Working The Festival: The Staff Reaction

With the festival now on its fifth day, we decided to catch up with our friendly Lowry staff and find out what effect Week 53 was having on their day-to-day jobs. I spoke with people all around the building who offered up their thoughts, and cast an eye on their top picks from the programme for the week ahead.

How is Week 53 going from your point of view?

It’s been completely different to the normal bar situation we’d get“, explained Donnie who was serving drinks to festival customers on the Pier Eight bar. “Ordinarily we’d get people in and then have massive gaps between shows. But with Week 53 we’ve had people come in throughout the day who’ll come to the bar and then see the shows, so it’s been good.

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What do you think of Week 53?

I spoke to Joe who was about to clock-off for the day, but he stopped just long enough to tell me that, “it’s really exciting, there’s some great work coming here and it’s been enjoyable to work on“. These were the sentiments echoed around the building from the office staff, the coffee shop, and the VIP’s who help guide the guests around the building.

It’s a really creative festival and a brave thing for The Lowry to be doing“, added Beth who’d reflected on visiting Katie Paterson’s exhibition Syzygy in the gallery.

Are there any shows that have caught your eye?

17 Border Crossings seemed to be a popular choice with the people I spoke to on the bar. The show, which opens in the Aldridge Studio on Tuesday, follows the trip of a man around the world, starting  at a desk on an empty stage and travelling everywhere but.
Joe told me he was anticipating seeing a good show, “I’m watching it on Tuesday, really looking forward to it! Hopefully these exciting types of new show will stand The Lowry in good stead for the future and there’ll be more shows like it to come“.

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Also popular and hotly sought after in the staff ticket draw was Eddie Izzard’s show, Force Majeure. The lucky winner of the randomly allocated staff tickets was Alex.

I’ll be watching Eddie on Friday and can’t really believe I’ve won it to be honest! It should be a great show, and I know there’s one or two envious glares aimed my way from people who really wanted to get to see this. Oh well!

Another top pick amongst the staff was the work on display in Syzygy – and a personal favourite of mine, if I may add. Walking past the gallery two or three times a day is enough to firmly cement the tune to Moonlight Sonata in your brain as it pipes through the upper half of the building – I can only imagine how much of an ear worm it must be for the guys sitting at the gallery desk!

Written by Adam Brabbin