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Fuel Announces Autumn Season Of Work Including Digital and In Person Events

Performances range from socially distanced venues, to outdoor spaces, digital tours, and more.

Fuel Director Kate McGrath has today announced a programme of work planned for autumn 2020. All the work will be presented with Covid-secure protocols in place and will range from performances in socially distanced venues, to outdoor spaces in housing estates and round bonfires, from digital tours to performances that can be enjoyed from the luxury of your own bathtub.

McGrath and the Fuel team have spent the last months working with a range of artists to come up with ways to present work in a safe way despite the restrictions under which the country has been placed. Their desire to work with a wide range of artists and companies reflects the ongoing work that Fuel has been undertaking during the pandemic to reflect and improve on working practices and inclusivity.

Having lost over £1million in earned income this year, Fuel is in acute need of support from the government's Cultural Recovery Fund. These projects are part of Fuel's recovery plan, which lies in a combination of increasing earned income through activity and vital support from the CRF.

Kate McGrath said "As summer ends, cases increase and restrictions tighten, we know the coming months will be challenging for us all. The team at Fuel have been working hard behind the scenes to find safe ways to keep connecting with each other, sharing stories and ideas, sharing space - real and virtual. The extraordinary artists in this season will help us understand each other and the changing world around us with insights into our common humanity. This is a time for empathy and care - we hope this season will bring people together in that spirit. Come what may, we will connect."

Inua Ellams and Fuel present An Evening with an Immigrant

Bridge Theatre

New dates added: 2,3,4,7 November

Fuel has co-presented with The Bridge Theatre a series of socially distanced performances of Inua Ellams celebrated one-person show An Evening with an Immigrant. Performances will now be extended until November 7th. For more information on how to book please visit

Inua Ellams is an award-wining poet, performer, playwright, graphic artist and designer. He started performing in cafes in 2003 and has since worked in venues including the Royal Albert Hall, Sydney Opera House, Nuyorican Poets Cafe and Glastonbury Music Festival. He is the recipient of an Edinburgh Fringe First Award for his autobiographical winning play The 14th Tale. He has also undertaken several commissions, including those for Louis Vuitton and Soho Theatre. Following two sell-out runs at The National Theatre and a world tour, his play Barber Shop Chronicles (A Fuel, National Theatre and Leeds Playhouse co-production) also ran at the Roundhouse in 2019. His adaptation of Three Sisters was co-produced by The National Theatre and Fuel in 2019-2020 and has been nominated for Best Production in the Black British Theatre Awards.

Uninvited Guests and Fuel present Love Letters at Home

Stephen Joseph Theatre
Thursday 1 October, 7.30pm

Derby Theatre
Thursday 15 October, 7pm

Ashcroft Arts Centre, Forest Arts Centre and West End Centre (Hampshire Cultural Trust)
Friday 16 October, 7.30pm

Oxford Playhouse
Thursday 22 October, 7pm
Friday 23 October, 7pm

Digital tour, ticketed

Following the earlier, hugely successful digital tour of Love Letters at Home, the re-imagined version of its acclaimed show Love Letters Straight From Your Heart, Uninvited Guests have added further dates for which audiences can book tickets through the associated venues' websites.

Love Letters at Home is an intimate participatory piece of theatre, performed live via Zoom, in which the audience and performers offer dedications and declarations of love, past and present. It is collaboratively authored with its audience, who temporarily become a community of close friends across the performance.

Before the show, people who book tickets are invited to send in music requests, to write dedications to those they love or care about, and these are worked into the event each night. We try, with care, to only speak the words written by those in the audience - each performance is unique to that group of people, their memories, their current and past loves or friendships, their emotions, laid bare for everyone to witness, acknowledge and support.

Love Letters at Home is a joyful and open-hearted show that brings people together in a time of physical distance from friends and family. It shifts between theatre and feeling like a real social event; dedications are spoken, toasts are made, speeches are given, songs are sung and dances danced, on behalf of the audience and with them.

Love Letters at Home has been commissioned by First Art, a Creative People and Places project, as part of its Go the Distance remote festival for audiences in Ashfield, Mansfield, Bolsover and North East Derbyshire.

Fuel, Coombe Farm Studios and Eden Court Highlands present Signal Fires

in collaboration with The Woodlands Presents

Written by Kiki Katese, Alice Oswald, Hema Palani, Will Power, Kim Scott and Sara Sharaawi

Directed by Adura Onashile

Dartington, Devon
28-30 October, 7.30pm

2-7 November, by phone

For full details please visit

On sale from 14 October

Signal Fire (n): a fire or light set up in a prominent position as a warning, signal, or celebration.

In the week of the 26th October, fires will light up across the UK with storytellers and audiences sharing in one of the original forms of theatre. From spectacular bonfires to digital blazes; the nation's leading touring theatre companies will present a series of theatrical events at locations across the UK in celebration of our fundamental need to tell stories.

Fuel's Signal Fires project will reach audiences in South Devon and in the Highlands. From 28-30 October, audiences can hear stories from around the world, around campfires in the beautiful woods at Dartington. Performed by actors around socially distanced fires, audiences will be taken on a journey around the world from the safety and warmth of a blanket and a hot drink. From 2-7 November, audiences in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland, where live outdoor performances are not currently permitted under Covid-19 guidelines, can hear stories told to them over the phone, live and in person.

Fuel have commissioned international and local writers - Devon's Alice Oswald alongside Kim Scott from Australia, Kiki Katese from Rwanda, Hema Palani from India and Will Power from the USA - to respond to the duality of fire, creating warmth and community as well as danger and destruction, as a symbol for this time.

Other companies involved include: English Touring Theatre, Fen in association with Out of Joint, Graeae, Headlong, Kneehigh, National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, Paines Plough, Slung Low, Yellow Earth Theatre and many more. The companies will be working with hundreds of UK freelancers. All fires will be presented outdoors in front of socially distanced live audiences, or digitally for those who are shielding or currently unable to travel.

Supported by CVC.

Fuel presents Encounter's The Kids Are Alright

Writer - Lee Mattison

Director & Choreographer - Jen Malarkey

Associate Director - Temitope Ajose-Cutting

Performers - Carl Harrison, Janet Etuk

Outdoor live performance, socially distanced audience, outside housing estates in London & Newcastle with Northern Stage, the Albany, CPT and further dates TBA

Deptford, in partnership with the Albany and Lewisham Homes
3 November, 5pm
4 November, 5pm (also livestreamed)

Camden, in partnership with Camden People's Theatre
5 November, 5pm
6 November, 5pm (also livestreamed)

Byker, in partnership with the Northern Stage
9 November, 5pm and 8pm
10 November, 5pm (also livestreamed) and 8pm

The Kids Are Alright explores the extraordinary grief of losing a child.

When a day trip to the Natural History Museum turns to tragedy, Karen and Keith return home alone. Behind their four walls they attempt to make sense of the unimaginable in ways as unpredictable as the incident itself.

But how do you rebuild a family when a whole life has been sucked out of it? Dismantle a dog? Cruise the Algarve? Or fight to the death yourselves?

The Kids Are Alright will be performed for residents of local housing estates at the same time as being streamed digitally.

Filmed with mobile phones and broadcast directly through Facebook this is a uniquely intimate performance, which invites you to watch one broken couple explode from their home. And they couldn't care less who's watching.

Co-created by director/choreographer Jen Malarkey and writer Lee Mattinson

Co-commissioned by Fuel and The Place. Supported by The Albany, Camden People's Theatre, and Northern Stage. The project is funded by Arts Council England, Wellcome Trust and the Peggy Ramsay Foundation.

Fuel and Gyre & Gimble present The Hartlepool Monkey: Homecoming

October - November

Thea??Hartlepool Monkey is a legend that has survived the test of time and captured people's imaginations for over 200 years, as well as inspiring 2017's hit stage show of the same name. And in 2020, Fuel and Gyre & Gimble will return the project home to Hartlepool to reimagine this incredible story.

Through the distribution of over 1,000 DIY puppetry kits and letters from the Monkey himself, the community of Hartlepool are invited to consider myth, identity and what it means to live in the town today with a host of analogue and digital experiences. The programme will culminate at Wintertide Festival with the launch of a series of original puppetry films created in response to the community's contributions by students at the Northern School of Art.

Supported by Arts Council England, Great Place Tees Valley, Hartlepool Town Council, County Durham Community Fund, The Wellcome Trust, The Royal Victoria Hall Foundation and The Stanley Thomas Johnson Foundation. Great Place Tees Valley is funded by The National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England and delivered via the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority.

Fuel presents The Body Remembers

Heather Agyepong - Creator / Performer

Gail Babb - Co-Creator (dramaturgy)

Imogen Knight - Co-Creator (movement)

Premieres January 2021, on sale November 2020

The Body Remembers is a solo performance that uses movement, projection and a series of audio testimonies created and performed by Heather Agyepong, co-created by Imogen Knight (movement) and Gail Babb (dramaturgy). It will be performed indoors for socially distanced audiences.

The technique of Authentic Movement has allowed Heather to process what her body has been trying to communicate for years and most importantly brought gentle attention to the self. Authentic Movement consists of the mover and the witness. The mover without restriction, through impulse reclaims space. The witness observes, reflects and notes what is happening in their own bodies.

The Body Remembers creates a space for audience and artist to attend to themselves and each other through authentic movement, testimonies from 20 Black women living in the UK, soundscapes and projections. The piece focuses on the six parts of her body that speak the loudest; head, throat, heart, stomach, womb and hands.

The Body Remembers is produced by Fuel, with support of Arts Council England, Wellcome Trust and the Jerwood New Work Fund.

Fuel presents THIRST TRAP

Created by Rachael Young

Music and sound by Alicia Jane Tuner

Dramaturgy by Season Butler

On sale November 2020, previews December, public performances from January 2021

THIRST TRAP is a collaboration between Rachael Young, composer Alicia Jane Turner, dramaturg Season Butler, a cohort of researchers and real people who are affected by climate change in 2020.

Part-narrative and part-meditation, THIRST TRAP will be a 30 min sound piece for audiences listen to in the bath along with an experience pack of resources to change their physical environment, connecting closely with their personal environment and relationship with their bodies.

THIRST TRAP delves into our fear surrounding the possible outcomes of rising temperatures and our feelings of powerlessness against a capitalist government who continually fail to act quick enough on matters concerning climate. Rachael is exploring our relationship to water, its peaceful and calming property and its ability to destroy and wipe out, and draw parallels with man's ability to do the same.

THIRST TRAP's production is being supported by Help Musicians' Fusion Fund and Sura Medura.

Fly The Flag

10 December 2020

Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 25:

"Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection."

To mark the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 2019, artist Ai Weiwei created a flag to celebrate universal human rights. From the Highlands of Scotland to the coast of Cornwall via cities, towns and villages across the UK, in galleries and theatres, shopping centres and offices, schools and libraries, both physically and online, people came together to celebrate that human rights are for everyone, every day.

Fuel is lead producer of this 5 year project inviting people to Fly The Flag for human rights, alongside arts organisations and human rights charities from right across the UK. This year, on 10 December, newly commissioned films created by spoken word artists and poets will be released, all in response to Article 25 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Full details, including partners and commissioned artists to be announced in November on and

Supported by CVC.

New Commissions

Fuel is today announcing commissions for 30 artists, as part of a new commissions programme supported by CVC (see below for full details). 10 artists - Khalid Abdalla, Heather Agyepong, Rachel Bagshaw, Inua Ellams, Pauline Mayers, Lucian Msamati, Racheal Ofori, Tom Stuart, Keisha Thompson, and Rachael Young - will all be commissioned to create new projects with Fuel - Heather Agyepong's piece The Body Remembers and Rachael Young's project THIRST TRAP will both premiere in January 2021.

Signal Fires is also part of this programme, as well as The Lab, which sees three artists and three scientists collaborate on new public engagement commissions in the field of global and public health. Full details of The Lab commissions yet to be announced. Fuel will also commission 10 poets/spoken word artists for Fly The Flag - full list to be announced.

For more information on #ComeWhatMay, visit

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