Synonymous with Ibiza since the 90’s, Neil Moore grabs a few words with Ibizan royalty Mike and Claire Manumission. Opening up to DMCWORLD about their new night on the island EGO, Shakespeare and strippers plus a new Ibiza film that is on the horizon…
It’s really good to see you guys after such a long time we met last in the early 2000’s. What have you been up to?
Claire: Yes, it’s great to see you again as well, well a lot lol. So, Manumission went on until 2008, we then spent 7-10 years writing a movie script, which should be going into production very shortly.
I think it’s safe to say that a Manumission movie would be an amazing thing?
Mike: I agree that it would be, but it’s not a Manumission movie, it’s a script that we’ve found about something that is absolutely intriguing that we couldn’t let go. We had to write the script.
Is it inspired by Manumission?
Mike: That life. It’s as if it’s based in the Manumission Motel. But it’s set in the 1930’s and it’s a wild crazy story. It’s a true story and a lot like the motel, with a lot of the goings on that happened in the Manumission Motel.
Claire: Do you know what the Manumission Motel was?
Yes, I’ve had the pleasure, let’s not expand too much lol. That’s a long time to be writing a script?
Claire: It’s because we were running Manumission for 14 years and during that time we had our 3 children, we wanted to see them grow up and have some time with them. We lived in a 400 year old farmhouse with 100 animals and we just wanted some time away.
Mike: During the early times of Manumission, there was a lot of time not with the kids. We took the opportunity to see them grow up. Now they are teenagers. Our son Stan is 18, Talula is 16 and was singing at our show at Lio and Daisy is 16. Now we felt it was time to go back into live events and do something again.
I have to admit, once the offspring are old enough and out of your hair, you can’t start to enjoy yourself again right?
Mike: Yes, they can actually come along with you.
Claire: Stan actually had his 18th birthday at Ego with all his friends in our party.
What inspired the new show?
Mike: Ego! The massive egos on the island. (Laughs). Lio asked would we be interested in doing a party and we were like yeah, let’s do it.
Claire: We said give us a week to come up with a concept, we were lying in bed one morning and it came to us. We thought ‘Ego at Lio’, they are never going to go for that. But they loved it. We made a beautiful concept, remember the Chanel advert – you go east, you go east – with all the chateaus! So we thought we could take this on a kind of fashion edge. We had Mr Doris who’s our musical director with us in Barcelona, we live in the mountains and we were showing him the advert, and we all fell in love with the piece of music. We discovered afterwards the piece was Romeo & Juliet by Prokofiev. Mike had actually been saying, do you think we could get away with Shakespeare with strippers, I was like ‘no that’s impossible’, how the hell are you going to do that?
Mike: I just had a feeling for it, I would definitely go to Shakespeare with strippers.
Claire: Then when we found out that the piece of music was Romeo and Juliet, we thought let’s just see if we can make this work, threading a bit of Shakespeare through. So, in our story, Rosaline was a pole dancer. There are four Romeo’s, it’s very loosely inspired (Laughs).
So, this is your 15th show this season?
Mike: Yes, well counted, we have two more to go.
How do you intend to expand this in the future?
Mike: It depends if they invite us back. We stepped into this, undecided whether to do this little club by these beautiful boats, overlooking Dalt Villa and said ‘yes, let’s do it’.
Claire: We had complete artistic direction. We’d actually just left the island and really didn’t have much intention of coming back. Then an opportunity to fly in every week to this beautiful club, have some fun and then fly back to the mountains in the north of Barcelona where we live. It’s really nice because we have lived here for 22 years and it’s quite amazing having the perspective of now coming and going every week.
Mike: It’s lovely to come here, and to leave! It’s the whole world when you live here, when you step away, you can look out with a different perspective and you can say, Ibiza is a load of fun, a great place! We’ve had more fun than most people here, but it’s really nice to come and visit and then go away again. Nobody where we live would ever believe that we do this once a week and we are not planning on telling them either. It’s going very well, we hear little things from the people at Lio that they are happy, but how it works is, they need to say before Christmas that they want us here for next year. I don’t want to suggest that they would or wouldn’t at this stage.
Claire: I think we are their most successful night.
Are you looking forward to coming back?
Mike: Yeah, we’d enjoy it. We are opening a big thing in Barcelona, a really cool cabaret club in the new Edition hotel which was done by Ian Schrager, one of the founders of Studio 54. After that they went on to hotels, some of the best designed hotels in the world. Now there’s a new group that Ian is doing with the Marriot hotel group. There’s one in Miami, New York, there’s a few around. Well, Claire and I are now the creative directors of Cabaret in Barcelona which is due to open next week with Mr Schrager flying in himself.
Claire: We have taken this up another level, with a 3-hour bespoke show, it’s more like stepping into a film, it’s quite a trip.
Mike: So, any of you boys want to have a good time in Barcelona, come to Cabaret!
You have a military back-ground right?
Mike: I have a military father, my dad was in the RAF, I grew up with pictures of missiles on the wall. My dad was a great guy, he’s not with us anymore, but the RAF was good for him and good for us.
Claire: My grandfather also fought in the Second World War, RAF and he sadly died last week at 96. It was a miracle he survived, so very lucky.
Of course, this weekend is also the anniversary of the battle of Britain?
Mike: Indeed it is, God bless the forces!
Thanks for talking to DMCWORLD. It’s all amazing, you need to get it out around the world…
Claire: We do have plans, we’ll be spreading our wings.
Especially now with your kids being at the age now where you can embarrass them even more?
Claire: Not anymore than we did already, that’s impossible (laughs), but I know what you mean.