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Not Part Of - Closing Party
Date: 19 July 2011
The launch and constant re-launch of The Big Society has made decent people everywhere regard charities with disdain .It is humbling, therefore, to encounter a not for profit organisation that actually achieves its objectives. When those involve showcasing the arts in a range of venues, it is particularly welcome.
Now in its third year Not Part Of shadowed the more famous, and much better funded, Manchester International Festival. The 17-day event presented arts from a range of disciplines and was not limited to fringe events but included mainstream works by Shakespeare and Wilde –even if the venues were not always traditional theatres with shows held in pubs and hotels.
At the closing ceremony held in the unusual venue of Manchester’s Night and Day café organiser Beth McCann set the context for the work of the Festival by reflecting on events over the last two years. In spite of a recession, massive cuts, the loss of public institutions and really rotten weather Not Part Of has thrived. In addition to the shows organised the producers have developed training and development programmes which it is hoped will benefit the 1,000 people who were involved in the 2011 Festival.
McCann paid tribute to the hard work of all involved who had co-operated and supported each other. The standard of work had been high and, as some shows had sold out, there was clearly an appetite for more. Not Part Of was an attempt to develop a legacy for Mancunians and artists. McCann concluded by hoping that all who took part shared in the sense of achievement at having participated in something special.
The Festival will return in 2013 again linked to the MIF and there will be a New Years Eve celebration in 2012. Beth McCann has her own personal production underway – congratulations from all at Whatsonstage.com by the way.
The closing ceremony included the award for best new playwright from the North West Playwrights. The nominated plays were:
Cupcakes & Carousels
A warning against Idle Gossip
The truth is I can't stop telling lies
They say can Blues
All of the plays had shown strong individual qualities, inventiveness and original characters. The winner, The Truth is I Can't Stop Telling Lies by Tam Hinton, was said to have outstanding originality.
Based on the 2011 Festival there is a serious risk of Not Part Of restoring the good name of charities. Roll on 2013!
- Dave Cunningham
Any opinions expressed above do not represent the view of Whatsonstage.com nor any of its staff or contributors beyond the bylined author.
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