Benji Reid: Find Your Eyes

Benji Reid crouched on a small pedastal in front of a white strip against a blue background. He is wearing a green pattered suit and a bubble sculpture on his head.

12 - 16 Jul 2023

Manchester Academy 1, Oxford Rd, Manchester, M13 9PR

Age Guidance: 16+
Running time: 90 minutes approx. No interval.

THIS EVENT HAS ENDED.

This work made reference to medical emergencies. For more information, please see our advice on content below.

Accessibility features available for this event: Captioning BSL Interpreting Wheelchair Access

Pioneer of hip hop theatre turned award-winning photographer, Benji Reid mixed Afro-futurist imagery with hard-hitting tales from his life and adventures in a unique show that unfolded before your very eyes

Combining photography, choreography and theatre to make striking and surreal images, Benji Reid is an artist like no other.

For MIF23, Benji drew from the well of his life experiences – exploring vulnerability, tragedy and triumph through the photographers’ lens.

He took us behind-the-scenes, on an emotional rollercoaster where conflict met beauty and the stage became his studio. We watched as Benji opened up on some of the most moving episodes of his life, and used them to inspire his art.

This passionate piece drew on Benji’s work both as an award-winning photographer and pioneer of hip hop theatre – bringing dancers and photography into the fold to create images in real time in front of his audience.

Journeying through highs and lows, Find Your Eyes explored how we make sense of the world through our stories and our art.

Photography and Art Direction: Benji Reid

Images

INTERNATIONAL PRESENTATIONS

Amsterdam

1 - 2 October 2023

Internationaal Theater Amsterdam

  • Both the performance and the resulting images are so spectacular that they deservedly earn spontaneous applause

    Quays Life

  • We see the trick. Yet it still has the power of a miracle.

    The Guardian

  • The effect on the audience is profound

    Manchester Evening News

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Artist Benji Reid

In the Studio with Benji Reid

Credits

Creative Team

Concept, Direction, Photography and Text, Benji Reid

Creative Associate & Sound Designer, Andrew Wong

Set Designer, Ti Green

3D Designer & Maker, Liam Hopkins

Costume Designer, Saskia Lenaerts

Choreography, Benji Reid & Performers

Lighting Designer, Tupac Martir

Dramaturg, Keisha Thompson

Cast

Benji Reid

Performers: Slate Hemedi, Salomé Pressac and Yvonne Smink

DJ: Andrew Wong

Stage Manager & Camera Assistant: Lee Grey

Commissioning

Commissioned by Factory International, Internationaal Theater Amsterdam and Black Achievement Month and Taipei Performing Arts Center.

Produced by Factory International for Manchester International Festival.

Resources

Access Information

The event took place at Manchester Academy 1. The full address of the venue is: Manchester Academy 1, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PR

What3words is:

toward.herds.deflection.

https://what3words.com/toward.herds.deflection

The entrance to Academy 1 is step-free, and there is step free access to all areas of the event space once inside.

There were wheelchair spaces available in the main event space for this event – we did not use Academy 1’s balcony area.

The bar in the venue has a lowered accessible service point.

The event was set up as a seated theatre show with raked seating with some seats on the flat floor. There were wheelchair spaces on the flat floor in front of the raked seating.

There is one large accessible toilet located on the ground floor to the right of the bar (near the event space) and a second one on the balcony level (accessible by lift from the foyer).

Manchester Academy welcomes Assistance Dogs and can provide water on request.

A captioned performance of Find Your Eyes took place on Saturday 15 July at 2:30pm.

A signed performance of Find Your Eyes took place on Saturday 15 July 2023 at 2:30pm. The performance was interpreted by Stacey Green.

There was no relaxed performance of Find Your Eyes.

This work made reference to abortion, medical emergencies, suicide, child neglect and addiction. Find Your Eyes also contained strong language and scenes which some viewers may find uncomfortable.

Incense was diffused in the performance area.

For further information about accessibility please follow this link: Access

Travel Information

Manchester Academy’s closest station is:

Manchester Oxford Road station: 1 mile (from Oxford Road station you can take a bus or a short taxi ride to the venue).

Click on the link above to find access information for the station.

The nearest Metrolink tram stops are Market Street, St Peter's Square which is 1.1 mile walk.

Manchester Academy is served by the following buses: 15, 18, 41, 42, 42A, 42B, 42C, 43, 111, 142, 143, 191, 197, 217, 797, 53 Orbits, V1 Vantage, V2 Vantage and V4 Vantage.

There are over 100 bike parking spaces outside Stopford Building, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PT.

There are a further 12 spaces by Student Activities, University of Manchester Students' Union, Oxford Rd, Manchester M13 9PR.

Accessible parking and drop-off:

Manchester Academy does not have its own carpark. The nearest available Blue Badge parking is at the Dilworth Street car park, which has 8 accessible bays and is approximately 0.2 miles from the Academy. This is also the recommended location for car drop offs.

Please note that parking in the Dilworth Street car park is not free. For details of the pricing, visit: https://www.estates.manchester.ac.uk/services/operationalservices/carparking/#CARPARKF

For a list of other parking bays available in the area, visit Manchester City Council website.

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