Manchester International Festival: Riz Ahmed Set to Livestream ‘The Long Goodbye’

Originally planned to perform on stage for this year’s Manchester International Festival, Riz Ahmed will now present ‘The Long Goodbye’ via livestream.

Musician, storyteller, actor and activist Riz Ahmed has announced a one-off livestream performance of The Long Goodbye taking place on 19 December 2020.

The online performance is a companion piece to the electrifying live stage show commissioned by MIF and Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM), that was originally due to premier in Manchester in March 2020, before its inevitable postponement.

The Long Goodbye is a bold concept album which sees the British actor of Pakistani heritage, audaciously frame his relationship with his ‘home’ country as a toxic love affair. Ahmed’s live-streamed performance will blend storytelling, music, archive footage and immersive sound to guide audiences through an emotional landscape. Unravelling the album tracks, it tells the story of this moment through a personal journey and asks: ‘how did we get here?’

The actor-activist took to Twitter yesterday to maintain positive spirits for his fans, despite circumstances and said: “Gutted we couldn’t do #TheLongGoodbye live show for you in real life this year, but we’re adapting with the times. We’re gonna do a live-stream digital show. We’re gonna go on a journey behind the tracks, from 1947 to 2020 & try to see how far we have come.”

It is performed by Ahmed and directed by writer and director Kirsty Housley (Tao of Glass, MIF19), with creative direction from Andrea Gelardin and Sound Design from Gareth Fry.

Mark Ball, Creative Director at MIF said: “This online companion performance will be a very different experience to The Long Goodbye live stage show which we are planning to bring to Manchester next year, but the energy, emotions and themes of Riz Ahmed’s words are ever resonant with these times, and we’re delighted to be able to continue our journey with this extraordinary performer.”

The online performance of The Long Goodbye will be live streamed on Saturday 19 December 2020 presented by WeTransfer with dates TBC. Tickets will go on sale on Tuesday 1 December.


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