Now in its fifth year, the annual, experiential Waterside Summer Festival is back for 2022 from Thursday July 21st to Saturday July 30th.
Following the success of its recent four-day Pride Festival, Trafford is delighted to announce the line-up for its annual ten-day summer arts festival at its award-winning Waterside venue. This dynamic event transforms indoor and outdoor spaces to provide visitors with innovative ways to experience live comedy, music, dance, performance and theater.
Indoor highlights include a stellar lineup of live music, including acclaimed Riot Jazz who bring their unique sound to the Waterside scene, fusing Jazz, Hip-Hop, Drum & Bass, Balkan, Trap, Grime, Dubstep, Latin and Classic. This troupe of 9 people is made up of three trumpets, three trombones, drums, sousaphone and is led by the prodigious MC Chunky. Riot Jazz writes and plays whatever their heart desires. And so does their unique approach to covers, which range from Britney Spears to Todd Terje. Get ready for a unique evening of exhilarating, genre-blending music, suitable for all occasions, guaranteed to have every crowd on their feet.
Global music collective Kabantu, join the Refract lineup for one night. Kabantu which means “of the people” – from the South African philosophy of Ubuntu: “I am who I am because of who we all are” bring their collective and eclectic sounds to share their musical marriages in a globalized 21st century .
Harriet Dagnall, who has been a familiar face on Manchester’s bustling music scene since 2018, also comes to Refract for a night to perform live. Raised on a diverse range of music, she draws inspiration for her original songs from Joni Mitchell, Fleetwood Mac, Kate Bush and Cocteau Twins and current influences including The Japanese House, Marika Hackman, Yebba and The War on Drugs. Joining her on the same bill, are Foxglove. This euphoric four-piece indie alternative band also hail from Greater Manchester and have been writing music together since 2016. Corporate favorites and regular “giggers” on the city’s music scene, Foxglove are considered one of the bands Manchester’s hottest hits, with releases such as Car Radio, Selfish and the more recent single Blind.
For those who prefer their music with jazzy hands and show tunes, Refract has it covered with the critically acclaimed Off Broadway and West End musical hit, Julie Madly Deeply. This charming and cheeky cabaret takes a captivating look at fame and fandom, through the eyes and voice of award-winning performer Sarah-Louise Young. Performing songs from musicals such as Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady, Young’s show and musical performances are intertwined with stories and anecdotes about the own life of his musical legend Julie Andrews, his debut as a child star to the most recent challenges. to lose his famous singing voice. What emerges is a deliciously funny and candid love letter to a true survivor of show business.
Other theatrical delights on the Refract program include the Edinburgh Fringe hit Like Animals performed by the famous Superfan. This is a funny and poignant investigation into love and communication in human (and not-so-human) relationships, inspired by true stories of animal language experiences, performed by a real-life couple, performers Kim Donohoe and Pete Lannon. In The Formidable Lizzie Boone, award-winning Selina Helliwell will draw you into Lizzie’s world for a night of healing and humor. Centered around a therapist’s office, this one-woman show explores the intricacies of humanity through a vodka-loving woman with lemonade and a cat named Lionel. Expect dark drama, dark comedy and a touch of slapstick in this adult-themed one-man show.
A program of exceptional and free exterior works always features in the Refract program and this year is no exception. Highlights include an opening night in the Waterside Plaza celebrating the amazing history and achievements of the Preston-based Dick Kerr women’s football team. These pioneering women from Lancashire defied the ban on women’s football in 1921, when the FA delivered the bitter blow that football was “utterly unsuitable for women”. This dance-based spectacle – brimming with teamwork, resilience, determination and fantastic footwork – sheds an important and creative light on arguably the most successful women’s team of all time!
On the first Saturday of the Festival, the Plaza is also the stage for an all-female outdoor dance theater when the acrobatic company Mimbre performs Lifted to Refract. Teaming up with three guest choreographers – Yi-Chun Liu of Peeping Tom, HURyCAN and Gary Clarke – this captivating performance experiments with new approaches to Mimbre’s trademark acrobatics. Lifted mixes dance, theater and circus to celebrate the expressions and impressions that arise when three strong women move, lift and balance each other.
Dance meets circus meets cabaret for more free outdoor street performances celebrating the fabulous with glam. Audience members are encouraged to join in the fun and dance with the cast in this gloriously fast-paced spectacle of acrobatics, hand-to-hand, disco, feathers, glitter and glamorous makeup! This colorful performance highlights the power of bringing people together and invites each of us to celebrate the most fabulous part of ourselves. Glam is inspired by club culture and the journey of the LGBTQ+ community.
Refract:22 also offers a fantastic selection of captivating and lively theater performances for children of all ages and abilities. SPLAT is a fully inclusive physical comedy show with lots of mayhem and joy and no words, making it fully accessible to deaf and hard of hearing audiences big and small. Also ideal for little ones and their adults, the welcome return of Groove Baby – bringing Groove Sensations – a sensational sensory journey specially created for the under 3s with specially created animations and actions accompanying an eclectic musical ensemble for an auditory experience, complete visual and interactive feast. For slightly older kids, Groove into the Woods is a family adventure fueled by jazz and funk in the dark, deep woods. Who will we find and will they be bad or good? Specially designed for ages 3-7, it’s a fun mix of animation, interactive music-making, and rock-solid Groove Baby Organ Trio groove. For older children, the Fashion Spies interactive show, filled with fashion, Devil Wears Prada and Spy Kids puts the audience right in the middle of the action. Find yourself on an undercover mission as you travel across the world. Your choices will help thwart the biggest threat fashion has ever seen in this fabulous pick-and-choose comedy adventure. The stakes and epaulets have never been higher…
For fans of Waterside’s regular comedy nights, Refracts hosts Laugh Riot for just one night with some of the best stand-ups on the circuit today – featuring regular Waterside funnyman Jonathan Mayor as MC , the brilliant and very talented Luisa Omielan – who the Guardian considers “one of the biggest stand-up hits of the decade”, – a London-based American actor, comedian and cabaret artist David Mills, who, according to the ‘Scotsman, is “darkly funny, bristling with sharp-tongued satire and an incisive wit” and comedian, actor, TV host and all-around entertainer Lee Peart.
Comedy fans can also celebrate one of the greatest sitcoms ever made with famous stand-up Joe Rooney for an evening dedicated to Father Ted! Joe starred as rebellious father Damo in the classic Father Ted episode The Old Gray Whistle Theft, leading Dougal astray with his earring, cigarette and bad boy attitude. In this one man show, Joe Rooney: A Celebration of Father Ted – Joe will host a screening of the episode, take you behind the scenes and give you a Craggy Island quiz.
Facades, the VR dance sensation, completes the Refract range – walking the line between reality and illusion. Inspired by iconic moments in cinema, Facades is a virtual reality dance experience that uses the architectural features of windows, mirrors and doors as metaphors for duality, reflection and portals. This surreal “VR noir” features hauntingly beautiful choreography from unique perspectives, inviting the viewer to step into the frame, go beyond the veneer, and take a closer look.
Refract:22 Producer and Director of Waterside, Darren Adams said “”It’s so exciting to bring our fifth Refract Festival to Waterside and deliver a series of all-live events. After a challenging year for artists and arts organizations, we are thrilled to welcome so many emerging and established artists through our doors and onto our stages to build on the success of the first four years. We look forward to sharing such a wealth of local and national talent in all genres of performance with our audience and celebrating the arts at our annual summer festival.
Refract: 22 races at Waterside from Thursday July 21 to Saturday July 30.
Tickets go on sale from midday today – Friday 10 June: reflect.org.uk