The Bunker’s spring season is the first from its new artistic director, Chris Sonnex. The season, which spans four months and includes six productions and a unique festival, will also mark the opening of the Bunker’s Writers’ Snug – a free-to-use space in the theatre for up to four playwrights, with one desk reserved for under-represented writers.
Sonnex’s first season opens with the world premiere of Borderline’s Welcome To The UK! – a powerful satirical comedy about the situation of refugees in the UK. This bold production has been devised and performed by a mixed ensemble which includes people who have recently sought refuge in the UK.
Following this, Sacha Voit and Jessica Butcher’s funny and frank Boots is a story of cross-generational connection through forests and FemFresh, where an unlikely friendship reveals the loneliness of age and the power of Mother Nature.
My White Best Friend and Other Letters Left Unsaid… is a week-long festival exploring intersecting identities and tensions responding to writer Rachel De-Lahay’s original provocative piece, My White Best Friend.
She and director Milli Bhatia have commissioned 11 exceptional writers to pen their own letters that say the unsaid to the people that matter most. Two of the letters will be cold-read by performers each night, alongside De-Lahay’s piece.
March and April see a double bill of one-woman shows putting female working-class voices front and centre with Kat Woods’ Killymuck and Monsay Whitney’s Box Clever.
Killymuck gives an insight into the trials and tribulations of being from the benefit class system whereas Box Clever confronts us with the repercussions of systemic failure in politics to care for the working classes.
Emma Dennis-Edwards’ Fringe First award-winning Funeral Flowers follows 17-year-old Angelique as she navigates her way through adulthood, the care system and the recurring threat from her boyfriend’s gang.
The powerful season concludes with Joanna Nastari’s Fuck You Pay Me – a surreal collision of comedy, poetry and storytelling which gives a hilarious insight into the life of a stripper in London’s fast-changing cityscape.
Artistic director Chris Sonnex commented: “This season explores the full spectrum of revolution, from Emma Dennis-Edwards exploring how one very personal decision can change someone’s life in Funeral Flowers to Jessica Butcher and Sacha Voit’s burning it all down and starting again in their new play Boots.
“At The Bunker, we are incredibly honoured to welcome theatre-makers who have something to say that reflects and comments on today’s world. These voices will rise up from an underground car park in South London and be heard across the city.”
The theatre has also named Debbie Hannan (Things of Dry Hours, Latir, Cuckoo) as its new associate director; she will present a new monthly podcast – The Underground Podcast – which will be packed with artists and activists, investigating, naming and exploring what needs to change in the theatre industry. In response to the themes discussed in the podcast, The Bunker will also host a monthly variety night – The Underground Night – which will feature new and established musical, spoken word and dance talent.
The Bunker’s spring season 2019:
Borderline’s Welcome To The UK!
22 January to 16 February 2019 (Press night is 25 January)
Directed by Sophie NL Besse
19 February to 16 March 2019 (Press night is 22 February)
Written by Sacha Voit and Jessica Butcher, directed by Nadia Papachronopoulou
My White Best Friend and Other Letters Left Unsaid…
18 to 23 March 2019 (Industry night is 20 March)
Curated by Rachel De-Lahay and director Milli Bhatia. The writers will include: Bola Agbaje, Zia Ahmed, Travis Alabanza, Fatimah Ashgar, Nathan Bryon, Matilda Ibini, Jammz, Iman Qureshi, Anya Reiss, Nina Segal and Tolani Shoneye
Killymuck / Box Clever
26 March to 13 April 2019 (press night is 28 March)
15 April to 4 May 2019 (Press night is 17 April)
Written and Performed by Emma Dennis Edwards and directed by Rachel Nwokoro
Fuck You Pay Me
7 to 18 May 2019 (Press night is 9 May)
Written and performed by Joanna Nastari, directed by Bethany Pitts