PREVIEW: Incoming Festival, New Diorama Theatre

1-10 June 2015, New Diorama Theatre

Incoming Festival main imageCo-produced by A Younger Theatre and the New Diorama Theatre, Incoming Festival is back after a hugely successful first outing last year. 2014’s festival included many a sold-out show and won its producers a nomination for Best Producers at the Off West End Awards. So it’s no surprise that the festival is back for a second year – and it looks even bigger and better than before.

This year it is a 10-day festival, once again bringing the best emerging theatre companies together and providing a platform to perform their work in London. With all tickets at only £5, it’s a fantastic opportunity to find new, exciting talent and moving, hilarious theatre on an absolute shoestring!

What I’ve booked so far:

Annoyingly for me, the festival falls within a busy time for me work-wise, so I haven’t been able to book as much as I’d like. However, last year I enjoyed the spontaneity of booking on the door (for the shows that weren’t sold out…) without much preconception of what I was in for. I’ve so far booked in for the following:

The Odyssey (The Sleeping Trees) 1 June, 8.30pm

Odyssey - Sleeping Trees

“Is it possible to re-create Homer’s Odyssey in just under an hour? No, no it isn’t. Have three sprightly young whippersnappers tried to do so anyway? Yes, yes they have.” This just about sums up this show from The Sleeping Trees theatre company, who have applied this treatment to works such as The Magic Faraway Tree and Treasure Island in the past. Expect fast-paced physical comedy and plenty of artistic licence with this classical epic.

64 Squares (Rhum and Clay Theatre) 9 June, 8.30pm

There can’t be many shows with chess as the focus. An adaptation of Stefan Zweig’s novella, 64 Squares focuses on a chess match taking place on a cruise ship, with a mysterious opponent. The big pull for me is the promise of a live jazz score, as well as the intriguing prospect of a show with a cinematic slant based around 64 black and white squares.

What else to look out for:

In Our Hands (Smoking Apples) 5 June, 7.00pm

Last year Smoking Apples theatre company impressed with their poignant, sweet tale CELL, which showed the journey of Ted – a puppet – after his diagnosis with motor neurone disease, in a show that was later nominated for a 2014 Peter Brook Award. The company is back this year with In Our Hands, a tale of Alf, a trawler fisherman – another tale of an ordinary man that, if it is as touching as last year’s offering, is sure to be a treat. Find out more here.

Show Off (Figs in Wigs) 4 June, 8.30pm

Show Off - Figs In WigsDescribed as “the lowbrow answer to avant-garde”, this production by all-female company Figs in Wigs explores ideas of the narcissism that has come from the meteoric rise of social media. It was nominated for a Total Theatre Award and an Arches Brick Award last year, and, labelled as “desperately glitzy”, promises glitter, puns, hilarity and flamboyance. Find out more here.

Skirts, Shirts and Vintage Dresses (Roaring Girls) 6 June, 2.00pm, 3.00pm & 4.00pm

This production caught my eye initially for its site-specific nature. Taking place at a charity shop nearby to the New Diorama, it is a show focusing on clothes (what’s not to love?!) and their position as “your hiding place, your battle cry, your badge of status, your blanket of grief, your dream of a new you” – or just an attractive bargain. The show is presented by Rachael Abbey and Lizi Perry of Roaring Girls, who describe their work as fun, rebellious, honest and charming. With a look back at the 90s, fashion faux pas and the relationship between what you wear and who you are, this is a great option for theatre newcomers.

Find out more and book tickets (did I mention they’re all £5!) for all the shows at the Incoming Festival website. The festival also includes free workshops on everything from Marketing and PR, Theatre Criticism, Puppetry for Beginners and Autobiographical Theatre.


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