Ovalhouse’s exciting Summer Season explores three powerful themes – migration and what it means to ‘belong’, the nature of violence in our society, and love and loss. By continuing to present challenging and inspirational theatre that speaks to a world beyond the mainstream, Ovalhouse acts as a vital home for boundary-pushing art, artists and audiences with an eye on the future.
Home invites audiences with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities into an immersive experience of unfamiliar landscapes; Bound explores the dark underworld of people trafficking; and One Item Only follows one boy’s journey seeking refuge from his troubled homeland. Two powerful new plays examine the pervasive nature of violence in our society: The Believers Are But Brothers explores how young men use the internet to enact violent fantasies while Kieran Hurley’s new play An Injury explores the harm that we do to one another.
The season closes with three plays about loss including Associate Artist Bella Heesom’s much- loved antidote to grief My World Has Exploded a Little Bit.
Home by Frozen Light Theatre, in association with New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
(5th – 6th May, 11am and 1.30pm)
This exciting production for audiences with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities (PMLD), explores a new and unknown world. This multi-sensory story of discovery explores a world that is not how Scarlet and Olive remember it. Where are they now and where is their home? Together, they must learn how to survive and create a future in an environment that is full of surprises.
Identity Crisis by Phina Oruche
(9th – 13th May, 7.45pm)
Beginning with the real life story of the sudden death of Phina’s 1-year- old niece in her house in 2011, this show presents us with 60 images of Phina in fashion and provides an illuminating, humorous and candid exposition of life under the glare of the media spotlight. Phina portrays nine characters: Black, White, Old, Young, Male and Female, and explores identity struggles that are common to all.
(9th – 13th May, 7.30pm)
Inspired by true accounts of human trafficking, Justice in Motion present a compelling tale of dreams and broken promises, of hope and resilience in the face of harrowing circumstances. Driven by the desire for a brighter future, three desperate, but very different people unknowingly take the biggest gamble of their lives. Told through a dynamic fusion of dance, circus, music, projection and spoken word, Bound is a beautifully crafted story of strength in the face of adversity
My World Has Exploded a Little Bit
(23rd – 27th May, 7.30pm)
Bella Heesom’s debut play, directed by Donnacadh O’Briain, is part true story, part farcical performance lecture. It tells a deeply personal story of loss and love, through a darkly comic step-by-step guide to bereavement. Mixing tender intimacy and unflinching honesty with hard- hitting philosophy, clownish silliness and an enchanting live piano score, it takes the audience on a powerful emotional journey, shot through with jet black comedy.
￼The Forever Machine
(30th May – 3rd June, 2pm)
After the success of Eloise and the Curse of the Golden Whisk, award- winning company The Wardrobe Ensemble return to delight families at Ovalhouse during half-term, using bold stagecraft and out of this world soundscapes to bring this curious tale to life. Get carried away on this wild sci-fi adventure. Leap through vortexes in time and space! Fight demons in the past! Dance disco in the future!
One Item Only
(1st – 3rd June, 11.30am and 2.30pm)
If you had to take a long journey and could only take one item with you – what would it be? Follow one boy’s journey across continents in search of refuge from his troubled homeland, in this eventful and uplifting story of hope and resilience where the human spirit triumphs. Inspired by recent events, and created by Bristol-based Greek artist, Margarita Sidirokastriti, family audiences will share the challenges of his adventurous journey towards an uncertain but ultimately optimistic future.
Trinity by Brave New Worlds
(19th – 22nd, 26th and 27th June, 7.30pm)
Trinity is a visually stunning, design-led performance staged in a beautiful derelict gothic chapel that transports audiences to other worlds. A collaboration with acclaimed international artists, the show explores the aesthetics of gender and female iconography in our society’s visual culture, from pagan and religious artefacts to bedroom selfies, to create a highly visceral visual landscape with an immersive sound experience. This is an offsite event taking place at The Asylum, a ten minute walk from Queens Road Peckham station.
The Believers are But Brothers – Edinburgh preview
(12th – 15th July, 7.30pm)
We live in a time where old orders are collapsing and tech savvy and extremist groups rip through twentieth century political certainties. Amidst this, a generation of young men find themselves burning with resentment. This crisis of masculinity leads them into an online world of fantasy, violence and reality. Writer and theatre maker Javaad Alipoor spent time in this digital realm, exploring the blurry and complex world of extremists, spies, journalists and fantasists. This bold one-man show weaves together their stories.
(18th – 22nd July, 7.30pm)
After their award-winning collaboration on Heads Up, writer Kieran Hurley (Beats, Hitch) and director Alex Swift (How to Win Against History, Mess) team up once again to create a thrilling new play about violence, love, the distance between us, and the harm we do to each other.
Morvern wants to get up and walk away from this desk. Danny wants to write something revolutionary. Joe wants to protect what good we still have left. And then there’s Isma. We don’t know much about Isma. We know she’s twelve. We know she speaks only Arabic. We know she’s here. And we know she’s watching. Here, in this room, four speakers pick through the fragments of four shattered lives.
I am a Tree – Edinburgh preview
(27th – 29th July, 7.30pm)
Writer Jamie Wood presents a show like no other. A show that is something else entirely. A dance party with ghosts, in a forest, in a theatre. A hopping ritual. An invitation to drink deep: to face the shadows that growl on your insides and laugh big. Hold on tight!
As with every Ovalhouse season, the Summer programme also include two exciting new works- in-development, a chance to see raw new ideas that might develop into a bigger piece, or might be a way to explore an idea.
The new FiRST BiTES are:
(20th – 22nd July, 7.45pm)
Koko Brown considers the concept of mixed-race privilege as she tries to connect clashing cultures and explore what it means to be mixed in contemporary Britain. A show about identity which blends spoken-word with live vocal looping and asks ‘What are you when you are always the other?’
Juliet and Romeo’s work in progress
(25th – 26th July, 7.30pm)
Ben Duke’s Lost Dog will be sharing something of their as yet unstarted and definitely still unfinished version of Shakespeare’s deeply pessimistic teenage love story. A humorous and heartfelt investigation into love, loss and longevity.
Ovalhouse’s Summer Season plays 5 May – 29 July 2017