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Off West End announces 89 finalists for 2019 Offies Awards

OFFIES 2019
OffWestEnd, the agency supporting the work of independent, alternative and fringe theatres in London, has now announced the 89 finalists for 28 of its Offies awards categories. The Awards ceremony will be held at Battersea Arts Centre on Sunday 3 February, 5pm.
 
In 2018, Offies assessors were invited to 400 shows across 80 venues across London, resulting in 430 nominations across 28 Offies categories. The Offies panel of assessors and critics have now agreed on 89 finalists. These 28 awards cover 5 design categories8 categories for plays9 categories for musicals & opera, and 6 other categories – for EnsemblePerformance PieceTBC (shows that defy conventional categorisation), and shows for Young People (for ages 0-7, 8+ and 13+).
 
A full list of the 89 finalists appears at the end of this press release – including shows with several finalists such The Rink at Southwark Playhouse, as well as many at small venues across London, including the Hope TheatreJack Studio TheatreLittle Angel TheatreOld Red Lion and the White Bear. It also includes shows such as Misty which successfully transferred from its original run at the Bush Theatre to a season at Trafalgar Studios.  The full list of finalists is also online at https://offies.london/2019-finalists-shows-in-2018/
 
Geoffrey Brown, Director of Off West End, said ‘2018 was another amazing year for Off West End theatre in London, and the Offies recognise the extraordinary talent and creativity of performers, designers, directors, producers and many others at these theatres across London – who are usually working with limited budgets and within many other constraints – and still producing all this wonderful work.’
 
In addition to these awards, the Offies also offer a People’s Vote, where the public can vote for their favourite venue across 9 categories – voting is open until 13 January 2019 and people can vote at: https://offies.london/peoples-vote/
 
Offies Winners will be announced at the Offies 2019 Awards ceremony which will be held in the refurbished Grand Hall at Battersea Arts Centre on Sunday 3 February 2019. The public can purchase tickets for the event, which will be the 9th year of these awards. More information, including on booking tickets, can be found at https://offies.london/2019-awards-event/.
Off West End supports and celebrates the work of around 100 independent, alternative and fringe venues across London which are geographically or philosophically not part of the commercial West End theatre scene.  Off West End helps to promote these venues and provides marketing services for their productions.  Off West End also runs the Offies awards which celebrate the best of what these venues offer.

LISTINGS

 
OFFIES AWARDS
Battersea Arts Centre 
Sunday 3 February, 5 – 10.30pm 
Tickets £48
Building on the success of the 2018 event, the 2019 event will be held at the newly re-opened and truly magnificent Grand Hall at Battersea Arts Centre. The evening will start with a champagne reception followed by the Awards ceremony starting at 6.30pm. This year, the OFFIES are pleased to confirm that there will be seating for all guests, and the ceremony will be followed by a party including music, canapes and a pay bar.
 
FULL LIST OF FINALISTS
 
DESIGN
 
COSTUME DESIGN
Gabriella Slade for “Six” at the Arts Theatre
Jonathan Lipman for “Harold & Maude” at the Charing Cross Theatre
Pam Tait for “Rothschild & Sons” at the Park Theatre
 
SET DESIGN
Bethany Wells for “Distance” at the Park Theatre
Francis O’Connor for “Harold & Maude” at the Charing Cross Theatre
Simon Daw for “Humble Boy” at the Orange Tree Theatre
 
LIGHTING DESIGN
Andrew Ellis for “Eugenius!” at the Other Palace
David Plater for “The Outsider” at the Print Room
Zoe Spurr for “Tiny Dynamite” at the Old Red Lion
 
VIDEO DESIGN
Daniel Denton for “Misty” at the Bush Theatre
Joshua Pharo for “The Shape of the Pain” at the Battersea Arts Centre
Will Duke for “I’m a Phoenix, Bitch” at the Battersea Arts Centre
 
SOUND DESIGN
Jack Elliot Barton for “Lifeboat” at the Jack Studio Theatre
Luke Swaffield for “Forgotten” at the Arcola Theatre
Matt Padden for “Mirabel” at the Ovalhouse
Sam West for “Becoming Shades” at the Vaults
 
PLAYS, MUSICALS & OTHER
 
ENSEMBLE
“Bury the Hatchet” presented by Out of Forest Theatre at the Hope Theatre
“East” presented by Atticist at the King’s Head Theatre
“Freeman” presented by Strictly Arts at the Canada Water / Pleasance
 
PERFORMANCE PIECE
Arinzé Kene in “Misty” at the Bush Theatre
Bryony Kimmings in “I’m a Phoenix, Bitch” at the Battersea Arts Centre
Adam Kashmiry in “Adam” at the Battersea Arts Centre
 
TBC (shows that defy conventional categorisation)
“Creation (Pictures for Dorian)” by Gob Squad at the Southbank Centre
“Dollywould” by Sh!t Theatre at the Soho Theatre
“Frankenstein” by BAC Beatbox Academy at the Battersea Arts Centre
 
PRODUCTION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE 0-7
“Not Now Bernard” at the Unicorn Theatre
”Jack and the Beanstalk” – Lyngo Theatre / Polka Theatre
“Huddle” – Filskit Theatre / Unicorn Theatre
 
PRODUCTION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE 8+
“Beginners” at the Unicorn Theatre
“Goodnight Mr Tom” – British Theatre Academy / Southwark Playhouse
“The Adventures of Curious Ganz” – Silent Tide / Little Angel Theatre
 
PRODUCTION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE 13+
“Off the Grid” at the Half Moon Theatre
“The End of Eddy” – Untitled Projects / Unicorn Theatre
“Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow” at Chickenshed
 
MUSICALS & OPERA
 
FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Genevieve McCarthy in “Mythic” at the Charing Cross Theatre
Mairi Barclay in “Pippin” at the Southwark Playhouse
Tessa Kadler in “Pippin” at the Southwark Playhouse
MALE PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Gary Trainor in “Rothschild & Sons” at the Park Theatre
Leon Scott in “Midnight” at the Union Theatre
Stewart Clarke in “The Rink” at the Southwark Playhouse
 
FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL
Caroline O’Connor in “The Rink” at the Southwark Playhouse
Gemma Sutton in “The Rink” at the Southwark Playhouse
Natasha Barnes in “Wasted” at the Southwark Playhouse
MALE PERFORMANCE IN A MUSICAL
Jonathan Carlton in “Pippin” at the Southwark Playhouse
Mark Inscoe in “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” at the Queens Theatre Hornchurch
Rob Houchen in “Eugenius!” at the Other Palace
NEW MUSICAL
“Grindr the Opera” at the Above the Stag
“Six” at the Arts Theatre
“Wasted” at the Southwark Playhouse
 
CHOREOGRAPHY
Carrie-Anne Ingrouille for “Six” at the Arts Theatre
Fabian Aloise for “The Rink” at the Southwark Playhouse
William Whelton for “Pippin” at the Southwark Playhouse
 
MUSICAL DIRECTOR
Adam Gerber & Tom Self for “Priscilla, Queen of the Desert” at the Queens Theatre Hornchurch
Joe Bunker for “The Rink” at the Southwark Playhouse
Zach Flis for “Pippin” at the Southwark Playhouse
 
MUSICAL PRODUCTION
“Once” at the Queens Theatre Hornchurch
“Pippin” at the Southwark Playhouse
“The Rink” at the Southwark Playhouse
 
OPERA PRODUCTION
“Der Schauspieldirektor / Bastien und Bastienne” by Pop-Up Opera at various venues
“La Traviata” at the King’s Head Theatre
“The Rape of Lucretia” at the Arcola Theatre
 
PLAYS
 
MOST PROMISING NEW PLAYWRIGHT
Ben Weatherill for “Jellyfish” at the Bush Theatre
Joe White for “Mayfly” at the Orange Tree Theatre
Lisa Carroll for “Cuckoo” at the Soho Theatre
 
NEW PLAY
Arinzé Kene for “Misty” at the Bush Theatre
Kenneth Emson for “Plastic” at the Old Red Lion
Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm for “Br’er Cotton” at the Theatre 503
Will Eno for “The Open House” at the Print Room
 
FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A PLAY
Kate Terence in “The Sword of Alex” at the White Bear Theatre
Kristin Milward in “A Funny Thing Happened…Oncology Unit…” at the Finborough Theatre
Lindsey Campbell in “The Open House” at the Print Room
MALE PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A PLAY
Malcolm Sinclair in “Pressure” at the Park Theatre
Nitin Ganatra in “End of the Pier” at the Park Theatre
Wil Johnson in “Leave Taking” at the Bush Theatre
FEMALE PERFORMANCE IN A PLAY 
Louise Jameson in “Vincent River” at the Park Theatre
Monica Dolan in “The B*easts” at the Bush Theatre
Sarah Niles in “Leave Taking” at the Bush Theatre
Sinead Cusack in “Stitchers” at the Jermyn Street Theatre
 

MALE PERFORMANCE IN A PLAY
Andrew Umerah in “Sweet Like Chocolate Boy” at the Jack Studio Theatre
Harry McEntire in “Homos, or Everyone in America” at the Finborough Theatre
Irfan Shamji in “Mayfly” at the Orange Tree Theatre
Jonathan Broadbent in “Humble Boy” at the Orange Tree Theatre
 
DIRECTOR
Daniele Sanderson for “Freeman” at the Canada Water / Pleasance
Femi Elufowoju for “Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives” at the Arcola Theatre
Jack Gamble for “The Daughter in Law” at the Arcola Theatre
Omar Elerian for “Misty” at the Bush Theatre
 
PRODUCTION
“Collective Rage: A Play in Five Betties” at the Southwark Playhouse
“Misty” at the Bush Theatre 
“The Outsider” at the Print Room

5* shows return to BAC – Bryony Kimmings’ I’m a Phoenix, Bitch and BAC Beatbox Academy’s Frankenstein

BRYONY KIMMINGS
BRYONY KIMMINGS

BRYONY KIMMINGS

Battersea Arts Centre’s Phoenix Season has been extended with the return of two five star shows – Bryony Kimmings’ I’m a Phoenix, Bitch (20 Feb – 9 Mar 2019) and BAC Beatbox Academy’s Frankenstein (12 – 29 Mar 2019). They join Little Bulb Theatre’s gypsy jazz take on Orpheus, BAC Moving Museum’s immersive family adventure Return to Elm House and Daniel Kitson’s new show Keep.

The Phoenix Season celebrates the reopening of Battersea Arts Centre’s Grand Hall after the fire that devastated it in 2015. The seven-month celebration of risk-taking and renewal has featured Gecko, National Theatre of Scotland, Touretteshero and Lekan Lawal amongst others. The reborn space has received a wonderful reception from both audiences who recall its previous incarnation and new visitors to the venue.

I’m a Phoenix, Bitch

Bryony Kimmings

Wed 20 Feb –Sat 9 Mar 2019, 8pm

Press night Thu 21 Feb 2019

Following a critically-acclaimed debut run, performance artist, theatre-maker, comedian, musician and activist, Bryony Kimmings’ (Fake it ‘til you Make it, A Pacifists Guide to the War on Cancer, Channel 4’s The Sex Clinic: Artist In ResidenceI’m a Phoenix, Bitch will return to Battersea Arts Centre from 20 February to 9 March. This will be followed with a run at Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts from 3 to 7 May.

I’m a Phoenix, Bitch combines personal stories with epic film, soundscapes and ethereal music to create a powerful, dark and joyful work about motherhood, heartbreak and finding inner strength. Having spent the last few years on collaborative projects and telling other peoples’ stories, including co-writing a script with Oscar award-winning actress Emma Thompson, developing musical A Pacifists Guide to the War on Cancer and starring in Channel 4’s The Sex Clinic: Artist In Residence, recent personal cataclysmic life events have led Bryony back to her original solo practice.

Bryony Kimmings says, “my shows are usually born out of me going: ‘We don’t talk about this enough, this is problematic in terms of a political or feminist narrative.’ My hope with this show is to give the almost unspeakable traumas associated with postnatal depression and an ill child a voice.  I wanted to create a show that cuts to the heart of these things but does it in a way that people can relate to.”

Join Bryony on an incredible journey as I’m a Phoenix, Bitch creates a new legend; that of the invincible and fearless woman; a tale Bryony wishes she had known from birth.

All performances of I’m a Phoenix, Bitch are relaxed. At Battersea Arts Centre, this means that audiences are free to move about, make noise and come and go during the show. A designated ‘chill-out space’ is also provided for guests who may need time away from the performance space and there are ear defenders available for those with sensory sensitivities. This does not mean that light and sound effects have been changed. For more info, visit the Access Page. The performance on Thursday 7 March is captioned and BSL interpreted.

Frankenstein: How To Make A Monster

BAC Beatbox Academy and Battersea Arts Centre

Tue 12 – Fri 29 Mar 2019, 8.30pm

Press night Thu 14 Mar 2019

Frankenstein: How To Make A Monster returns to headline an amped up evenings of beatbox, singing, rapping, DJ’s and jamming to celebrate a decade of BAC Beatbox Academy.

Inspired by Mary Shelley’s original tale of power and persecution, Frankenstein explores the idea of what makes a modern monster.

This electrifying theatre-gig production marks 10 years of nurturing the finest rising talent and pushing the boundaries of sound and music with BAC Beatbox Academy.

BAC Beatbox Academy is Battersea Arts Centre’s home-grown young collective. They have performed all over the country from Latitude Festival to The Royal Festival Hall and have recently appeared on Gareth Malone’s The Choir, with current members of the group ranked within the top

10 beat boxers in the UK.

All performances of Frankenstein are relaxed. At Battersea Arts Centre, this means that audiences are free to move about, make noise and come and go during the show. A designated ‘chill-out space’ is also provided for guests who may need time away from the performance space and there are ear defenders available for those with sensory sensitivities. This does not mean that light and sound effects have been changed. For more info, visit the Access Page.

Battersea Arts Centre gratefully acknowledges support from PRS Foundation’s the Open Fund and Arts Council

Also in the Phoenix Season in December and January:

Return to Elm House

Sarah Golding and BAC Moving Museum

Sat 1 Dec – Sun 30 Dec

Press night: Thu 6 Dec, 7pm (there are also opportunities to attend daytime performances)

A long time ago, on the very spot where Battersea Arts Centre now stands, a brave woman known for her generosity, wisdom and care, lived in Elm House. But as the years have ticked by, her inspiring story has been long forgotten. Until now…

This Christmas, in a brand new immersive adventure for all the family, Battersea Arts Centre shares the radical and inspiring true story of Jeanie Nassau Senior (1828–1877), an early feminist and social pioneer who helped improve the lives of thousands of children. Jeanie lived in Elm House, on the site of what is today Battersea Arts Centre. She was a campaigner for welfare rights, a co-founder of the British Red Cross and – as Britain’s first ever female civil servant – the visionary originator of the British foster care system.

In Return to Elm House, audiences will follow their fellow Time Keepers through old doors and along hidden corridors in this immersive adventure for the whole family. For Jeanie’s story to come back together they must find mislaid secrets and collect clues – and decide whether she is still relevant to all of us today.

As they venture across Battersea Arts Centre they will discover new permanent installations created by artists, designers and architects, each embodying a value inspired by the building’s past – from courage to joy, honesty to hope.

All performances of Return to Elm House are relaxed. At Battersea Arts Centre, this means that audiences are free to move about, make noise and come and go during the show. A designated ‘chill-out space’ is also provided for guests who may need time away from the performance space and there are ear defenders available for those with sensory sensitivities. This does not mean that light and sound effects have been changed. For more info, visit the Access Page. The performance on Saturday 15 December at 2:30pm is BSL interpreted.

Return to Elm House is presented by BAC Moving Museum

With support from the Heritage Lottery Fund

Orpheus    

Little Bulb Theatre

Wed 5 Dec – Sun 30 Dec

Press night: Fri 7 Dec, 7:30pm


Little Bulb Theatre
’s critically acclaimed production of Orpheus returns to its Grand Hall home as part of the Phoenix Season, following a national and international tour including the world-renowned Salzburg Festival, Brisbane Festival and a run at the Royal Opera House Linbury Studio Theatre.

An astonishingly original musical re-imagining of the epic Greek myth, Orpheus is inspired by the music of legendary jazz guitarist, Django Reinhardt.

Audiences are transported to 1930s Paris where charismatic songstress Yvette Pépin has cajoled the guitar virtuoso, Django Reinhardt, into joining her in a brand new production of Orpheus. He will play the tragic hero, she will play his lost love Eurydice. Together with her troupe of operatic players she tells the thrilling tale of Orpheus’s ill-fated descent into the underworld, set to a live score of hot club jazz, opera and French chanson.  As in previous runs, the Grand Hall will once again be transformed into an opulent 1930s music hall, offering audiences a joyous night out in a bygone era.

Music has played an integral part in all of Little Bulb’s past productions, but Orpheus puts it right at its heart: it is entirely sung-through in a veritable musical feast including original compositions alongside Bach, Monteverdi, Edith Piaf and Debussy.

Orpheus is a Little Bulb Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre co-production.

Orpheus will have a relaxed performance on Wednesday 12 December.  At Battersea Arts Centre, this means that audiences are free to move about, make noise and come and go during the show. A designated ‘chill-out space’ is also provided for guests who may need time away from the performance space and there are ear defenders available for those with sensory sensitivities. This does not mean that light and sound effects have been changed. For more info, visit the Access Page. There is an audio described performance on 13 December (matinee) and BSL interpreted shows on Thursday 20 December and Saturday 22 December (matinee).Presented by Little Bulb Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre In association with Farnham Maltings.

keep.

Daniel Kitson

Tue 8 – Thu 31 Jan, 7:30pm, 2:30pm Sunday matinees

A new show about how much past the present can usefully contain. About rigor and generosity. About postcards and hair pins and a certificate from Harry Ramsdens in Blackpool. About how long it takes to stop noticing where you are. About the compromise of a full life and the burden of a full heart and how it’s impossible to know where looking back will lead. About the task of being who we are without denying who we’ve been. About the importance of regret and the possibility of hope and the delusional idea of starting again. About all the books I’ve never read and all the jam I’ve ever eaten and the bags of torn tickets and the drawers of empty pens and the inevitable sadness of ever holding on to anything.

 A show, in short, about the things in my house and the stuff in my head.

LISTINGS INFO

Title:  I’m a Phoenix, Bitch

Artist/Company:  Bryony Kimmings

Venue: Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, SW11 5TN
Date:
 20 Feb – 9 Mar 2019

Time: 8pm (2:30pm matinees)

Price: £15 to £30

Booking Link: www.bac.org.uk/bryony

Box Office: 020 7223 2223

Title:  Frankenstein

Artist/Company:  BAC Beatbox Academy

Venue: Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, SW11 5TN
Date: 
12 – 29 Mar 2019

Time: 8:30pm

Price:  £15 – £26

Booking Link: bac.org.uk/frankenstein

Box Office: 020 7223 2223

Also in the Phoenix Season in December and January:

Title:  Return to Elm House

Artist/Company: Sarah Golding and Battersea Arts Centre

Venue: Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, London, SW11 5TN

Date: 1 – 30 Dec

Time: Public: 10:30am, 2:30pm, 6:30pm School: 10am, 1:30pm

Price: £12.50 – £26, Family ticket from £60

Age Recommendation: 6+

Press Night: 6 Dec

Booking Link: bac.org.uk/elmhouse

Box Office: 020 7223 2223

Title:  Orpheus

Artist/Company: Little Bulb

Venue: Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, London, SW11 5TN

Date: 5 – 30 Dec

Time: 7:30pm (3pm matinees on Saturdays)

Price: Cabaret Table: £26 – £35, Standard Seating: £15 – £26
Relaxed performances: 12 Dec at 7:30pm and 22 Dec at 2:30pm

Audio described performances: 15 Dec at 2.30pm

BSL interpreted performances: 20 Dec at 7:30 and 22 Dec at 2:30pm
Press Night: 7 Dec

Booking Link: www.bac.org.uk/orpheus

Box Office: 020 7223 2223

Title:  keep.

Artist/Company: Daniel Kitson

Venue: Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, London, SW11 5TN

Date: 8 –31 Jan 2019

Time: 7:30pm, 2:30pm Sunday matinees

Price: £12

Booking Link: bac.org.uk/kitson

Box Office: 020 7223 2223

BAC in spring 2019 with Ridiculusmus, Chris Thorpe and Rachel Chavkin, Mark Thomas, Ad Infinitum and more

Battersea Arts Centre
Battersea Arts Centre

Battersea Arts Centre

Battersea Art Centre’s spring 2019 programme combines new work by artists tackling some of the biggest subjects being debated in the UK today, with innovative comedians and collectives exploring the boundaries of performance.

The spring season sees Battersea Arts Centre (BAC) continue working towards becoming a Relaxed Venue – a new initiative that builds on the principles of relaxed performances. 95% of all the announced performances in the spring season are relaxed, which at BAC means there is a relaxed attitude to noise and movement in the auditorium, a designated ‘chill-out space’ provided for guests who may need time away from the performance,and headphones available for those with sensory sensitivities.

  • Chris Thorpe and Rachel Chavkin explore nationality, identity and the rejection of one’s national story in Edinburgh hit Status (23 Apr – 11 May).
  • George and Nir, Co-Artistic Directors of Ad Infinitum and real-life same-sex couple, wrestle with a question many people face – should they have kids, or not – in No Kids (5 – 23 Feb).
  • Ridiculusmus present the UK premiere of Die! Die! Die! Old People Die! (8 – 25 May), the final part of their trilogy of works around contemporary mental health issues, which will be performed in full on 25 May.
  • ThisEgg’s dressed. (25 Feb – 2 Mar) sensitively and powerfully explores how a woman can find strength, resilience and beauty in friendship when recovering from a traumatic assault.
  • Mark Thomas takes a deep dive into the health of the NHS with CHECK UP: Our [email protected] (23 Apr – 4 May).
  • In a time of online echo-chambers, The Justice Syndicate (11 – 23 Feb ) by fanSHEN challenges audiences to disagree, debate and question their own preconceptions in a piece of playable theatre drawing on a jury format.
  • Sleepwalk Collective return to Battersea Arts Centre with the UK premiere of Kourtney Kardashian (27 Feb – 2 Mar), examining celebrity, high art and society’s collective grip on reality.
  • Figs In Wigs bring back Often Onstage (6-8 Feb), gleefully disrupting traditional theatrical conventions.
  • Ben Target and Tom Rosenthal present new comedy shows Splosh! (26 Feb – 2 Mar) and Manhood (28 Jan – 2 Feb).
  • Touretteshero co-founder Jess Thom curates Rest & Resistance, a ground-breaking inclusive festival of theatre, dance, art and performance for all ages showcasing the very best of the disability arts scene.
  • As the UK is planned to exit the EU, Up Next Artistic Director Saad-Eddine Said curates Homegrown Festival: Occupy, an invitation for young artists, collectives, entrepreneurs, activists and local communities to occupy BAC.
  • The OFFIES awards celebrate the excellence, innovation and ingenuity of independent theatres across London.

Tom Rosenthal: Manhood (Work In Progress)

Tom Rosenthal | 28 Jan – 2 Feb, 8pm

As seen as the drunkest guy on Drunk History (Comedy Central) and taking down Chris Ramsey on Roast Battle (Comedy Central). This year Tom Rosenthal, star of Friday Night Dinner (C4) and Plebs (ITV2), is discussing his manhood, or lack thereof. A show about reaching maturity. And dicks.

Directed by Jon Brittain

The OFFIES

3 Feb

The next OFFIES awards event will be in the reborn Grand Hall at Battersea Arts Centre, bringing together theatre lovers and the industry to celebrate the excellence, innovation and ingenuity of independent theatres across London. In what promises to be a memorable night with a champagne reception, awards ceremony and a post-awards party, The OFFIES will help raise the profile and status of independent theatres in London and rewards the new talent that these theatres nurture. Special guests from the world of theatre will present the awards and help celebrate another memorable year for OffWestEnd theatre. Information on 2018 nominations, and how to get tickets for the 2019 awards event, can be found on the new Offies website.

No Kids

Ad Infinitum | Tue 5 –Sat 23 Feb | Press night Thu 7 Feb, 7:30pm

No Kids is the latest energetic, hilarious and thought-provoking play from the multi- award-winning Bristol-based company, Ad Infinitum.

George and Nir, Co-Artistic Directors of Ad Infinitum, are a real-life same-sex couple trying to answer a question many people face – should they have kids, or not?  Every consideration – adoption, surrogacy, co-parenting, the environmental impact of childbirth, the fears and anxieties, how the past affects parenting and much, much more – brings with it a succession of ethical challenges. Together, George and Nir confront this chaos head-on through Ad Infinitum’s signature style of physical theatre, cabaret, verbatim stories – and Madonna songs.

No Kids is made possible by Arts Council England. Developed at Battersea Arts Centre and supported by Salisbury Playhouse, Tobacco Factory Theatres, Newbury Corn Exchange, Birmingham Hippodrome, Redbridge Drama Centre, The Tolmen Centre and The North Wall.

All performances are relaxed. At Battersea Arts Centre, this means that you are free to move about, make noise and come and go during the show. This does not mean that light and sound effects have been changed. For more info, visit the Access Page.

Often Onstage

Figs In Wigs | 6 – 8 Feb

Often Onstage is an offbeat facetious romp that explores the ins and outs of the stage through the medium of dance. With one step forward and two hundred steps back, this choreographic exercise in comings and goings plays with a myriad of ways to enter and exit the stage, unearthing dormant anxieties about life choices along the way.

What if the only thing keeping you going are inspirational quotes and subsidised income from your side project as a Backstreet Boys tribute act? It’s only a matter of time before we sell out, and we don’t mean tickets…

All performances are relaxed. At Battersea Arts Centre, this means that you are free to move about, make noise and come and go during the show. This does not mean that light and sound effects have been changed. For more info, visit the Access Page.

The Justice Syndicate

fanSHEN | 11 Feb – 23 Feb | Press night 12 Feb, 7pm

A top surgeon is accused of a serious crime. Conviction would mean planned operations will not go ahead – and the evidence is far from conclusive.

The Justice Syndicate, a piece of playable theatre drawing on a jury format, has its London premiere at Battersea Arts Centre in February. As an immersive story unfolds in ever increasing complexity, players will question their initial assumptions and get the opportunity to discuss and probe what they have learned.

Dealing with challenging topics such as sexual assault, The Justice Syndicate challenges audiences to debate justice and engage with each other in an era of echo-chambers, while exploring the connections between power and privilege, trust and technology, and thought and action.

The development of The Justice Syndicate was supported by LSBU, King’s Cultural Institute and Near Now.

All performances are relaxed, however due to the nature of the show and the need to hear instructions at the beginning, latecomers will not be admitted. At Battersea Arts Centre, a relaxed performance means that you are free to move about, make noise and come and go during the show. This does not mean that light and sound effects have been changed. For more info, visit the Access Page.

dressed.

ThisEgg in collaboration with Made My Wardrobe | Mon 25 Feb – Sat 2 Mar | Press night: Tue 26 Feb, 7:30pm

dressed., ThisEgg’s powerful mediation on the power of friendship after trauma, has its London premiere at Battersea Arts Centre. A costume maker, a theatre maker, a singer and a dancer, all friends since school, tell a true story. After being stripped at gun point, Lydia Higginson set out to redress herself with a new healing set of armour. Lydia now only wears clothes she has made. dressed. is about the power clothes have to define us, to liberate us, to hide us and to embellish us. It is about making something beautiful out of something dark and traumatic. It is a celebration of female performance and friendship.

dressed. is co-created by ThisEgg Artistic Director Josie Dale-Jones, Lydia Higginson, Imogen Mahdavi – who also performs original music – and Olivia Norris, who provides original choreography. Combining direct address, movement, original music, dance and live sewing, dressed. sees the cast tell Lydia’s story with extraordinary intimacy, humour and creativity.

ThisEgg were winners of the inaugural Underbelly and New Diorama Untapped Award early-mid

career theatre companies run by Underbelly and New Diorama Theatre. The company’s previous

productions include critically acclaimed family shows Me & My Bee and Goggles.

dressed. is supported by public funding through the Arts Council England and National Lottery.

Winner of underbelly and new diorama theatre untapped award 2018.

Ben Target: Splosh!

Plosive Productions | 26 Feb – 2 Mar | Press night 27 Feb, 7pm

Pool party starter and Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer nominee, Ben Target, invites you to plunge in for a paddle. Goggles on for synchronised aquatics, front crawl relays and doggy paddle lessons (for beginners). BYOL (Bring Your Own Lilo). Directed by Ben Williams

All performances are relaxed. At Battersea Arts Centre, this means that you are free to move about, make noise and come and go during the show. This does not mean that light and sound effects have been changed. For more info, visit the Access Page.

Kourtney Kardashian

Sleepwalk Collective | 27 Feb – 2 Mar | Press night 28 Feb, 8pm

Experimental theatre company Sleepwalk Collective return to Battersea Arts Centre with Kourtney Kardashian, the final part of an accidental trilogy of performances which include the ballet Kim Kardashian (2016), and stage play Khloé Kardashian (2017).

A statement on high art, celebrity and society’s increasingly tenuous grip on reality in the 21st century, Kourtney Kardashian dances playfully around the rules and conventions of classical opera, with an orchestra of laptops, a multi-speaker sound system chorus, and performers with second voices carried on their bodies. The show is a love and hate letter to outrageous luxury and artistic genius, and also the joyous, dreadful punchline to a joke that’s worn so thin that you can see right through to what’s on the other side of it…

Sleepwalk Collective is an award winning live art and experimental theatre company creating fragile, nocturnal performances between the UK and Spain.

All performances are relaxed. At Battersea Arts Centre, this means that you are free to move about, make noise and come and go during the show. This does not mean that light and sound effects have been changed. For more info, visit the Access Page.

Rest & Resistance

4-16 Mar

Battersea Arts centre hosts Rest & Resistance (4-16 Mar), a ground-breaking inclusive festival of theatre, dance, art and performance for all ages that will showcase the very best of the disability arts scene. Curated by ACE Change Maker and Touretteshero co-founder Jess Thom, this playful two week venue takeover will feature work that provokes, disrupts and inspires change. More details about Rest & Resistance to be announced soon.

Homegrown Festival: Occupy

18 Mar- 12 Apr

Saad-Eddine Said curates Homegrown Festival: Occupy, an invitation for young artists, collectives, entrepreneurs, activists and local communities to occupy BAC over the period that the UK is planned to exit the EU, and present a young perspective on our shared future post-Brexit. The month will feature interactive and gig theatre, live games, virtual experiences, opera, hip-hop, installations and new shows by Sounds Like Chaos, Conrad Murray and a BAC co-production with Contact Theatre Manchester. Other artists include BAC Phoenix Award winner Amy Leon, dancer and performer Akeim Toussaint Buck and many others. Occupy builds on BAC’s annual Homegrown Festival of young voices and emerging talent, and is produced in association with Tarek Iskander.

Saad-Eddine Said and Tarek Iskander are Artistic Directotrs at Battersea Arts Centre as part of Up next, a joint initiative by Artistic Directors of the Future, Battersea Arts Centre and Bush Theatre designed to catapult visionary culturally diverse artists into leadership roles in the UK’s theatre industry. Since July 2017 five directors have taken up artistic directorship at Battersea Arts Centre and Bush Theatre.

Status

Chris Thorpe and Rachel Chavkin | 23 Apr – 11 May | Press night Thu 25 Apr, 8pm

Status is a show about someone who doesn’t want his nationality anymore, someone running away from the national story they’ve been given, someone asking what might happen to it if they give it up. A globe-spanning journey of attempted escape, with songs along the way, Status springs from conversations about who we might be, and whether your country needs you more than you might need it.

Status is a new show written and performed by Chris Thorpe (Unlimited Theatre, Third Angel) developed with and directed by Rachel Chavkin (The TEAM, Hadestown) – the team behind Confirmation, the hugely acclaimed Confirmation, which won a Fringe First at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe before touring nationally and internationally. Taking as their starting point the Prime Minister’s assertion that ‘if you believe you are a citizen of the world, you are a citizen of nowhere’, Chris and Rachel draw on globe-spanning conversations, from people who have found themselves stateless, to those for whom national identity is a defining characteristic.

Commissioned by Battersea Arts Centre, Warwick Arts Centre and Les Théâtres de la Ville de Luxembourg. Supported by the British Council, Goethe-Institut London, the Collaborative Touring Network and using public funding by the national lottery through Arts Council England.

All performances are relaxed. At Battersea Arts Centre, this means that you are free to move about, make noise and come and go during the show. This does not mean that light and sound effects have been changed. For more info, visit the Access Page.

MARK THOMAS – CHECK UP: Our NHS @70

Mark Thomas | 23 Apr – 4 May | Press night 24 Apr, 7:30pm

Mark Thomas is 54, the NHS is 70, UK national average life expectancy is 84. If Mark makes it to 84 the NHS will be 100, what will they both look like? Based on a series of interviews with leading experts in and on the NHS and residencies in hospitals and surgeries, Thomas uses his own demise to explore the state we’re in. What’s going right, what’s going wrong and how does it get better?

Winner of an Edinburgh Fringe First Award 2018, directed by Nicolas Kent

Lakin McCarthy and Mark Thomas in association with Nick of Time Productions

Supported by the Wellcome Trust

All performances are relaxed. At Battersea Arts Centre, this means that you are free to move about, make noise and come and go during the show. This does not mean that light and sound effects have been changed. For more info, visit the Access Page. The performance on 1 May is BSL interpreted.

Die! Die! Die! Old People Die!

Ridiculusmus | 8 – 25 May | Press night Thu 9 May, 7.30pm

Dialogue as the Embodiment of Love trilogy

Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland, Give Me Your Love and Die! Die! Die! Old People Die!

Ridiculusmus | 25 May

Ridiculusmus has been producing seriously funny theatre for over 25 years. This May, Battersea Arts Centre presents the UK premiere of Die! Die! Die! Old People Die!, the third part of Ridiculusmus’s epic trilogy of works around contemporary mental health issues, Dialogue as the Embodiment of Love, a theatrical clarion call for social inclusion that dares to engage with our last taboos. The entire trilogy will be performed together on Saturday 25 May.

Die! Die! Die! Old People Die! is a funny and fragile study of ageing, death and grief. It’s a simple but paper-fine portrait of a timeless trio: a love triangle cursed to eternal life without eternal youth, in an age where death and the forgotten art of grieving has been medicalised out of existence. Indie theatre luminaries David Woods and Jon Haynes project into 120-year-old versions of themselves in a mordantly funny work about hanging on, dying and mourning. More of a visceral experience than a show, Die! Die! Die! Old People Die! oozes with the positivity of elderhood and good deaths.

In the first two plays in the trilogy, big pharma, psychiatry, psychology and the system collide in a pair of domestic encounters that plunge audiences into two disorders of the everyday. Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland is informed by a treatment method for psychosis which delivered incredible results whilst Give Me Your Love explores the therapeutic impact of MDMA on post-traumatic stress disorder. The non-compliant and the not-so-naive discover breakthroughs in understanding and recovery through their battle with the medical model.

All performances are relaxed. At Battersea Arts Centre, this means that you are free to move about, make noise and come and go during the show. This does not mean that light and sound effects have been changed. For more info, visit the Access Page. The performance on 16 May is BSL interpreted.

 Gecko’s Missing returns to Battersea Arts Centre to finish the run interrupted by fire in 2015

Chris Evans and Anna Finkel at Battersea Arts Centre,
Chris Evans and Anna Finkel at Battersea Arts Centre,

Chris Evans and Anna Finkel at Battersea Arts Centre, credit Morley von Sternberg

In September 2018 award-winning physical theatre company Gecko marks the opening of Battersea Arts Centre’s theatre programme in the newly refurbished Grand Hall with Missing, the original run of which was interrupted by a disastrous fire of the Grand Hall in March 2015. Missing is part of the venue’s celebratory Phoenix Season.

With generous help from Gecko’s audiences and the theatre industry, Missing’s set was rebuilt in just 8 days ahead of a Mexico tour. The Battersea Arts Centre performances will be the show’s first UK sharing since the fire.

Amit Lahav, Artistic Director of Gecko and creator of Missing said: “On the 13th March 2015 during a very successful return to Battersea Arts Centre with our show Missing – a fire broke out which ultimately destroyed the Grand Hall and all the physical elements of our show. As the bell tower crashed through the roof I remember finding myself kneeling on the road thinking ‘what do I do now!?’ (…)

All those years of kinship and graft between Gecko and Battersea Arts Centre really meant something in the days that followed the fire; it was clear we were not going to suffer, this was not an option for David Jubb, Richard Dufty and the whole Battersea Arts Centre team. (…)

I have never felt so much love and affection for Gecko as in the days that followed the fire from colleagues, venues and arts companies around the country and around the world.  It was strangely one of the most uplifting and affirming experiences of my life. Battersea Arts Centre has played a pivotal role in Gecko’s voyage and I am very proud to have been a part of its legendary gift to art makers all over the country”

Amit Lahav’s full statement:

Since devising in 2012, Missing has toured to Russia, China, Georgia, Malta, Colombia, Mexico, Hong Kong, Macau and across the UK, including a hugely successful 2013 Edinburgh Fringe run. It is the oldest Gecko show currently touring.

“A kind of restless delirium, dense with poetic effect.” ★★★★ The Guardian (Sanjoy Roy)

“Together they generate a tingling energy.” ★★★★ The Times (Donald Hutera)

“With this flawless production, Gecko have a created a wonderful, beautiful roller coaster ride into the murky word of memory.” ★★★★★ What’s On Stage (Moira Hunt)

“The choreography is bewitching.” ★★★★★ The Skinny (Callum Madge)

Missing offers its audiences a deliciously warped journey into the depths of the human psyche as it follows Lily, a woman whose soul appears to be decaying. She is very successful in life and love but something is missing… the ghosts of her past haunt her as she witnesses how her parents fell wildly in and out of love and the consequences this mixed cultural relationship has had on her life.

In the unique Gecko style, Missing features jaw-dropping choreography and tantalising multilingual vocal landscape as it invites the audiences to pause and consider how far we have strayed from who we are and where we came from.

Gecko celebrates its 17th birthday this year, having developed 7 full-length shows, including its recent and most ambitious, The Wedding. The company has toured the world to a great critical acclaim and continues to do so; it has just finished a tour of East Asia with Institute and The Wedding ahead of taking Missing to Thessaloniki Forest Festival in Greece.

Since devising in 2012, Missing has toured to Russia, China, Georgia, Malta, Colombia, Mexico, Hong Kong, Macau and across the UK, including a hugely successful 2013 Edinburgh Fringe run. It is the oldest Gecko show currently touring.

“A kind of restless delirium, dense with poetic effect.” ★★★★ The Guardian (Sanjoy Roy)

“Together they generate a tingling energy.” ★★★★ The Times (Donald Hutera)

“With this flawless production, Gecko have a created a wonderful, beautiful roller coaster ride into the murky word of memory.” ★★★★★ What’s On Stage (Moira Hunt)

“The choreography is bewitching.” ★★★★★ The Skinny (Callum Madge)

Missing offers its audiences a deliciously warped journey into the depths of the human psyche as it follows Lily, a woman whose soul appears to be decaying. She is very successful in life and love but something is missing… the ghosts of her past haunt her as she witnesses how her parents fell wildly in and out of love and the consequences this mixed cultural relationship has had on her life.

In the unique Gecko style, Missing features jaw-dropping choreography and tantalising multilingual vocal landscape as it invites the audiences to pause and consider how far we have strayed from who we are and where we came from.

Gecko celebrates its 17th birthday this year, having developed 7 full-length shows, including its recent and most ambitious, The Wedding. The company has toured the world to a great critical acclaim and continues to do so; it has just finished a tour of East Asia with Institute and The Wedding ahead of taking Missing to Thessaloniki Forest Festival in Greece.

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Interview with Amit Lahav, Artistic Director of Gecko: “The role of an artist is to challenge the status quo.”

It seems that we are getting better at being honest with each other about our own frailties.

Institute is driven by Geckoʼs desire to explore complexities in human nature; our impulse to care and our complete reliance on one another. We are entering a time in which we are potentially more fractured and disconnected than ever before – when the time comes, will anyone really care? But a Gecko world is never as it first appears…

Gecko have teamed up with mental health charity Suffolk Mind to launch a series of  workshops & participatory opportunities.
I had a phone chat with company director and all round theatrical wizard Amit Lahav recently.
Here is what we discussed:

Amit Lahav

Amit Lahav

Hi Amit! Congratulations on Live from Television Centre – the collaboration with Battersea Arts Centre and the BBC – It really highlighted the values of British independent theatre. You’ve had quite a year haven’t you.>
I couldn’t be happier – it was outrageously ambitious and we couldn’t have pushed harder. We explored the extraordinary Gecko language inside TV and film, we went 1,000% with BAC who produced it and went in all guns blazing. It was something that everyone believed in. I think with the BBC wanted us to make something incredibly theatrical – I am genuinely proud and I had to think as a film maker, which was incredibly challenging.

There is a lot of debate around how live screenings of shows have changed theatre; for better or worse. They are increasingly popular with audiences. What do you think their impact on live arts are? 
It’s incredibly important to keep engagement live. We are in a dangerous situation of becoming disconnected in a society that has a hidden loneliness. Don’t get me wrong, there is an enormous benefit having work seen by larger audiences, but the present connection with audiences is something I wouldn’t want to move away from.

Institute is a remarkable production exploring troubled men. 
At the heart of Institute is the question to do with masculinity and culture, in these times people are trying to survive more than it seems. It’s subterranean, on a multitude of levels, the experiences men have on an internal and external level.

Does it feels like more is required of audiences than just talking about the ‘issues’ and how have people responded to the show out on tour?
We have so frequently come across people who have been affected by Institute, who at the end of the production have been unable to move from their seats. They want to talk to us, to someone. Out on tour there is someone from the charity Suffolk Mind as well as a panel discussion with service providers. Uniquely, as well there is someone local to the venues who have proximity to that venue and have used those resources available to them.

Political correctness and art don’t *usually* mix well. Institute feels like a genuinely political piece of theatre, would you agree? 
The role of an artist is to challenge the status quo. All Gecko shows are political. In some way being the bearer of truth, Gecko is an important commodity and in these times even more critical.

What would you say have been the most rewarding moments of getting Institute in front of audiences? 
I think that what I have been learning about mental health has been so extraordinary because it’s shone a mirror about where Institute came from within me, there is something very powerful in that. At one end on the spectrum there is wellness and the other there is not. You can be on that continuum somewhere and that stress can be the crossover. The fragility of being a human being can take you by surprise. You might know someone who is suffering. It’s important to reiterate that there is help out there and it’s good to talk about these things.”
Cheers! 

Nuffield / Southampton / www.nuffieldtheatre.co.uk

Performances2 – 5 November at 7.30pm / tickets

Ancillary programme2 November at 9pm – post show panel discussion (free with show ticket)

4 November at 2pm – 5pm – workshop (free with show ticket, registration information will be available on the venue website)

Playhouse / Liverpool / www.everymanplayhouse.com

Performances16 – 19 November at 7.30pm (except for: 5.30pm on 17 November) / tickets

Ancillary programme17 November at 7pm – post show panel discussion (free with show ticket)

17 November at 12pm-3pm – workshop (free with show ticket, registration information will be available on the venue website)

Bush Theatre announces Up Next, a new programme to champion the next generation of Bamer artists

Bush Theatre
Bush Theatre

Bush Theatre

The Bush Theatre has today announced UP NEXT, a new development programme to champion the next generation of visionary BAMER (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee) leaders and artists, in partnership with Artistic Directors of the Future and Battersea Arts CentreArts Council Englands Sustained Theatre Fund has pledged £295,000 towards the initiative.

Over the course of the next two years, seven members of Artistic Directors of the Future – a network organisation for the next generation of BAMER Arts leaders – will gain hands-on experience across a range of disciplines – including artistic direction, producing, programming, fundraising, marketing and production. They will also receive support through networking, mentoring and leadership development. Collectively, the group will have the opportunity to create and lead a two-month takeover season of new work at both the Bush Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre.

Designed by the Bush Theatre alongside Artistic Directors of the Future and in a partnership with Battersea Arts Centre, UP NEXT aims to drive positive change for BAMER artists, to introduce new artists and approaches to the British theatre scene, to explore and implement new approaches to organisational change, and to encourage more UK theatres to take on their own UP NEXT programme in future years.

Madani Younis, Bush Theatre Artistic Director, said: “UP NEXT is based on a shared understanding that a generation of BAMER development projects have struggled to deliver their intended impact across our sector. We needed to go bigger: No more hand holding; no more short-lived schemes; no more waiting for permission. UP NEXT will give BAMER artists the opportunity to take the keys, take the budgets, take the space and change the game at the core of our artistic institutions. It is designed to change our theatres and feed in to the succession of their leadership  and I cant wait to see the results. 

Simeilia Hodge-Dallaway, Founder & Managing Director of Artistic Directors of the Future, said: “UP NEXT is a significant and vital extension to the work we carry out at Artistic Directors of the Future. We have outstanding culturally diverse leaders in our community and, through our partnership with the Bush Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre, we will be able to showcase and empower these individuals by providing a unique hands-on leadership opportunity across two of the UKs most iconic producing theatres. This project will not only support the career development of our members but it will also challenge the status quo, increase the visibility of the UKs culturally diverse leaders and introduce a new model to create positive change for generations to come. We are thrilled to be working with the Bush Theatre and Battersea Arts Centre to redress the balance of culturally diverse leadership in producing theatres across the UK.”

David Jubb, Battersea Arts Centre Artistic Director & CEO, said:“Development schemes for BAMER artists and leaders can play an important role, but unless cultural organisations provide meaningful opportunities for significant risk-taking and unless they are prepared to be changed by those collaborations, then the progress towards a more diverse sector will continue to be painfully slow. We’re really excited to have co-developed UP NEXT with Artistic Directors of the Future and the Bush Theatre and look forward to seeing if we can test a model that could be adopted and adapted more widely.”