Works Ahead 2023

A sample of new performance.

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Updated 8 February 2024

Presented by Word of Warning + Contact

Our annual sampler evening of new performance returns to Contact with a trio of new works-in-development from artists Christian Asare, Jade Williams, Kellie Colbert — searching for identity on the tightrope of our histories, amidst the isolation of our immediate pasts, and within the armour of our presents.
And now it’s over, see images from the event.


Pay What You Decide: £15/£10/£5/£0
Book: Thursday/Friday via Contact or call 0161 274 0600

Times: Thursday 18 + Friday 19 May 2023, 7.30pm
Duration: event lasts up to 2 hours including interval/s.
NB all three works will be shown in the same order each night.
Location: Contact, Oxford Rd, Manchester, M15 6JA


Age Advisory: 16+ (parent/guardian/carer discretion).
Content Warnings: some works may disturb, please click here.
Features: three contemporary performance works with varied content.
Queries: please contact Contact, 0161 274 0600 or


Works Ahead is a project developed out of the old Method Lab & SeedFund schemes which hÅb ran with greenroom until 2011. Since 2012 it has offered over thirty-five small, supported, work-in-development commissions for artists selected from the previous year’s Emergency platform and/or other events. Support includes mentoring and a public showing of the next stage of the work, in partnership with Contact


Christian Asare · DUAL

Colour is much like music — every hue a note on scale, every tone a pitch that carries… Complimentary and juxtaposed — they yet prevail…
Explores the fluid multiplicity of Black identity through an interdisciplinary diasporic lens — with visual art, poetry, and Afro-contemporary choreography.

Christian is a Black British interdisciplinary artist with Ghanaian ancestry and heritage. With a background in choreography and contemporary dance, his specialisation in Afro-contemporary performance adds a unique flair to his work. Moreover, he is an independent fine artist who creates oil paintings with a particular emphasis on elevating Afrocentric imagery, portraiture, abstraction, and Afrofuturism.

Jade Williams · In Search of Pablo

“Black, brilliant, and Manc” — born in 1810, Pablo Fanque was the first Black circus owner in Britain. Come & delight in tales of Pablo’s Fantastic Fair as I channel his story to explore my own journey to being Black, brilliant, & Manc.
An exploration of belonging and Black identity in the diaspora.

Jade is a Black, Queer, multi-disciplinary artist and experienced teacher from Manchester working in dance, poetry, writing, performance, and creative facilitation. She has worked closely with Community Arts North West, Curious Minds, and DIY Theatre on projects for young people in Greater Manchester.

Kellie Colbert · Dedicated To The One I Love

And tell all the stars above. This is dedicated to the one I love.
(Love can never be exactly like we want it to be.)

An exploration of love, betrayal, and care.

Kellie is a Greater Manchester-based performance maker. She would describe herself as an autobiographical artist, who creates work that is honest, relatable, and at times self-critical. Kellie uses spoken word and symbolism to explore memories, often focusing on themes of mental health and feminism. She aims to create performance that is both self-exposing and empathetic.


Works Ahead 2023 commissioned by hÅb + Contact; produced by hÅb.
Project Mentor: Peader Kirk · Thanks to Keisha Thompson & Tania Camara.

Websites · #WorksAhead

NB Contact’s website changed on 9 May & links to their site have been updated.

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Performance Programme 2023

Fri 10 Mar, 7pm. PWYD | Contact
Turn 2023
Wed 3 May, 8pm. PWYD | The Lowry
Unnatural Cycles
— A Ghost Story
Thu 18 + Fri 19 May, 7.30pm. PWYD | Contact
Works Ahead 2023
Sat 22 Jul, Noon-3pm. FREE | Z-arts
Haphazard 2023
Sat 30 Sep, Noon-10pm. PWYD | Contact
Emergency 23