MIF – Party Skills for the End of the World
Last night we kicked off the Manchester International Festival with a BANG! Party Skills for the End of the World was just the right amount of alcohol, weird, fun, dancing, education and drumming to make for an amazing night out. We didn’t just enjoy Party Skills for the End of the World, we really enjoyed it. As people who don’t really do the night out thing anymore, this one could tempt us out of the comforts of our pyjamas any night of the week.
Party Skills for the End of the World is a wild, immersive show that will teach you how to get by when the end comes and it’s time to celebrate everything that’s made life worth living. Staged in a unique Salford building, it’s a site-specific show full of surprises, taking you on a wild ride into the depths of your imagination before sending you out into the night full of curiosity and wonder.
The night is set in the now abandoned Old Adelphi and Centenary buildings, part of Salford University’s campus off Peru Street. The vast, empty, and desolate spaces are the perfect setting for an apocalyptic party. The location sets the mood perfectly and maintains an air of bleakness surrounding the night’s events.
Lulled into a false sense of security, the night begins with simple cocktail making, record playing, darts throwing, and small talk, before being shunted into the realisation that all is not what it seems. While Party Skills for the end of the World maintains it’s fun and light atmosphere, the creeping signs that your life expectancy is constantly at risk shine through in fun and innovative ways.
Be it songs of perils which may befall you, dances of landing signals, or ridiculous instructions which turn out to be potentially life-saving skills. After these weird and wonderful demonstrations, the party goers are free to roam the corridors and discover new skills to ensure the end of days is the best it can be. Skills range from survival tactics to just plain old revelry. From star navigation and arrow making to balloon animals and dance moves, here are the skills you need to make your last party the best it can be.
During the skills section of the evening, it’s hard not to notice that the once background music, is slowly getting louder and more perilous. It is no surprise then when the party is urgently ushered through panic-stricken tunnels with a deathly sense of urgency.
At the other end, we’re treated to a musical sensation. If you didn’t already know, I love drums. My favourite music tracks are those with a good hard beat. Give me a drum solo over a guitar solo any day. Think Sepultura’s Ratamahatta for all time best drumming intro to a song, and you’ll understand how I like my beats.
We’re also treated to a dance fest to lift anyone’s spirits. Whilst to the untrained eye this may appear to be some kind of arts performance, with a deeper meaning than us mere mortals can understand, I, on the other hand, who has frequented the famous dance clubs of Halifax throughout my youth, can attest to you that in fact, this is the prestigious art of ‘dickhead dancing’. Yes, you heard me right. Party Skills for the End of the World shows you how to dance like an idiot as if no one is watching, and no one cares how much of a fool you look. It is pure, unadulterated, foolish fun.
Throw in some trumpet playing, a sombre monologue reflecting on how much we cherish life, awful jokes, and a frank consideration of the reality that is the end of the world, and we’re left to party the rest of the night away as we wish.
After spending the rest of the evening dancing with friends, racing Scalextric, playing board games, ten pin bowling, and trying to teach people how to play chopsticks on the piano (which turns out to not be as simple as it sounds), we collected our party bags (survival kit for the end of the world) and headed home.
This morning, we may ache from all the dancing, but one thing is certain, that was the best night out we’ve had in a long time. If that was how the world had ended, I’d be ok with that.
Thanks to Ian Forrester for the imagesThanks for reading!
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