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

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.