Taboo-busting festival takes spotlight at The Lowry

Taboo-busting SICK! Festival takes spotlight at The Lowry

Premiering six productions on disability, religion, sexism, drugs, mental health and loneliness – SICK! Festival returns to The Lowry this March.

After a successful visit to the Salford arts venue in 2015, the award-winningSICK! Festival returns to The Lowry with a programme of taboo-busting performance that confronts the physical, mental and social challenges that we face in our individual and collective lives.

Disabled performer Claire Cunningham explores how the major world faiths view disability with Guide Gods (Wed 15 & Fri 17 March), co-commissioned bySICK! Festival. Using dance, humour and interviews with world leaders, Cunningham questions whether disability is the will of a higher power; or are the disabled paying for the mistakes of a past life.

A group of young adults with learning disabilities from Theater Stap present To Belong (Sat 18 March), a dance performance choreographed by Koen De Preter about what it means to be  part of and outside of a group.

Considering the pros and cons of intoxication Ridiculusmus explore MDMA assisted therapy for post-traumatic stress in Give Me Your Love (Fri 10 & Sat 11 March). While Zvizdal (Wed 22 & Thu 23 March) is a film portrait documenting the loneliness experienced by an old couple living in solitude in the wasteland of Chernobyl.

Embracing a multitude of identities Liz Aggiss hilariously interprets femininity and contradictions of women, girls, mothers & pensioners in Slap & Tickle (Thu 9 March). And Bolton born actor/ comedian Sophie Willan takes a look at who she is today through the eyes of the experts that assessed her growing up in care in On Record (Sun 12 March).

Helen Medland, artistic director of SICK! Festival, says: “SICK! Festival explores the most turbulent experiences of living in the world today. The challenges we face are sometimes rooted in bodies and minds that fail us, sometimes in the complexities of living in a troubled society with others facing their own problems. Embracing the identities, histories and social conditions that shape us, SICK! Festival asks how we are coping with the world we live in.”

Since launching in 2013, the festival has presented over 200 events featuring over 300 artists, at 25 locations in Manchester and Brighton attracting audiences totaling over 200,000. In 2015, SICK! Festival won the prestigious EFFE Award for excellence, which recognised 12 outstanding European festivals of the year, from a pool of 760 festivals across 31 countries. 2017 will see the festival grow further across Manchester and Brighton in 26 venues with 82 speakers, 116 artists, 66 performances, 18 public installations, 14 UK premieres, 13 discussion events and 5 co-commissions!

To view the full SICK! Festival programme visit the website.