Raising The Curtain On Week 53

As I write this, the party is in full swing and the curtain has been lifted, both metaphorically and literally, on what promises to be a historic week in the history of The Lowry.

The guests are dancing the night away to celebrate the successful opening day of Week 53.


Rewind a few hours and consider that it was just this afternoon that the guests were welcomed through our doors; all in all it has been a hectic and generally surprising day!

Week 53 officially announced itself to The Lowry earlier today, and the building – a vision of yellow in the festival’s chosen colour, hosted the public and contributing artists for the first few speeches which gave everyone in attendance a flavour of what is to come.

CEO of The Lowry, Julia Fawcett got the proceedings underway, announcing that over the coming week we should all prepare ourselves for the unexpected.

“Week 53 is about doing something different”

– was the message announced to the attending guests, and there could be no better sentiment than that to encapsulate the entire day.

We took a tour through the bowels of the building with artist David Shearing, who showed us his design for using the usually out-of-bounds backstage area as a performance hub. What will become The Dock space is a truly creative use of space that gives a room usually accustomed to an industrial theatre aesthetic a much homelier feel.

Live-streaming the walk through the building gave any Facebook viewers a fly on the wall account of proceedings, spying from the comfort of their own homes on the space we explored.

One of the problems with touring the underneath of The Lowry is that the internet connection can, at times, best be described as spotty! But never deterred we pressed on and, after navigating our way around an internet blackout which saw parts of Salford plunged back into the dark ages, we saw some great sets that’ll play host to the productions over the coming days.

Katie Paterson unveiled her exhibition, Syzygy, which combines a stunning collaboration of design with natural wonder – and don’t worry if the name seems a bit of a tongue twister, Katie admitted she’s still not entirely sure if she’s pronouncing it correctly herself!


Our eagle eyed Lowry friends will have seen the gallery being explained by the artist over our live-stream, but truly the magnitude and excellence of the exhibit can only be seen in the flesh. Trust me, if you weren’t a stargazer before going in, you will be coming out.

So after all of this, it’s only natural opening day guests were in the mood to dance. The lyric theatre has played host to many special evenings, and tonight certainly cemented itself within the memory of the building. The party may have started tonight, but the festival atmosphere won’t fade away until the curtain falls on this week for the compulsively curious.