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Summer 2018 at the Blue Elephant Theatre

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Season preview

THE Blue Elephant Theatre has announced its Summer 2018 programme, continuing its creative mix of new work from emerging artists for all audiences.

Embracing cross art form performances, shows this season look at the dark and light in life: the struggles, themes and stories that guide how we live and what we think.

This is the Blue Elephant’s first season as an Arts Council England NPO and it is fitting that many of the shows are very new pieces and fresh starts; many are Edinburgh previews and some are brand new works in progress.

From interactive comedy to refugee superheroes and from modern adaptations of Greek texts to clowning and dance, the scope of the season is vast, offering something for all ages and tastes.

LISTINGS

A Truefitt Collective presents Love & Spaghetti, an evening of new contemporary dance exploring the complexity, vulnerability and simplicity of human relationships – May 31 at 8pm.

Human interpersonal relationships are vital for our survival, so why are we so s*** at getting them right? Two women perform their experiences as they fall apart and come together. This is the beautiful and terrifying thing about relationships; we must be willing to completely reveal layers of ourselves to reach an authentic, tangible connection with another soul.

An evening of Love & Spaghetti also features two new performance works. Too Close to the Bone by Elisha Hamilton brings the audience into a particularly unnerving world to expose parts of their lustful or lustless lives. Sorry Flowers Die by Jay Yule & Tommy Cattin reflects on how a shift between unknown and privacy is also a journey between absurdity and tenderness, a strange cohabitation that still reveals an inability to communicate as human beings.

Tickets: £7.50, £6 concessions, £5.50 Southwark Residents. To book, visit www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk/love-spaghetti.

Brain Rinse, the one man show with a cast of thousands – June 1 and 2 at 8pm.

Journey through the corridors of your mind in a madcap, bizarre comedy sketch show that tackles all the big themes in life. Ridiculous characters will help you come together as an audience to discover your inner ninja. War, mountaineering, expressive dance and tantric air kissing, it’s all in this award-nominated interactive comedy.

After over three decades of globetrotting as a street performer, Mike Raffone decided to put a roof over his shows. And so Rinse Productions was born. While entertaining audiences all over the world with his interactive street comedy and cabaret has had many memorable moments, Raffone’s stand out street theatre event was when an on-duty policeman played the part of The Hot Cop in a recreation of The Village People.

Tickets: £10, £8.50 concessions, £7.50 Southwark Residents. To book, visit www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk/brain-rinse.

Cassandra from Found in Translation – June 12 to June 16 at 8pm. Suitable for ages 16+.

Based on Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, Cassandra takes audiences on a very personal journey through some of the struggles many women face in their lives; the choice between what’s expected of them and how they feel. Touching on the themes of #metoo and #timesup, Cassandra is a fiery reimagining of a classical text which gives a voiceless woman an audience.

Established in October 2016, Found in Translation’s mission is to take Classical stories and update them for today’s audiences. They produce work that promotes education in the arts and Classical subjects to those that don’t have easy access to them otherwise.

Tickets: £10, £8.50 concessions, £7.50 Southwark Residents. To book, visit www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk/cassandra.

The Tale of the Cockatrice – June 17 at 2pm and 4:30pm. Most suitable for 7-12 year olds.

Deep in the vaults of an ancient priory a hideous creature awakens. A deadly cockatrice is born! Bold knights flee in terror… Can a humble nun defeat the beast?

Multi-award-winning Mumblecrust Theatre present two muddle-headed storytellers, an obscure British legend, breath-taking puppetry and spine-tingling live music in this dark and winding fable for monster-lovers young and old.

Mumblecrust Theatre is an award-winning theatre company based in the South West of England. Co-Artistic Directors Katie Underhay and Anthony Burbridge came together to fill a niche in children’s theatre, where slightly older children often get left out. From this collaboration, The Tale of the Cockatrice was born.

To watch trailer, visit www.youtube.com/.

Tickets: £5, £3 concessions, £3 Southwark Residents. To book, visit www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk/tale-cockatrice.

The Family Blimp from The Klump Company – June 21 to June 23 at 8pm.

Physical theatre, grotesque and a lick of the absurd come together as the Blimps attempt to navigate through a strange new place and meet the demands of their new-fangled community.

Let’s play Home Sweet Home, after all – there’s no place like it.

Tickets: £10, £8 concessions, £7.50 Southwark Residents. To book, visit www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk/family-blimp.

Runner Up, a series of performance actions and choreographies by Robert Hesp responding to ideas around the feeling of failure. – June 28 at 8pm.

Robert Hesp is a performance artist and contemporary dancer based in London. His work frequently straddles a variety of disciplines, using the tensions and overlaps as fertile ground for experimentation.

This performance is a work in progress showing and will be followed by a short discussion hosted by the artist.

Tickets: £6, £5 concessions and Southwark residents. To book, visit blueelephanttheatre.co.uk/runner.

Maya Productions in association with Little Mighty present The Croydon Avengers – June 28 at 1:45pm and July 1 at 1:30pm and 4pm. Aimed at young people aged 8-14 and their families.

Regina Rump is on the rampage! A trio of masked vigilantes are sending 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. Then a freak accident at the Gatwick deportation centre gives the trio powers beyond their wildest dreams. Can three teenage refugees really become the saviours of a doomed nation?

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.

Led by Suzanne Gorman, Maya Productions creates diverse theatre to create change: socially, politically and culturally. Their vision is a world where people of all ages, abilities, culture and classes have the opportunity to experience world class theatre.

Tickets: £8, £6 Southwark Residents. To book, visit www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk/croydon-avengers.

Boxman from Flugelman Productions – July 4 to July 6 at 8pm.

There are more than 60 million displaced people on our planet… people who have no home. Ringo is one of them. He is a survivor, a child soldier displaced from his homeland, sheltering in a cardboard box in an inner city park. He lives in plain sight but is invisible to the city around him.

But inside his makeshift ‘home’, Ringo lives a life rich with stories and songs of a childhood far away, a family tragically lost and the complicated promise of a new beginning.

Started by sisters, Edwina and Victoria, Flugelman Productions brings together writers, performers, musicians and dancers from all over the world, inspired to tell great stories. They believe that theatre can save the world. Too grand a statement? At the very least, it can make all our lives better by helping us understand a little more of what it means to be human.

Tickets: £12, £10 concessions, £8.50 Southwark residents. To book, visit blueelephanttheatre.co.uk/boxman.

Where the Hell is Bernard?, a darkly comic depiction of a Kafka-esque future – July 10 at 8pm.

In a city where no one plays and no one ever leaves, a box of items bounces back to Lost and Found Office. Will the officers find its owner or something more? Mixing magical visuals, movement, live song and clown, award-winning Haste Theatre create a darkly comic warning for the future.

Haste Theatre an all-female, international physical theatre company which creates fantastical worlds to portray and interrogate the everyday. Founded in 2013, Haste has toured nationally and internationally to theatres and festival across the UK, US and Italy. Fusing comedy and tragedy, the ugly and the beautiful – they shock, stimulate and entertain.

Tickets: £7.50, £6.50 oncessions, £6 Southwark Residents. To book, visit www.blueelephanttheatre.co.uk/where-hell-bernard.

The Dame from Here’s One I Made Earlier & Duncan Reeves Productions – July 12 at 8pm.

A seasoned pantomime dame is alone in his dressing room, unaware he is preparing for his own performance of a lifetime….

Ronald Roy Humphrey has returned to the northern seaside town where he grew up for the Christmas season, and finds himself bitterly confronted with why he left all those years before.

As he starts to excavate his past, he steps back into history; bringing to life the ghosts who once paraded and performed along the piers and promenades, removing the layers one by one until he arrives at a tragic truth he had spent his whole life trying to forget.

A lost world of seaside entertainment, old time music hall and pantomime are brought to life in this one-man show where the past and present collide, magical realism meets bleak reality, and however many masks we wear, the truth will always be exposed.

The Dame is a one man show written by Katie Duncan, a past winner of Blue Elephant Theatre’s Playwriting competition, and presented as a work in development. The show is performed by her father, actor and presenter Peter Duncan who is probably best known for presenting Blue Peter in the 1980s.

Tickets: £10, £8 concessions, £7 Southwark Residents. To book, visit blueelephanttheatre.co.uk/dame.

An Evening, A Beginning – July 19 to July 21 at 8pm.

Boundaries of contemporary dance are manipulated in this physical and fast-paced double bill by KAMIENSKI., premiering two brand new works.

Tickets: £10, £8 concessions, £7.50 Southwark Residents. To book, visit blueelephanttheatre.co.uk/evening-beginning.

Trojan Horse presented by LUNG in association with West Yorkshire Playhouse – July 26 and 27 at 8pm.

A new documentary play by LUNG (E15, The 56 and Chilcot), Trojan Horse follows the real life stories of Muslim teachers and governors who were accused of plotting extremism in Birmingham schools.

Founded in Barnsley in 2012, LUNG are a verbatim/documentary theatre company who make work with communities, for communities and about communities. LUNG create work that shines a light on political, social and economic issues in modern Britain using people’s actual words to tell their stories. The company is led by Matt Woodhead (winner of Director’s Guild Best Newcomer 2015) and Helen Monks (Upstart Crow, Raised By Wolves).

Tickets: £10, £8 concessions, £7 Southwark Residents. To book, visit blueelephanttheatre.co.uk/trojan-horse.