Free Your Mind has been created by Danny Boyle (Jeremy Coysten/@northdesign/PA)
29 September 2022

Danny Boyle’s Matrix-inspired production to open cultural venue in Manchester

29 September 2022

Filmmaker Danny Boyle will direct an immersive experience based on The Matrix films to open a new cultural venue in Manchester.

Factory International will commission and present work from leading artists from across the world when it opens in June 2023.

Boyle’s production, titled Free Your Mind, will provide a dramatic retelling of the sci-fi classic through dance, music and visual effects.

It will be accompanied by choreography from Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy with the score created by composer Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante, who are the co-founders and artistic directors of the Olivier award-winning theatre company Boy Blue.

Large-scale sculptures by designer Es Devlin and the work of British-Egyptian writer Sabrina Mahfouz will also feature.

Set to run from October 18 to November 5 2023, a cast of dancers and hundreds of Manchester participants will recreate some of the film’s most famous scenes.

Born in Radcliffe, Greater Manchester, Boyle said: “I’m delighted to be part of Factory International as a starting point for a kind of identity that this extraordinary new building is going to have.

“It’s a space that gives you an enormous amount of potential. It’s wildly ambitious in terms of its scale.

“In my lifetime, to see a new space like this open is hugely empowering, and I hope the new generation of artists feels that power.”

Factory International will be programmed and operated by the Manchester International Festival.

Before the formal opening, the venue will be the centrepiece of their 2023 festival as it stages a show by renowned artist Yayoi Kusama in July and August 2023.

Created especially for Factory International, it is said to be the Japanese contemporary artist’s largest ever immersive environment, featuring works that are more than 10m tall including giant dolls, tendrilled landscapes and a constellation of polka-dot spheres.

Artistic director and chief executive of Factory International John McGrath said: “We’re delighted to be able to share our opening plans for Factory International.

“At every stage in imagining and building this extraordinary space we have focussed on creating new possibilities – for artists to let their imaginations fly, for citizens of Manchester and the world to meet and dream, and for people of all ages and backgrounds to build skills and gain experience.

“Factory International is truly a place where we can invent tomorrow together.”

Arts Minister Stuart Andrew added: “Thanks to almost £100 million of Government funding, Factory International will further increase access to world-class arts and culture in Manchester when it opens its doors for the first time in summer 2023.

“This represents a great example of the Government’s commitment to distribute arts funding right across the country.

“It is fantastic to see such an exciting programme of events being put together for its opening and I look forward to seeing the positive impact the venue has on the city.”

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