Spring Season 2019 – Welcome and goodbye!

With Manchester Metropolitan University (Axis’s host institution) withdrawing from the Cheshire campus in Crewe to consolidate its estate in the city centre, Axis Arts Centre, like all good things, must come to an end. But how do you mark the end of a venue that has been on the cultural map of the UK for something like 40 years?

Perhaps we need to confront the essentials of life and death, to tackle the really big themes in a momentous and embodied way, like the extraordinary DEP does by UK-based award winning choreographer Dam Van Huynh, in his very first visit here.

Or maybe we should invite back some of our most consistent and impressive artists, to let them say what they want to, to mark the moment? Reckless Sleepers, who have played here more than any other company over the years, could host a unique event that includes the premiere of a brilliant new dance based work, following Leen Dewilde’s wonderful A String Section, that premiered here and is still touring the world.

Firm favourites Sleepwalk Collective could give us one of the first outings of their major new piece, cheekily entitled Kourtney Kardashian, or we could reflect back on years gone by, just as A Fortunate Man does for the NHS via the story of one man, by long term Axis artist Michael Pinchbeck. Or we could return, with Manchester Metropolitan’s own Patrick Campbell, to the simple fact of the physical body of a solo performer and their journey into the modern world.

Or maybe we do all of these things – and call it Spring 2019, our last ever season.

Like so many endings though, this is also a beginning. Crewe tutors are already establishing new music and theatre courses in Manchester, and will be based in the fantastic new Capitol Theatre, in a brand new building on Oxford Road, where we expect to be contributing to a public programme of performance…

But do join us, here in Crewe, one more time – it’s going to be special.

Neil Mackenzie
Programmer Axis Arts Centre

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