Contact brings game-changing theatre and multidisciplinary art to Manchester’s Oxford Road. Seeking to enable young people to change their lives through the arts, the venue presents a diverse and accessible artistic programme of exciting new shows for audiences of all ages.
A leading national theatre and arts venue, Contact places young people at the heart of its mission. Company members aged 13-30 work alongside staff in deciding the artistic programme and making staff appointments, as well as acting as full Board members. The result is a unique and diverse programme of art that challenges and inspires, working to change the face of UK culture.
Contact aims to support the next generation of Northern artists and creatives and inspire new audiences with stories that reflect the local community. The public programme of shows and festivals features professional shows produced or commissioned by Contact, as well as Contact Young Company shows made in collaboration with leading artists and touring shows selected by young people and staff. There are also annual festivals with a specific theme, such as Queer Contact.
The Contact building itself is something to behold. The quirky exterior was designed by Alan Short and features distinctive chimneys that form an assisted natural ventilation system, meaning that Contact does not need air conditioning and fresh air flows naturally through the building. The chimneys also made a significant reduction in energy use.
Dedicated to leading the way as an environmentally-aware arts organisation, Contact is in the top 1% of the most environmentally-friendly public buildings in the North West. This is achieved through initiatives including recycling 100% of waste, using entirely renewable energy sources, and a unique Green Champions scheme to support staff engagement in environmental matters. Sustainably-sourced materials were also used in the building’s construction.
Head along to Contact Bar and Kitchen for food that is ‘fiercely Northern but globally-inspired’. A collaboration with GRUB, Manchester’s famous street food venue, the menu features lunchtime offerings including wraps and loaded fries, and evening fare such as a range of Indian-inspired burgers and small plates. The bar also offers a wide selection of beers from independent breweries across the city and a unique range of cocktails.