2019 › Manchester

Past event

Guo Yue and Clare Farrow Performance

How did it go?

We've been to Manchester many times before, but this was our first performance in the beautiful auditorium at HOME. We were made to feel very welcome, as were the 450 children and teachers from 6 local schools who came to see Chinese flautist Guo Yue and his English writer wife, Clare Farrow perform. Clare and Yue delighted the audience with gripping storytelling, uplifting live bamboo flute music and fascinating facts about Chinese history, the Cultural Revolution and Chairman Mao.

As Yue said "For beauty and art we must work hard, and sometimes we must suffer."

What people said:

I just wanted to write and thank you so much for arranging the Little Leap Forward trip for our school. The children had no idea of China's recent history and the performance has given them such a fantastic insight. They thoroughly enjoyed the show, especially Yue's beautiful music. As we are such a big school, 30 pupil premium children from Year 6 accessed the workshop supported by 3 TAs. The TAs involved said they have never been so moved and one was close to tears by having such close contact with Yue and his story. The children were spellbound and came out buzzing from the session. They shared with their peers what they had learnt, as well as how they'd made kites and learnt Chinese writing. As a result of the impact, I am scrapping the Y6 whole class reading lesson planning for Autumn 2 and basing it now around Little Leap Forward. There's no other option when the children - and adults! - are so emotionally invested in this book!

Teacher from Lowerplace Primary, Rochdale

Guo Yue and Clare Farrow Workshop

After the performance, four schools were visited by Clare and Yue who ran creative workshops where the children learned more about Chinese history and made their own paper kites. Every child in the audience received a copy of Little Leap Forward to take home and keep.

What people said:

Central Rochdale was listed as the most deprived area of Greater Manchester and is also one of the most deprived places in the UK. The performance and workshop will have a myriad of positive effects on our children and they will treasure their beautiful books for a long time to come. It was such a pleasure to have Clare and Yue in school - our children will never forget it.

Teacher from Lowerplace Primary school, Rochdale

Did you go to this performance or attend one of the related workshops? Send us your photos and feedback to be featured on this page

HOME, 2 Tony Wilson Place, Manchester M15 4FN
Wednesday 2nd October
10:30 am
Approx. 1 hour
Age range:
Years 4, 5 and 6

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Clare Farrow & Guo Yue

Guo Yue was born in 1958 in Beijing, China. One of six children, and the son of a violinist, he grew up in a traditional courtyard. In 1982 he came to study the silver flute at the Guildhall School of Music, London. As a musician, Yue has travelled extensively, making recordings and playing on film soundtracks (including The Last Emperor).

Clare Farrow, a freelance arts writer, met Yue in 1994. Their first book Music, Food and Love was published in 2006. Little Leap Forward is their first book for children. Clare has curated the exhibition Childhood Recollections: Memory in Design on the theme of childhood, which was shown at the Roca London Gallery in 2015, and most recently, Timber Rising: Vertical Visions for the Cities of Tomorrow.

Quote in praise of Little Leap Forward

One of the many pleasures of this moving story…is its depiction of how a musical child experiences the world as a symphony of sounds… Yue and Farrow… evoke how Little Leap Forward bears witness with the eye of a poet, the ear of a musician and the transformative imagination of a storyteller.

The New York Times

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