Ovalhouse’s just-announced Summer Season 2018 celebrates innovation and experimentation with an incredible programme of seven new main-house shows plus seven FiRST BiTES. Exploring radical themes of social mobility and the violence of austerity, while inviting audiences to an eccentric bee party and a brand new human surround-sound experience, this eclectic season seeks to be accessible to all.
Ovalhouse continue to break boundaries staging inspirational theatre at their home in Kennington. Winners of the Greater Manchester Fringe Award for Best New Writing, Hidden Track Theatre, present Standard:Elite – an interactive theatre experience about class, privilege and social mobility, while specialists in making theatre for audiences with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities, Frozen Light, bring their new multi-sensory story of adventure and homecoming in The Isle of Brimsker. In a quest to raise awareness of one of the most pressing socio-political issue of our time, Austerity & Me explores the struggle for survival against the violence of austerity.
Additionally, as part of Ovalhouse’s effort to develop their offsite programme, audiences are invited to venture across the road to St Mark’s Church to attend Undersong, a unique human surround-sound experience using intricate vocal techniques, rich harmony and new compositions.
Ovalhouse’s Summer Season also invites adults and children to save the world – one bee at a time – with a new comedy Me and My Bee! And, to mark Refugee Week, The Croydon Avengers tells the funny and powerful story of terrorist threats, heroism and true friendship in an England that seems frightened of anyone who’s different.
As the theatre prepares to move from their much-loved home in Kennington at the end of next year’s Spring Season, Ovalhouse will mark this momentous event in history by inviting audiences and artists to be a part of a radical final season of plays – The Demolition Party.
Owen Calvert-Lyons, Ovalhouse’s Head of Theatre & Artist Development, comments:
“The announcement of the Demolition Party season next year, our final season in Kennington Oval, is a milestone in the fifty-year history of Ovalhouse. But this is no time for nostalgia. This will be a home for ground-breaking theatre until there is no ground left to break. So this summer season continues our commitment to presenting bold artists with important things to say; from Sophie Woolley’s story of becoming a cochlear-implanted cyborg to the Tokyo Love Hotel‘s exploration of the impact of technology on a society increasingly afraid of intimacy.
Main summer programme
These are the productions and co-productions in the theatre’s main house programme this summer.
Presented by Hidden Track Theatre
Tuesday 22 – Thursday 24 May, 7.30pm
Make your own choices. Tell your own story. Create your own class war. An anarchic mix of theatre and gaming, Standard:Elite is a playful, interactive theatre experience about class, privilege and social mobility. Everyone gets a Standard ticket. You have to earn an Elite. There are two types of ticket. There aren’t two types of people.
The Isle of Brimsker
Presented by Frozen Light in association with the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich
Friday 25 and Saturday 26 May, 11am & 1.30pm
A lighthouse keeper lives on a desolate outcrop surrounded by stormy seas. Duty bound to maintain the light that guides boats away from danger, she lives a solitary existence. One day a runaway lands on the shore, together they face the inevitable. Change is on the horizon but not in the form she expects. How do you survive when faced with the biggest decisions of your life?
Would you change the world or change yourself? The Isle of Brimsker is a new multi-sensory story of adventure and homecoming from Frozen Light, specialists in making theatre for audiences with Profound and Multiple Learning Disabilities.
Me and My Bee
Presented by ThisEgg
Tuesday 29 May – Saturday 2 June, 2pm
Climate change is massive. Bees aren’t. And our fuzzy little friends need our help and so multi award-winning theatre company, ThisEgg, invites you to a political party disguised as a party party disguised as a show. Help save the world – one bee at a time. Me and My Bee is a new comedy for children and adults alike. Plant the seed for change, join the Bee Party. Before it’s too late…
Presented by Ovalhouse
Tuesday 5 – Saturday 9 June, 7pm & 9pm
Undersong is a live, human surround-sound experience. The audience are wrapped in song, moving from tender to expansive, as singers thread around and through the space. An ensemble of people with different qualities of voice animate a series of new compositions inspired by our relationship to our voices throughout our lives. Having established a reputation around the UK and internationally for her innovative approach to music-making, exploring myriad ways audiences can experience the voice, Verity Standen creates sound worlds, using intricate vocal techniques and rich harmony.
Austerity & Me
Presented by Ovalhouse Performance Company
Thursday 14 – Saturday 16 June, 7.30pm (Saturday, 2pm)
Austerity – the big word we’re told so little about. It is reported to have caused over 120,000 deaths in the UK to date and is arguably the most pressing socio-political issue of our time. But what exactly is it? How does it actually affect us? And can we do anything about it? Austerity & Me is an artistic exploration of personal accounts by 18-24-year-olds living in south London today. Told through spoken word and physical theatre, this work offers the opportunity for their voice to be heard in the struggle for survival against the violence austerity inflicts.
The Croydon Avengers
Presented by Ovalhouse, Harrogate Theatre and Maya Productions in association with LittleMighty
Tuesday 19 – Saturday 23 June, 11am & 7pm
Regina Rump is on the rampage! A trio of masked vigilantes send Croydon’s crime rate plummeting. They’ve run away from their war-torn homes and are just trying to help. But Regina’s not happy. She orders her media empire to unmask the Avengers and get them off the streets. Are they terrorists? Criminals? Either way, she thinks they’re a threat to British identity.
The Croydon Avengers blends comic book visuals with action-packed martial arts to tell a funny, powerful story of terrorist threats, heroism and true friendship in an England that seems frightened of anyone who’s different.
Nele Needs A Holiday: The Musical
Presented by Nele Needs A Holiday
Wednesday 18 – Saturday 21 July, 7.30pm
A Belgian popstar moves to London to steal the job of British popstars. Luckily, austerity is there to stop her. This is a tongue-in-cheek Pop Opera about a girl called Nele who turns her life into a big international mess because she wants be famous on the other side of the English Channel.
It’s a rags-to-more-rags story showing the magnificent relieve of grandiose failure in love, life, and a so-called career. Nele Needs A Holiday is a dramatic songwriter based in Brussels and London–for as long as it lasts. After releasing two albums, she decided to write a musical theatre show about the unfortunate encounters she has with her own ambition.
A crucial and unique part of Ovalhouse’s work, this Summer Season will continue to showcase a selection of FiRST BiTES – a series of exciting new works-in-development, offering audiences a chance to join in the creative process and see raw new ideas by a diverse group of artists. Seven works have been selected for this summer.
Presented by Ovalhouse and D-Live
Thursday 17 – Saturday 19 May, 7.45pm
Jack O’Kent is a new visual adaptation of Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, using 3D projection and Visual Vernacular storytelling to create rich, imaginative characters drawn from folklore. This play creates a world of lavish fantasy, morality and humanity in which Jack attempts to discover what is real and what is not.
Presented by Ovalhouse and Catherine Hoffmann
Thursday 7 – Saturday 9 June, 7.45pm
A messy, musical ritual — Madame Ovary meets The Devils. Cyst-er Act probes into reproductive mishaps and monstrosities. What is it like to have your fallopian tube hacked off? Or to give birth to a 10lb cyst baby? The realm of the womb can be complex and bloody awesome…
Last Night I Met You Dreaming
Presented by Ovalhouse, Fit to Burst and Upstart Theatre
Thursday 14 – Saturday 16 June, 7.45pm
A magic realist story about an ambitious journalist who never got over her brother’s death. When mysterious documents are blocked by her editor she is transported to ‘The Region’, a lush green place on the verge of collapse. There she uncovers the truth about a dangerous mining operation with the help of the spirit world and an extraordinary young woman who opens her eyes and unlocks her heart. Inspired by Isabelle Allende, Eve Ensler and Naomi Klein, this visual show combines text, movement, music, animation and projection mapping.
Presented by Ovalhouse and Bear Trap
Thursday 28 – Saturday 30 June, 7.45pm
On the 4th of December 1969, Fred Hampton, 21-year-old leader of the Black Panthers, was murdered by detectives from the Chicago Police Department. To quell the resulting public outcry, officials decided to re-enact the raid for local television news. Unfortunately for them, Fred had other ideas.
Presented by Ovalhouse, Mojisola and Debo Adebayo
Friday 29 June, 7.30pm and Saturday 30 June, 2pm
Told through one woman and a live DJ, with projected animation, Stars tells the story of a very… very old lady who goes into outer space… in search of her own orgasm. Isn’t that where all the orgasms go? A moving, sensitive yet funny, multi-sensory and transformative space odyssey to be made aesthetically accessible for all.
Presented by Ovalhouse and Sophie Woolley
Thursday 12 – Saturday 14 July, 7.30pm
Sophie Woolley performs a one-person show about her experience of going deaf and becoming a cochlear implanted ‘cyborg’. What is it like to hear again? What happens to a person’s identity when twenty years of progressive deafness is suddenly reversed?
Toyko Love Hotel
Presented by Ovalhouse and Lemonade & Laughing Gas
Thursday 27 – Saturday 28 July, 7.30pm
Hello and welcome. This is Tokyo Love Hotel. This is for you. In an age of Tinder and Grindr, of Netflix and chill; in a world of screens and diminishing touch, of decreasing birth rates and increasing levels of social anxiety… what happens to intimacy now?