What a few weeks it’s been for the King’s Head! I’ve been assistant producing our new writing festival, #Festival45 and have just caught five minutes in between shows to give you guys an update. Myself and the other Trainee Resident Directors are seeing all of the shows (yes all 22 of them) and writing a blog. So here’s my round up of week 1:
I kicked off the week with SN1 Wilts by Stella Wilkie Award Winner, Neo Mothola. A one-man show that follows the story of young, black immigrant Jay as he balances family, friends, responsibility and street cred. An insightful and energetic performance which, through poetry and prose, takes you on a journey from Pretoria to Swindon. So what’s a ‘Stella’ I hear you cry? Well, it’s an award in honour of Canberra actress writer and critic, Stella Wilkie. Each year East 15 Acting School students studying Contemporary Theatre present new plays at the Debut Festival. The King’s Head Producers attend all the plays and choose a winner. SN1 Wilts won this years award for its poignant exploration of a young man’s physical and emotional journey.
The State vs. John Hayes (the festival’s headline act) followed. I won’t say too much as I know Dave will be blogging about this one too, what I will say is… GO AND SEE IT! (it’s on until 22nd November).
Crushed by Tim Cook, Winner of the Best New Play Award (Brighton Fringe 2015), was the next stop on my festival marathon. It’s the first time I’ve sat and watched a play thinking ‘I remember this’. Set during the London student protests of 2010, the play centres around three very different characters taking part in the march and subsequently follows their story as they grow up and move away from university culture. Crushed asks questions like: what are students really paying for? Is it to party or to escape for another three years? With the possibility of tuition fees being raised, again, this play really struck a chord. What are we paying for?
Quentin Crisp: Naked Hope by Mark Farelly was my penultimate port of call. Largely the show draws on Crisp’s ‘The Naked Civil Servant’ (made famous by the 1975 TV adaptation starring John Hurt). A witty, skilful piece of performance that encouraged me to research further about this lively raconteur. Mark has another show coming up in the festival; The Silence of Snow: The Life of Patrick Hamilton (10 - 15 November), it’s not to be missed!
Pramkicker was the finale to my first week of the festival, an unflinching account of what it means to be a modern woman. It tells the story of Jude, independent 30-something singleton, who’s found herself in anger management classes after kicking a yummy mummy’s empty pram. Supported by her ever faithful sister, Sadie, we’re invited to join the girls as they try to untangle the knots in the sisterhood. An honest, no-frills performance that pull no punches.
#Festival45 continues through to the end of November, see which shows are on here.