Manchester City Council

To Paris to watch Monkey

Whenever we have a big event, we always have to assess it very carefully afterwards to work out if it was successful, and if it achieved what we hoped. The Manchester International Festival in June and July was probably the most daring of our recent projects.

We found it straightforward to get sponsors to support the first MIF, and we are now checking with them that the Festival achieved their targets, and that they are happy to be associated with the Festival in the future. Crucially, will they give us the financial support we need when we host MIF again in 2009?

So how do we assess this, and make sure sponsors feel their money is well spent? Monkey:Journey to the West has now moved to Paris and today I've joined a delegation of partners and sponsors to see if the show is spreading the word about Manchester's unique and brave foray of its first International Festival.

And I'm delighted to find that Monkey in Paris is even more wonderful than  the Manchester premiere. Not only does it retain its unique and mischievous character, but it has "Made in Manchester" stamped right throughout the production.

It was wonderful to see audiences in Paris impressed by a Manchester innovation; this sort of promotion truly drives us forward in our drive to be a world-class city.

And how amazing that Manchester can show Paris a trick or two in how to be captivating and engaging. The sponsors were thoroughly convinced of the value of backing the Festival and director Alex Poots and his colleagues are  starting the hard work of working out what to deliver in 2009. How can we build on the worldwide headlines and profile that we achieved this summer? It's a hard job.

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The blog of the leader of Manchester City Council, Councillor Richard Leese.

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