Returning for its 18th year, this 10 day festival offers a bright and inspiring snapshot of contemporary theatre with established and emerging artists, both local and those from further afield.
This year, PULSE Festival is delighted to announce the first 10 companies that will perform in the festival that can be booked early from Friday 26 January. The full programme of the festival will be announced in March, and will include those who applied through the Open Call process.
Building on previous Pulse Festivals, this year’s programme carries on the successes of Suitcase Prize Day and Scratch Day with new work from returning companies, and even more high quality theatre coming from around the UK and abroad.
This year’s Suitcase Prize Day will see the 2017 winner James McDermott return with his production RUBBER RING on Friday 1 June. Rubber Ring is a laugh-out-loud coming of age comedy about a teenage Morrissey fan’s struggle with sexual and regional identity, whilst growing up in a rural Norfolk village. The show is described as ‘engaging and charming’ (A Younger Theatre), and ‘a warm and comedic call to accept yourself’ (The Reviews Hub).
On Thu 31 May, Shôn Dale-Jones performs ME & ROBIN HOOD, Hoipolloi’s latest show questioning the value of art and the power of story. Following on from The Duke, which captured the public’s imagination with its combination of theatre and fundraising and has raised over £46,500 to date, Me & Robin Hood seeks to raise money for Street Child United World Cup 2018. Audiences in 2017 raised over £20,000 for the worthwhile charity who use the power of sport to change the way the world negatively sees and treats street-connected children, so they can be protected, respected and supported to build a life away from the streets.
Following the multi award-winning What I Learned From Johnny Bevan, Luke Wright’s second verse play FRANKIE VAH deals with love, loss and belief, against a backdrop of grubby indie venues and 80s politics on Tue 5 June. Poet, broadcaster and festival curator Wright tours the world each year with his unique brand of poetry. His Channel 4 verse documentaries have been enjoyed by millions of viewers and his poems are often heard on BBC Radios 3 & 4. He curates the spoken word line-ups at Latitude, Festival Number 6, Port Elliot and The Edinburgh International Book Festival.
On Friday 8 June, the Wardrobe Ensemble takes us back to May 1997 with EDUCATION, EDUCATION, EDCUATION. Tony Blair has won the election and Katrina and the Waves have won Eurovision. Channel 5 is a month old. No one knows who Harry Potter is. Britain is the coolest place in the world. Education, Education, Education is The Wardrobe Ensemble’s love letter to the schools of the 90s and asks big questions about a country in special measures, exploring what we are taught and why, and where responsibility lies. The Wardrobe Ensemble use their trademark inventive theatricality and irreverent humour to explore the stories that have shaped our recent political history, and what the future might look like.
Closing the festival on Sat 9 June is Paul O’Donnell’s almost entirely imagined Bon Jovi musical WE’VE GOT EACH OTHER. With the modern jukebox musical traditionally comes a multitalented cast, a live band (or orchestra if you are lucky), opulent sets and decadent costumes, extravagant dance routines, dramatic key changes and the odd hydraulic lift or two. We’ve Got Each Other has none of these things (they cost a lot of money), but Paul still tries to create this all singing, all dancing spectacle using the powers of your imaginations.
Other productions now on sale include: Vincent Gambini’s THE CHORE OF ENCHANTMENT on Sat 2 June, La Pelles Factory’s THE BLACK CAT on Mon 4 June, Dante or Die’s interactive digital piece USER NOT FOUND on Wed 6 June, and Proto-Type Theater’s THE AUDIT on Fri 8 June.
PULSE Festival Ipswich is supported by local company Harrison C White, who are sponsoring the festival between 2017 – 2019.
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