One of the first outdoor theatre seasons to be announced as lockdown eases, The New Normal will take place at The Royal Victoria Patriotic Building in Wandsworth, London from 3-31 August 2020.
The New Normal Festival will have a stellar line-up of comedy, improv, magic, music and theatre for a smaller audience in the walled courtyard at the Grade II Listed Royal Victoria Patriotic Building. This follows the Government announcement on 11 July inviting open air theatres to reopen with social distancing when possible.
The New Normal is one of the very first outdoor theatre festivals to be announced for summer 2020. The intimate setting will offer audiences a chance to see performers and entertainers who would have been at the Edinburgh Fringe, started the year with VAULT Festival, or had theatre and comedy seasons cut short in mid-March. The festival, put together by Sean Turner, started with a tweet inviting producers with outdoor ready shows to get in touch.
Theatre Director and event curator Sean Turner:
“I am absolutely over the moon to be able to offer an opportunity to all these incredible artists after such a tough few months. I’ve always wanted to use this gorgeous space for something like this so when Oliver Dowden said ‘Go for it’ to open air theatres, I leapt at the chance!”
Highlights include leading Shakespeare troops, plays, comedy, music and improv. The event – for many performers – will be their first time on stage in five months or more. Olivier Award-winning hit Showstopper! will perform three shows over two days.
Funny Gals duo-Natasha Barnes and Vikki Stone’s musical mash-up will perform to one of their most intimate crowds ever; I Wish My Life Was Like A Musical, which garnered 20 five-star reviews at the Edinburgh Fringe 2019, will also take to the stage.
There’s also new plays for those missing the theatre. Ellipsis by Isabelle Farah, her story of a career in comedy, appears in a double-bill with If This is Normal by Lucy Danser; Dad’s Army Radio Show, Perry and Croft’s classic BBC sitcom will be brought to life in the two-hander starring David Benson and Jack Lane on Sunday 16.
The outdoor Shakespeare strand features London College of Music’s As You Like It, which was about to be performed by the final year students when they were all told they had to down tools. Folksy Theatre presents Taming of the Shrew; Facsimile brings a fast and furious Two Gentlemen of Verona; and The Three Inch Fools bring their unique brand of musical storytelling to the ultimate summer show A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Bard in the Yard is a new play about Shakespeare in quarantine starring Lucy Aarden in a double bill on with Shake It Up, the live improvised Shakespeare play. And families will enjoy the matinee performances of The Play’s The Thing by the Globe Players.
Spooky and comedy crime combine in a double bill with Shoddy Theatre presenting Shoddy Detective and the Art of Deception, in a double bill with The Signalman, Charles Dickens’ last completed work re-told for a live audience. Fresh from their successful run at the Old Red Lion.
Improv artists featured will include opening night’s CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation, a crime comedy entirely made up on the spot to solve a surreal murder chosen by the audience; Free Association with brand new show Jacuzii; and Notflix, the Netflix approved, live, film-obsessed, all-female improv group.
Comedy clubs are also returning to the stage including two star-packed nights from Good Ship Comedy as well as ComedyClub4Kids with their no-swear kid-friendly comedy shows.
More events to be announced in the coming weeks.