 


Malandra Jacks: Census, 10 -11 August 2023 at Simpson Memorial Hall, 13 - 16  Sept 2023 at Contact

Science Shambles Network: Robin Ince’s Weapons of Empathy, 21 Sept 2023

HER Productions: Vignettes, 4 - 5 Oct 2023

MLF: Max Porter presents Shy, 7 Oct 2023

MLF: An Evening with Linton Kwesi Johnson, 14 Oct 2023

MLF: An Evening with Zadie Smith,    

9 Oct 2023 Keisha Thompson: 14%, 14-28 October 2023

Karim Khan: Brown Boys Swim, 25 - 28 October 2023

Tim Crouch: Truth's a Dog Must to Kennel, 16 Nov 2023

Half Moon: Hot Orange, 28 - 30 November 2023

Science Shambles Network: Nine Lessons & Curious Carols, 1-2 December 2023

For further information and to secure your tickets, please CLICK HERE

Header Image: Tim Crouch (Stuart Armitt)