Immersive Opera Brings Life, Death and Second Chances to Mayfield Depot at 3pm on 18 November
Five years ago, David Tovey sat on a park bench, homeless and suicidal. The man who sat next to him saved his life. On 18 November, David and the Museum of Homelessness bring this story to Manchester’s iconic Mayfield Depot in a new production developed by people who’ve faced homelessness.
Featuring models, poets, actors and musicians, Man on Bench is an opera like no other, a fairytale that places high fashion firmly in the hands of society’s most rejected people.
David’s visual, textile and performance work has been shown at Tate Liverpool, Tate Exchange at Tate Modern and Gloucester Cathedral. His first documentary, Outsiders, airs on Radio 4 in on September 9. In early 2018, David received support as an emerging artist from Unlimited to stage Man on a Bench is part of his ongoing collaboration with the Museum of Homelessness, an independent national charity run by people who have experienced homelessness, and is dedicated to sharing art, histories and culture to change society for the better. Museum of Homelessness will be acting as David’s pro-bono producers for this show.
The performance comes at a time of huge awareness and political focus on homelessness in Greater Manchester. Andy Burnham, the Mayor of the city region has made a personal pledge – and donated a proportion of his salary – to addressing the issue. The number of people sleeping rough in Manchester has increased seven-fold since 2010.
This performance questions stereotypes about people who’ve been homeless and shows the beauty of second chances. The performance rounds off the With One Voice International Arts and Homelessness summit and festival – week in which events will be taking place around Manchester that celebrate the power of art in tackling homelessness.
Speaking about bringing Man on Bench to Manchester, David Tovey said: “The work I do involves bringing people together to talk about homelessness in new ways – it can be both beautiful and hard-hitting but it is about ignoring the headlines, moving beyond the stereotypes and bringing people together to start a new conversation.
“I don’t believe all art belongs on walls, I make performances, and large-scale events to highlight that it is possible to create positive change for people and society in all sorts of ways and I can’t wait to bring he performance to Manchester in November.”
Man on Bench Fairytale is a free event and tickets can be booked here.
Man on Bench Fairytale is commissioned and supported by Unlimited, celebrating the work of disabled artists, with funding from spirit of 2012.