Sprint 2015

A festival for 'new and unusual theatre', Sprint - now in its 17th year - is famous for providing a platform for rising theatre-makers who have something urgent to say and a unique way of expressing it. The team at Camden People's Theatre lived up to this reputation with two performances from the festival about as diverse as you could ask for.

With close to 40 events to choose from, there is sure to be something for everyone at Sprint 2015

First I was treated to The Litvinenko Project by Nottingham based company 2Magpies, which took place in the theatre cafe, with servings of tea in chintzy cups and personal greetings by the two magpies themselves, Tom Barnes and Matt Wilks. What followed was a documentary-style journey, complete with reconstructions both abstract and realistic, through the fateful day in 2006 that saw Alexander Litvinenko hospitalised with what later transpired to be radiation poisoning. With the inquiry into his death now underway and the venue just minutes from University College Hospital, where Litvinenko spent his last days, Barnes and Wilks had the perfect setting for their charming and insightful piece. Both fantastic storytellers, they managed to deliver what is a chilling tale in a lighthearted and tasteful way, segueing from character to character with the aid of naught but a handful of imaginative props.

The second piece of the evening was Jamal Harewood's, The Privileged, which required the audience to remove shoes, coats and bags and prepare to interact with a polar bear. What began as playful - something akin to a parlour game, quickly gave way to something far more disturbing. Harewood shocked, challenged and tugged at the heart strings of his audience, asking us to consider our social attitudes and stereotypes and evaluate our roles within a community. Harewood is a captivating performer, and the subjects he raised and the feelings they evoked were debated in the bar long after the piece had ended.

Running until 29th March, with close to 40 events to choose from, there is sure to be something for everyone at Sprint 2015 - so long as you remember to take your sense of adventure and an open mind.

Reviews by Anna Mitcham

Camden People's Theatre

Sprint 2015

★★★★

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Welcome to Sprint 2015: a festival of new and unusual theatre - CPT's annual showcase of new work from the country's most innovative theatre-makers. Performances this year include an aromatic blend of fact, fiction, tearoom and theatre exploring the controversial death of Russian spy Alexander Litvinenko; a multimedia presentation exploring online identity, stealing and the controversial internet activities of Tory party chairman Grant Shapps; an acclaimed meditation on stereotypes, perceptions and fears regarding the black male.

Since its inception in 1997 as a showcase for ‘physical, visual and unusual theatre’, Sprint has continued to grow in scope and reputation. Companies who found early success at Sprint include Unlimited Theatre, Cartoon de Salvo, Fevered Sleep and Shunt. More recently, the festival has featured the work of Idle Motion, Made In China, Paper Birds, Stoke Newington International Airport and Search Party.

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