A first look at HOME, Manchester’s new £25m arts centre
HOME Manchester

At 5pm on Thursday 21 May, Danny Boyle will begin the HOMEwarming weekend for Manchester’s new £25m centre for contemporary art, theatre and film.

We went along to check out the new venue and see what Manchester can expect from HOME.

HOME was formed by the merger of Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company, and its new building was designed by Mecanoo.

Manchester City Council has committed £19 million to fund the creation of HOME, which will provide a cultural hub and social space for Manchester. The overall budget for the project is £25 million.

Bar by night_Photo made by Mecanoo HOME
Photo made by Mecanoo

HOME is part of First Street North, the first phase of the £500m First Street regeneration project that covers 20 acres in total.

The new centre has been designed Mecanoo and built by Wates Construction, and features a 500-seat theatre; a 150-seat flexible theatre; a 500m2, 4m high gallery space; five cinema screens; digital production and broadcast facilities; a café bar and restaurant.

First we took a look around the five completely flexible, fully equipped cinema spaces. The smaller screens are also available for private hire.

It’s unheard of in the UK to have an arthouse cinema project with five screens, HOME’s chief executive Dave Moutrey told us.

HOME cinema 1 c Paul Karalius
Pic: Paul Karalius

We loved the colourful, flexible, 150-seat theatre space.

HOME Theatre tiers c Paul Karalius

HOME theatre1 c Paul Karalius
Pics: Paul Karalius

There is also a beautifully spacious restaurant, and a bar on each floor.

HOME restaurant c Paul Karalius

HOME restaurant pic c Paul Karalius
Pics: Paul Karalius

Cafe ground floor Photo made by Mecanoo
Ground floor café, photo made by Mecanoo

HOME’s opening programme features new commissions, international collaborations plus off-site and interdisciplinary productions that represent a new and dynamic force in the UK’s arts scene and beyond.

The opening weekend is jam-packed with events, art, theatre, film and music.

You can expect a theatre world premiere, exclusive film previews and funfair inspired cinematic classics, plus a neighbourhood street party, and art exploring love, lust, teenage fandom and heartbreak in the gallery.

Film offerings include Hungarian-born director Pal Fejos’ 1928 film Lonesome, with an original live score by award-winning neo-classical composer and principal songwriter and bassist for the band Dutch Uncles, Robin Richards.

Other films over the opening weekend include the UK premiere of Slow West starring Michael Fassbender, featuring a live Q&A with director John Maclean, plus Michael Winterbottom’s 24 Hour Party People starring Steve Coogan, and Tod Browning’s uncompromising and macabre film Freaks.

Slow West HOME

The first theatre production at HOME is The Funfair, directed by Walter Meierjohann.

An adaptation by Olivier Award-winning playwright Simon Stephensof Ödön von Horváth’s classic 1932 play Kasimir and Karoline, the production features a cast of 13 actors and actor-musicians including Wigan-born actor Ben Batt (Shameless, Scott & Bailey, Captain America) and Katie Moore (Paradise, Doc Martin, Call the Midwife, 2014 Manchester Theatre Award nominee).

The Funfair HOME c Graeme Cooper
Pic: The Funfair by Graeme Cooper

Find out more about the opening HOMEwarming weekend.

HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, M15 4FN – homemcr.org

Main pic: HOME, photo made by Mecanoo