Spring 2016 – Verve Festival
Above The Arts Theatre
Photography: Boris Mitkov
THE TAMING OF THE SHREW / 5th Apr-1st May
Above the Arts Theatre West End
An exhilarating retelling of Shakespeares’s dark comedy, where social absurdities are turned on their head to glorious comic effect.
Cast includes: Martina Laird (Casualty, Jericho , Shameless, A Touch of Frost ) with Kazeem Tosin Amore, Karlina Grace, Catherine Lamb, Brigid Lohrey, Eugenia Caruso, Tim Bowie, Tracy Green, Kayla Meikle and Lorenzo Martelli.
As part of Custom/Practice’s month long Verve Festival at the Arts exploring shifting relations between minority groups and the theatre – with a focus on gender, race and disability – this unique production sees the main characters switch sex, in a world where the women hold the power and the men are ‘advantageously wed’.
A hilariously disorienting exploration that breathes new life into to this darkest of Shakespearean comedies.
“…the kind of energy and enthusiasm that Shakespeare thrives upon…”
∗∗∗∗ TimeOut on As You Like It
“…this exuberant production gives this well-loved comedy a sparkling freshness.”
∗∗∗∗ What’sOnStage on Twelfth Night
“…dynamic and powerful…this splendid production was enthusiastically applauded”
British Theatre Guide on Romeo & Juliet
“…one of the most accessible and intelligent productions of, arguably, one of the favorites in the Shakespeare repertoire.”
British Theatre Guide on A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Verve Festival Comedy Nights
11th April : 8pm : Rosie Wilby and friends, with Suzy Bennett and Meryl O’Rourke – check out http://www.rosiewilby.com for more
25th April : 8pm : Sajeela Kershi, Ada Campe & Bisha K Ali present the rioutous ‘Funny Fillies’ – check out https://www.facebook.com/Funny-Fillies-Sajeela-Kershi-Suzy-Bennett-185505468139414/?fref=ts
Verve Festival Platform Insights
Dr Naomi Paxton leads a series of insight discussions assessing the work and lives of feminist theatre makers past and present.
20th April : 6pm : Sue Parrish from Sphinx Theatre (@Sphinxtheatre); Rebecca Mordan from Scary Little Girls (@ScaryLittleGs)
27th April : 6pm : Ellie Bland from Siberian Lights (@siberianlights4); Amie Taylor (@AmieAmieTay), theatre maker and director of LGBTQ Arts Review; and Beth Watson from Bechdel Theatre (@BechdelTheatre)
Tickets £5, including a £5 discount on tickets for The Taming of the Shrew
Verve Festival Highlights
Robert Poulter’s New Model Theatre
Sundays see a fascinating diorama performance from Robert Poulter’s New Model Theatre; Those Fearless Female Flyers is high speed puppet-based adventure telling the story of four pioneering women pilots of the 1920s & 30s, who against all the odds took to the air and achieved a number of astounding flying firsts;
Comedy and Cabaret
Saturday nights see the coming together of London’s best cabaret stars – an eclectic mix of music and song from some of the UK’s most innovative cabaret performers; Mondays will be comedy night, with all acts showcasing the celebration of diversity that is at the heart of the Verve Festival with a refreshing mix of stand-up, sketches and musical comedy mayhem.
*** 23rd Line-up Confirmed: MC Jorik Mol introduces three wonderful acts – Samantha Baines (www.samanathabaines.
Verve platforms are a series of discussions from leading UK Theatre Makers which bring a chance to celebrate the cultural diversity of theatre makers, and find out more about what we have in common, as well as the differences that make us unique. The platforms explore how we can use this understanding to create engaging and exceptional theatre that celebrates diversity and motivates constructive change.
Tuesdays: Minorities in Theatre : Career Perspectives
Wednesdays: The work and lives of feminist theatre makers past and present – insight discussions led by Dr Naomi Paxton.
Verve Scratch Theatre:
Come and enjoy the best in diverse new writing, and theatre in development from some of the UK’s hottest talent, as part of the Verve Festival. Sundays 5.15.pm. FREE (upon request) with tickets for Taming of the Shrew, or £10 standalone tickets.
Sunday 24th April: Brigid Lohrey presents a one-woman show, Nellie, followed by Big Boy by Nathan Foad, with cast Brigid Lohrey and John Fricker.