The abandoned train platform at the top of Depot Mayfield will be converted into a huge rooftop cinema, complete with movie-grade sets and an Enchanted Forest this winter, it has been revealed.
The derelict railway tracks, original ticket office, waiting room, and signature cast iron roof structure, once used as overflow for Piccadilly train Station, will be turned into a unique cinematic set-up ready for the cold weather season.
Due to open in Manchester city centre this October, the new arrival comes from the team behind the Backyard Cinema.
So named because it originally began life in its founder’s garden, the ‘immersive cinema experience’ will come to Manchester for a limited 10-week run.
Following on from nine years of running huge screening events in the capital, this will be the first time that the cinema has hosted an event in the north of England.
Tunnels of trees and magical doors will lead visitors on a journey of discovery as they head towards the Enchanted Forest and home of the Lost Theatre.
The purpose-built indoor cinema screening room itself will be filled with custom-made giant bean bag seating for guests to get cosied up in, with ushers offering table service for seasonal cocktails and sweet treats to save you getting out of your seat.
And that’s not all. As well as its magical cinema room and enchanted forest, the rooftop cinema will also feature two communal drinking areas, street food and a live music stage.
Kicking off on Friday 21 October, organisers say it will offer ‘an immersive cinema experience that is more than just the movies.’
Screening a mixture of brand new releases and classics, film fans will be able to catch cult classics like E.T. and The Greatest Showman, brand new releases like Elvis and MInions 2.
Then come Christmas time, there will be special screenings of heartwarming winter favourites including Elf, Home Alone, Love Actually and The Holiday.
The full film programme, which is set to cater for families, couples, kids and friends alike, will be announced in its entirety when tickets go on early release sale on Wednesday 7th September.
Speaking on the new arrival, Dominic Davies, Founder and CEO of Backyard Cinema, said: “We are excited to take our alternative cinema pop-up outside of London for the very first time and we are proud to be joining The Warehouse Project and Escape to Freight Island in one of Manchester’s most exciting regeneration projects at Depot Mayfield.
“Manchester is such a unique creative city with lots of cultural happenings and we look forward to being part of the community and offering the most magical cinema experience to all.”
Simeon Aldred from Broadwick Live, said: “Backyard Cinema has built a first-rate reputation with audiences for creating immersive and exciting film experiences in landmark venues, and so it seemed like a natural partnership for Depot Mayfield.
“This building played a central role in Manchester’s industrial past, and is now a major driving force in the city’s booming cultural scene, as well as acting as a catalyst for the regeneration of the surrounding area.”
Martyn Evans, Creative Director at U+I, said: “Backyard Cinema will be a fantastic addition to Mayfield’s evolving entertainment offer that has transformed a previously derelict part of Manchester’s city centre. It’s exactly the kind of creative, immersive and inclusive experience that is making Mayfield a place for everyone.”
You can register to unlock exclusive limited early bird access for 48 hours only ahead of pre-sale opening on Wednesday 7 September – visit backyardcinema.co.uk/manchester for more information.
Swan Lake, the world’s most famous ballet, is back in Manchester and as beautiful as ever
The stage at the Palace Theatre never looks as beautiful as it does when the English National Ballet come to town – this time with their production of Swan Lake.
The captivating and timeless tale is set to a score by Tchaikovsky, and is rightfully one of the world’s most famous ballets.
Swan Lake is a perfect ballet for first-timers or even for people who have seen hundreds of performances.
It follows the doomed romance of Prince Siegfried and Swan Queen Odette, set to a backdrop of sorcery and deception, pomp and ceremony.
The audience and the Palace Theatre are swept into a landscape of moonlit woodland and lakes, with dry ice creating swirls of mist around the dancer’s feet and dark trees draped overhead.
There are also grand balls full of candlelight, where elaborate gowns swish and twirl and dancers deftly weave among one another.
The costume department for Swan Lake are second to none, transforming dancers into swans, sorcerers, lords and ladies with the drape of a cloak.
And what dancers they are – the English National Ballet have placed Fernanda Oliveira in the roles of Odette and Odile, while Ken Saruhashi makes a commanding Prince Siegfried.
There aren’t many moments on stage that come close to the Dance of the Little Swans, when four members of the company link hands and skip across the stage in perfect symphony.
Swan Lake is a giant of the stage and although visitors to the Palace Theatre are looking at almost three hours in their seats, the time flies past. What does time matter when you’re witnessing a ballet as timeless as this?
You can get tickets for Swan Lake – or any other of the Palace Theatre’s upcoming shows – here.
Featured image: Laurent Liotardo
Watch as the cast of The Lion King musical perform in a tiny Manchester bar
Earlier this week, and ahead of the return of one of the world’s biggest musicals, the cast of The Lion King performed inside a tiny bar in Manchester.
The stars of the theatre adaptation of Disney’s massive hit film took to the stage at Sonata Piano Bar & Cabaret Lounge, a hidden gem off an alleyway near St Ann’s Square.
They sang stirring renditions of hits like Can You Feel the Love Tonight, Circle Of Life, and He Lives In You, alongside a small orchestra.
Making appearances were Stephenson Ardern-Sodje (who plays adult Simba), Nokwanda Khuzwayo as Nala, Jean-Luc Guizonne (Mufasa), and Thenjiwe Nofemele (Rafiki), while Zazu’s Matthew Forbes acted as compère.
In just a few weeks’ time, these phenomenal performers will be up on stage in front of huge audiences at the Palace Theatre – but for one night only it was a much smaller audience treated to their talents.
You can watch video below, find out more about The Lion King’s lengthy Manchester run further down this page, and book your tickets here.