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M32 2BZ

Quarantine was established in 1998 by directors Richard Gregory and Renny O’Shea with designer Simon Banham. We make original theatre, performance and public events with and about the people who are in it. Whatever form it takes, our work begins and ends with the people in the room. for nearly 25 years, we've collaborated with a shifting constellation of artists, performers and people who've never done anything like this before. Our work seeks to create the circumstances for a conversation between strangers...


October 2018 - December 2019

A direct response to the extraordinary growth and change that has gripped Manchester and Salford in recent years, Tenancy was a 12-month project running from autumn 2018.

In the 1990s, a few thousand people lived in and around Manchester city centre. By 2018, this figure had risen to over 50,000. Young professionals are flocking to the city, drawn by opportunities to work and study, and the excitement of city life.

Quick to meet demand, developers are creating new homes at an unprecedented rate. Derelict redbrick factories are being revived for contemporary loft living, while on the outskirts of the city, vast new developments are springing up, manufactured from steel and glass.   

But as cranes tower over the city’s skyline, there’s been a visible rise in the number of people sleeping rough on the streets below. Requirements for affordable housing in new developments are sometimes sidestepped, while the waiting list for social housing has swollen to 80,000 across the Greater Manchester region.

What is happening to neighbourliness amid this paradox of boom and crisis?

Tenancy explored what it’s like to live in a city negotiating rapid change. It asked how these bright new cities are being shaped – who is making decisions and who is benefitting. It examined what new communities are being created, and what might be being lost.

Curated and produced by Quarantine, Tenancy invited artists from the UK and further afield to take up residence in a brand-new property on the border of Manchester and Salford. Some stayed for a series of weekends, others for weeks at a time. Each artist got to know the area and their neighbours, and made work, leaving behind a trace of their time in whatever artform they chose.

Across the year, a series of conversations and other events with neighbours and interested people took place within the house, reflecting critically on the past and debating plans for the future.

Tenancy was part of Meet the Neighbours, a three-year cross-artform project inviting artists into rapidly evolving neighbourhoods in five cities across Europe and North Africa. Co-funded by the European Union’s Creative Europe programme, Meet the Neighbours is taking place in Manchester and Salford, UK; Béthune, Lillers & Bruay-la-Bussiere, France; Lublin, Poland; Marrakech, Morocco; and Groningen, Netherlands.


Residencies & events

Lived-In Rooms | Quarantine and Gavin Parry – 22 November – 1 December 2019

Meet the Neighbours: The Weekend | Quarantine – 9-10 November 2019

Residency: Performance makers Janek Turkowski & Iwona Nowacka – October to November 2019

Nitty Gritty – Artist talks | Hetain Patel – 23 to 27 September 2019

Nitty Gritty at Manchester Art Gallery | Hetain Patel – 27 September 2019

Residency: Visual artist and performance maker Hetain Patel – September 2019

Film screening & discussion: The Making of Justice | Sarah Vanhee – 28 August 2019

BOK learning day | Sarah Vanhee & Flore Herman – 26 August 2019

Residency: Performance maker Sarah Vanhee & artist Flore Herman – July to August 2019

Find and Seek: A listening event | Shayma Nader – 13 June 2019

Open House | Ali Taptik –  7 June 2019

Photographing the Local: In Conversation with Ali Taptik and Gavin Parry – 5 June 2019

Residency: Photographer Ali Taptik – May to June 2019

Residency: Visual artist Shayma Nader – April to May & June 2019

Drawing & printing workshop | Grace Surman & Gary Winters and their children – April 2019

Is Neighbourliness a Virtue? A live-streamed dinner discussion – April 2019

Thought Club: Conversations with a philosopher | Professor Michael Brady – April 2019

Residency: Performance maker Sarah Vanhee & artist Flore Herman – March to April 2019

Sing for your Supper | Hannah Sullivan – 5 March 2019

Artists & producer surgeries | Steve Slater – January & February 2019

Residency: Performance makers Grace Surman & Gary Winters and their children – October 2018 and January, February & April 2019

Residency: Director, choreographer and performer Jo Fong & writer and performer Sonia Hughes – November 2018



Interview: Tenancy by Quarantine: ‘a theatre project like no other I’ve ever encountered’ – Lucy Tomlinson, Manchester Confidentials – May 2019

Interview: Mortal Engines, Tenancy, Ren Hang, Martin Jenkinson – Front Row, Radio 4 – December 2018

Interview: Artists take up residence in controversial Urban Splash Salford development – Salford Star – October 2018


Funders and supporters

Tenancy has been made possible through the support of Lyn BarbourTom BloxhamBen CaldwellGina FletcherAllan and Jo MelzackSusan WebsterGeorge Whalley, and everyone who donated an item to the house, as well as the Bloxham Charitable TrustThe Granada Foundation, JLLShoosmiths LLPSlater Heelis and Urban Splash. It is part of Meet the Neighbours, a project co-funded by the European Union’s Creative Europe programme. 


Co-funded by the Creative Europe Programme of the European Union

University of Manchester logo

Bloxham Charitable Trust

Logo for Granada Foundation


Shoosmiths logo

Slater Heelis solicitors

Urban Splash



Curators: Kate Daley, Richard Gregory, Sarah Hunter, Renny O'Shea

Curatorial Adviser: Florian Malzacher

Research co-ordinators: University of Manchester

Producers: Kate Daley, Ali Dunican, Sarah Hunter

Communications & PR: Frances Richens


Jo Fong & Sonia Hughes
Shayma Nader
Hetain Patel
Grace Surman & Gary Winters and their children
Ali Taptik
Janek Turkowski & Iwona Nowacka
Sarah Vanhee & Flore Herman