Greenwich Theatre is set to have an unprecedented profile at this year’s Brighton Fringe, with no less than eight productions heading for The Warren either co-produced or supported by the South London venue.
The Brighton Fringe is one of the most significant showcase opportunities for emerging theatre companies in this country
Having established a reputation as one of the country’s leading supporters of emerging theatre, offering up to 15 companies at a time anything from mentoring and company development to rehearsal space and marketing support, the theatre has championed the Brighton Fringe and the opportunities it brings to its many supported companies. This year, The Warren on York Place will host Greenwich-supported productions by CultureClash Theatre, Paper Tiger Productions, Familia de la Noche, The Human Zoo Theatre Company, White Slate Theatre Company, Scratchworks Theatre and Witt ‘n’ Camp.
The line-up begins with Paper Tiger Productions’ Octopus by Afsaneh Gray, playing on 9, 10 & 12 May. Co-produced by Greenwich Theatre and supported by Arts Council England, Octopus is an anarchic new comedy about Britishness and asks whether anybody knows what it actually is. Staged against the backdrop of Brexit, the refugee crisis and fears about terrorism, and with a healthy dose of laugh-out-loud comedy, Octopus is set in a dystopian world of bureaucratic box ticking and absurd interviews.
Next up, from 10-14 May, is Kent-based White Slate Theatre with Re:Production. Developed and rehearsed at Greenwich Theatre and the Gulbenkian Theatre in Canterbury, White Slate Theatre’s new show follows a scientist on the cusp of a new IVF discovery who is faced with difficult decisions about her own fertility. Through this intimate story, the award-winning company explores the choices and options women have in contemporary society when weighing up careers, motherhood, and where self-worth is found.
From 11-14 May, all-female ensemble Scratchworks Theatre Company presents their Great Train Robbery. In the early hours of Thursday 8th August 1963, the heist of the century is under way. Signals are scrambled, phone lines cut and millions of pounds of cash – stolen. Five days later the first clues are found, the gang is busted and the rest is history. But what about the ones that got away? Join the four forgotten females as they leave behind their kitchen-sink lives and embark on a madcap adventure of mischief and mayhem. Using a raucous combination of physical theatre, live music and clowning, Scratchworks will unfold the untold tale of the unlikely female four.
The first of two productions by The Human Zoo Theatre Company comes next when the magical tale of The Girl Who Fell In Love With The Moon plays from 12-14 May. Audiences around the country have already fallen in love with this Tim Burton style patchwork of puppetry, poetry, movement and live music stitched together with The Human Zoo’s explosive visual imagination.
The acclaimed cabaret duo Witt ‘n’ Camp bring their outrageous musical cabaret to the Warren from 14-16 May. Featuring hip Opera stars Wittundra & Deborah, the battery hens with big dreams Bridget & Braun and much more, Charlie Howitt and Holly Campbell’s acclaimed comedy double act was last seen onstage with James McAvoy at the Wifi4Refugees Fundraiser and at The Giants Gala hosted by David Schwimmer.
From 19-21 May, CultureClash Theatre’s Under My Thumb, co-produced by Greenwich Theatre and directed by the venue’s artistic director James Haddrell, is a dark, dystopian tale of women imprisoned for crimes against society, and the impact of a new inmate who may not be all that she seems. Shortlisted for the inaugural RED Women’s Theatre Award, Cassiah Joski-Jethi’s acclaimed drama appears at The Warren before transferring first to the Incoming Festival in London and then to Assembly Roxy at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The Human Zoo Theatre Company returns from 23-25 May with their second show, the hugely ambitious Giant. The company’s biggest show to date, Giant is a glimpse into the life of 22 year old Tommy and his family, performed by a group of horribly honest clowns. They’ve all learnt to ignore the strange things that nan says over dinner, and the bizarre rumblings coming from the attic, but could Tommy’s nan know more than meets the eye?
The programme comes to an end with Familia de la Noche’s The Greatest Liar In All The World, playing from 30 May-4 June. Familia de la Noche is one of Greenwich Theatre’s newest supported companies. A mixture of actors, dancers, puppeteers, clowns and musicians, they make theatre that is hilarious, heartbreaking and raucously entertaining. The Greatest Liar In All The World is the company’s darkly comic take on Pinocchio, based around a broken down, two-bit mentalist act who has reached the end of his tether and threatens to end it all. His company of glamorous and not so glamorous assistants manage to distract him from his imminent demise and convince him to tell the story of his infamous origins.
James Haddrell, artistic director of Greenwich Theatre, said “the Brighton Fringe is one of the most significant showcase opportunities for emerging theatre companies in this country, and we are delighted to be able to work with so many of the UK’s most exciting companies for this year’s festival. Audiences can expect a huge range of work from these seven companies, from comedy hip-hop opera to dark new writing and theatrical clowning, but they are all high quality shows that we hope people will enjoy watching as much as we have enjoyed supporting.”