Manchester’s iconic Contact Theatre invites you to explore and experience the city in a whole new light with its immersive sound walk, A Home for Grief (Thursday 29 – Saturday 31 July).
This moving and inspirational auditory experience will take you from Contact’s newly refurbished building – on Oxford Road – on a journey across the neighbouring streets and urban spaces of Manchester, whilst listening through head phones to the voices of women expressing their own very personal stories of grief, loss and renewal.
For over four years artist Fabiola Santana – who herself experienced profound loss at a very young age – has been meeting, collecting and recording stories of grief from women in the North West, as a way of reaching out and asking: ‘How do you do it? Can we sit together a moment and share our stories? Can we find ways to heal together?” A Home for Grief is the result – a beautiful and heartfelt collection of stories evoking sorrow and hope which offer a heartbreaking yet life affirming insight into life after death.
Audiences are invited to bring their phones and their own headphones to Contact – where they will be given instructions on how to download the sound-walk directly onto their own phones through app partner GoJauntly. They will then be able to embark individually and at staggered times on the Sound Walk taking a pre determined route along which they will listen to Santana’s stirring and soothing voice recollecting these tales of sorrow and survival.
The route will end back at Contact where audiences are invited inside to spend time gathering their thoughts and be the first to experience a preview of a new strand of the project: An accompanying installation featuring 5 quilted maps that chart the different landscapes of grief which we find inside ourselves. Together they form and offer a space of comfort, where visitors are also able to write down and offer up their own experiences of loss and grief.
These pieces are the first step to creating a communal action that serves people of different backgrounds, searching for ways to share grief across boundaries and histories. Fabiola welcomes anyone who wishes to attend with compassion and a loving heart.
Prior to Manchester, different but similar versions of A Home For Grief, will run in Lancaster and in Liverpool. Each sound walk is bespoke to each landscape and location on which it is experienced.
This production is part of Contact theatre’s summer season in the run and build-up to Contact’s reopening in September. In the meantime, the newly expanded and equipped building continues to host the organisation’s long-running music, drama and youth leadership programmes, and provide rehearsal space for early-career artists in Greater Manchester. A Home For Grief forms part of Contact’s dedicated health, science, and wellbeing programme, supported by funders including the Wellcome Trust.
Contact’s Chief Executive and Artistic Director Matt Fenton said, “As part of our move back to the stunning reopened Contact building in September, we’re taking in some exciting and unique locations across Manchester for performances and events this summer. The events provide an opportunity to reflect on the impact of the pandemic, but also the chance to come together.”
A Home for Grief runs from July 29th to 31st. More information, to book tickets and details of the varying time slots available here.