Today's full programme, more choices & comment
“The air is the only place that is free from prejudice”. Bessie Coleman<br/>They said she couldn’t do it but she could.
From going around the world on a bicycle to doing spectacular airshows or climbing the highest mountains on earth, Annie "Londonderry" Kopchovsky, Bessie Coleman and Junko Tabei fought the prejudice and scepticism that surrounded them.
Their achievements became milestones in the path towards women’s rights and freedom, challenging the assumption that the “fairer sex” lacks the physical and mental stamina for big deeds. Though their adventures were as breathtaking, spellbinding and phenomenal as their male counterparts, where are their stories now?
For one night only Annie, Bessie and Junko come back for the live recording of the podcast “Miles Apart Together” and share their stories.
Resonate plunges into the mania of addiction affliction merging physical theatre, hip hop dance and spoken word. A pulsating lyrical journey into the soul of a modern young man from multi award winning company Nouveau Riche, written by Ntonga Mwanza.<br/>The Brand Nouveau Initiative, in partnership VAULT Festival, brings together a group of the best black and minority ethnic emerging artists ready to take the next step in their careers. The scheme provides opportunities to expand their networks, receive first class mentoring from our award winning team, and benefit from creative space, time and research opportunities.<br/>Following successful productions at New Diorama and Soho, this is your chance to experience the next generation of theatre practitioners collaborating together to create exciting, brand new work.<br/>Praise for Nouveau Riche -<br/>WINNER - Underbelly and New Diorama UNTAPPED Award (Queens of Sheba)
BEST NEW PLAY - Off West End Award Nomination (Typical)
BEST MALE PERFORMANCE - Off West End Award Nomination (Typical)
'Scab' is a one-man show set in any one of the many deprived coastal towns in the UK, which asks the question 'to what extent can one delve into the life of a stranger?' Come and join the Narrator, played by Conor Lowson (‘The Liberator’, Opus Films for Netflix and BBC’s ‘Ladhood’), as he embarks on a playful, dark and devious odyssey into the recesses of his own mind.
This kinetic piece of storytelling is directed by Jamie Biddle (‘Whitechapel: Suspects, Lunatics and a Leather Apron’; ‘Extinct’, The Bush Theatre; ‘Conk the Dyslexia Goblin’, The Bush Theatre and ‘Smoking in the Boys Room’, Theatre503) and written by Luke Stapleton (‘Mycorrhiza', The Space; 'Retinas', Southwark Playhouse, and as Script Editor; BBC's 'The Capture' and Amazon Prime's 'Hanna').
'I have this hole in me
And my whole life is spent just desperately tryin’ not to fall into it.'
Four brand new companies.
Four incredible ideas.
Four of a Kind is a night not to miss. <br/>Wildcard's inaugural Artist Development Programme supports four of the UK's most exciting young companies to each produce a sharing of a brand new piece of work. <br/>Expect hot topics in these fantastic theatre pieces and have an opportunity to give your feedback to help shape the creative future of these emerging companies. Injected with Wildcard's signature energy and attended by programmers from some of the UK's leading venues, Four of a Kind is a platform to help launch exciting new work and an opportunity to meet other artists and programmers from around London and the UK.
PYNEAPPLE is The SPYCE Collective’s debut piece of work. The play is centred around four young women from London. Erycah, Lauryn, Maya and Raye grapple with stereotypes daily and find therapy in hair studio ‘Crowns’. But with rent increasing on the street will their safe space continue to exist?<br/>This new, vibrant play explores mental health, sexuality, colourism and femininity as the women find themselves.
Meet Marcus. Argentinian. Catholic. Straight. Maybe. He doesn't know anymore, or why he wanted to be Pope when he was young. <br/>Welcome to the Wonderful World of Marcus!<br/>Delving deep into the colourful circus of Marcus’ memories, we meet his fantastical family and friends, loves and losses as he grapples with the events that have shaped him. <br/>Hear the discovery of the dreams and wishes of Marcus and those close to him... but does anyone really listen?<br/>Award-winning Seemia return to VAULT with their dark-comedy, bursting with phsyical-theatre and storytelling, clowning and music. Seemia ask what makes us become who we are, pulling apart the matrix of gender politics, religion and the impact of family relationships on forming our identity.<br/>MARCUS is generously supported by Theatre Deli, The Albany, ARC Stockton and ArcolaLAB for BAME Artists, and public funding from the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Seemia are a Tangled Feet mentored company.
“I’m the reason the caged bird sings
I am the thorn in the side of the boy
I am the fat lady telling you it’s over”<br/>Based on interviews with female-identifying practitioners across the music industry, A Beautiful Way to be Crazy is a tale of growing up and finding a voice. Weaving together spoken word, live music, verbatim audio from the interviews and a few genuine teenage diary entries, award-winning poet Genevieve Carver and her multi-instrumental live band (Tim Knowles, Brian Bestall and Ruth Nicholson) take you on a journey that begins in 1999 and isn’t over yet.<br/>Expect to meet the spirits of Joni Mitchell, Nina Simone and Delia Derbyshire as Genevieve navigates her way through school bullies, the pressures of mainstream media, anxiety and pregnancy scares, but comes out smiling.<br/>A Beautiful Way to be Crazy is an innovative piece of gig theatre exploring what it means to be a girl in the business of music, but also simply to be human. Told in Genevieve's 'heart-breaking and hilarious all at once' style, to a soundtrack moving seamlessly between pop, rock, folk, soul, classical and electronica.
Why is everything bad dark, why does dark times mean hard times? Why anyting black nuh good? The Night Woman disagrees and is on a mission. The Night Woman brings exceptional physicality, beautiful Caribbean sounds and a deep and powerful performance to bring one woman’s journey into the Dark. What will she find there?<br/>Through gripping and poetic storytelling, dynamic sound and exceptional physicality, the story of a strong passionate woman’s journey into the dark will unfold. “Walking through the valley of the shadows might lead to redemption”<br/>Unleash your bravery and join the adventure with the Night woman as she makes her way through the dark all the while receiving a delicious serving of exquisite performance, Caribbean flavours of sound and movement with a serving of Caribbean history and folktale. This is your chance to be moved. Your senses will thank you.<br/>Devised and performed by Julene Robinson an award- nominated performer who have consistently offer strong convicted beautifully nuanced performances. Don’t miss the powerful, thought provoking, beautiful Night Woman
Ophélie wanted to quit stand-up comedy to become a crystal healer, but then she was booked to perform an hour of stand-up comedy... Therefore, please join her as she performs an hour of stand-up comedy explaining why she is quitting stand-up comedy to become a crystal healer. <br/>In this hour, Ophélie will take you on her journey, from Parisian bitch to basic witch. <br/>This is a story about some weird stuff, like the patriarchy, but it's also a story about some normal stuff, like suddenly feeling other people's energies.<br/>This is a story about healing, in a mind, body and spirit way, but also in a fun way (as contractually obliged.)
Featuring movement and a club soundtrack Trying To Find Me is a semi- autobiographical show about the shame of pain. The show exposes the secret, heart-breaking and wonderfully honest and funny world of Ann — a black woman in her early 30s looking for love and in many ways, trying to heal. <br/>It incorporates BSL, creative captioning, visual sound technology and audio description, utilising a variety of communication styles woven into the narrative and movement fabric of the piece
Graham de la Cruz is a superstar. The only problem is that no-one knows it yet. Irelands sassiest triple threat performer is on a mission to bring his cabaret extravaganza to the world. Armed with a dazzling array of diva classics, a strong sequin blazer and a microphone he is ready to give the performance of his life!!<br/>After a sell-out run last year Graham is back with extra sass and extra sequins!
The world premiere of Invisibles by Argentinian writer Lola Lagos platforms the voices of two Latin women who despite being robbed from their dignity and freedom, never succumb to losing their spirit.<br/>Sandra and Marisa have been in this place for a long time. A place they thought would bring a better life but only takes and takes and takes away... Yet when the music plays, the women dance, laugh and love. Stuck between abuse and violence, they keep on living and dreaming. Dreaming of a better life, somewhere across the river. <br/>Directed by feminist theatremaker Nastazja Somers, Invisibles is a haunting and political piece of theatre that brings us closer to understanding the real weight of endurance and resistance carried by so many women in many foreign lands.
July 3rd, 1976. It’s Nora’s 19th birthday and it’s been three years to the day since she ran away from home. Standing outside the Pier Pavilion, Hastings, having just watched The Sex Pistols play live for the first time, she knows her life is about to change forever.
“If I invited you to come with me on a journey, a story, will you come with me?”<br/>Northern Uganda. When Okumu’s village is attacked by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA), he and his brother’s lives are changed forever.<br/>Far Gone is a profoundly moving story of a young boy’s journey from childhood innocence to child soldier. Seen through the eyes of those that love him and those that betray him, Okumu’s experience strikes straight at the heart through a powerful one-man performance by John Rwothomack, directed by Moji Elufowoju.
"You've fucked the planet mum but you're still on me bout my phone"
Emma wants to dance. Phoebe is struggling to stay out of referal units. Austerity hasn’t helped, screens are proving to be very challenging and trauma lurks somewhere in the very beginnings of the umbilical cord. When you are battling a storm you gotta hanker down and believe it will pass. But when the storm gets into your home what do you do to protect yourself and the ones you love? STORM is a raw, new play written by Juliet Knight and gives voice to invisible women who have sat alone in special care units and now wonder if that is why their miracle children are teenagers who fight so hard against the world. Reaching 50, Juliet Knight searched for manifestations of her own personal story. Quickly realising they weren't out there she wanted to shed some light on how chaos, conflict and closeness in a single parent unit can affect a mother and daughter’s mental health. Using live music and physicality the production explores how changing-hormones and parenting teenagers can be a monumental catalyst for change and deserves airspace. First supported by The National Theatre Studio and using lived in experience as a single parent, Storm tells the story of a mother and daughter's intense and complex relationship which has built up through years of broken public services and shut down centres. It looks at the comic and tragic ways in which two family members fight against each other and questions why two people who love each other so much can hate so hard. Emma is a mother who misses her little girl and Phoebe is the adolescent the girl has become. This play is for any parent who has navigated the teenage years, any child who has stood up to their mother or anyone who is living in these interesting times. A brand new score by Tristan Parkes and Aruhan Galieva with direction by Sam Hardie and Juliet Knight.
It's the season of cutting carbs, hitting it hard at the gym, and shaving everything from the chin down. Summer has rocked up and the media has us thinking about how our bodies aren't up to scratch and there are companies ready to capitalise on that. We've been shamed, dehumanised, and humiliated for how we look and we've had enough.
Join The Roaring Girls for a defiantly feel-good show which sticks two fingers up at how the media says you should look.
The Roaring Girls are getting Beach Body Ready. Are you?<br/>"Engaging, funny and inclusive" - The Guardian<br/>"Beach Body Ready is the show the world has been waiting for" - Within Her Words
“An impressive success for Australian-born Unlikely Productions, who assemble a poignant and thought-provoking line-up of talent.” ***** (Broadway World UK on The Apologists)<br/>1&Only is a near-fi, bureaucratic, satirical comedy. The show takes place in 2048. The government has two years left to fulfill their promise of reaching net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, and so far, nothing has been done. In a last-ditch effort to save the planet, the Minister for Roads, Transport (and climate crisis) has decided to launch a one-child policy on the unwitting public.<br/>Led by a crack team of political strategists and marketing experts, the audience will join them in a secret underground vault for an emergency meeting as they brainstorm and blue-sky their way through catchy names, viral videos, subliminal messaging, propaganda pop and mind- control technology in their thankless mission to make the notion of a one-child policy sound like an appealing prospect.<br/>Brought to you by the team at Unlikely Productions (The Apologists), 1&Only is written by Gabrielle Scawthorn and Hugo Chiarella, directed by Sam Hooper (Death Suits You) and performed by Gabrielle Scawthorn (The Doctor Blake Mysteries), Rose Riley (The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time) and Will Close (Great British Mysteries).<br/>In the age of Boris Johnson, Brexit and Trump, 1&Only is a comedic romp about the politics of selling and the selling of politics.
They say the truth hurts but it also sets you free. 'Radical honesty asserts that lying leads to stress and speaking bluntly even about the taboo creates happier people.'
But Zahra has her foot in her mouth so often, her breath tastes of the trifle that Rachel made in Friends. You know the one where she accidentally makes half a Shepherd's Pie and half an English Trifle and Ross tells Joey that it, 'tastes like feet'?
In this incredibly honest (and funny) show, Zahra reveals everything; because George Carlin said that 'Comedy is Truth' and Keats said that 'Truth is beauty'. Or was that Phoebe from Friends?
"A buzzy fluffball of comedy unafraid to take risks, like a cute lhasapoo puppy with a surprising snarl." Mumble Comedy ****
As seen on BBC I Player.