Riz Ahmed to revisit his ‘complicated relationship’ with Britain at Manchester show

Manchester International festival to premiere emotional live music show

Rupanjana Dutta Tuesday 18th February 2020 02:19 EST

Award-winning actor, musician, story teller and activist Riz Ahmed will be performing in an emotional live music show, The Long Goodbye, which will merge rap music and theatre, exploring his complicated relationship with Britain.

The Long Goodbye, commissioned by Manchester International Festival, is described as “an electrifying journey into our here and now – a close-up look at the breakup of a toxic relationship with the country we call home,” and will feature new songs from the actor.

It is written and will be performed by Ahmed and directed by writer,  director and dramaturg Kirsty Housley, with creative direction from Andrea Gelardin. Riz Ahmed will perform The Long Goodbye for three nights only, from 26-28 March 2020 at Manchester’s atmospheric former railway station, Mayfield.

Ahmed is a musician, storyteller, award-winning actor and activist, The Long Goodbye is a Manchester world premiere. He took the spotlight as the first South Asian actor to win an acting Emmy for his lead role in HBO’s The Night Of. He was born in Wembley, London in 1982 to a British Pakistani family.

Speaking about his forthcoming trip to Manchester to perform in The Long Goodbye, Riz Ahmed said, “I can’t wait to come to Manchester and share the world premiere of this live experience. It takes us on a journey through our past to the current crossroads we face as a multicultural society.”

As a musician, Ahmed came up in the London music scene as a rap battle champion, going on to write and perform both as a solo artist and with Swet Shop Boys. His provocative solo release, Post 9/11 Blues, was banned before a viral groundswell forced it onto radio. The Swet Shop Boys album, Cashmere, toured to sold-out crowds from Coachella to NYC's Webster Hall. In a nod to their cultural impact, protestors against Trump's ‘muslim ban’ at Los Angeles International Airport protest were heard chanting its lyrics.

John McGrath, Artistic Director & Chief Executive, Manchester International Festival said, "We are so pleased to be working with Riz Ahmed to premiere his new show ‘The Long Goodbye’ in Manchester. Riz is an extraordinary and fearless artist and an increasingly important commentator and activist. For audiences it will offer a hint of the range and calibre of work that will be made and experienced when we open The Factory.”

The Long Goodbye is commissioned by Manchester International Festival and Brooklyn Academy of Music, and produced by Manchester International Festival. Following its world premiere in Manchester, The Long Goodbye will be presented in Brooklyn, New York as a part of Brooklyn Academy of Music's (BAM) new season -Yours Theirs Ours.

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