Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre are coming HOME

many people standing outside a building

A Glass Giant Calling all the Culture Seekers

“Let’s go to Home;” a phrase that could mislead many a Mancunian in venturing away from the City Centre. Yet, with a name as such, it is obvious that HOME aims to become the primary base of operations for locals in the heart of Manchester itself. The question is: does HOME improve upon the already loved institutions that merged to create it? Cornerhouse has been a staple for things to do in Manchester for years and HOME has already a high bar to raise when it comes to providing the city with contemporary art, theatre and film. Is HOME a glass Mecca for urban activity that rivals its predecessors? The question is not quite so simple to answer but what is true is that HOME is one of the premier destinations for lovers of culture, counter-culture and thought-provoking media in the City. Ultimately, HOME continues to offer great things to do across ages and across interests. If you’re a student, a singleton, with friends or part of a couple, I recommend that you ‘go HOME’.

Danny Boyle is giving a speech at HOME

Danny Boyle speaking about the HOME Project

HOME’s History sets it up for a Formidable Future

The HOME project was funded by Manchester City Council, Arts Council England and the Garfield Weston Foundation, backed by many famous sponsors including Danny Boyle and Meera Syal. In April 2012, Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company announced they would join forces in a new location in a project that was overseen by Dave Moutrey, the former Director and Chief Executive of Cornerhouse.

What this means is that HOME has had an impressive pedigree and a talent pool prior to its establishment, supported by the precedents in entertaining its visitors that the two prior institutions did so well.

HOME theatre hall

Cornerhouse Entertainment on a Magnified Scale

How HOME differs from the Cornerhouse experience is largely a matter of scale, and that is not just a case of a £25 million investment in a monolithic arts centre. Arguably, something that made Cornerhouse so memorable was its intimacy. During a single visit, one could to observe art, have a drink and watch a film in what was ironically a homely and cosy venue. HOME offers all the same experiences, in the same, single space with unparalleled multisensory stimulation. However, HOME feels much more like a multiplex, even if one that is dedicated to Independent Cinema and artwork. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing and size doesn’t necessarily preclude substance. The feel is that HOME is comprehensive and immersive, a siren call to all those seeking an alternative answer to city culture. The biggest difference is that HOME proudly draws attention to itself, whereas the Cornerhouse, despite its popularity, always gave the impression of a local haunt. However, this peacocking is validated by an impressive arts programme. HOME commissions, produces and presents contemporary theatre, film and visual art, including new commissions, international collaborations, off-site and interdisciplinary productions, all aiming to be innovative and to possess compelling narratives.

a bar-meets-restaurant area

A la Carte Dining With an Informal Feel

HOME also up-scales its dining and drinking provisions with a large floor alone that seats 200 and serves plentiful food and drink in a bar-meets-restaurant area with an a la carte menu of bar and sharing classics and a fully comprehensive drinks list. This first floor area seats you next to the full-length glass windows and so with the flooding of outdoor light, the atmosphere is open and airy. HOME makes the effort to be modern and spacious.

In short, HOME achieves all that its predecessors did and what comprised the charm of the Cornerhouse was its dedicated followers. There should be no reason HOME loses out on this same sense of character and so I suggest it as a premier city destination for all, Cornerhouse loyalists and new visitors alike.

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