Battersea Arts Centre announces OverCome autumn season 2021

Battersea Arts Centre launches 2021 autumn season, OverCome

Battersea Arts Centre today announced an autumn season of uplifting and powerful work, OverCome; a collection of shows about being bold and working towards a unified future. Tickets are now available to friends and members, with booking open to the public from 10am on Friday 6 August via bac.org.uk The heart of the programme features inspiring, female-led work from artists including Figs in Wigs with Little Wimmin – a wild, darkly funny adaptation of a classic by the irreverent, live-art collective (20-29 Oct); a cathartic approach to trauma recovery for audience and artist alike in Heather Agyepong’s new solo work, The Body Remembers (20 Oct-4 Nov); and Endurancewhere Jennifer Jackson reclaims public space for women as she channels her Bolivian heritage in a blend of dance, theatre and sports spectacle (3-13 Nov).

Malú Ansaldo, Interim Programming Director at Battersea Arts Centre, says:“If we are to OVERCOME this global challenge collectively, we need everyone on board.This incredible array of work reflects on our unique ability to power through, learn, grow and expand in the face of uncertainty, challenges and hardship. I am excited about this season, and even more so to see how art can act as a catalyst for real change in our lives. We need change. We can be that change.

“The womb of the programme is an exciting micro-season in itself, a beating heart of resilient inspiration, endurance and activist charm. An iconic line-up of female and queer artists will present work that not only tackles inequality, harassment and survival, but which also has in its soul a song of resistance and fight. Their stories are testimonies of strength, pushing us to think consciously about how we re-build the world we live in.”
 Celebrate the power of the human body in collective motion with two visceral experiences, as over 70 performers take over the entire building in James Cousins Company’s first large-scale immersive show, We Are As Gods (6-10 Oct); and internationally renowned choreographer Hofesh Shechter’s POLITICAL MOTHER: UNPLUGGED roars into life in the Grand Hall (3-5 Nov). Festive cheer is fully stocked this year with delightful shows for a variety of appetites, including: Sleeping Beauty & The Beasta joyful new panto-mashup mystery for families from award-winning trio Sleeping Trees (26 Nov – 30 Dec); The Glory’s Jonny Woo presents an All Star Christmas Cabaret (2 –11 Dec); and local storyteller Mark Thomas stands up to the darkest time of year with a rebellious celebration, An Extra Plate (14-23 Dec). BAC will continue to offer rich cultural events outside the creative hub’s physical walls: The Interrogation is a new, solo, interactive, audio and video journey through local streets by learning disabled theatre company Access All Areas (28 Sept – 3 Oct); the world premiere of Rachael Young’s short film PLOUGH addresses the climate crisis and gentrification through a Black, Queer lens (29 Oct – 7 Nov); and Heart n Soul present an evening of joy with another Lockdown Mixtape, featuring their hottest acts performing brand new music created during lockdown, for audiences to dance along at home (19 Nov).  

To better support the voices and needs of the local community, BAC put power in the hands of three young female artists to create events which speak directly to their experiences and interests. These new commissions include the opportunity to explore music and heritage in an accessible way, through a free VR installation of indigenous African instruments; carving out vital time for self-care among single mums in the area; and an evening paint & party for BAC’s young neighbours to relax and let the creativity flow alongside a live DJ. Tarek Iskander, Artistic Director and CEO of Battersea Arts Centre, says:Everyone at BAC has a deep understanding of how groundbreaking arts and culture can spark lasting, positive change in our many communities – because we see this every day. So BAC has never missed a season throughout this pandemic. The remarkable collection of work in our latest, the OverCome season, insists on finding new ways for us all to connect and shape a better future. Like other cultural organisations, throughout the pandemic we have continued to ask our communities what they need; we’ve sent PlayKits to children, provided support and creative outlets for young people, invested in artists’ development, co-ordinated national networks, hosted a vaccine centre – to name but a few. With our ongoing commitment to being a Relaxed Venue and extending the successful Pay What You Can pricing model, we will continue to remove barriers so that everyone feels safe, welcome and included – that in itself can feel radical at a time where social inequalities are dividing us. Art and creativity can bring us all together, in a way few other things can, and the imaginative changes needed to refashion our communities depend on all of us. That’s the job right now – and we’re determined to do our bit. 

To make its work as accessible to as wide an audience as possible, Covid-19 safety measures will be in place for all of Battersea Arts Centre’s live events. This includes asking all audiences who are not exempt to wear masks, and offering at least one performance per week where social distancing measures are in place. It’s more important than ever for BAC to continue to make it easier for everyone to enjoy more creativity in their lives. Following a successful launch earlier this year, all events in the autumn season will be part of Battersea Arts Centre’s universal Pay What You Can pricing model. Every event will be Relaxed and more BSL interpreted, live captioned or sensory adapted performances than ever will be available. To give everyone the information they need in order to make decisions, pre-show information and details about BAC’s Covid-19 safety measures can be found on BAC’s website: bac.org.uk/keeping-you-safe/ In what continues to be a challenging time, Battersea Arts Centre gratefully acknowledges the support of all its funders and partners, including Arts Council England, Bloomberg Philanthropies and Wandsworth Borough Council. Tremendous thanks to the Treasury, the Culture Secretary and everyone at DCMS, and Arts Council England for supporting BAC through the Culture Recovery Fund. BAC’s autumn season was made possible by generous investment and support from the Weston family and the Garfield Weston Foundation through the Weston Culture Fund.