In 2019 and 2020 (extended to 2021 due to the pandemic), Class Of was an annual programme that supported a cohort of Greater Manchester-based artists and producers to build their understanding of the business of the performing arts sector.
Over the course of a year, we worked with our cohort on a collaboratively designed training programme aimed at providing a deeper understanding of the performing arts – industry, production and general survival. An opportunity for The Lowry and our Class Of artists to build long-term, meaningful working relationships as we structure and then work through a unique, bespoke course of professional development together.
An opportunity for The Lowry and our Class Of artists to build long-term, meaningful working relationships as we structure and then work through a unique, bespoke course of professional development together.
DEVELOPED WITH ALUMINI
TalkShow is Co-Artistic Director’s Stu Barter, Clare Dunn and Executive Producer Faith Dodkins.
We create live performance, participatory projects and work for online platforms where the audience has a role to play.
Read more about TalkShow’s work
Thick & Tight
Daniel Hay-Gordon and Eleanor Perry established Thick & Tight in 2012.
Their award-winning work mixes dance, mime, theatre, parody and drag, influenced by a wide range of historical, political, literary and artistic subjects. The work has been shown extensively in the UK and beyond, often within a queer context where it is most at home. Thick & Tight are interested in promoting queer culture and anti-elitism, exploring dance theatre as a political art form with the power to challenge and dispel social stigma. Trained at Rambert School, Daniel and Eleanor work extensively as freelance performers and choreographers.
Read more about Thick & Tight’s work
Tian Glasgow (he/him) is a queer cis Black man who grew up in London and has been based in Salford since 2020. He founded the theatre company New Slang Productions in 2011.
The thread running through Tian’s work is social concerns such as race and class and how it affects communities.
Read more about Tian Glasgow’s work
Melissa Johns & Lily Levin
Melissa Johns is a TV and theatre actor and disabled artists advocate and Lily Levin is a theatre and film director.
In 2019, Melissa Johns was shortlisted for the Positive Role Model award at the National Diversity Awards.
Read more about Melissa Johns’s Lily Levin’s work
In partnership with Submerge Festival, CTRL (Creative Technology Research Labs) is a new development programme for artists based in Greater Manchester looking to learn and develop skills in creative technology performance, immersive experience making, and digital creation tools.
In January to July 2023, CTRL supported 14 artists who are under-represented in the sector to learn from inspirational creative technology artists, gain new skills and knowledge, connect with local and national artists and organisations, and start to develop ideas for the creation of new creative technology performances and immersive experiences.
From January – July 2023, the CTRL cohort took part in:
– 6 practical workshops exploring immersive storytelling, spatialised sound, eXtended reality, projection, light, gaming, robotics, and AI led by inspirational artists such as BRiGHTBLACK, Limbik Theatre and Rebecca Smith Urban Projections
– 3 curated panel talks on creative technology and the arts
– Visits to leading digital studios / galleries across the country
– 3 online mentoring sessions with an established artist/company of their choice
Meet Amy Townsend-Lowcock
Amy Townsend-Lowcock is a multimedia artist and designer based in Manchester. Her work incorporates elements of theatre, video art, documentary filmmaking and projection. She is interested in using creative technology to uncover hidden histories and inspire empathy across different cultures.Amy co-wrote and performed in ‘Handle with Care’ at Contact Theatre in July 2022. She also designed ‘DISPVPT: Fright Night’, following a six-week placement at the Royal Exchange Theatre. Her performance work, ‘My Fruits’, be seen at HOME’s 2023 PUSH Festival and her short film, ‘Lily Kwok’s Chicken Curry’, at Manchester Museum.
As an emerging artist, she is interested in creating work that is accessible, decolonising and inclusive.
Meet Andee Collard
Andee Collard is a visual artist based in Bolton. He is interested in making art everyday and has several ongoing projects. Andee’s current practice uses CNC machines to make analogue paintings and drawings. His practice is a hybrid approach that combines aspects of painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, design, coding, engineering, writing, performance and education. The mash up and the cross pollination of ideas and techniques is important to him. He works across media, processes and genres.
Andee is interested in exposing the creative process and is exploring methods to share this with the public. He co-runs Bolton Contemporary, a socially engaged CIC.
Read more about Andee Collard’s work
Meet Cally Statham
Cally Statham, better known as the stage name PLUS44KALIGULA, is an English electronic music producer, composer, songwriter and performance artist from Oldham, UK.
Initially inspired by her dad’s glam rock record collection, and her grans love of classical and old time music, Cally’s later discoveries of Bowies Thin White Duke, electronic music, and artists such as Scott Walker have made for a dark and dramatic music and performance style, blending teen pop structures into howling choirs of biblical angels, lamenting on the bleak, and the brilliance of human of nature.
Meet Chloe Malandra
Chloe Malandra is a multidisciplinary freelance Artist and co-founder of Malandra Jacks, a theatre and creative company from North Manchester.
Chloe is a theatre, film and installation maker. She uses digital storytelling across her work to amplify the voices of the communities and young people she works with.
Chloe’s practice is ever expanding, she is currently exploring new skills in projection mapping, creating music using loop pedal and is studying level 2 BSL.
Meet Heather Alice
Heather Alice is a northern theatre maker whose work is rooted in dance and contemporary movement, but encompasses poetry, film, comedy and aerial performance. She has previously featured in TV, film, music videos and recently became a member of the National Youth Theatre. Her personal projects are of a feminist nature delving into women’s healthcare and neurodivergence which aim to empower women and build community. In 2023 she founded Weird Alice Entertainment to pursue immersive performance utilising creative tech.
Read more about Heather Alice‘s work
Holly Rush is a Northwest based Dance Artist, specialising in Cross-Art Collaboration. Holly’s creative practice focuses on storytelling, shaping alternative landscapes for audiences to experience. Holly’s work has led to collaborations with numerous artists from varying creative backgrounds, expanding skills in shaping imaginative, cross-collaborative work.
Holly’s practice has been focused on developing inclusive and engaging projects for a range of audiences. Holly has found story-telling an inspiring tool for creation, enabling people to learn and be inspired by characters, tales and shared lessons.
Meet John Wong
John Wong loves Chinese ancient fortune-telling algorithms & cultures. He treats I-Ching (Book of Changes) as an ancient form of big data & pattern analysis. His work is always questioning the idea of trust, self-identity & realities, modern superstition over the intersection of Chinese traditional cultures & new technology. And how it relates to the idea of balance & imbalance, oneness & unlikeness, decentralization & personalization.
RUSHI is an award-winning algorithmic interactive installation art, exhibited at Microwave International New Media Arts Festival 2018, ISEA 2019 at Gwangju, SIGGRAPH 2019’s Art Gallery at Los Angeles, and awarded the Best in Show of Art Gallery. RUCHU AR was selected by “Peer to Peer UK/HK” online exhibition 2020.
Meet Melissa Boyle
Melissa Boyle is a performance artist making work that explores identity, social-commentary, and the powers of storytelling through performance. She is heavily influenced by popular culture and her work is often messy, comical, and playful and makes space for discussions surrounding feminist issues such as, women’s healthcare, AI Sex Dolls and the fragmentation of identity felt by women.
Melissa uses a variety of mediums from digitally augmented autobiographical performance to video art and live performance to make work that challenges audiences by addressing topics that are often uncomfortable to talk about.
Meet Niki Colclough
Niki Colclough is an artist working on social practice, exploring how art can address societal issues, with a focus on care, wellbeing and the environment. In 2021 Niki trained as a Shinrin Yoku (forest bathing) leader and has since been incorporating these techniques into her arts practice.
Niki has previously been commissioned to make work with contemporary art galleries including; The Lowry (Young Leaders), The Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester Art Gallery, Up Projects, Flat Time House and Camden Arts Centre. Niki currently leads the module ‘Approaches to Engagement’ on the MA Socially Engaged Art Practice at the University of Salford.
Meet Nikta Mohammadi
Nikta Mohammadi is an Iranian artist and producer based in West Yorkshire, working across moving image, performance, sound and text. Her practice is rooted in her dreams. It examines the relationship between personal and political, outside and inside, private and public, documentary and fiction.
Currently, she is building a body of work that investigates British rural landscape, incorporating literature, myths and rituals from Iran and Britain with an interdisciplinary formal approach. Through this body of work, she wants to reflect on her fragmented living experience as an outsider. Previously she has worked with The Tetley, Institute of Contemporary Arts and Tate among others.
Image credit: Phil Tragen
Scarlett-Rose Lovette (they/she), is a self-affirming “professional amateur”, poet, theatre-maker, musician, (and aspiring short-film maker), who uses their lived experiences, outreach, and research to inform systematic change. Their work is a sublime swirl of spooky and ethereal – divergent, minimal (DIY) yet striking.
‘PSEUDO: SEIZURE DIARY (A SHARING)’ is an extract of work-in-progress play ‘PSEUDO’: a cross-form gig theatre play led by Scarlett-Rose Lovette exploring where agency lies in a person experiencing NEAD (None-Epileptic-Attack-Disorder), and the marginalization and imposter syndrome associated with invisible disability today.
In a surge of poetic storytelling, an original electronic/rock soundtrack, and AI multi-sensory video and light projections, this autobiographical sharing, (inspired by Scarlett’s real seizure diary), challenges pseudo truths about Dissociative Seizures and self-image.
Meet Shawn J Stephen
Shawn J Stephen is a freelance visual artist with a background in visual anthropology. Specialising in photography, film and sound, Shawn has also developed an interest in creating immersive experiences using creative technology. He is keen to explore the potential that immersive experiences, facilitated by creative tech, can offer in meaningfully representing the lived experiences of the collaborators in his projects.
Read more about Shawn J Stephen‘s work
Meet Tania Camara
Tania Camara is a solo performance artist based in Manchester currently working in different mediums: devised theatre, dance, live art, video, voice-work and music.
Tania’s artistic focus is to create work that generates conversations about race relations in Britain to tell untold stories and bring marginalised lived experiences to the forefront.
Tania brings together stories from Cape Verde, Britain, Portugal, Guinea Bissau, and is inspired by her MA in Artist Research at the University of Amsterdam into the traditional dance/music genre Batuku as social performance and its place in the Cape Verdean Revolution as a form of holistic healing.
Image credit: Phil Tragen
Meet Valentina Achieng’ Vettore
Valentina Achieng’ Vettore is a recent graduate from the Manchester School of Theatre. Valentina is excited to start developing ideas and works for a wider audience outside of Grosvenor East.
Thematically, Valentina’s work is interested in parental relationships, race, as well as horror as a genre and its representation of marginalised communities.
Valentina is also very keen on exploring audience interactivity, whether it may be through artefacts in immersive installations or exploring the relationship and social contract between performer and audience, which became of even more interest to during the pandemic when we no longer inhabited the same physical space.