The Hope Theatre is delighted to announce their Spring 2018 season featuring a mix of new writing and established work with a 50/50 gender split of writers and containing a world premiere directed by Artistic Director Matthew Parker.
MY GAY BEST FRIEND – 9th to 27th January
2018 gets off to a bang as Louise Jameson (Dr Who, Eastenders) returns to The Hope following her award nominated performance in TWO SHORT PLAYS ABOUT GAYS last year. Louise will appear in the wonderful two-hander MY GAY BEST FRIEND – a heady mixture of high camp, melancholy reflection on friendships and the childhood dramas that haunt us all.
MOMENTS/EMPTY BEDS – 30th January to 17th February
The award winning Pennyworth Productions bring their double bill MOMENTS/EMPTY BEDS to The Hope. In these productions Pennyworth explore modern loneliness, family tension and missed connections. Written by exciting emerging playwright Julia Cranney, these plays are funny, frank and touching in equal measure.
FOUL PAGES – 20th February to 17th March
Our award winning Artistic Director Matthew Parker directs the world premiere of FOUL PAGES by Robin Hooper (ex literary manager of the Royal Court and Paines Plough). A fruity farce full of scandalous secrets, backstage betrayals and lusty liaisons. You think you know your Shakespeare?… Think again! FOUL PAGES is the sixth in-house production from the award winning Hope Theatre team.
OUR BIG LOVE STORY – 20th March to 7th April
5 people’s lives intertwine in OUR BIG LOVE STORY; a tale of faith, prejudice, love and healing looking at radicalisation of young people and the struggle to keep your faith after a traumatic event. Written by Stephanie Silver OUR BIG LOVE STORY is a thought provoking, heartwarming and at funny look at how love, faith and coming together as a society really does make the world go around.
PIG – 10th to 28th April
Completing the spring season is the European Premiere of Tim Luscombe’s PIG; delving into aspects of life that are frequently venal, unpleasant, disturbing and downright tragic, exploring violent sex and sexual violence, punishment, redemption, ownership and sacrifice, selfharm and death-wish, role-play and fantasy, and the eroticism of violence and of HIV-Aids. Directed by Russell Bolam and produced by Nastazja Somers (TORN APART (DISSOLUTION) at The Hope Theatre) and Julia Mucko.
Artistic Director Matthew Parker said:
“I’m super excited by this eclectic new season looking at our lives in different ways and worlds. I’m particularly pleased to have a strong LGBTQ+ showing and a 50/50 split of female and male writers whilst we continue our commitment to the Equity Low Pay No Pay campaign.”
Ovalhouse’s powerful Autumn Season 2017 gives a voice to those who are unheard. In true Ovalhouse fashion, the season will include a vibrant yet thought-provoking collection of full length shows and seven new FiRST BiTES.
Writer and performer Louise Wallwein invites audiences to her bold and unflinching production Glue – a true story about growing up in care; The Secret Keeper explores why those who keep our secrets are always destroyed by them; Nikah is a story about forced marriage from the male Pakistani perspective; and The Sex Workers Opera takes us on an honest and joyous journey into the world of the sex trade.
This versatile autumn season also includes two wonderful family shows providing some half term fun – Cabaret for Kids, a cabaret extravaganza with Spun Glass Theatre’s Princess Charming and a family comedy Dr Zeiffal, Dr Zeigal, and the Hippo That Can Never Be Caught! created by Mouths of Lions. Ovalhouse will conclude 2017 with Filskit Theatre’s critically-acclaimed true story, Breaking the Ice, about the unlikely friendship between a polar bear and a husky – a magical Christmas treat for all.
Owen Calvert-Lyons, Ovalhouse’s Head of Theatre & Artist Development, comments;
This season is about people who are ‘unseen’ in our communities: children in care, whistle-blowers, sexworkers, gay men in the Pakistani community, asylum seekers and transgender people. Often people remain unseen because their stories are uncomfortable to hear. These groups or individuals are sometimes described as ‘hidden’ or ‘invisible’ and yet no one is truly invisible.
Ovalhouse and Time Won’t Wait present
Tues 3 – Sat 7 October, 7.30pm
Writer and performer Louise Wallwein grew up in the care of nuns from the age of nine. Fuelled by rhythmic poetry, Glue is an honest and gripping story of her first meetings with her birth mother, three decades after being put up for adoption. The world as she knew it was turned upside down, and this is how she learnt to fight. Born, transferred, placed, discharged, returned. What can we learn from a life in care?
ClerkinWorks and Ovalhouse present
The Secret Keeper
Wed 11 – Sat 21 October, 7.30pm
(no performance on Sun 22 or Mon 23)
With four actors playing 40 characters, The Secret Keeper features funny music, macabre puppetry and fiendish storytelling with a murderous gothic heart. Made by an award-winning creative team, The Secret Keeper tells the tale of a Dollhouse maker who whispers a secret to his daughter who promises to keep it safe. But what happens when a murderer confesses – and who is to blame for the consequences?
Spun Glass Theatre present
Princess Charming: Cabaret for Kids
Tues 24 Oct – Sat 28 October, 2.30pm
(BSL performance Fri 27 October 2.30pm)
Some boys like pink. Some girls like football. Whatever. It’s time to sing, shout, stamp, dance, dress up, and be ourselves. Princess Charming explores gender stereotypes for children aged 7-11 in a fun, questioning and celebratory way using a variety of acts and toys, skits and dressing-up. Join in with Spun Glass Theatre’s cabaret extravaganza!
Mouth of Lions present
Dr Zeiffal, Dr Zeigal, and the Hippo That Can Never Be Caught!
Tues 24 – Sat 28 October, 2pm
Help the forgetful Dr. Zeiffal catch the crafty Hippo with her patented Hippo Instruments. Bring your hippo catchers and your hippo google goggles, because Dr Zeiffal has most likely lost hers! Expect belly laughs, belly flops, surreal slapstick and fantastical falling over in this interactive family comedy created by Mouths of Lions.
Experimental Experience presents
The Sex Worker’s Opera
Wed 22 Nov – Sat 2 December, 7.30pm
(no performance on Sun or Mon)
What do you think of when you hear the words ‘Stripper’, ‘Escort’, ‘Pornstar’? Whether you want to save us, judge us, lust for us or empathise, come down for a night of opera to hiphopera, contemporary dance to pole dance, where Sex Workers take back the stage to tell our own stories in our own words. Created and performed by Sex Workers and friends, Sex Worker’s Opera offers an unflinchingly honest, upliftingly human insight into the lives of Sex Workers locally and around the world.
Filskit Theatre present
Breaking The Ice
Wed 13 – Sat 23 December 11am, Sat 16 & Sat 23 December 2pm
(no performances Sun or Mon)
Have you heard the astonishing true story about the polar bear who made friends with a husky? Breaking The Ice is a show inspired by their unlikely friendship and you can watch them playing together at Ovalhouse this Christmas. Join us on a journey into the snow where music, shadows and projection will transport you to a place where polar bears and Huskies really can be friends. Then watch as your child joins in with the adventure and takes their place on Team Polar Bear or Team Husky!
Ovalhouse continue to stage a selection of FiRST BiTES – a programme of exciting new works-in development, offering audiences a chance to join in the creative process and see raw new ideas by a diverse group of artists. The seven new FiRST BiTES are:
Dennis of Penge by Annie Siddons | Wed 20 – Thurs 21 September, 7.45pm | Written and performed by Annie Siddons, Dennis of Penge is a new spoken word piece with masterful storytelling and music about poverty, addiction, friendship, ecstasy, chicken, love, and SE20.
Hanbury & Groves present A Time of Listening | Thurs 28 September 7.45pm, Fri 29 September 7.45pm | Following their acclaimed production of Sister, composer Alex Groves and director Rebecca Hanbury return to Ovalhouse to share findings for their new show, a piece which asks: can we really trust our own memory?
Potential Difference present Fragments | Thurs 19 – Sat 21 October 7.45pm | Fragments is inspired by the stories we tell ourselves from the scraps we have, and the gaps that we can’t quite fill. At its heart is the lost myth of Cresphontes, a boy brought up to avenge his murdered father and brothers. Piecing his story together takes us on a journey through the fragments of our own lives: receipts, childhood memories, snatches of conversation.
The Croydon Avengers by Dipo Agboluaje | Fri 3 – Sat 4 November, 11am & 6pm | With a unique style blending comic book visuals with action-packed martial arts, The Croydon Avengers is a funny, powerful story of terrorist threats, heroism and true friendship in an England that seems frightened of anyone who’s different. With powers beyond their wildest dreams, can three teenage refugees really become the saviours of a doomed nation?
Fuel and Ovalhouse present The Dark by Nick Makoha | Fri 3 November, 7.45pm | On a November night in 1978 after eight years of civil war, Nick and his mother pack up their belongings and flee their homeland of Uganda. Told through a series of voices echoing from varying states of darkness, The Dark weaves a poetic account of the journey they take from Kampala to Heathrow.
Ovalhouse and Tribe Arts presents Nikah | Thurs 9 – Sat 11 November, 7.45pm | Nikah is the intimate story of a young boy from Bradford – Siddique Akbar Ali. His name may sound foreign, but he’s very, very British. His world is about to become a nightmare when the people who should love and protect him, force him to marry. He doesn’t know who she is, or what this will mean for him. Nikah is an inspiring one-man story of endurance, empowerment and the realisation of the self.
Performance Anxiety present Skeletons (Or, How I Learned to Love Fucking Up) | Thurs 30 November – Sat 2 December 7.45pm | We all want to be healthier, wealthier, more successful – and we’re willing to pay for it. Skeletons (Or, How I Learned to Love Fucking Up) examines society’s ‘cult of success’ in an absurd and confrontational live performance. Expect impossible tasks, cringeworthy confessions and surreal self-help mantras in a life-coach session gone wrong.