A sky-high, inspiring drove of local talent comes to MediaCity this June

Imagine Cirque du Soleil, but with glowing umbrellas, and it's in Salford Quays. Way Above the Houses: A Spectacular Celebration of Salford is a brand-new theatrical arts project that celebrates the diverse people and cultures from in and around the Salford area. Set to take place on Saturday 11 June at MediaCity, the evening has inclusive art, local talent and one-off spectacles by the bucketload.

the whole experience really shows off the different areas of the Quays and allows audiences to feel involved and immersed within all that Salford has to offer.

Manchester always has loads of cool artsy events going on, with SICK! Festival and A Modest Show running as we speak and a whole cultural calendar curated by the Confidentials team back in January this year. However, a one-off performance filled with local dancers, aerial acts and moving lights is a first, even for Manchester. 

With inclusivity at its heart, the show is also free. There are two separate performances on the Saturday which allow you to see the sights in both the daylight and at night, and the show will have British Sign Language interpretation both live and virtually on the big screen in MediaCity’s Piazza. Take note Manchester arts events. 

Way Above The Houses Salford Art And Theatre Festival Media City 2022
You can stand under my glowing, colourful, choreographed umbrella Image: Quays Culture

Stories, words, and illuminated umbrellas

When it comes to this spectacular celebration's itinerary, it's all about highlighting the stories and words of the local people in Salford. 

A team of local dancers, led by experienced choreographer Lizzie Klotz, will create a "kaleidoscope of moving lights" with a load of illuminated multicoloured umbrellas. A community choir will perform live music thanks to Ordsall Singers' Choir Leader, Jeff Borradaille, and a crazy display of aerial acts, local singers and community performances will also be featured centre stage to create a truly unique and immersive spectacle. 

The ethos of the whole project is shaped by stories gathered from local people about what Salford means to them, all represented through "a series of unique, reflective and inspiring workshops". Original music for the show also comes courtesy of acclaimed musician Ted Barnes. 

Torch Relay Way Above The Houses Media City Art Festival 2022
Hopefully the skies are this blue when they're flying over Salford Image: Andre Pattenden via Quays Culture

Like A Bridge Over Salford Water

The route for Way Above the Houses begins outside The Lowry with a performance from Lizzie and her talented dance squad. The performers and audience will then process over the bridges on the Quays, past the Imperial War Museum and straight to MediaCity's Piazza for some more sky-high acts and community-based performances. 

With an aim to "reflect the diverse and world-class creativity here in Salford", the whole experience really shows off the different areas of the Quays and allows audiences to feel involved and immersed within all that Salford has to offer. As you look to both ground and sky for talent and fun, the show is set to "inspire, uplift and unfold around you." 

Way Above The Houses Salford Art And Theatre Performance 2022 Mediacity Uk
Inspired by Tom Holland's infamous lip sync battle, no doubt Image: April Paul Green via Quays Culture

A collaborative affair

Way Above The Houses is a collaborative effort from Quays Culture and Cirque Bijou. The show is also funded by Arts Council England. 

The second time that this powerhouse pair have come together to make something great and creative, the Quays is expecting to welcome thousands of Mancs and their friends and fam for the community-led arts celebration. 

As Jennifer Taylor, Programme Producer at Quays Culture, says: “We’re thrilled to be working with Cirque Bijou once again on this exciting project. We’re investing in the local community involvement more than ever this year, speaking directly with Salford residents and local groups – this aspect is so important to us, and we can’t wait to see how that comes across in the final production." 

Media City Uk Salford Way Above The Houses Art Show 2022
MediaCity is ready to host the final flourish of Way Above the Houses Image: Hilverd Reker via Wikimedia Commons

MediaCity's Creative Director, Josie Cahill, has also mentioned that the show, "promises to be a magical performance set right in the heart of MediaCity that will capture the imagination and inspire visitors of all ages". Talking about the Quays as a proper cultural destination, Josie adds: "Our wide, open, waterfront space makes it the perfect location". 

Aerial performers and light-up umbrellas right by the water - sounds like a party to us. 

Media City Uk Salford Quays Art Show 2022
Quays Culture are also responsible for Through No.4, which is set to sit on the Quays til December Image: Quays Culture

Final details

Way Above The Houses: A Spectacular Celebration of Salford is set to take place on Saturday 11 June (Queenie’s birthday) for one night only. There are two showings at 5:30pm and 9pm and the show is suitable for all ages, so bring your grannies and your grandchildren. 

If you're looking for a "vibrant, colourful and exhilarating experience" (who isn't?), then keep this Saturday night free for a hit of culture in Salford.

Header image: Andre Pattenden

Read next: Top things to do for the May half term in Manchester

Read again: Yas Queen! Things to eat, drink and do on Jubilee weekend 2022

Get the latest news to your inbox

Get the latest food & drink news and exclusive offers by email by signing up to our mailing list. This is one of the ways that Confidentials remains free to our readers and by signing up you help support our high quality, impartial and knowledgable writers. Thank you!