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.
Wilton’s Music Hall today announces its sensational new season programme, jam-packed full of independent theatre productions, live music, opera and cabaret.
Kicking off the season in style is a screening of cult sci-fi classic Metropolis, with live musical accompaniment from pianist and composer Dmytro Morykit who will be performing his beautiful original score. A celebration of the film’s 90th anniversary, Metropolis Live (01-03 August) is an electrifying fusion of film and sound to be enjoyed by film enthusiasts and classical music lovers alike.
Back by popular demand, OneTrackMinds (8 and 9 August, 9 October) is making a triumphant return to Wilton’s, bringing with it an eclectic and fascinating variety of guests discussing the songs that changed their lives. An entertaining cross between Desert Island Discs, The Moth Radio Hour & TED Talks, this live storytelling event explores the transformative power of music. Previous guests have included Jay Rayner, Bompass and Parr, Tulip Siddiq MP and Mark Thomas. In August, we’ll be hearing from comedian Robert Popper, activist Peter Tatchell, Lovers Rock singer Janet Kay and film producer Stephen Woolle.
It’s time for sassy swing on 10 August, as the Spitfire Sisters and their live band fill Wilton’s with their incredible retro sound. With a classic repertoire from the 40s, original music from their self-penned album Put Your Phone Away and modern songs with a vintage twist, these swing sisters will get your feet moving and your hips swinging.
Wilton’s is also proud to announce a collaboration with Lucky Dog Picturehouse, who bring the experience of early cinema to a modern audience by combining classic silent films with live performances of original-era soundtracks. The atmospheric surroundings of Wilton’s Music Hall will provide the perfect backdrop to showings of The Lost World (14 & 18 August), The Epic of Everest (16 August) and Shooting Stars (17 August), all accompanied by The Lucky Dog Picturehouse musicians.
Everyone’s favourite hip hop music hall singer Ida Barr (22 – 24 August) is back and more audacious than ever as she showcases her bespoke genre of music which she calls Artificial Hip Hop, a fusion of gritty, grimy, urban hip hop and the glorious songs of the heyday of the British music hall. With bangers like ‘Get Old or Die Tryin’ and ‘Slipped Disco’, this gives audiences a chance to explore the difficult issues of existence whilst laughing their socks off, swaying and having a joyous sing-a-long.
Following sell-out performances in 2016, Opera della Luna return to Wilton’s with The Queen’s Lace Handkerchief (29 – 31 August), a story of political intrigue, royal adultery and a bullfight. This is the first professional UK production of the enchanting operetta by Johann Strauss, bringing the piece’s many famiiliar waltz tunesto the East End of London.
The jewel in the crown of the beginning of the season, Wilton’s are thrilled to welcome the BBC Proms (2 September) who are moving out of their usual home of the Royal Albert Hall for their Proms at… series matchin music to the faded beauty and glamour of Wilton’s Music Hall Conductor Sian Edwards and the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group, join young British soloists Jennifer France and Marcus Farnsworth in a celebration of birdsong, with performances of Pulitzer Prize-winning American composer John Luther Adams’ songbirdsongs and Peter Maxwell Davies’ Eight Songs for a Mad King.
A cornerstone of the National Youth Theatre writing commissions, Peter Terson’s much loved Zigger Zagger (6-9 September) returns in a special anniversary production marking half a century since its world premiere. The UK’s first major dramatic work based on the subject of football hooliganism, it is a story of violence and greed, all brought to life by a cast of fifty of Britain’s best young talents. Directed by Juliet Knight (White Boy), this is the tale of a working-class boy torn between making a life for himself and the desire to fit in, exploring the themes of tribalism, masculinity and belonging through the National Youth Theatre’s trademark wit and infectious energy.
Following on from a stellar, critically-acclaimed set of shows at the 2015 Edinburgh Festival Fringe (5* The Guardian, 5* The Times), Manfred Karge’s Man to Man comes to Wilton’s for an exclusive London run from 12 – 23 September. The remarkable story of a woman forced to adopt the identity of her dead husband in order to survive in Nazi Germany, this dynamic production unites the talents of a multi Olivier & Tony award-winning creative team, led by directors Bruce Guthrie and Scott Graham and starring Maggie Bain. A Wales Millennium Centre production and named by The Times as a ‘stunning revival…destined for classic status’, this one-woman masterpiece is one not to be missed.
The ten-year anniversary production of Les Enfants Terribles’ award-winning The Terrible Infants take up residency at Wilton’s 27 September – 28 October. Featuring new creative material reflecting Les Enfants Terribles’ bold, innovative and irreverent style The Terrible Infants is a collection of twisted short stories which recall both Roald Dahl and Tim Burton. Performed with inventive puppetry, atmospheric live music and recorded narration from Dame Judi Dench, The Terrible Infants is a highly sensory theatrical feast suitable for big kids and small grown-ups.
Wilton’s free family weekend is back, and this year’s Scene In Time (7-8 October) is an exploration of Wilton’s film and technology heritage, from music videos such as Frankie Goes to Hollywood’s ‘Relax’ to blockbuster movies like Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows and Muppets Most Wanted. Jam-packed with free workshops from Alexandra Palace, the National Maritime Museum and more, Scene In Time is a great way to learn more about the building’s heritage or just soak up the atmosphere of the beautiful building.
Georges Bizet’s classic La Tragédie de Carmen (3 – 14 November) gets a radical reworking in a contemporary adaptation by Peter Brook, arguably Britain’s greatest living director, which will be performed by the rising stars of Royal Opera House’s Jette Parker Young Artists ProgrammeIn the intimate setting of Wilton’s, four singers perform the story of passion, love and jealousy between soldier Don José and gypsy Carmen, with spoken dialogue making the text feel more immediate and stripped back to its core.
Presented by Poet In The City, Edgar Allan Poe: The Haunted Palace (6 November) is an evening of discussion and live poetry performance plunging into the sublime work of a spectacularly spooky literary figure. The master of melodrama, mystery and macabre, the irresistibly scary Edgar Allan Poe has frightened and delighted since The Raven found an audience in the 1840s. Brought into the 21st Century by the eerily atmospheric surroundings of Wilton’s, this will be an evening of haunting literary enjoyment celebrating one of the world’s finest poets. Part revivalist meeting and part medicine show; The Singing Hypnotist (9 November) will change your life. Using a combination of clinical hypnotherapy, stage hypnosis, original music and good old-fashioned showbiz, Christopher Green (the man behind Ida Barr and Tina C) has created a character that performs songs to heal, transform and put you under. This show will be followed by a Q&A with the performer/author on all aspects of hypnosis.
It’s silliness and noise galore as Tales from the Shed (9 – 11 November) returns to Wilton’s in all its fun and colourful glory. Presented by Chickenshed, this is a vibrant, interactive theatre show for young children, encouraging them to discover their own creative imaginations and build confidence.
OperaGlass Works presents a pop-up version of The Rake’s Progress (17 – 25 November), one of the great operas of the 20th Century by Igor Stravinsky and WH Auden and the company’s debut production. Tom Rakewell abandons true love for the excitement of the city he soon finds himself in the company of the devil. Set in the 18th century, using conventions of opera from that time, the story explores human choice and its limitations. With accompanying music from Southbank Sinfonia and directed and produced by Selina Cadell (Mrs Tishell in Doc Martin), and a set by the award-winning Tom Piper, this will be a dynamic and entertaining evening.
A night of music at its purest, The Voice of the Violin (21 November) Performed by Peter Sheppard Skaerved, leader of the Kreutzer Quartet, the performance explores the beginnings of the virtuoso violin, playing a series of extraordinary instruments from the 17th century in this intimate solo performance featuring speaker Benjamin Hebbert and including two special world premieres.
It’s all glitter and glamour as Fascinating Aida’s Liza Pulman takes to the stage with her new show Liza Sings Streisand (23 November), packed full of legendary Barbra Streisand songs, dirty humour and sassy storytelling. Together with her six-piece band, The Stardust Ensemble, Liza brings you glorious new arrangements and orchestrations of these now classic tunes. Expect the much-loved classics ‘Evergreen’, ‘The Way We Were’, ‘New York State Of Mind’, ‘Second Hand Rose’ and many more in a full to bursting 90 minute show. A show that ‘completely immerses the audiences from beginning to end’ (Love London Love Culture), it’s a rip-roaring romp of a night out and not to be missed.