This year, the annual Almeida Festival returns with an eclectic line-up of fresh collaborations, award-winning artists and brand new shows announced to play during the summer.
Kicking off the festival from 9 to 18 July is the premiere of What Happens To The Hope At The End Of The Evening, a piece created and performed by Tim Crouch and Andy Smith about an evening, a reunion and an act of betrayal.
From 12 to 13 July, Made In China will present its new show Gym Party, which sees three performers vie for success in a three-way contest that explores the psychology of winning and the nature of pride, while Three Plays In A Bag, a piece by 12 Welsh writers who were commissioned by Dirty Protest to create – as the title suggests – plays that can literally be taken anywhere in a bag, runs from 12 to 14 July.
Following the success of her last experimental piece 7 Day Drunk, Bryony Kimmings returns from 19 to 20 July with another social experiment, Credible Likeable Superstar Role Model, which involved the live artist and her nine-year-old niece creating a new breed of popstar before embarking on an extraordinary journey to make her famous.
From 22 to 24 July two contrasting productions will play at the festival. The first, which is presented by Scotland-based dance performance company Room 2 Manoeuvre, is Watch iT!, a multi-media dance odyssey that examines the relationship between one man and his television, which played to critical acclaim at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe last year. The second comes from Chimerica playwright Lucy Kirkwood and award-winning company Lost Dogs, which returns to the Almeida Festival following It Needs Horses, and is entitled Rabbits. Presented as a work-in-progress and inspired by Virginia Woolf’s short story Lappin And Lapinova, Rabbits tells the story of a young couple who, every night, slip into a world where they play as the fluffy woodland creatures.
GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN’S will bring its trademark mix of live art and traditional theatre to the festival from 25 to 27 July with Big Hits, Tessa Walker’s production of Rebecca Pritchard’s Dream Pill, a play about two nine-year-olds sex-trafficked to the UK, will play from 25 to 29 July and a new commission by Alice Birch will run from 25 to 29 July.
Rounding off the season are The Debate Society’s Jacuzzi (31 July to 3 August), a tale of classes colliding inspired by 90s ski culture, Dante Or Die’s I Do (1 to 3 August), a site-specific piece that journeys through six hotel rooms, 10 minutes before ‘I do’, a rehearsed reading of Belarus Free Theatre’s latest piece A Woman, and the annual Young Friends Of The Almeida production, which this year is written by Roz Wyllie and directed by Caitlin McLeod, and explores the impact of social inequality on access to education.
The Festival will open following the forthcoming world premiere of Kirkwood’s Chimerica, which tells the story of photojournalist Joe who after capturing a piece of history is driven to discover the truth behind the unknown hero he captured on film.