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10th May 2024

Making Manchester #3: Eleanor Haigh

Performing across the UK from Edinburgh Fringe to London, Eleanor Haigh embraces the spotlight with a multitude of talent. She breaks down what draws her to the arts and the biggest challenges facing artists today.
Making Manchester #3: Eleanor Haigh
Credit: Ella Robinson @ The Mancunion

One of Manchester’s biggest selling points is its thriving cultural industries. Our new feature, Making Manchester, celebrates some of the emerging creatives behind Manchester’s vast and diverse artistic output. For our third edition, we spoke to Eleanor Haigh- a UoM graduate and performer based in Manchester, with credits in How to Keep Up with The Kardashians and  The Rug of Identity. Haigh explains the joys and realities of being a performer, as well as the collectives to look out for.

Describe your practice

I’m a performer and creative artist. I host cabarets and events. Hosting is a new craft for me, I’ve been doing it for about a year, and I love it. With hosting, I write my own comedy material, dance, lipsync and interact with the acts and the audience. I also love to collaborate and create, so I’ve assisted, co-directed and choreographed for productions, events and cabarets. 

I was recently in a play called The Rug of Identity by Jill Flemming at the King’s Arms which was such a special project to me. I’m also currently a resident artist at So La Flair Theatre, which is a feminist and queer collective right here in Manchester.

Credit: The Rug of Identity

What’s your favourite place to see or make art in Manchester?

I love the different collectives we have here in Manchester and sometimes they’re not even based in a building. I love anything that West Art Collective create, they’re always putting on mystical and magical events and elevating queer and rebellious artists. I also like SwitchMCR and the theatre/events they put on. They’re especially fantastic activists within theatre.

Then there is always Partisan Collective, they always have amazing events and DJ collectives at their space, the best night out and also great cabarets and shows! 

Some others are Butch Revival who are killing it with their butch mayhem events and presenting some fierce drag King artists.

A specific place is always Afflecks – shoutout to Beg, Steal and Borrow which is the best thrift shop in Manchester. 

Credit: Ella Robinson @ The Mancunion

What’s the biggest challenge facing artists today?

Moneyyy!!! It’s so hard man. It’s hard sustaining a career in the arts when most work I’ve found is unpaid or not paying very much. I’m lucky I’ve got a gorgeous hospitality job who are flexible with my endeavours and honestly, I’m so excited by all the projects I’m involved in. They enrich me in many other ways so the money really doesn’t put me off.

Collectives and theatre groups are struggling these days. Manchester really is such a great city because there are so many creatives supporting each other at their events and shows and also collaborating with each other. 

Is there an artist who inspires you or who you’d like to collaborate with?

Dolly Parton. Honestly, just manifesting here. Love me some Dolly.

Shout out an artist you love!

I love my girl Miss Rosetta Rodeo. She’s a fierce cowgirl burlesque baddie. I’ve been blessed to work with her many times and I’m obsessed with her. She’s also teaching burlesque classes at the minute so deffo check her out!

If you’re a Manchester-based artist and would like to be featured in Making Manchester, get in touch with us at [email protected].

Read our previous article here: Making Manchester #2: Laurent Swyngedauw.

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