Bloomsbury Festival

Festival Name: Bloomsbury Festival

Link to site: https://bloomsburyfestival.org.uk

Festival Type: Art and Culture Festival 

Festival Dates: October 16-25, 2020

Overview of Festival: The Festival works with many large and small partners to create and deliver its annual programme.  More than simply a showcase for the area, instead Bloomsbury Festival acts as a catalyst bringing together artists and academics, scientists and dancers, musicians, publishers and school pupils to make new projects and to inspire and learn from each other. With a unique blend of academic institutions, businesses, cultural organisations and diverse communities, Bloomsbury has been a catalyst for ideas that have had impact across the world for hundreds of years.  Bloomsbury Festival celebrates contemporary Bloomsbury; a hotbed of creativity and pioneering development which has one of the youngest and most diverse populations in the country.

(Overview provided by Bloomsbury Festival)

Sponsors and Partners: The Bedford Estates, UCL London, the SHM Foundation, Midtown

Festival Team:

Festival Director – Rosemary Richards 

Artistic Associates – Bill Gee and Orit Azaz

Senior Programme Manager – John-Paul Muir

Programme Manager – Avni Patel

Operations Manager – Melanie Wilson

Associate Production Manager – Jonathan Bartlett

Production Manager, Events – Jessica Hudsley

Marketing Manager – Claire Bowdler

Press and PR Representative – Michael Eppy

Design & Branding Manager – Gillian Allmark

Marketing and Admin Officer – Nicole Atkinson

Bookkeeper – Penelope Eaton

First Festival Date: 2006

Festival History: Established in 2006, Bloomsbury Festival is a creative explosion of arts, culture and science.  For five days each October, the streets, parks, museums, galleries, laboratories and public and private buildings of this vibrant cultural quarter play host up to 130 events which attract a significant audience from across London and beyond.

(History provided by Bloomsbury Festival)

2020 Season

Play Performed: Truth to Power Cafe

Playwright: Jeremy Goldstein

Synopsis: Jeremy Goldstein’s Truth to Power Café is a profound reflection on loss, hope and resistance told through memoir, image, poetry, music, and live and spontaneous testimony from participants with stories to tell in response to the question ‘who has power over you and what do you want to say to them?’

Play Performed: Magellan

Synopsis: 500 years ago, the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan set sail from Spain with the vision to open a new westerly route to the Spice Islands, in modern day Indonesia.

Magellan’s plan was correct. Not only did his fleet reach its destination by sailing westward around South America; but by maintaining its westerly route it eventually managed to also return to Spain 3 years later, completing the first circumnavigation of Earth, discovering the Pacific Ocean and all its indigenous civilisations.

Play Performed: Tomorrow Will be Better

Playwright: RADA Graduate Company

Genres: Tragic Comedy

Synopsis: Tomorrow Will Be Better is an immersive sensorial tragicomic production on the themes of vision, sight, dreaming, hallucination, cinema, light as a cure in different forms across history, and their impact on our soul. The play is set in a modern day Asclepeion, the legendary Ancient Greek temple of healing, which offers treatment through traditional practices, re-creations of cathartic historical events (e.g. The Dancing Plague of 1518, The Laughter Epidemic of 1962), natural phenomena (e.g. Aurora Borealis, tempests, Perseids) and the power of cinema to several lost souls. Made of short vignettes, ranging from non-verbal physical theatre, rituals, to dialogue based scenes, and dance, be•wilder tracks the human journey towards enlightenment, recovery, and perhaps happiness.

Play Performed: Invisible Me

Playwright: Bren Goslin

Genres: Drama

Synopsis: Contemporary London (pre or post Covid). Timid, Lynn is rattling around alone in the terraced house she inherited from her mother, only venturing out to work shifts as a hotel cleaner; Jack, a recent widower, gay and HIV positive, finds himself on the singles market again after 35 years and at the mercy of dating Apps. Alec, divorced with a grown up family he rarely sees, can’t define himself as anything other than the 20 year old punk who easily pulled the birds forty years ago.

As these three Londoners enter their sixth decade, each has an encounter which shifts how they see themselves. From that moment on they stop being trapped in and defined by their past lives, and instead begin to envision the future through a new found identity.

Play Performed: The New Mirror

Synopsis: An experimental retelling of Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Snow Queen, in spoken word and soundscapes, for adult audiences. When the broken fragments of a powerful new mirror rain down on the earth people everywhere start seeing things differently, overnight. One best friend leaves the other behind, and each embarks alone on a journey into a world of distorted light and refracted vision that leads them to places they could never have seen, in ways they could never have imagined, at unimaginable cost.

Play Performed: In the Secret Garden of Frances Hodgson Burnett

Helix Productions 

Synopsis:  Frances Hodgson Burnett is most famous as the author of The Secret Garden but her life and indeed her considerable literary output remain largely unknown.

Play Performed: Virginia Woolf: Killing The Angel

Playwright: Lucy Stevens

Synopsis: A new one-woman play with music that weaves the life of Virginia Woolf, as expressed in her own words, with music and songs by female composers who were her contemporaries – much of which is out of print and rarely performed.

Previous Seasons Shows:

2019: 

The Glass Elephant Goodenough Theatre Company

Bodies in Space London House, Goodenough College

Blue Chapel Playhouse

The Hamletmachine Crush Hall, Senate house (Interpretation of Heiner Müller’s play)

2018:

Contance and Kelley Waiting in the Dark Theatre

Tinted by Amy Bethan Evans 

Moment of Grace by Bren Gosling

Devoted to Mikhail Ugarove and Elena Gremina 

The Lost and The Found by Pulling Threads

New Wave: Hop PPS Ensemble

New Wave: Tiger Under the Skin

I, Dido by DOT Productions

The Memoir Club by Goodenough Theatre Company

A Necessary Woman 

Mrs Shaw Herself 

New Wave: Nocturne 

Seasons in years 2006-2017: Under Construction

Links:

https://bloomsburyfestival.org.uk/?s=play+reading

Entered by: Anna Galanides

Photo/Visual Research with citations

Main page image provided by the Bloomsbury Festival

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