Blog Listings

MadLab goes on a Day Trip to MOSI

Monday, April 15th, 2013

As part of the All Our Stories local heritage program, on 23rd March the MadLab hosted a day trip to the Museum of Science and Industry.


It was a brilliant outing packed full of steam engineering and noisy looms, which gave a much appreciated insight in to the reality of workers lives and the contribution made by industrial engineering to the British economy then and now. For those on the trip originally from outside Manchester, it gave a different perspective to the narrative of boom and bust, the height of radical politics and the city’s decline. What was particularly interesting was to see how national issues and political movements such as womens’ suffrage and workers’  rights were seen from the Manchester experience.


Mary Barton at the Industrial Heritage Reading Group

Friday, April 12th, 2013

MadLab may have a reputation for being overly geeky and tech focused, but we are also home to many creative groups (filmmakers, photographers, writers) and two book clubs. The Heritage Lottery Fund for All Our Stories gave us the opportunity to start a new one – around the industrial heritage of Manchester.


Film Jam at the MadLab Penny Theatre

Friday, April 12th, 2013

‘When the workers in Manchester finished their day at the cotton mills, Penny Gaff was probably the most popular and yet affordable entertainment for the vast working class, besides drinking. Last week on the 5th April, MadLab put up a set of red curtains and brought us a night of nostalgia, with a contemporary look.


An afternoon of tea, cakes and oral history

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

History as they say is written by the winners and all too often not by the people who actually helped make it happen. This is why it’s become increasingly important for oral history to be recognised as a viable source of untold stories and perspectives that would otherwise be lost over time.

An afternoon of memories and cake!

An afternoon of memories and cake!

Our first Oral History event took place on 27th March

where a group of us fought the cold to come together and recollect how our beloved Northern Quarter has changed over the years. Some of us had only been in Manchester for six months, others for decades but we all had some unique story to tell, some unique fact that no one else would have known.


Easter with the Gorilla Kabaret

Monday, April 1st, 2013

Forget chocolate eggs and hot cross buns, Easter weekend took a different turn at the MadLab when the Gorilla Kabaret came into town!

‘Do well with nothing, do better with little and do it now’ is the motto for Filmonik, an open platform for Independent filmmakers of the North West where filmmakers are faced with the challenge of making a film less than 10 minutes long to show at one of the bi-monthly sessions. The Gorilla Kabaret, however, takes it to the extreme.

Bereft of what the faint hearted might consider necessities – useful things like equipment and an adequate work space – at the Kabaret there is nothing pre-planned and equipment and props are not a given. It’s up to the filmmakers themselves to make the most of their many talents.


For three days a motley crew of directors, writers, actors and other creative types got together and turned the MadLab into a mini film studio in the quest to produce that extra special piece of cinematic goodness. Whether it be a connoisseur’s guide to eating Gregg’s pasties or a painful glimpse into a failed audition, it’s safe to say that the challenge was well met, resulting in an array of films ranging from the truly bizarre to the truly beautiful.

The short films were shown at the screening on Sunday, but can still be found on the vimeo site. For more information, contact the Filmonik group here.