Visual Artist and performance maker Hetain Patel joins forces this summer with Contact Young Company (CYC)  to create a unique, thought provoking and personal show exploring what it means to be a man. Staged at a secret location in the city, and running from Thursday 30 August to Sunday 2 September, OH MAN addresses the concept of maleness at a time when many key male figures in the public eye are often the subject of negative headlines.

Based on real life testimonies and interviews with boys and men from many different  backgrounds, generations and areas across Greater Manchester’s diverse communities  – from Men in Sheds and the Afro-Caribbean Care Home to Bikers, Salford Young Fathers and primary school children – this brand new production opens up the debate on how it is for men today and tries to free up our expectations of what it means to “ man up” or to  “be a man.”

These personal accounts, anecdotes and stories will be woven together with movement and visuals to create something both arresting to look at and something profound and meaningful to experience. Think Michael Jackson meets Stephen Hawking or Spiderman meets your uncle…

Performance artist Hetain Patel was born and raised in Bolton before moving to London. His works have been exhibited and performed in galleries and theatres globally, including Tate Modern, Tate Britain, Royal Opera House, Ullens Centre for Contemporary Art in Beijing and the Manchester Art Gallery. His work also has a large online following, with over 30 million views for his web videos, including his TED talk of 2013 entitled, Who Am I? Think Again.

For OH MAN, Hetain will be working for the first time with Contact’s award-winning Young Company – devising the show together and from scratch. This ensemble, made up of young male and female actors and performers aged under 25, come together ever year to create brand new professional shows and always in collaboration with major national and international artists. Previous collaborations include Forced Entertainment, Sh*t Theatre and Slung Low. Shows are premiered in Manchester, and are often then toured nationally to leading venues and festivals.

Hetain Patel comments: “I’m thrilled to be working with CYC. I am looking forwards to my own thoughts and ideas about masculinity being challenged by this dynamic group of young artists. I cannot wait to see what we create together.”

As Contact’s permanent home on Oxford Road is undergoing its building transformation, the company is taking its 2018 season on the road, to unexpected and surprising places and venues across the city – from Ancoats to Hulme, Stretford to Levenshulme and in the heart of the city centre. The location for OH MAN will remain a secret.

Audiences are to meet at 2pm or 7pm on their chosen show day at the Deli Lama on 220 Chapel Street, Salford M3 5LE. They will then be escorted to the venue’s location. 

OH MAN takes place from Thurs 30 August – Sunday 2 September, 2pm and 7pm daily. Tickets are on sale now priced £13/£7 concessions available securely online at or by phone on 0161 274 0600. This show is suitable for over 14s.


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