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House of MCR | Aviva Studios

Manchester is known globally for its strong identity but it’s the people of Manchester that make this city unique, and House of MCR certainly showcases the city’s individuality. The show is a celebration, predominantly of black queer culture, but really it’s a celebration of life, the Mancunian spirit and resilience the city shows time and time again.

The mother of all runways has arrived at Manchester’s Factory International in Aviva Studios, and House of MCR is a show like the city has never seen before. The premise of the evening is set similar to the subculture underground ballroom scenes that African-Americans created in the 80s and 90s. Think ‘POSE’ or ‘Paris is Burning’ but with a Mancunian edge. With an abundance of themes to ‘walk’ the balls allowed ‘families’ who were not necessarily accepted by society to excel and exuberate excellence.

For three nights only, this industrial warehouse space is transformed into a ‘Project Runway’ type catwalk with an impressive light show. Whilst the concept was born decades ago, the creatives have modernised it and are very much thinking to the future. Darren Pritchard, a true visionary in the Manchester performing arts industry, has truly outdone himself with this show, alongside co-creator and host/performer Rikki Beadle-Blair. Beadle-Blair welcomes each of us with open arms and guides us on a journey throughout black history, whilst turning looks and delivering comedy that is accessible to all.

It feels unfair to single out any performer as the outrageous level of talent on display throughout was exemplary. With an array of death drops, shablam’s and everything in between, the audience were left gagged. Literally. With over 25 performers, categories on the evening included We Dress, We Dance, We Sing, We Strip and We Lip Sync. Each showcasing the gifted and inventive talented performers and creatives from across the city. Audiences are encouraged to bring or purchase fans to vote for your favourite within each category and those fans were clackin’ as the crowd went wild for each and every act.

This is an extraordinary show that reaffirms the values in society that we should all abide by. Regardless of sexuality, ethnicity or gender, all are welcomed as individuals and leave feeling empowered with our own family. This feels like the start of something special and long may the House of MCR reign. Experience the pure joy this show brings for yourself and you will not be disappointed.

House of MCR is bold, beautiful and unapologetically black. Stop the music. For more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ (5*)

Gifted tickets in return for an honest review | photography by Jody Hartley


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