Verity Standen


Presented by Derelict + Word of Warning, supported by UCLan
Part of Thursday Lates at the Whitworth in Manchester

In Brief

An immersive choral sound bath…

‘Song erupts around you… startling, moving and genuinely immersive.’
★★★★ The Guardian

Booking essential as each performance has a limited capacity.

Manchester Venue + Booking Details (the Whitworth)

(Manchester Date: Thursday 7 April 2016, 6/6.45/7.30/8.15pm: all sold-out)
Manchester Venue: the Whitworth (Grand Hall), The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester, M15 6ER
Manchester Tickets: free to book online, donations are welcome on the day.
Mcr Box Office Tel: 07581 299 439 (leave a message + we’ll get back to you)

Preston Venue + Booking Details (Harris Museum)

(Preston Day One: Friday 8 April 2016, 6/7pm: both sold-out)
Preston Day Two: Saturday 9 April 2016, 1/2/3/4/5pm
Preston Venue: Harris Museum & Art Gallery, Market Square, Preston, PR1 2PP
Preston Tickets: free to book online.
Preston Box Office Tel: 01772 905 414 / 07867 306 062

Access Information

Age advisory: 18+ (parental/guardian discretion). With no interval, each performance lasts approximately 25 minutes. Each audience member is blindfolded and hugged by a singer; participants experience the performance through sound, breath and vibrations of the body. For specific age and access information please email or call 0161 232 6086.


Read Sarah Walters article on HUG in the Manchester Evening News.

Unable to visually gauge their surroundings, participants experience the performance through sound, breath and vibrations of the body as the choir of voices deliver the song. Playing with sense and perspective, HUG is a unique examination of the human voice’s power.

HUG is currently touring the UK and internationally following critically acclaimed performances at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the Southbank Centre, London. For Manchester and Preston it brings together a brand new ensemble of local voices for three days only.

Who is she?

Bristol-based, Verity Standen trained in music at Dartington College of Arts; her work as a composer, musical director and performer explores the human voice and how it can be celebrated and transformed through live performance.

In addition to her solo work and running her choir (Utterance) she regularly collaborates with a range of artists and companies across the UK, also as an outside eye + ear, vocal coach, facilitator and lecturer. Her current composition projects include Medusa (Bristol Old Vic) + The Light Princess (Tobacco Factory Theatres), and she has been nominated for an Off West End Award, The Arches Brick Award and a Total Theatre Award.

What people have said about HUG

To feel somebody’s thorax vibrate as they tackle an elaborate countermelody feels like the most immediate, visceral experience of music as human expression possible… like an antenna to heaven.
★★★★★ TimeOut
…there is more to it than just sensation. …a strangely cathartic experience, unequivocally illustrating the power that music holds to move us.
…the sound rose and fell in waves until it felt as if I was drenched in music that had seeped its way into every organ in my body, and maybe even found my soul. The enforced intimacy of the piece is startling, initially discomforting, charged and ultimately liberating. You can’t help but feel better after experiencing it.
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

Websites | @verity_standen | HUG trailer
Derelict | Thursday Lates at the Whitworth

Performance Programme Spring/Summer 2016

(Thu 7 Apr, 6-9pm sold-out)
By donation
| Thursday Lates at the Whitworth
(Fri 8 Apr, 6-8pm sold-out) Sat 9 Apr, 1-5pm.
| Harris Museum, Preston
Fri 22 + Sat 23 Apr, 7.30pm.
£9/5, two nights £11/6
| Contact
Turn 2016
Sun 22 May, 8pm. By donation | HOME
Queer as Yolk: Redux
Fri 3 Jun, 4pm (5+6pm sold-out);
(Sat 4 Jun, 4+5+6pm sold-out). £4/2
| Contact
Works Ahead Compact Edition
Fri 3 + Sat 4 Jun, 7.30pm. £6/3 | Contact
Works Ahead Evening Edition
Wed 29 Jun, 8pm. £12/10 | The Lowry
A Room for All Our Tomorrows
Sat 9 Jul, 12noon-5pm.
| St Ann's Square, Mcr City Centre
Hazard 2016