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Almeida launches summer festival 09

Published 20 April 2009

Following the success of last year’s summer festival at the Almeida theatre, Tiata Fahodzi returns to the Islington venue for this year’s festival, held from 8 July to 1 August, along with theatre companies Slung Low, GULP and The TEAM.

The festival opens with Bradford-based theatre collective Slung Low’s multimedia performance Last Seen (8-11 July). In any one year, over 200,000 people go missing. While most are found, Last Seen takes audiences on a journey into the world of those who have fallen into the cracks, a place for the unnoticed, where lost souls land.   

Last Seen is followed by a work-in-progress version of the latest piece by Fringe First-winning New York theatre company The Theater Of The Emerging American Moment (The TEAM), entitled The American Capitalism Project (16-19 July). The production journeys across the US in search of an unbiased portrait of American capitalism and asks, where did our pursuit of happiness go wrong?

Brand new theatre company GULP presents its inaugural production at the Almeida theatre summer festival from 24-25 July. Or Nearest Offer is a new play by Tanya Ronder created in collaboration with 15 young participants from the Young Friends of the Almeida LAB. Playwright Ronder has previously written versions of Vernon God Little and Blood Wedding.  

The summer festival is completed by the return of British-African theatre company Tiata Fahodzi, whose new writing initiative Tiata Delights was a highlight of last year’s festival. This year, the company presents The Golden Hour, a new play by Michael Bhim to be rehearsed over three days and performed, script in hand, on 29 to 31 July.

The Golden Hour, directed by Tiata Fahodzi Artistic Director Femi Elufowoju Jr, centres on Adrian, a British triage nurse of Zimbabwean descent who works in a London NHS hospital alongside his long-term English girlfriend Jessica. Suddenly he finds himself drawn into a drama of ethics and loyalty when he encounters an African baby whom he suspects has been brought into the country illegally.  

On 1 August the summer festival culminates – as last year – with Tiata Fahodzi’s concert of British-African music, featuring UK-based Ugandan band The Ganda Boys.

Currently playing at the Almeida theatre is Jez Butterworth’s Parlour Song, which ends its run on 9 May, to be followed by Andrew Bovell’s When The Rain Stops Falling (14 May to 4 June).



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