Large-scale immersive performance based on ‘The Matrix’ to open Aviva Studios in Manchester

Factory International presents FREE YOUR MIND, a large-scale immersive performance based on The Matrix films and created especially for the official opening of Aviva Studios, Manchester’s landmark new cultural venue.

Premiering on 18 October 2023, FREE YOUR MIND is a dramatic retelling of the classic 1999 sci-fi film through dance, music and visual effects. Featuring over 50 professional dancers from the North West and across the UK, this world-first adaptation will take place throughout the building’s ultra-flexible spaces.

Directed by Danny Boyle, FREE YOUR MIND brings together the visceral movement of choreographer Kenrick ‘H2O’ Sandy MBE with a powerful score from renowned composer Michael ‘Mikey J’ Asante MBE (co-founders and artistic directors of the Olivier award-winning Boy Blue), large-scale stage sculptures by world-leading designer Es Devlin and the work of the acclaimed writer Sabrina Mahfouz.

The creative team also includes celebrated costume designer Gareth Pugh, award-winning lighting designer Lucy Carter, sound designer Gareth Fry and renowned video designer Luke Halls.

Working with BAFTA-winning producer Tracey Seaward, this unique cross-art collaboration of world-leading artists, will showcase the breadth and ambition of Factory International’s artistic programme and invites audiences into a new realm of possibilities spanning real and imagined worlds. FREE YOUR MIND will recreate some of the film’s most iconic scenes through hip-hop choreography combined with immersive set design and visual effects, provoking visions of an alternate future.

Created for Manchester, the birthplace of the world’s first industrial revolution, FREE YOUR MIND will explore where the digital revolution has the power to take the world. FREE YOUR MIND journeys from 1999, the year The Matrix was first released and the moment before people’s lives were irrevocably entwined with technology, to the present day, where the Metaverse is about to engulf the world. The show will bring the words of The Matrix character Neo to the forefront: “I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin.”

FREE YOUR MIND is a world premiere commissioned and produced by Factory International. Based on the Warner Bros. films written and directed by the Wachowskis, produced by special arrangement with Warner Bros Theatre Ventures.

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