Art & Culture

Manchester Independents commissions 12 incredible new events, including walking tours and AI-written theatre

Manchester Independents has commissioned more works.

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 31st August 2023

A series of incredible independent arts and culture events will span across Greater Manchester over the coming weeks, as Manchester Independents commissions 12 amazing new works. 

They are an initiative launched out of the pandemic to support local artists across all 10 boroughs, and give them a platform to showcase their projects, supported by various cultural organisations around the region including Brighter Sound, HOME, Factory International, Contact and many more. 

Following on from the success of the 2021 scheme, which saw 23 new commissions, Manchester Independents are ready to present 12 new projects, from walking tours to art exhibitions to theatre. 

The vast range of new work includes everything from workshops with Muslim women in Rochdale to film screenings in Levenshulme to AI-generated theatre in the city centre. 

Themes will range from celebrations, love and feminism to mental health, chronic illness and dystopian Manchester. 


You’ll find the new Manchester Independents commissions at venues from theatres (like Contact and 53Two) to parks to galleries to digital spaces. 

Events are going to be popping up all over Greater Manchester over the coming weeks – here’s what you need to know. 


And for more of the latest events around the region, visit our What’s on Manchester page.

Manchester Independents – 2023 commissioned artists

Ways to Speak, by Chris Alton, part of this year's Manchester Independents commissions
Ways to Speak, by Chris Alton, part of this year’s Manchester Independents commissions. Credit: Supplied

Ways to Speak Absence by Chris Alton 

Bankley Open Studios, 8-9 September


This six-minute video artwork will blend spoken word, an original soundtrack, and a choral performance of the chorus from Eminem’s ‘Cleaning Out My Closet’ to speak about absence, loss, grief and childhood rebellion.

SEE. SURE? by SEEME (Seren Marimba & Meme Gold)

Contact, 22 September

Dance, contemporary circus, poetry and improvisation will come together in this duet. The piece looks at mysticism, Afrofuturism and Black Feminist Hauntology through our connection with the life giving element, water. 

Birthday by Kao Hove, @kaotiiii


Contact, 22 September

A one person autobiographical show about the journey of shame to celebration, touching on identity, experience and mental illness. 

Ruins of Earth: A Walking Tour From The Future by leo&hyde, @leoandhyde

Walking tour starting at Aviva Studios: 11am and 2pm; 3 September

Walking tour starting at Bury Met: 11am and 2pm; 30 September


Mancs will be invited on a tour that imagines a dystopian city – all with an AI-generated script. It’s a chance to imagine a Manchester of the future. 

The Glass House by Michele Selway, @micheleselway

Horticultural Centre at Wythenshawe Park, 30 September

The neglected Horticultural Centre at Wythenshawe Park is going to be brought to life by visual artist Michele Selway. She’ll use Victorian photographic equipment to document the place and the people that are keeping it going, and use the unique 1951 Wet Plate Collodion process to photograph onto large format glass plates, mirroring the materials of the glass house itself. 

Four Dholis And A Divorce by Hafsah Aneela Bashir, @redwizz1


Rochdale Ukrainian Club, 29 September

This performance explores intergenerational trauma and lived experiences of divorce through five female characters from a South Asian Muslim background. 

Portraits of a Poet by Princess Arinola Adegbite (BITEZ), @pabitez

The Whitworth, 5 October

A surrealist work exploring perception and the ways we perform in society for safety, love and acceptance. It begins from the perspective of a black female artist to investigate agency, spectatorship and power.


Ward 76 by Shirley & Sam Jamil, @samjamil

M6 Theatre, 29 September, 3pm

A theatre piece exploring Sam’s 12 years of visiting Manchester Children’s hospital regularly. This performance plays with comedy, sadness, perceptions and toilet humour often found in discussions amongst young patients.

Toilet Paper Diaries by Porcelain Delaney, @porcelaindelaneyy 

53two, 24 September


A fast-moving, comedy drama about life with chronic gynaecological disease.

Cerebral Palsy Graphic Novel by Julian Gray, @juliangrayart

Published online at the end of August – available at

Interviews with people with Cerebral Palsy about its representation in media and performance, culminating in an online zine.

The Anxious Photographer’s Handbook by Simon Jones, @simonjones_2000


Book launch in September, exhibition in October. Details to be updated on

A visually engaging book containing a range of interesting photographic challenges which can be used as a way to connect with the local environment and society. The work is primarily aimed at individuals that have become isolated due to issues such as anxiety and other mental health/social issues.

yeguachita EP by yeguachita, @yeguachita

See for latest updates.

Jova and the wave rebranding as yeguachita – EP, graphic identity and video works. yeguachita will be creating a concept album in collaboration with other musicians. 

Featured image: Supplied