Theatre Peckham Announces Second Peckham Fringe

The events run Friday 5 May – Sunday 4 June 2023.

By: Mar. 27, 2023
Theatre Peckham Announces Second Peckham Fringe

Theatre Peckham is bringing Peckham Fringe back for its second year in 2023, hosting 18 productions that will take over the main theatre and studio space for five weeks. Last year's Peckham Fringe was highly successful, with Tatenda Shamiso's No ID going on to run at VAULT Festival and the Royal Court, and David Alade's Offie nominated Sunny Side Up having a three-week run at Theatre Peckham.

With a first-of-its-kind season programmed by Theatre Peckham's Ambassadors, who have worked with Artistic Director Suzann McLean to choose the featured shows, these productions reflect Peckham's local landscape as well as celebrating exciting new voices. Now more than ever, spaces for new writing are vital to the theatre landscape, and Theatre Peckham's Fringe programme highlights underrepresented voices and talents with stories of family, growing up and navigating our expanding digital world.

Suzann McLean (she/her), Artistic Director/CEO of Theatre Peckham comments, At Theatre Peckham, audiences are at the heart of all our decision-making. This commitment is the driving force of our programming; ensuring we have balance across our work and that we bring in new voices, new work and new artists across a range of art-forms. Peckham Fringe 2023 is a first of its kind festival, selected by the local people of Peckham - Theatre Peckham's team of Ambassadors.

Theatre Peckham's Ambassadors have curated a diverse, ambitious, and inclusive programme that speaks directly to our hyper-local community, that will undoubtedly appeal to new audiences as well as regular theatregoers. Collectively they have chosen something for everyone - it's even better than Netflix!

As the curators of the festival the Ambassadors said, Witnessing the community and the Theatre Peckham team come together to celebrate and showcase talent has been truly inspiring. We have already seen so many brilliant ideas find space at Peckham Fringe to seed, develop and flourish. We're excited for audiences to emersed themselves in the fresh, bold new stories that we have selected for Peckham Fringe 2023.

Engaging stories are at the heart of all Theatre Peckham productions, taking audiences on journeys to see life through different perspectives. Ancient fortune-teller The Oracle comes to Peckham Fringe for her final reading, with a surreal solo show exploring the future and how we imagine it, and NYAMAKALA: AN AFRICAN STORY transports audiences into the world of West African storytelling, traditional live music, and empowerment of Black Youth, and showcases the power of oral traditions, especially within former colonies. Mammy Be Grand examines the universal themes of desire for belonging and fulfilment and the powerful effects of myth, mass exodus and religion within the Irish communities, and Taking It Back follows a group of vigilantes who decide to rob British museums of artefacts and return them to the countries that they were taken from, discussing heritage and who things really belong to. For One Day to Live explores one man's journey of acceptance, hidden grief, love, passion and what it truly means being a Muslim in modern Britain, and The Gambit asks us if being good or bad is an innate, unpunishable force or a decision we freely make with our free will?

The festival opens on 5th May with I LOVE ACTING, BUT F**K THIS INDUSTRY, a hilarious yet truthful play that highlights the struggles of being an artist, battling the romance between craft and the disheartening acting industry that pays for it. Another dark comedy is Cell Outs, which uses verbatim interviews, multi-rolling and songs to expose the harsh realities, humanity and nuance of life working behind bars, written and performed by two ex-prison officers.

We spend our lives increasingly online, and growing up with its influence widely impacts the young people of today. Peeking in the Dark investigates the dark web and the consequences of our actions in the digital world, whilst NED marries artificial intelligence with the Luddites in a darkly comic and playful exploration of exploring the disconcerting acceleration of technological advancement today. That's Your Friend lays the blueprint of the Black Girl survival guide for university and the life beyond surrounded by sisterhood, and nostalgic coming-of-age story. Budgie plays on the see-saw of responsibility and freedom. Live It Down, from Lewisham Youth Theatre, explores the pressures of reputation, expectation, peers and about how hard it is to make the right choice when you're 16 and figuring it all out.

Audiences are invited to interact with the art in creative art history workshop Ribbon Around A Bomb, which shares autistic joy and the incredible life of artist Frida Kahlo, and in bring-your-own-roller-skates event Skate of Mind Live, combining dance, creativity, skating and mental wellbeing under one roof and highlighting the lack of suitable spaces available for skaters in South London. Poetry Foyer, Theatre Peckham's monthly poetry event, returns for a special Fringe edition, with open mic slots available on the door.

There's also something for all the family in the programme, with farmyard musical Pigs Might Fly, based on the book by Michael Morpurgo, exploring the joy of unlikely friendships. The Young Producers Showcase also closes out the Fringe festival, showcasing the outcome of their ten weeks spent learning methods to devise, develop and produce some of the most outstanding arts events.

Peckham Local tickets are also available to residents of estates in Theatre Peckham's hyper-local community, and concessions are available for those in receipt of a State Pension/Job Seekers Allowance/ Disability Benefit, Under 16s, Students and Equity Members.


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