News: Battersea Arts Centre announces Homegrown Festival 2020

Battersea Arts Centre announces the programme for Homegrown Festival 2020 (30 March – 9 April), an annual celebration of emerging talent from London’s next generation of artists. This year the annual festival forms part of Going Global, Tarek Iskander’s inaugural season as Artistic Director of Battersea Arts Centre, focusing on reaching outwards and creating connections between the UK and the world at a time of national introspection.

The unique building will become home to over 20 companies across the festival, showcasing the huge range of creative practitioners currently making vibrant new work in London. This year’s takeover features performances, gigs, exhibitions and workshops which tackle urgent global questions from a fresh perspective; grappling with the concept of wellness in an increasingly digital world, calling out for activism and exploring cultural migration through the eyes of today’s descendants.

Battersea Arts Centre is a Relaxed Venue, the first to have gone through Touretteshero’s brand new method of identifying and dismantling barriers to access, and strives to radically embed inclusivity across all its activities. For Homegrown Festival, this includes making every ticket available for £10 or less and every component of the festival being Relaxed. At Battersea Arts Centre, this means a relaxed attitude to noise and movement during performances and events, a designated ‘chill-out space’ for guests and ear defenders made available for those with sensory sensitivities.

Nurturing young people’s creativity is central to Battersea Arts Centre’s mission; to inspire people, to take creative risks, to shape the future. The Homegrown programme is a year-round incubator of theatre and music-making and producer development, just one of several programmes to co-create work which is underpinned by Battersea Arts Centre’s Scratch methodology for testing out new ideas and ways of doing things. Homegrown Festival is an opportunity to platform their creative projects which this year includes:

Members of the BAC Beatbox Academy, whose production of Frankenstein: How to Make a Monster is currently receiving rave reviews at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in Australia, will perform a Showcase (2 April) of emerging talent, and appear in the Scratch Bar Open Mic Nights to test out new material (various dates).

Creative Entrepreneurship project The Agency supports young people to become ‘agents of change’ in their community through training, seed funding, continuing support, as well as specialist advice from tailored experts to activate their ideas for positive social change. Hosted by some of these Agents, Homegrown Wellness Day (2 April) will provide a space to explore wellness and mental wellbeing. Free activities include a tea party from Baby Reign, DIY body scrub workshop from Sydney’s Naturals and facials made from all natural products from The GLOW Up.

The latest instalment of IAMNEXT (9 April) from Youth Music Entrepreneur Award-winner Seshie Henry. The youth-led networking project has been developed as part of The Agency, and supports underground aspiring artists to break into the music industry, develop artistically and grow their fan base.

Grand Hall Takeover – Battersea Arts Centre’s Young Producers will stage a raucous party in the Grand Hall and its surroundings (including the beautiful gothic corridors and ornate Octagonal Hall) including artists from all walks of life.
Over eleven days, Battersea Arts Centre will be bursting with bold performance, dance, live music, parties, live podcast recording and free exhibitions, installations and workshops. Further highlights include:

Celebrating work from diverse voices: Pepa Duarte uses live onstage cooking in the full-length premier of EATING MYSELF (1-4 April), a communal experience to examine what it means to be a woman in Peruvian society; Deaf Rave (3 April) presents a line-up of d/Deaf performers and DJs for a night of dance, sign songs and visual vernacular (sign language story telling) for audiences of all hearing abilities; award-winning Hip-Hop Artist and international storyteller Alim Kamara (TEDxTottenham) performs his unique style of African and Islamic storytelling (Stories, 3-4 April), for the first time paired with an explosive live musical finale featuring exclusive new tracks (Personal, 9 April); multidisciplinary artist tyroneisaacstewart presents the premier of S!CKnotes (7-9 April), a performance in three parts inspired by his upcoming UK Jazz debut album S!CK.

Interrogating life in the digital world: Close Encounter Club (2 April) touches down after a year of sold-out immersive live shows, the conceptual live music night returns with psychedelic live sessions from Weird Milk and more of the hottest Indie/ Alternative bands; Zimbabwe-born spoken word artist and theatre maker Tatenda Matsvai shifts between memory and fiction in the premier of TRANSIT (3-4 April), using live music, poetry and BSL to create visceral landscapes through the manipulation of sound, space, projections and the body; Claire Gaydon blends social experiment, live performance and multimedia in See-Through (7–9 April); the premier of Chaotic Silence’s Hidden Smiles (7-9 April), asking how self-care might protect users from the destructive influence of social media.

Exploring activism; the premier of EcoChambers (2 – 4 April) developed with Battersea Arts Centre, this daring interactive game by Exit Productions places audience members at the heart of Eco-protests; throughout the festival internationally acclaimed artist Kay Rufai displays his bold portraiture exhibition S.M.I.L.E-ing BOYS, created to combat negative imagery of young black Londoners who are disproportionately affected by discrimination and criminalisation; a free video installation by film maker Izzy Inkpen to provoke action in the face of the climate crisis.

Encouraging wellness; along with the Homegrown Wellness Day (2 April), collaborators Mia and Theïa look at connection, conversation and community in their participatory installation HOMELAND which runs across the whole Homegrown Festival.

FULL LISTINGS

Title: Alice
Artist: Emily Renée
Dates: 31 March – 1 April
Booking Link: bac.org.uk/alice
Running time: 50 mins
Age Guidance: 12+
Relaxed Performance: All performances are relaxed

“We gave her a different name to us. I don’t know why we chose Alice. We wanted something English.”

An exploration of Azerbaijani-British identity, Alice is an arresting solo performance about creating our own myths, and defining who we are.

Alice is written and performed by Emily Renée (Modern Love, Pleasance Theatre; Postcards from London, TATE Britain) and presented by Klein Blue (Are There Female Gorillas?), with direction and dramaturgy from Tamar Saphra (Resident Director, Almeida).

Title: EATING MYSELF (Full Length Premiere)
Artist: Pepa Duarte
Dates: 1 – 4 April
Time: 7.30pm
Price: £7.50
Booking Link: bac.org.uk/eatingmyself
Running time: 60 mins
Relaxed Performance: All performances are relaxed

Pepa Duarte’s EATING MYSELF is a powerful and vulnerable exploration of food, the kitchen, the act of nurturing ourselves and how this relates to what it means to be a woman in Peruvian society.

The show becomes a communal experience through the use of onstage cooking while examining the performer’s deep fight around body image and self-care.

A shared ritual with South American flavour, it takes the audience back to our roots and question how different or similar we really are.

Title: Homegrown Wellness Day
Date: 2 April
Time: 3-7pm
Price: Free
Booking Link: bac.org.uk/agencywellness
Relaxed Performance: All performances are relaxed

The ‘Positive Pamper Parlour’ will be a space to explore wellness and mental wellbeing with the aim of feeling better rather than just looking better. Including a tea party with Baby Reign, a workshop to make DIY body scrubs out of household ingredients with Syndey’s Naturals and a ‘Meditate Mask’ treatment using all-natural products*. This event is a collaboration between Kyle of The GLOW UP, Sydney of Sydney’s Naturals and Daisy of Baby Reign. Their projects have been developed through The Agency, and are making social change within Wandsworth.

*Tea party and DIY body scrub workshop are both drop-in, no appointment necessary. Facial treatments are bookable via: theglowup@franksremeedies.com

Title: Weird Milk Live at the Close Encounter Club
Company: Close Encounter Club
Date: 2 April
Time: Doors from 7.30pm
Price: £10
Booking Link: bac.org.uk/CloseEncounterClub
Curfew: 11pm
Age Guidance: 16+
Relaxed Performance: All performances are relaxed

The Close Encounter Club, in association with Gigwise, touches down at Battersea Arts Centre on 2 April. After a year of sold-out immersive live shows and festival landings, the conceptual live music venue returns with a far-out, psychedelic night of live music sessions from the hottest Indie/ Alternative bands.
Previous acts to play The Club include Happyness, Our Girl, FUR, Trudy and the Romance, Los Bitchos and Whenyoung. Headline act: Weird Milk, full line-up to be confirmed.

The Close Encounter Club is an intergalactic music venue orbiting Planet Earth. We abduct the galaxy’s grooviest artists to bring you live sessions that are out of this world.

Title: EcoChambers
Company: Exit Productions
Dates: 2 – 4 April
Time: on 2 April at 6pm and 8.30pm, on 3 April at 8.30pm, on 4 April at 6pm and 8.30pm
Price: £7.50
Booking Link: bac.org.uk/ecochambers
Running time: 90 mins + post-show debrief
Relaxed Performance: All performances are relaxed

The fate of the planet is in your hands.

Eco Chambers is interactive performance that casts the audience as the decision makers of a protest group causing disruptions around the city. Based loosely on the Extinction Rebellion, this is an experience that will question what extremes people will go to for the sake of saving the planet.
Developed at Battersea Arts Centre.

Title: DeafRave
Company: Deaf Rave
Date: 3 April
Time: 8pm (Doors from 7.30pm)
Price: £10
Booking Link: bac.org.uk/deafrave
Running time: 120 mins
BSL Performance: All performances will be in British Sign Language
Relaxed Performance: All performances are relaxed

ORGANISED BY DEAF PEOPLE, FOR ALL PEOPLE…

Deaf Rave presents a line-up of d/Deaf performers and DJs at this visually captivating club event for audiences of all hearing abilities (all performances will be in BSL). Troi ‘DJ Chinaman’ Lee hosts an evening of dance, sign songs and visual vernacular (sign language story telling) featuring MC Geezer, Jay Llewellyn, Jade Potter, Deaf CultureKingz, Deaf Mimo, Zoe McWhinney and Dance duo Tiana Braithwaite and Sarah Barnard.

Title: Personal/ Stories – Stories (Premiere of this work as a triple bill)
Artist: Alim Kamara
Dates: 3 – 4 April
Time: 7.15pm
Price: £7.50
Booking Link: bac.org.uk/AKstories
Running time: 50 mins
Relaxed Performance: All performances are relaxed

Award-winning Hip-Hop Artist and international storyteller Alim Kamara (TEDxTottenham) premiers a triple-bill (see below listing for Personal), performing his unique style of storytelling (Stories).
3 April – Islamic Storytelling
Discover beautiful stories based on the Qur’an and inspired by inspirational people from the Muslim faith.

4 April – African Storytelling
Inspiring greatness and preserving the oral cultural tradition

Broaden your knowledge of Africa and discover a new side to the continent with enchanting stories that educate and motivate.

Title: TRANSIT (Premiere)
Artist: Tatenda Matsvai
Dates: 3 – 4 April
Time: 7pm
Price: £7.50
Booking Link: bac.org.uk/transit
Running time: 60 mins
Age Guidance: 12+
BSL Performance: This show includes British Sign Language
Relaxed Performance: All performances are relaxed

Unhu Theatre presents the premier of TRANSIT by Zimbabwe-born spoken word artist and theatre maker Tatenda Matsvai.

‘TRANSIT’- Where is home when we are always moving? A sensorial journey through place and time, shifting between memory and fiction, TRANSIT follows the tongues of displaced voices as we journey from London to their beginning. Hitting the Harare heat to the busy bumble of London city streets.

TRANSIT intermingles live music with poetry to create visceral landscapes through the manipulation of sound, space, projections, and body. In a world where past present and future unite, the performers transform as they tell tales of old, handed down from ancestors. This show includes BSL.

Title: DEM TIMES (Scratching new episodes)
Artist: Jacob Roberts – Mensah
Dates: 3 & 9 April
Time: 8pm
Price: £7.50
Booking Link: bac.org.uk/demtimes
Running time: 75 mins
Relaxed Performance: All performances are relaxed

Expelled from high school, British-born trouble-maker Samuel Adjei finds himself on a plane heading to Ghana… and boarding school. The year is 2019, the ‘Year of Return’. His formative years have begun. These are ‘DEM TIMES’.

Part teen odyssey, part snapshot of West-African boarding school life, DEM TIMES is a live podcast exploring cultural migration, coming of age and an identity in crisis.

Written by Roberts-Mensah and Rhys Reed-Johnson, audiences are invited to watch episodes of DEM TIMES being performed live (as heard previously on BBC Radio 4’s New Creative Dramas and at the London Podcast Festival), and also to take part in scratching new episodes.

Title: S!CKnotes (Premiere)
Artist: tyroneisaacstewart
Dates: 7 – 9 April
Time: 7pm
Price: £7.50
Booking Link: bac.org.uk/sicknotes
Running time: 105 mins (inc. interval)
Relaxed Performance: All performances are relaxed

Multidisciplinary artist tyroneisaacstewart presents the premier of S!CKnotes; a performance in three parts inspired by his upcoming UK Jazz debut album S!CK.

The night begins with a dance-fuelled look up (or down) towards the STARSYSTEMS. Next, PASSENGERS is a heady cocktail of nostalgia, culture and colonialism. And closing the triptych, tyrone forms a musical trio (featuring Rico Komolafe on Bass and Raimund Wong on Tapes & Electronics) for the final moment of this jazz-fuelled hymn to the power of 3.

Title: M(Other)land (Premiere of full programme)
Company: Niquelle LaTouche Arts
Dates: 7 – 9 April
Time: 7.15pm
Price: £7.50
Booking Link: bac.org.uk/motherland
Running time: 40 mins (inc. 10 min interval), plus post-show discussion
Relaxed Performance: All performances are relaxed

A fusion of spoken word, explosive African and Jamaican Dancehall and UK Grime.

Celebrating African nuances, gestures and dance, M(Other)land explores the importance of art as a universal language, presented in three parts for the first time: (Place)nta, M(other) T(on)gu(e) and S(we)ar D(own)? Inn(it).

The performance is followed by an interactive discussion with the cast.

Title: Hidden Smiles (Premiere)
Company: Chaotic Silence
Dates: 7 – 9 April
Time: 7.30pm
Price: £7.50
Booking Link: bac.org.uk/chaoticsilence
Running time: 50 mins
Relaxed Performance: All performances are relaxed

Chaotic Silence performs the premier of Victor Masha’s, Hidden Smiles, devised by through residencies at Battersea Arts Centre. The play asks how self-care might protect users from the destructive influence of social media.
The outside world is calling for rebellion.

Battling the destructive influence of social media and the Wired World on their lives, a group of young men and women embark on a spiritual journey of self-rediscovery, determined to reconnect with what really matters.

Title: See-Through
Artist: Claire Gaydon
Dates: 7 – 9 April
Time: 8.15pm
Price: £7.50
Booking Link: bac.org.uk/seethrough
Age guidance: 16+ This show contains strong language, references to sex and drug use.
Running time: 60 mins
Relaxed Performance: All performances are relaxed

All you need is a camera, an internet connection and something to say.

Last year, 34% of young people voted YouTuber as their top career choice. Claire was intrigued. She decided to have a go. Part documentary, part live performance, part parody, part desperate as f*ck, Claire does everything she can to entertain her online audience. While remaining 100% totally authentically real.

Examining validation, confession and the cost of sharing, See-Through is an edited, unedited, live, pre-recorded, reality show that invites you to see behind the camera.

Developed with support from Arts Council England, Lincoln Performing Arts Centre, Derby Theatre, Camden People’s Theatre and The Old Church.

Title: Personal/Stories – Personal (Exclusive new tracks)
Artist: Alim Kamara
Date: 9 April
Time: 8.30pm
Price: £10
Booking Link: bac.org.uk/AKpersonal
Running time: 90 mins
Relaxed Performance: All performances are relaxed

Award-winning Hip-Hop Artist and international storyteller Alim Kamara (TEDxTottenham) premiers a triple-bill (See above listing for Stories), culminating in an explosive live musical finale on 9 April, Personal, with exclusive new tracks from his upcoming album and music by The NuVibez Band.

Title: IAMNEXT
Artist: Seshie Henry
Date: 9 April
Time: 2pm
Booking Link: bac.org.uk/iamnext
Running time: 4 hrs

Relaxed Performance: All performances are relaxed
Agent Seshie Henry (International Young Music Entrepreneur of the Year) chairs a panel of DJs, musicians and music producers at IAMNEXT, a youth-led networking event to build commercial opportunities within the music industry for local and aspiring artists.

Title: S.M.I.L.E-ing Boys
Artist: Kay Rufai
Dates: 30 March – 9 April
Time: Durational
Price: Free
Booking Link: bac.org.uk/smile
Relaxed Performance: All performances are relaxed

Throughout the festival internationally acclaimed artist Kay Rufai displays his bold portraiture exhibition S.M.I.L.E-ing BOYS, created to combat negative imagery of young black Londoners who are disproportionately affected by discrimination and criminalisation. A previous incarnation of this work was displayed at Battersea Arts Centre, during Homegrown Festival: Occupy in 2019.

Title: HOMELAND
Artists: Mia & Theïa
Dates: 30 March – 9 April
Time: Durational
Price: Free
Booking Link: bac.org.uk/miatheia
Relaxed Performance: All performances are relaxed

Sit down, relax, join in… everyone is welcome.

Mia and Theïa have a room full of different things. Help them wrap objects in fabric and yarn, or just enjoy conversation and community in a homey atmosphere.

Collaborators Mia Giacone and Theïa Maldoom have a background in movement, theatre and fine art. HOMELAND is a participatory installation looking at connection, conversation and community, and was developed at Battersea Arts Centre in 2019.

Title: BAC Beatbox Academy Showcase
Date: 2 April
Time: 7.30pm
Price: Free
Running time: 30 mins
Relaxed Performance: All performances are relaxed
Booking Link: Tickets on sale soon
Title: Scratch Bar Open Mic Nights
Dates: Various dates across the festival, on sale soon
Relaxed Performance: All performances are relaxed
Booking Link: Tickets on sale soon

Title: Young Producers Grand Hall Takeover
Date: 9 April
Time: 8.30pm – 11.30pm
Price: £10
Booking Link: Tickets on sale soon

Relaxed Performance: All performances are relaxed

The Grand Hall and its surroundings (including the beautiful gothic corridors and ornate Octagonal Hall) are being taken over by Battersea Arts Centre’s Young Producers. We’re inviting you to join artists from all walks of life to celebrate and party.

For more information visit https://www.bac.org.uk/

Photo credit: Battersea Arts Centre

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