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The Camden Roar - Camden People's Theatre

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

CAMDEN People’s Theatre and Camden Alive are presenting The Camden Roar – from May 7 to May 25, 2019.

Exploring the lives of Camden residents, past and present, Camden People’s Theatre’s festival welcomes new artists, familiar faces and local participants as part of their 25th anniversary year celebrations.

The festival will be headlined by Human Jam (May 7 – 25), a new piece conceived by Artistic Director Brian Logan, uncovering the biggest exhumation of graves in European history taking place in St James’ Garden as a result of HS2 works.

Artistic director at CPT since 2011, Logan has previously toured internationally as co-director of acclaimed theatre company Cartoon de Salvo, has co-created numerous shows with CPT and is a comedy critic for the Guardian. His latest show Human Jam tells the history and future of CPT’s local park to explore the human impact of large scale infrastructure, told through the eyes of some of Camden’s most notable historical figures.

Onstage, Logan will be joined by co-deviser and performer Shamira Turner, one of the founding members of Little Bulb Theatre, as well as members of a community choir drawn from the surrounding area.

Beats and Elements, the hip-hop theatre company behind Frankenstein at Battersea Arts Centre, will present High Rise eState of Mind (May 7 – 11), a new show exposing young people’s fears of where they will live. Using grime, beatboxing, hip hop, looping and MCing, High Rise eState of Mind features performer/beatboxer Conrad Murray, spoken word author Paul Cree, rapper Gambit Ace and spoken word artist Lakeisha Lynch Stevens (AKA grime MC Lady KI KI) in a fast-paced story unpicking the fears and frustrations of Generation Rent.

Alongside the performances at Camden People’s Theatre, High Rise eState of Mind will tour to two local community centres, transforming their building into a performance space for local residents of the estates. A curtain raiser performance will be created through a series of workshops for young people who use these facilities, led by Conrad and Paul from Beats and Elements with the support of rapper Junior.

Returning after a hugely successful run in 2017, performance artist Tom Marshman’s Kings Cross (REMIX) (May 21 – 25) uncovers the hidden histories of LGBTQ communities in London during the 1980s. Showcasing memories of the Kings Cross area, which has undergone radical change since its day as a hub of LGBTQ culture, Marshman weaves together the stories of people who experienced it first-hand.

Inspired by Kings Cross (REMIX), CPT will curate two exciting intergenerational events between queer elders and contemporary pioneers. The first is an evening of lively conversation on where we’re at and how we got there between LGBTQ+ trailblazers, both old and young, while the other is an afternoon of performance by veteran queer artists and new kids on the block, hosted by Tom Marshman.

Meanwhile, local poet, performer and playwright Sean Mahoney’s critically acclaimed Until You Hear That Bell (May 14 – 15) explores growing up in the world of Amateur Boxing, and has previously toured to boxing gyms all over the country.

Also joining The Camden Roar’s line up is theatremaker Dani Kolanis’ solo show Cadets (May 16 – 18), following Camden Volunteer Police Cadets as they take on a gruelling physical competition to save their unit from being disbanded. The festival will also feature the latest production from Camden Youth Theatre, an adaptation of Bryony Lavery’s NT Connects production, It Snows (May 12 – 13).

Artistic Director Brian Logan said: “In a year of celebrations at Camden People’s Theatre as we mark our quarter century, we’re particularly excited to launch The Camden Roar, a three-week festival dedicated to the people of this extraordinary neighbourhood we call home. Camden is one of London’s most iconic places, but it also harbours countless untold stories – none more so than those of the residents and traders (and human remains) devastated and displaced by HS2.

“Featuring some of Camden and the UK’s most exciting theatre artists, this festival proudly tells those stories – of hidden queer histories, of boxing gyms and broken property ladders – in a series of innovative and unforgettable theatre shows.”

For full listings information on all upcoming shows at Camden People’s Theatre, visit www.cptheatre.co.uk/whats-on/.