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Omnibus Theatre Announces Summer 2020 Season

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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.

Commenting on the new season, artistic director Marie McCarthy said; "A very warm welcome to our magnificent seventh summer season at Omnibus Theatre.

I'm thrilled that director George Richmond-Scott, who brought us his hit adaptation of Blood Wedding in 2018 will be staging a revival of Peter Gill's Small Change at the start of the new season. Widely regarded as a poetic masterpiece, this exploration of the complex relationship between mothers and sons receives its first London staging in twelve years.

Our programme of events and productions changes gear from April through to August reflecting the vibrant energy of Summer and, for me and the team, this means festivals, four of them, of all kinds for all people. Among the four programmed, I am especially excited that 96 Festival, a celebration of Queerness and theatre returns, this time in June. Brace yourselves for a line-up filled with surprising performances including MisSa Blue, the sword-swallowing performance artist, Improv artist Monica Gaga with Hell Yeah! and we have Takeovers by The Family Jewels, Amie Taylor and Beth Watson. Plus theatre-makers Katie Bonna, Roann McCloskey and many more artists will be filling our multiple spaces for a three-week extravaganza. Our Edinburgh Previews in July have now become a great staple in our programme, we showcase some of the very best talent right here in our corner of South London; and rounding off August Out of The Wings Festival return for a wonderful week of never heard before play readings from the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world.

Anchored firmly between these festivals we champion new voices and stories that explore universal themes including power and patriarchy. Wood is a must-see which examines patriarchal structures from a unique perspective. There is also brand-new work from exciting writers and performers including Ric Renton's Nothing In A Butterfly developed with Synergy Theatre Project, Jacob Roberts-Mensah and Rhys Reed-Johnson with their DEM TIMES teen odyssey and podcast project and Vera Chok's thought-provoking ANGRY YELLOW WOMAN, an-autobiographical exploration of racism."


SMALL CHANGE

BY Peter Gill

DIRECTED George Richmond-Scott

21 APR - 9 MAY, 7.30PM, 4PM £16 | £13 | £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, about boyhood, the complex relationships between mothers and sons and the search for truth is rrevived by George Richmond-Scott. 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 in search 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.

Richmond-Scott is also the associate director of Everybody's Talking About Jamie in the West End and launched his new production company, Both Barrels Theatre, last year.

ANGRY YELLOW WOMAN

BY Vera Chok

19 - 21 MAY, 7.30PM £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.

A solo autobiographical show by about fear and other strange attachments. With silly dancing.

Vera co-wrote The Good Immigrant, Book of the Year 2016, BBC Book of the Week, #1 Guardian Books and #1 on Amazon.

96 FESTIVAL

9 - 27 JUN

96 Festival is back 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

BY RIC RENTON

DIRECTED BY Chris White

23 - 28 JUN, 7.45PM, 4,15PM, £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. 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.

This 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.

WOOD

BY ADAM FOSTER

DIRECTED BY GRACE DUGGAN

30 JUN- 18 JUL, 7.30PM, 4PM, £16 | £13

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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. 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

BY JACOB ROBERTS-MENSAH AND RHYS REED-JOHNSON

10 JUL, 7.45PM £13 | £11

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 details of the full programme, please click on the link - https://www.omnibus-clapham.org


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