Works Ahead

Annual sample of new performance.

Updated 28 May 2024

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 35 small, supported, work-in-development commissions for artists selected from the previous year’s Emergency platform and/or other events — with support including mentoring and a public showing of the next stage of the work, often in partnership with Contact.

In 2024 we did things a little differently — Works Ahead: Radiator invited a group of artists to explore their own Live Art practice over an incubator weekend, starting with an informal evening sharing on Fri 24 May at MMU.

jump → 2012 · 13 · 14 · 15 · 16 · 17 · 18 · 19 · 20 · 21 · 22 · 23 · 24


The first Works Ahead was a new partnership at Contact (as a Re:Con co-production), featuring a night of performances in May from Gareth Cutter, Lowri Evans + Krissi Musiol, and an evening of interactions in June from Angel Club (north), Fallen Wall Arts, Julieann O’Malley + Small Acts… See images.


Our second Works Ahead took place at Contact in May, with a night of work that moved you from 70/30 Split, Kitty Graham, Joseph Lau + Ellen Turner (winner of the 2012 Turn Prize), and a night of work that spoke to you from Lena Simic, Façade Theatre + Wayne Steven Jackson… See images.


Our third Works Ahead took place at Contact in May, with a triple bill of work that delved into the mindset of the performer from Lindsay Bennett, Paul O’Donnell, and SheepKnuckle… See images.


Our fourth Works Ahead took place at Contact in April, with a double bill from two young male artists questioning manliness in this digitised, disembodied, discombobulated era: Nathan Birkinshaw and Jamil Keating… See images.


Our fifth Works Ahead took place at Contact in June, with two very different double bills from four artists at different stages in their careers: Terri Donovan and Afreena Islam, and Top Joe and Lucy McCormick… See images.


Our sixth Works Ahead took place in May, with two nights at two venues featuring three artists: Tom Cassani and Toni-Dee Paul’s double bill at Contact, and Chanje Kunda in STUN Studio at Z-arts… See images.


Our seventh Works Ahead took place at STUN Studio in May, with a double bill from two artists at the start of their journeys; a girl and a guitar, a boy and a box of questions: Emma Geraghty and Vijay Patel… See images.
We also seed-commissioned Jamal Gerald’s new work for development in partnership with Transform in Leeds; Idol was planned to show at Royal Exchange Theatre in March 2020 but cancelled due to Covid-19.


Our eighth Works Ahead took place at STUN Studio in May, with a double bill featuring two explorations of inner conflict, outer division, and the politics of oppression from artists Mark Croasdale and Avital Raz… See images.


Our ninth Works Ahead was planned as a sited double bill at NIAMOS in May from artists Will Dickie and Ross McCaffrey — Will adapted his work for livestreaming, which was broadcast in May; Ross postponed sharing his work until it could be shown to a physical audience, which happened in 2022.


Commissions were awarded with Contact to artists Helena Ascough and Jade Williams for them to develop their ideas for future presentation…


Our tenth Works Ahead took place at Contact in May — picking up where we were interrupted in 2020 to show Will Dickie’s finished live work alongside Ross McCaffrey’s re-imagined development, plus Helena Ascough’s digital outcome from 2021 (watch her short film here). See images.


Our eleventh Works Ahead took place at Contact in May — with a triple bill including Jade Williams’ outcome from 2021, alongside newly-commissioned artists Christian Asare and Kellie Colbert… See images.


Our twelfth edition, Works Ahead: Radiator took place in May — eight very different artists (Ash Cox, chris brown, E.M. Parry, Heather Alice, ITZATNA, Jamil Keating, Kelvin Atmadibrata, Lauren Greer) came together for an informal evening sharing of Live Art on Friday 24 May at MMU Grosvenor East, before they embarked on a path of shared exploration… See artists’ images and read their programme notes.

Works Ahead: Radiator (2024) produced by hÅb; supported by Manchester Metropolitan University and using public funding by Arts Council England.
Project Mentor: Peader Kirk
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