Manchester’s new art, theatre and film space HOME opened over the weekend, with large crowds attending a variety of celebratory events. HOME brings together Cornerhouse cinema and art gallery with the Library Theatre Company, in a purpose-built GBP25m (€35m) facility that aims to become a cultural and creative hub for the North West of England.
The celebrations started on 21 May with the press night for Simon Stephens’ new play Funfair, directed by HOME artistic director Walter Meierjohann, and continued the following night with the UK premiere of John Maclean’s Slow West, starring Michael Fassbender.
Acting as master of ceremonies at the opening event director Danny Boyle – known for his films Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire, as well as his direction of the London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony – said: ‘culture runs through all of us, it’s not quantifiable, it’s not economics, it’s not political, it’s much more valuable.’
Saturday and Sunday saw the doors of HOME thrown open to the public, with guided tours of the building, cinema screenings and gallery talks attracting huge crowds. Built on a brownfield site, HOME is part of a larger complex called First Street North that includes a multi-storey car park, a hotel and shops.
Many of the events across the weekend were funfair themed, such as an immersive screening of the 1982 film Big starring Tom Hanks (which features a funfair) from performance group Eggs Collective, and music from New Orleans-style jazz band Mr Wilson’s Second Liners.
Sunday was branded as family fun day, with market stalls selling food on Anthony Wilson Place (named for legendary founder of Factory Records Tony Wilson) to the accompaniment of live music, along with entertainment such as kids’ storytelling project The Whale.