Battersea Arts Centre’s new season Wild Times, running from April to July 2021, will be available as part of a new, universal Pay What You Can pricing model.
The goal of the season is to reach and re-connect with as many people as possible after such a challenging year, with the Pay What You Can approach marking another step towards the venue becoming more inclusive.
Tarek Iskander, artistic director and CEO of Battersea Arts Centre, said: “Our topsy-turvy world continues to transform at a rapid pace, and like the artists, young people and communities who are the creative engines of Wild Times, at Battersea Arts Centre we are determined to be part of a better future for everyone. The remarkable and diverse works in this programme exemplify people adapting, reimagining themselves, doing things differently. They don’t shy away from the hard truths but are also full of joy and the thrill of future possibilities. It’s proof that even a pandemic can’t stop our collective determination to connect, collaborate and be creative.
“The Wild Times season also marks a major landmark for Battersea Arts Centre as we move to a universal Pay What You Can model. So from now on, as well as being relaxed, every BAC performance, live or digital, should be financially accessible to everyone. As the times demand, it’s important that we are all supported to come together now, whatever our financial means or personal circumstances, and do the exciting creative thinking needed to refashion our communities and the ways we relate to each other and our world.”
Battersea Arts Centre welcomes back audiences to the Grand Hall in July for a week of in-person celebration with Lucy McCormick’s Life: LIVE! (8-15 July 2021). Originally programmed for last year’s (interrupted) Going Global season, the subversive pop concert spectacular amplifies what it means to perform ‘live’ in a new, acoustic production.
Wild Times also features acclaimed artists embracing the enforced pause in live touring, who reimagine their stage works for the screen. Award-winning artist Selina Thompson premieres salt: dispersed (22-27 June), adapting her show about grief, Black British identity and colonialism in an intimate film experience.
Shot in Battersea Arts Centre during the lockdown, Hofesh Shechter’s Political Mother: The Final Cut (2-4 July) is a short film and dance piece inspired by the iconic original production, immersing audiences into a fragile world where individuals struggle against society’s complex structures.
The Brownton Abbey collective will host an inclusive online gathering made by and centering disabled queer artists of colour. Brownton Abbey: Talk Show (18-20 June) will include exclusive screenings of new digital performance commissions, infused with frank and open conversations led by the collective.
Katherine Kotz curates The Motherhood Project (19-25 April); 15 exciting short films from contributors such as Juno Dawson, Suhayla El Bushra, Hannah Khalil, Morgan Lloyd Malcolm, Irenosen Okojie, Lemn Sissay MBE, and Athena Stevens, exploring the guilt, joy, absurdity and taboo surrounding motherhood.
In a pioneering residency and commission programme, Chisato Minamimura, Brian Mullin, N2P, Poltergeist Theatre and RashDash will combine one of their new or popular stage works with cutting edge digital technologies. Audiences will be able to experience the five world premieres (24 May-13 June) through their mobile phones or laptops.
Young people will take the lead, as five alumni Agents (who have all been through Battersea Arts Centre’s creative entrepreneurship programme for 15-25 year olds, The Agency) present Free Up Fest (3 July). Outdoors, in the heart of Battersea, the festival will celebrate the diversity, creative talent and innovation in the area, including a specially created life-sized version of the crime-prevention board game Life Is What U Make It by alumni Agent Osmond Gordon Vernon.
Artist and gardener Jo Fong will create What Will People Need?, an art installation and online archive of voices which will “encourage the depth and legacy of communities”, a vital source of support for so many over the past year. This coincides with Battersea Arts Centre welcoming local residents and NHS staff as the Community Vaccination Centre for Wandsworth.