Theatre-making in all its forms: intriguing new collaborations at the 2018 RADA Festival

Highlights of this year’s programme include:

  • Murals, performances and forums celebrate the centenary of the Representation of the People Act
  • A reimagining of The Little Prince to include live illustration from former UK Children’s Laureate Chris Riddell
  • Binaural sound experience Thrown combines performance art and verbatim theatre

With tickets starting at £5 and a mix of accessible, captioned and BSL-interpreted performances, the RADA Festival provides an accessible and affordable chance to see new and developing work by emerging talents just moments from the West End. For the first time we will also be expanding beyond the walls of the Academy with late night weekend performances at our new Festival venue in Soho. The Sanctum Hotel will host cabaret pieceLady and the Cramps and new surrealist work Joy.

Audiences of all ages can enjoy Knock Knock, the latest piece from Hot Coals Theatre, who create accessible work for Deaf and hearing audiences. Their previous RADA Festival co-production Finders Keepers received critical acclaim in transfers at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, UK tour and Park Theatre. Bringing surprising experimentations with music and theatrical form, we are also pleased to present Billy Mason (The Life and Death Of) byTom Edward-Kane, an original mix of rap, jazz and spoken word; Thrown with sound design by Chris Drohan, a binaural sound piece that mixes verbatim and performance art; Genesis II, a radio play using live Foley sound featuring graduates including Phoebe Pryce and Hubert Burton; and a transfer of New Public’s five star show Lucid, which blends surrealism, physical theatre and soundscapes to explore the strange yet familiar world of sleep and dreams

Away from our traditional stages, the Festival will fill the RADA buildings with works including Angela Carter-inspired photography from Emily Durtnall, art assistant on Spectre and Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie‘Pageant on Paper’ from Eleanor Field and Laura Cordery, a live mural in RADA’s bar inspired by the centenary of the Representation of the People Act; and ‘Head to Toe’ by Paul Westcombe, a fantastical mural painted up RADA’s white-walled stairwell. Audiences can learn more about the inspiration behind the work in our new ‘Meet the Artist’ session.

There will also be the opportunity to hear leading practitioners celebrating and debating current issues in today’s theatre industry and other fields. Innovative theatre-makers Hot Coals Theatre will lead a workshop on creating accessible work; while researcher, lecturer and author of Bikes & Bloomers  Kat Jungnickel joins us for Fearless Feminists, a forum shining a spotlight on women’s liberation 100 years after the first women in the UK were given the vote. Researcher, performer and expert on suffrage theatre Dr Naomi Paxton chairs the session, which follows a special[email protected] playreading of A Pageant of Great Women by Cicely Hamilton.

Festival Producer Jo Wiltshire commented: “The success of the RADA Festival relies on the brilliant technical support of our current students on RADA’sTechnical Theatre and Stage Management courses, and this year we’re delighted to welcome back our theatre production graduates who will take centre stage too. We’re excited to see not only our stages filled with the best in new writing and experimental theatre-making, but other parts of the Academy taken over by murals, photography and interactive installations. It is a fantastic opportunity to show off the talents of our theatre production graduates and we hope it will expand people’s view of RADA and the industry, revealing the wide range of skills at work. We’re proud that tickets will remain at a low cost – beginning at £5 – and that we’re extending our range of accessible performances and family theatre, allowing people from all walks of life and all ages to come and experience the inventive theatre-making happening at RADA.”

Jatinder Verma, artistic director of Tara Theatre, was artistic associate on Untouchable at last year’s RADA Festival and praised the Festival as a platform for new work: “The RADA Festival is a brilliant showcase for new writing – move over Edinburgh, hello RADA! The excellent artistic, technical and logistical support on offer – unfazed by any demands – made working on Untouchable last year a creative joy”.

Tickets start from £5 and are on sale online or by calling the RADA box office on +44 (0)20 7908 4800.

RADA Festival 2018
27 June – 7 July

The RADA Festival is generously supported by The Band Trust.