The Sick Of The Fringe Festival Interrogates The Health Of Society

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The Sick of the Fringe: Care & Destruction announce a line-up of performance and discussion that interrogates health in all its forms. The festival launches a year-long programme of work from unheard voices and perspectives. Artists including Tania El Khoury, Le Gateau Chocolat, Travis Alabanza, Lanre Malaolu, Lois Weaver, Laurence Clarke and HighRise Theatre with new and returning work. Live theatre, music, dance, comedy, discussion and film presented at three venues across three days.

Wellcome Collection | The Place | Camden People's Theatre

5 7 April 2019

Mental, physical and societal health will be discussed, laughed at, raged at, mulled over and set to rights at a three-day festival in April to launch a year-long programme of work from unheard voices and perspectives. The Sick of the Fringe: Care & Destruction will be a mixture of premieres, established shows, work-in-progress and talks across three London venues addressing some of the most pressing issues in health and societal justice. Uncovering the stories we are not seeing, the stories we are avoiding, and the stories we don't yet have the language to tell, it will take unhealthy care, ask where destruction is necessary, and rip it up, air the room, start again.

The festival will take place across three venues along Euston Road: Wellcome Collection, The Place and Camden People's Theatre will be hosting some of the most ingenious writers and performers from across cabaret, comedy, theatre and dance, and speakers from the worlds of TV, poetry, art and music.

Festival highlights include:

  • HighRise Theatre's #UKDrillProject explores truths, perceptions, and the frenzy in the media, in politics and on the streets surrounding the controversial music genre, asking if musicality really can cause criminality
  • Le Gateau Chocolat's Raw Cacao does disco, opera, musicals and pop from one end of the spectrum to the other. Featuring the Little Cocoa Orchestra, made up entirely of women of colour
  • In two shows about parenting, comedian Laurence Clark, star of BBC1's documentary We Won't Drop the Baby, explores his experiences of being a dad with cerebral palsy, and married couple Frauke Requardt and Daniel Oliver present Dadders, an interactive performance for five people at a time about parenting with dyspraxia and ADHD
  • Director and choreographer Lanre Malaolu presents a physical theatre, hip-hop dance and spoken work fusion Elephant in the Room exploring the mental health crisis
  • In As Far As Isolation Goes, live artist Tania El Khoury and musician and street artist Basel Zaraa create a piece on the mental and physical health experiences of refugees in the United Kingdom
  • Gary Carter is a leading figure in the international TV format industry who career includes developing the hit series Survivor! and the international roll-out of formats such as Big Brother, Who Wants To Be A Millionaire and Pop Idol. He'll be joined by a guest to discuss the public health function of soap operas

The Sick of the Fringe, was co-founded by Tracy Gentles and Brian Lobel in 2015 to support artists and to connect art, health and social change. The company aims to challenge and fight inequality, inaccessibility, elitism and mediocrity in the arts. The Sick of the Fringe: Care & Destruction is their second London programme following their first festival in 2017, and showcases some of the work and artists that they will be developing and championing throughout the year.

A spokesperson from The Sick of the Fringe said, The Sick of the Fringe originally looked at the body as autonomous, in 2019, we are now looking at it in dialogue with a world in pain, societal injustice and systems of oppression. Care & Destruction takes a broad reaching theme and through this programme has invited artists to look at unexpected ways of challenging and considering the negatives of care and the positives of destruction. This festival acts as a provocation, a launch of a long-term enquiry to open up and sustain conversations and introduce new critical voices. We are excited for the future and how by working to build communities around ideas we can mobilise support, resistance and understanding."

Artist Travis Alabanza said, I think what excites me the most about this festival, and presenting new work is that it is offering the chance for me to take risks, not be perfect, make mistakes, and create something new. So often we expect artists to present work in a catalyst way that is now or never , but this feels like it's allowing me to explore, be unsure, and not perfect - and I'm so excited for audiences and myself to discover new sides to me through that process. The work I'm creating feels like new grounds, intimate, and in a style I haven't entered before.

The Sick of the Fringe is a project of charity Something to Aim For, which supports ideas from the fringes which exist across the arts and society in general.

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