News: The Roundhouse announces 2020 spring season

The Roundhouse has announced a Spring 2020 Season of stereotype-smashing performing arts. Featuring Emma Frankland’s Hearty, Miguel Hernando Torres Umba’s Stardust, Rachael Young’s Nightclubbing and Out, and Emma Dennis-Edwards’ Funeral Flowers, the season runs from 27 February to 9 May.

Malú Ansaldo, Head of Performing Arts, said: “From mythical wing-bearing creatures, to stereotype-smashing stories; our Spring Season features the work of international and homegrown artists who represent the way the Roundhouse sees the world. This work takes a stand against the perceived ‘norm’, empowering us all to listen with a fresh perspective via anarchy, revolution, identity, and rave culture. So, join us as we journey into a new future for the Roundhouse, at a politically divisive time, this progressive and radical work is more necessary than ever.”

“A ferocious fight for the safety of trans women” (Guardian ****) Hearty tackles the current media fascination with trans lives around the world and interrogates the controversial bio-technology of hormone replacement therapy. Emma Frankland is an award-winning theatre-maker and performer. Visually stunning and playfully destructive, her practice has focussed on politically motivated performances surrounding issues of gender and identity (relating to her own experience as a trans woman). Emma’s diverse collection of work includes We Dig, an anarchic adaptation of Don Quijote (winner of the Wildfire Critic’s Choice award 2014), and Galatea, a 500 year-old queer love story. She has collaborated with many artists including Rachel Mars, Travis Alabanza and Jo Clifford and with multiple organisations including the Young Vic, Buddies in Bad Times, Stratford International Festival, the BBC and the Marlborough Theatre.

Miguel Hernando Torres Umba is a Colombian actor, physical theatre performer and director. Written by Daniel Dingsdale, Stardust is irreverent and impassioned multimedia solo production exploring the human cost of the global cocaine industry on communities in Latin America. Following successful runs in London, Bristol and a 5-star run at the Edinburgh Festival, Stardust is being reworked for the Roundhouse. Miguel is a performer with the renowned Gecko Theatre, a creative director at Secret Cinema and Artistic Director of Blackboard Theatre, a company he founded as a channel to create work that responds to human and socio-political issues. Stardust is created in collaboration with artists Diana Garcia, Luke Harcourt, Alex Marshall, Alexander Ferris and Sofi Lee Henson as a vehicle to start an urgent conversation. It is produced by Matthew Schmolle Productions.

Rachael Young’s Nightclubbing and Out are performed next to each other as ‘The Freedom Project’. Drawing inspiration from Afrofuturism and the cult of Grace Jones, Nightclubbing defies the boundaries of theatre, live music, dance and live art, perhaps best described as a visual and sonic poem. It reflects on the often-silenced everyday experience of being a dark-skinned black woman, navigating a white world. Rachael originally created and performed Out with dance artist Dwayne Antony, she now revisits and performs the piece with choreographer Marikiscrycrycry. Inspired by personal experiences and ongoing global struggles for LGBTQIA+ rights, Out combines live art practice with elements of Dancehall and Voguing. The show carves out a new kind of space from which to reimagine, reclaim and celebrate aspects of Caribbean culture from a queer perspective. Rachael Young is an award-winning artist and writer whose work tours the UK and internationally, creating spaces for intersectional realities to be explored and celebrated. Rachael won the Eclipse Award to take both these shows to Edinburgh Fringe in 2019, where Nightclubbing was nominated for a Total Theatre Award for ‘Innovation, Experimentation & Playing with Form’. Out won the 2017 South East Dance ‘A Space to Dance’ Brighton Fringe Award and was nominated for the ‘Total Theatre & The Place Award for Dance’ at Edinburgh Fringe.

Emma Dennis-Edwards’ Funeral Flowers, directed by Jessica Edwards, is an award-winning play telling the story of a teenager who dreams of being a florist. Both poetry and play, the show takes us on a journey of a young girl with her mum in prison, left to navigate the care system and recurring threat from her boyfriend’s gang. Writer and actor Emma Dennis-Edwards has been part of a number of prestigious writing programmes with theatres such as Royal Court, Soho Theatre and Lyric Hammersmith. Funeral Flowers, premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe 2018, becoming a Fringe First Winner, and is published by Samuel French.

Global Voices Theatre marks their 2nd birthday with the inaugural full-length reading of a play, specially shortlisted from their excerpted reading events. Global Voices Theatre, an Associate Company at the Roundhouse, is an all-female, non-binary and immigrant-led theatre company that platform underrepresented voices through rehearsed reading and Q&A events, presenting scripts in translation and from the wider English-speaking world.

The Roundhouse will be offering limited early bird tickets across the season, with savings of up to £5 on tickets.

To book tickets visit roundhouse.org.uk/springseason  

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