From the fifteenth Emergency to a sneak preview of something brand new, A/W takes us to the High School gym, a midnight feast and an empty gallery

We begin with our 15th annual micro-marathon, as Emergency is staged for the first time entirely throughout the cavernous realms of Z-arts, including the new STUN Studio. A free day-out for the curious, 2014’s festival features 29 (or more!) new works… drop-in for ten minutes or stay for the full ten hours.

Old friends Action Hero (last seen 2 years ago) find out what it means to be a winner at Contact in a wistful yearning for a world that never really existed — high school storylines, inspiring locker room speeches and cheap sentimentality tell us an underdog story that’s been told a million times before.

Glitter, chicken legs and a rice pudding piñata return us to The Lowry Studio in Selina Thompson’s version of a midnight feast; somewhere between confessions made over coffee at Weight Watchers and sloppy drunken story-telling over a 3am kebab, it’s a powerful portrayal of how we live with our bodies.

Newly-commissioned Michael Pinchbeck and guests (Anna Fenemore, Nicki Hobday, Ollie Smith) close our season in Z-arts’ gallery with three work-in-progress slideshows exploring absence + presence, flying + falling, and the power of the artist to fail or be free. N.B. all performances are now sold-out.

We look forward to seeing you at some or all of it; if you want to check out what happened last season, have a look at our Spring/Summer 2014 archive.

####What is Word of Warning and where did it come from? Simply put, Word of Warning is a one-stop shop for the bonkers, the beautiful and the bizarre of live performance: an attempt to keep alive the best of the 25 year greenroom legacy and to introduce new people to the possibilities of seeing live work in Manchester.

We take live work very seriously — but we don’t take ourselves seriously at all. In 2012, alongside funny, thought-provoking, beautiful work by the likes of Third Angel, Ellie Harrison, GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN, Levantes Dance Theatre, Action Hero, Richard DeDomenici, Made In China and many more, we served the audience gin and satsuma jello shots, played bingo, apple-bobbing, drenched them in confetti and reinvented St Andrews Day with snowballs and whisky macs.

For 2013 we presented a whirlwind of work from artists including Lowri Evans, Hetain Patel, Michael Pinchbeck, the vacuum cleaner + Stacy Makishi, also creating a bonkers day of live art for all ages (Haphazard) and a performance festival for a 70s block of flats (Domestic).

Curated by the ever-impressive Word Of Warning, Domestic consists of seven offbeat shows staged in a 1970s tower block in Hulme.
The Guardian’s Lyn Gardner, on Domestic

####Who’s it for? Anyone looking for a different night (or day) out.

We don’t want to put you off by talking labels – yes there’ll be theatre, live art, dance – the aim is to be anything but elitist or po-faced. So if you like comedy, music, gaming or just a friendly, stimulating evening – there’ll be something you might want to take a chance on.

What people have said about the shows (audience 2013).

Made me laugh, made me cry, made me cry with laughing. Loved it.
Very original and enjoyable, I have never attended anything like this before. Truly thought provoking.
The best £5 I’ve ever spent… A joy…
Intriguing from the beginning. Original. I will be thinking about it for weeks.
Loved the space / such a unique experience to share with strangers!
…Surely this is precisely what a theatre is for.

What people have said about us (audience 2013).

A brilliant project — its great to know when interesting, creative contemporary performance is on in the area.
Nice to come across such an imaginative organisation.
A really eclectic and engaging programme of intimate work in a series of exciting and unique spaces.
Bold and brave programming.

####Who is Word of Warning?
My name’s Tamsin Drury and I run an organisation called hÅb, which was greenroom’s partner for over a decade. You might not know hÅb but you might know some of our events – like Emergency (Manchester’s free marathon of live work with up to 40 shows over 3 venues) and Hazard (random sprees of eccentricity in Manchester’s City Centre).

I’ve been around a while, a really long while… and in that time, I’ve been responsible for making the Arndale Tower flash, wrapping Cathedral Gardens in 7km of hazard tape and encouraging a mass audience conga and a glitter-cannon Hallelujah chorus!

On the less eccentric side over the years, hÅb has also worked with literally hundreds of young NW artists to help them create new pieces of theatre + dance.

Please send programming enquiries to me at

I’m joined in this lunacy by John Franklin, greenroom’s long time programme coordinator. Often spotted in a hat or proffering a variety of bizarre refreshments, John is the friendly face greeting you and eliciting your feedback at many of our events.

Performance Programme Autumn/Winter 2014

Sat 4 Oct, 12noon-10pm. FREE | Z-arts
Emergency 2014
Fri 24 + Sat 25 Oct, 8pm. £11/6 | Contact
Hoke's Bluff
Fri 7 Nov, 8pm. £12/10 | The Lowry (Studio)
Chewing The Fat
Fri 28 Nov, 6/7/8pm. By donation | Z-arts
The man who flew into space from his apartment (work-in-progress) (all performances sold-out)