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Artists Set for 2024 Without Walls Tour

The 2024 programme explores multiple themes and genres, including accessibility and inclusivity, sustainability, music, circus, dance, street theatre and installations.

By: Feb. 29, 2024
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Without Walls has announced this year’s programme of 13 artists commissioned by the network. Touring across England this summer, Without Walls continue their vital commitment to making work in public spaces accessible for audiences, with a programme of events from some of the UK’s most highly regarded outdoor arts and performance specialists.

The artists included in the programme will tour this summer to Without Walls festival partners Brighton Festival, Hat Fair (Winchester), Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Stockton International Riverside Festival, Timber Festival (Staffordshire), Certain Blacks – Ensemble Festival (London) and Just So Festival (Cheshire) and Greenwich+Docklands International Festival. 

Ralph Kennedy, Director of Without Walls, comments, Without Walls is pleased to announce the 2024 programme, which celebrates the incredible diversity of creative practice in outdoor arts in England. The shows explore important themes for the times we live in today and reflect the power and value of the arts to captivate, inspire, and connect us all.

The 2024 programme explores multiple themes and genres, including accessibility and inclusivity, sustainability, music, circus, dance, street theatre and installations.

With a passion for the environment at its heart, Mechanimal brings its wildly playful, tragicomic performance Crap at Animals. Blending clowning, physical theatre and creative technologies, performer Tom Bailey attempts to embody 48,000 currently extinct and endangered species. In between Crap at Animals’ performance in Norwich & Norfolk Festival and at Passage Festival in Denmark, Bailey will undertake a radical 2-month long 'green arts touring' journey across Scotland, Norway and Denmark, by foot and by sea. This production is co-commissioned by Norfolk & Norwich Festival, and will be performed at Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Greenwich+Docklands International Festival.

Hear the true story of a family who lost their amusement arcade to coastal erosion in ISLAND STORM from Baileys Original Seaside Imaginarium as stunt clowns dazzle and delight audiences while encouraging them to engage with some of the biggest issues we face today. This production is co-commissioned by Stockton International Riverside Festival and Brighton Festival, and will be performed at Brighton Festival, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Hat Fair, Stockton International Riverside Festival and Certain Blacks – Ensemble Festival.

A visual sound installation/performance, experience Mark Anderson’s Warning Notes as part of this year’s Without Walls programme. Creating a sanctuary for audiences to think about the bigger climate and conflict issues facing us, it is a powerful and immersive sonic experience of suspense and shifting sounds, sounding the alarm ecologically, socially and politically. This production is co-commissioned by Timber Festival, and will be performed at Timber Festival and Stockton International Riverside Festival.

BAMBOO is a high-skills and high-stakes performance about our relationship to the environment. A partnership between NoFit State, Imagineer and Orit Azaz, and directed by Mish Weaver, a delicate playground is built with circus and bamboo, complimenting the company’s self-sustaining approach to touring. This production is co-commissioned by Stockton International Riverside Festival, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Hat Fair and Timber Festival, and will be performed at Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Timber Festival, Hat Fair, Stockton International Riverside Festival and Certain Blacks – Ensemble Festival.

Tit for Tat Circus return to Without Walls with Now I am Become Deaf (Destroyer of Words), an autobiographical piece about degenerative hearing loss and how it infiltrates into everyday life. Fusing traditional clowning with modern elements, this captivating production follows an unassuming clown as he manoeuvres being hard of hearing whilst simply wanting to connect with his audience. This production is co-commissioned by Just So Festival and Hat Fair, and will be performed at Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Timber Festival, Hat Fair and Just So Festival.

The electric Head Over Wheels bring Anchored in Air, reevaluating traditional circus while incorporating accessibility. Celebrating individuality with performers at the top of their game, this large-scale performance fuses aerial, dance, live music, theatrical and integrated audio description. This production is co-commissioned by Brighton Festival and Certain Blacks, and will be performed at Brighton Festival and Certain Blacks – Ensemble Festival.

Inspirate encourage audiences to think big with Ancient Giants, as the dramatic tale of Hanuman and Ravana is brought to life with 12-foot puppets, built by Mr Cleaver’s Monsters and choreographed by Chirag Lukha, with dance, martial arts and storytelling. This multigenerational South Asian epic interacts with audiences and takes them on a journey through Shanti’s imagination to bring to life this ancient story. This production is co-commissioned by Brighton Festival and Just So Festival, and will be performed at Brighton Festival and Just So Festival.

Explore what happens when two unwritten languages meet in Patois, the brand-new piece from British-Caribbean choreographer Jeanefer Jean-Charles MBE (London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony, the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Pageant). Blending traditional Caribbean choreography with contemporary dance and an original music score, this mesmerising piece touches on universal experiences of identity, reawakening cultures, stories and generations of the past. This production is co-commissioned by FESTIVAL.ORG for Greenwich+Docklands International Festival, Norfolk & Norwich Festival and Brighton Festival, and will be performed at Brighton Festival, Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Hat Fair and Greenwich+Docklands International Festival.

Showcasing and celebrating Yiddish language, music and culture, The Great Yiddish Parade from JW3 brings together a Klezmer big band, singers, street theatre and public participation against a backdrop of the immigrant social protests of the Victorian East End, in one huge marching, musical creation. This production is co-commissioned by Certain Blacks, and will be performed at Certain Blacks – Ensemble Festival and Stockton International Riverside Festival.

Bespoke to each location it is performed at, Perhaps Contraption will delight audiences with The Journey. Featuring a nine-piece brass band and visual vernacular performer Zoe McWhinney (RED, Polka Theatre; Everyday, New Diorama), this accessible promenade performance’s three act structure allows audiences to be transported by a completely new score, as they form a community coming together to travel and explore. This production is co-commissioned by Stockton International Riverside Festival, Timber Festival and Brighton Festival, and will be performed at Brighton Festival, Timber Festival and Stockton International Riverside Festival.

Grab a cup of tea, put on a pair of headphones and listen to a wealth of stories from your local area, as Variable Matter make the world feel a little bit closer with World Kiosk. An installation full of the stories and histories of where people are from, each location will be different with bespoke local tales from local people, allowing audiences to connect with their local community in a new way. With video design complementing the aural element, this installation is an opportunity to experience magic in every day. This production is co-commissioned by Brighton Festival, and will be performed at Brighton Festival.

Dancer and choreographer Chad Taylor makes his Without Walls debut with Closer to My Dreams, a hip-hop infused walkabout dance piece. Five performers take audiences on a journey through the universal questions of how we respond to the trials and tribulations that life brings. This production is co-commissioned by Certain Blacks, and will be performed at Brighton Festival, Stockton International Riverside Festival and Certain Blacks – Ensemble Festival.

Inspired by a traditional Lancastrian folk play, Raggle Taggle Arts perform Betty Brown Bags as part of this year’s programme, celebrating the strength and resilience of Northern working class culture. Blending Lancashire clog dancing, physical theatre, live music, and even a synchronised spoon playing routine, Betty and Billy will delight audiences of all ages. This production will be performed at Norfolk & Norwich Festival, Hat Fair, Just So Festival and Greenwich+Docklands International Festival.

Without Walls annually invests commissioning funds into a programme of new outdoor shows that tour across the UK and internationally. These works range from the intimate to the epic, aiming to create high-quality arts experiences that are accessible to all, regardless of personal, social or economic circumstances. The organisation consists of the Artistic Directorate (AD), which delivers the artistic policy of the company by supporting and presenting new work; the Touring Network Partnership (TNP), which is made up of organisations who are committed to touring Without Walls shows to neighbourhoods, towns and cities across England with low arts engagement; and the Creative Development Network (CDN), which is made up of organisations and freelance professionals developing an outdoor arts programme and who receive mentorship, training and support.

Without Walls will announce artists and companies selected for the Blueprint R&D programme, which supports the development of new innovative outdoor touring work, later in 2024. 




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