Hilarious, horrible here

Horrible Histories
Horrible Histories

Horrible Histories return to Blackpool Grand next week with two new shows – Incredible Invaders and Groovy Greeks.

As with Birmingham Stage Company’s previously popular productions, both shows feature actors live on stage and 3D Bogglevision special effects!

In Incredible Invaders, the Celts are crushed when Ruthless Romans invade Britain. Can crazy Caractacus save the nation?

On the other side of the continent, Groovy Greeks takes audiences from savage Sparta to angry Athens to discover the truth about growing up in Greece.

Writer and director Neal Foster says: “I had a hugely exciting time bringing the Groovy Greeks to life in Horrible Histories style and loved shining the spotlight on Celtic, Roman, Saxon and Viking life in Incredible Invaders.”

The shows run from Tuesday to Saturday with matinee and early evening performances and ticket deals to see both productions.

Box Office: 01253 74 33 39 or visit www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk

From today, Manchester becomes the centre of the cultural universe with the city’s fifth biennial International Festival.

Music, dance, theatre and visual art are all celebrated at the world’s only festival of original new work. The programme includes world premieres, unique concerts and one-off events, including a number of free events.

It all opens with wonder.land, a new musical inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice In Wonderland, with music by Damon Albarn and lyrics by Moira Buffini. This co-production with the National Theatre celebrates the 150th anniversary of the publication. Choreographer Wayne McGregor is creating Tree of Codes for MIF 2015, a contemporary ballet inspired by the book by Jonathan Safran Foer. Soloists and dancers from The Paris Opera Ballet alongside Company Wayne McGregor will perform in an environment created by visual artist Olafur Eliasson to a score composed by Mercury Prize-winning producer/composer Jamie xx.

FlexN Manchester sees Brooklyn-based Flex dance pioneer Reggie ‘Regg Roc’ Gray and a specially assembled team of Flex dancers making their European debut. This transatlantic collaboration will unite the best of street dance from Brooklyn and Manchester.

Richter/Pärt is a remarkable project, several years in the making, and both Gerhard Richter and Arvo Pärt will be in Manchester for the premiere. These two artists have made work inspired by and dedicated to each other.

At the Bridgewater Hall, Mark Simpson, one of Britain’s brightest young composers, presents the world premiere of his first large scale commission, The Immortal, performed by the BBC Philharmonic.

Neck of the Woods sees Turner Prize-winning artist Douglas Gordon and pianist Hélène Grimaud create a portrait of the wolf in a collision of visual art, music and theatre, with Charlotte Rampling as the raconteur.

FKA twigs will be making her MIF debut with a residency at Old Granada Studios, Soundtrack 7. She and collaborators will make seven short films over the week, with audiences invited to observe the process.

Maxine Peake and Sarah Frankcom return to MIF with The Skriker, a landmark revival of Caryl Churchill’s clash of ancient fairy story and portrait of a fractured England.

Björk also returns to MIF for a spectacular one-off gig at Manchester’s Castlefield Arena.

CBeebies’ Justin Fletcher will bring The Tale of Mr Tumble to Manchester’s Opera House, with Ronni Ancona as Miss Eerie the Headmistress.

Box office: 0844 871 7654 or www.mif.co.uk