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Omnibus Theatre - April to July 2020

96 Festival

Season preview

THE new Summer season at Omnibus Theatre highlights five productions including a modern revival and three pieces of new-writing. Festivals also make their mark on the season, in particular the return of 96 Festival, a three-week celebration of Queerness and theatre.

LISTINGS

Small Change – written by Peter Gill and directed by George Richmond-Scott, it runs from April 21 to May 9. Tickets £16, £13 and £10 previews.

It’s not only pictures of the past that invented me, but the literal past. Things happened that couldn’t be changed.

Peter Gills’ powerful memory play, set on the east side of Cardiff in the 1950s and the 1970s, is about boyhood, the complex relationships between mothers and sons and the search for truth.

Last performed in London in 2008, this poetic exploration of the human condition centres around Gerard, a troubled man at the end of youth, trapped by his past. He relives his vibrant childhood searching for the moment that defined him. Gill’s story and its close examination of the truth and beauty in the ordinary and mundane, is widely regarded as his finest work.

Read more about Small Change.

Angry Yellow Woman – written by Vera Chok, it runs from May 19 to May 21. Tickets: £13, £11.

Vera Chok is a 42-year old woman of colour, first generation immigrant and ally to marginalised groups. Or so she thinks. She dreams of dogs, dancing and delicious food. Oh, and world peace. Join yellow Vera as she figures out if she’s a “racist” or if the world is too black and white.

This is a solo autobiographical show about fear and other strange attachments, with silly dancing.

96 Festival – June 9 to June 27.

96 Festival returns by popular demand but this time in a new calendar slot in June. A glittering line-up of artists will set up camp at Omnibus Theatre for a spectacular celebration of Queerness and theatre. 96 Festival has been conceived in remembrance and celebration of the iconic Pride party on Clapham a Common in 1996.

This year’s artists include; sword swallowing performance artist MisSa Blue, Improviser Monica Gaga with Hell Yeah! and special Takeovers by The Family Jewels, Amie Taylor and Beth Watson. Theatre makers Katie Bonna and Roann McCloskey also join a glittering line up, with more shows to be announced soon.

Nothing in a Butterfly – written by Ric Renton and directed by Chris White, it runs from June 23 to June 28. Tickets: £16, £13.

You’re a market stall Gucci handbag. And I’m having more than that, more than you.

We ain’t just something that you can quit, you tit.

Junk finds his rock bottom on top of the world in a way that only a man who’s had everything and nothing can understand. This is a visceral odyssey from flying fists in Tyneside to hard sales in Dubai via elephant rides and the elusive search for the perfect pocket squares.

Nothing in a Butterfly is Ric Renton’s true story of a boy who burned down the village to feel its warmth and the man who emerged asking how to put the fire out. This blazing debut play with music was developed by Synergy Theatre Project and director Chris White and will also tour to prisons.

Ric Renton is an actor and writer from Newcastle upon Tyne. Director Chris White’s production of Gutted at Omnibus Theatre played to sold out houses on tour in October 2019. Other productions of new work include the Offie-nominated Booby’s Bay and Scenes from 68 Years.

Dem Times

Wood – written by Adam Foster and directed by Grace Duggan, it runs from June 30 to July 18. Tickets: £16, £13.

No pop shot. No pay cheque.

1983. San Fernando Valley. John Rolando is the glittering porn star of the moment. But when he fails to get it up, his life – and the play – begins to unravel. This is a new play about porn and patriarchy.

Wood is a brilliantly meta-theatrical comedy investigating questions of power and privilege in the rehearsal room and beyond. It sharply satirises the way men speak for, talk over, and limit the freedoms of women. The question here is who holds the power? And how do unseen patriarchal structures ensure that nothing ever changes?

Dem Times – written by Jacob Roberts-Mensah and Rhys Reed-Johnson, it will be staged on July 10 at 7.45pm. Tickets: £13, £11.

Dem Times is a new comedy-drama following the re-education of British-born troublemaker Samuel Adjei, who finds himself on a plane heading to Ghana to boarding school; to a different country, needless to say, a different life. His formative years have begun. This episode will be staged live as part of the Dem Times podcast.

The story is part of a serialised teen odyssey, set within the closed-off microcosm of West-African boarding school life, made to promote Ghanaian culture away from generic Africana. At its core, this is a cultural migration; a fish-out-of-water story stemming from an outsider’s identity crisis inside Ghana’s educational ethos – where the school day begins before sunrise and ends after 9pm, and only after students have finished their homework (assuming chores have been completed too).

For more information, visit www.omnibus-clapham.org/.

The Omnibus Theatre’s Spring 2020 Season.