Daimler Powerhouse Opening Weekend

Join Imagineer at the Daimler Powerhouse, along with resident and associate companies, for three inspiring days of performance and building tours as the Daimler throws its doors open to the public. On Saturday and Sunday expect live music, performance, exhibitions and interactive activities from Imagineer, Talking Birds, Media Mania, Open Theatre, Highly Sprung, Rebel Manifesto, and Pangaea Sculptors’ Centre.

Outside and inside the building Imagineer presents a new commission The Brightest Moon by Midlands-based artist Jean Baynham and digital artist Derek Lawrence, a large-scale interactive art commission which reflects the historical significance of Daimler on the night of The Coventry Blitz, and looks forward to its future as a Creation Centre. The 6 metre woven moon, installed on the virtual dance wall and created by West Midlands artist Ali Ravenhall with community members from across Coventry, will provide the inspiration for a collaborative performance specially commissioned for the weekend including Open Theatre, dancers led by choreographers Louis Lewinson and Luka Owen and local performers and musicians.

On the Monday get hands on experience of the marvellous machines that demonstrate what’s possible when art and engineering come together.

Take a ride on Venture – Imagineer’s performance Carousel and step inside Daimler Powerhouse to find out more about projects in the pipeline like Bridge2Bamboo, FLOW and Jack’s Frogs. Join Media Mania in the recording studio and enjoy exhibitions telling the stories of the resident companies and Daimler’s transformation.

All events are free but some need to be booked in advance, see listings for details.

Download the Full programme (PDF)

What’s On:

Daimler Powerhouse Opening Bank Holiday Weekend
28, 29 & 30 August 2021
FREE

The Brightest Moon
28 & 29 August
12 – 4pm

Outside and inside the building Imagineer presents new commission The Brightest Moon by Midlands-based artist Jean Baynham in collaboration with digital artist Derek Lawrence. This large-scale interactive art commission which reflects the historical significance of Daimler on the night of The Coventry Blitz, and looks forward to its future as a Creation Centre. 

The moon, installed on the vertical dance wall and created by West Midlands artist Ali Ravenhall with community members from across Coventry, will provide the inspiration for professional dancers led by choreographer Lewis Lewison to create a specially commissioned dance performance for the weekend.

The Brightest Moon installation will be on show for the whole bank holiday weekend.

7pm & 9pm
FREE but pre-booking required. Book tickets.

Join Imagineer for performances, especially commissioned for the Open Weekend, to accompany the Brightest Moon installation.

Alongside these special performances, choreographed by Louis Lewinson and Rebel Manifesto, expect live music and short performances from Open Theatre.

Close-up of a woven panel from The Brightest Moon installation. Wool is pulled into waves and layers created fascinating textures.
The Brightest Moon is made of several woven panels joined together into a giant installation

The Nest – Talking Birds
28 & 29 August
12 – 4pm

The Nest is a brand-new shared making space on the Coventry Canal, adjacent to the Daimler Powerhouse – created by Talking Birds as a place to grow an inclusive, climate-conscious creative community which supports and enables disabled and local artists, giving them space to explore ideas and create new work. 

There’s a relaxed vibe for the opening weekend: have a look around the building, grab a drink and snack from Cov legends Gloria & Lil’s pop-up cafe and take part in some of the drop-in activities. 

Expect art from Nest Residents, add some stitches to Talking Bird’s ‘Imagine Better’ banner, smaller children and their grown-ups can enjoy The Cart’s imaginative play possibilities or peek inside the Whale’s new house.

Visitors can also download and follow the Walk With Me sound walk, listening in to the sounds of the past, present and future that inhabit the route along the Coventry canal towpath between The Nest and Naul’s Mill Park.

Introducing Elsa
28 & 29 August
12 – 4pm 

Coventry University’s Lanchester Interactive Archive (LIA) welcomed ‘Elsa’ onto its team in 2019. This 1932 Lanchester 15/18HP was the first model to be designed and built at the Daimler Works after the Lanchester Motor Company moved their operation to Sandy Lane in 1931. 

Originally made for the heiress of a tobacco company, the LIA is only its fourth careful owner and this model not only won the first RAC rally but was a rival to the 20/25HP Rolls Royce. Lanchester cars were favoured by Kings, Queens and Maharajas and you are invited to experience luxury, splendour and learn more about its incredible story from its historic birthplace. #Elsaxperience

CastAway – Highly Sprung
28 & 29 August
12.30pm & 4pm
Canal Basin 

Highly Sprung’s CastAway is a stunning outdoor performance that explores the impact of today’s throwaway society on our waterways. Featuring a unique gyroscopic flying machine, it presents a brand-new approach to aerial theatre. The all-female cast immerses audiences in an underwater world where performers dive, twist and float over 26 feet in the air to delight, inspire and captivate audiences of all ages.

A performer in green hangs from an elevated platform in an aerial dance performance
Highly Sprung perform CastAway

Traces – Choreographed by Louis Lewinson with Foley Work by Transformations Group
28 & 29 August
12.30 – 12.45pm
3.30pm – 3.45pm

A new climactic, powerful and captivating outdoor performance from Louis Lewinson using and capturing the elements of the Powerhouse and its environment from past to present with high energy and intensity.

Home – Rebel Manifesto
28 & 29 August
1.30 – 2pm
3 – 3.30pm

Rebel Manifesto choreographed by Director Luka Owen will be performing an aerial piece called ‘Home’. 

A piece about being back in our happy place after a long year away. It’s about family and community and connectivity. Being extraordinary and accepted. It’s about being your best self and surrounding yourself with people who are striving to do the same.

Live Lounge from Media Mania (Music Stage)
28 & 29 August

Set 1: 12.45 – 1.30pm
12.45 – 1.05pm – local composer Sophie Hadlum performing a selection of her impressionistic and cinematic piano pieces.
1.10 – 1.30pm – Local Vocalist Miriam O’Brien performing with ukulele.

Set 2: 2.15 – 3pm
2.15 – 2.35pm – Credo & Kimberley acoustic performance of Rhythm and blues/soul covers.
2.40 – 3pm – The Mintakaa Collective – a Neo Psych Jazz ensemble of Coventry based musicians lead by multi-instrumentalist & Producer Luke Weaver.

Wheat Field Jam – Film Screening and Live Drumming Performance (Live Lounge Music Stage)
28 & 29 August
3pm

Join us for the premier of Pangaea Sculptors’ Centre’s new short film and a live drumming performance, exploring life cycle and its connection with the hand, earth and gesture. Featuring participating musicians Parmjeet Bamrah, Anabell Febles, Mahandra Patel, Abraham Paddy Tetteh and Luke Weaver, specialists in world-music rhythms from Africa, India, Latin America and beyond. Film by Rachael Champion, Amy & Oliver Thomas-Irvine and Jim Woodall and produced by Lucy Tomlins. In partnership with Media Mania.

This event is the public launch of Pangaea’s year-long God’s Workshop Public Arts Programme, for Coventry, and seeds a new collaborative strand between these musicians and visual artists, as they come together to explore the relationship between the power of the hand and themes around harvest and life cycle.

More info: www.pangaeasculptorscentre.com

Rejuvenating Art-making
28, 29 & 30 August
12 – 4pm

What kinds of experiences do Coventry’s children need in order to become confident and inventive people? How can schools and teachers work with cultural and industry partners to make this possible?  These are the kinds of questions that researchers from the Universities of Warwick and Central Lancashire, Imagineer and Highly Sprung have been exploring together through The Imagineerium and Teach-Make projects.  

Come and find out more, take part in our survey and have a go at our commission challenge, with the help of a professional ‘imagineer’.

Monday 30 August
12 – 4pm
FREE

Imagineer presents new commission The Brightest Moon by Midlands based artist Jean Baynham,a large-scale interactive art commission which reflects the historical significance of Daimler on the night of The Coventry Blitz, and looks forward to its future as a Creation Centre. The moon, installed on the virtual dance wall has been created by community members from across Coventry.

Explore and get hands on experience of the marvellous machines that demonstrate what’s possible when art and engineering come together.

Take a ride on Imagineer’s performance carousel Venture in the Pocket Park (The Moorings) or ride on a mini Cyclopedia. Step inside Daimler Powerhouse to find out more about projects in the pipeline like Bridge2Bamboo, FLOW, Jack’s Frogs.

Discover the opportunities TEACH/MAKE, the Imagineerium and Transformations have to offer.

Get hands on in the recording studio with Media Mania creating tracks against the clock and enjoy exhibitions telling the stories of the resident companies and Daimler’s transformation.

Exciting Late admission to the programme:

Monday 30th August 3.45 pm
Joyous Urban Mess by the French street theatre company Les Vernisseurs will be the finale event of The Daimler Powerhouse opening weekend programme. The performance will bring surprise, delight and great fun as our spaces are reinvented as playgrounds for 4 ‘workers’ who end up showering themselves and audiences in confetti, ribbons and streamers.  

We are delighted to be to announce this last minute addition to the programme, signalling the many international companies and artists coming to The Powerhouse in the future.

A woman sits in a hoop suspended from the ceiling. Her legs are crossed. She is wearing a silver catsuit. Behind her is a blue banner reading Welcome
Enjoy a warm welcome to The Daimler Powerhouse

The Daimler Powerhouse Opening Weekend is part of the Summer on Coventry Canal programme, celebrating the city’s historic waterway spanning from the Canal Basin, along the 5 ½ mile stretch to Hawkesbury Junction. Join us for a range of community and artistic projects throughout the summer including theatrical wonders, magical stories, and innovative creations running until 12 September.

Summer on Coventry Canal is part of #GreenFutures programme funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, with support from Garfield Weston Foundation and Severn Trent Community Fund. Working with Canal & River Trust, Imagineer, Highly Sprung, Studio Morrison, Super Slow Way, Coventry Libraries & Lancashire Libraries, BBC CWR & Coventry City Council.