IYAF 2012 is seeing thousands of young artists and performers take to the stages, streets and galleries of Kingston for three action-packed weeks this summer. But there are seven young companies who we at Creative Youth will be keeping a special eye on this summer.
Our Creative Talent programme identifies young and emerging artists and organisations that have the potential to become excellent creative practitioners. We then give them the artistic, business and strategic support needed to become the flourishing and exciting organisations we know they can be.
This year all seven of our Creative Talent companies will be contributing to the festival in their own unique style – and here is a brief run down of what you might see from them. Tickets for all ticketed shows are available here.
• Smoking Apples create physical and visual puppetry-based theatre that specifically aims to engage the adult imagination. Creative Youth have worked closely with the company in the last year, providing them with collaborative opportunities to devise new work for multiple projects. This year Smoking Apples will be bringing a bizarre tale of sound and silence through the heart and mind to the Rose Theatre studio, as through the expert use of miscommunication the audience witnesses how the holes and gaps in a story fill a void rather than leave one. Smoking Apples perform The Wordcatcher at the Rose Studio on the 7th/8th/18th/19th/20th July.
• Our Friends Records (OFR) are a Kingston based music promotions company who worked with IYAF since its inception in 2009. With the formalisation of the Creative Talent programme in 2010, OFR have received training and mentorship from internationally renowned festival programmers Continental Drifts, as well as enabling them to expand the number of events they run in the borough to eight per month. Over the course of this year’s IYAF, OFR will be programming ten different events – from acoustic shows at The Boaters (12 July), hip-hop, garage and techno at Ama-gi (4 / 11 / 18 July), open mic nights at Woody’s (22 July), all the way to Folk ‘N’ Roll on 20 July – an intimate show in the Rose Main House featuring a delicate blend of traditional folk music with a modern twist. For more info, check out their Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/ourfriendsrecords
• Circus Suburbia are a dynamic, young, contemporary circus company providing high-quality entertainment at events and festivals, as well as circus training, workshops and community engagement. Creative Youth’s support has allowed Circus Suburbia to co-ordinate a community circus show that was performed at the finales of IYAF in 2010 and in 2011. Creative Youth also raised funds to allow the research and development of an aerial act to tour nationally, while in April 2012 they secured funding to send members of Circus Suburbia’s Youth Circus to Germany for a ten day project with Polish and German partners. Funding has also been secured from the GLA Mayor’s Outer London fund to convert an unused space into a contemporary circus area, with Circus Suburbia responsible for programming and animating. This year, Circus Suburbia are launching Space @ Riverside on the 7th and the 8th of July, while director Katie Hardwick is co-programming the spectacular dance and circus stage at Eagle Brewery Wharf with StemKU dance company (see below) on the evenings of the 14th/15th and 21st/22nd.
• Dumbshow is an ensemble of actors, directors, writers and musicians who come together in various combinations to make theatre with a vibrant physical aesthetic, using live music alongside text to create and tell stories. Dumbshow worked as artists in residence during IYAF 2011 before taking three shows to Edinburgh. In April this year they successful received an Arts Council England grant to tour their production of Clockheart Boy. Dumbshow perform The Pearl at the Rose Studio on the 11th/14th/16th/21st July.
New for 2012:
• Bymoonlight are the newest addition to our Creative Talent programme. Their aim is to create exciting, innovative and fearless theatre, revisiting classic texts in fresh settings. This year, William Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew is getting the Bymoonlight treatment – the audience is sure to be tickled as their beloved characters are thrown into a contemporary setting that removes any perceived political correctness while staying true and honourable to the original text. Showings on the 8th, 10th and 15th July in the Rose Theatre Main House.
• Little Cauliflower are, among other things, the latest recipient of the One to Watch award at Canterbury For Culture’s Culture Awards. They have achieved this through their determination to create uplifting and entertaining theatre for all ages, making animated objects, puppets and elaborate sets a trademark of their performances. Last year’s unique show, Street Dreams, premiered at IYAF before moving onto the Edinburgh Fringe. This year, Little Cauliflower bring us The Night of the Big Wind – a tale of a young boy in a small fishing village in 19th Century Ireland battling against the weather. Showing in the Rose Theatre Main House on the 20th and 21st July. It will indeed be ‘one to watch.’
• StemKU are formed of Kingston University Dance graduates, now touring as a resident dance company. With various training backgrounds, they are a collective of dancers and artists who work together to create exciting, fun and engaging performances. They are contributing their talents to a number of IYAF events this year: alongside Circus Surburbia, Director Selina Welter is programming the Dance and Circus stage at Eagle Brewery Wharf; the Dorich House Museum will house a unique collaboration between StemKU and projection artist Robin Hutchinson entitled Illumination, which will see small groups of the public led around the house as it is brought to life through dance and projection works; and Kinetic Visions will be one of eight very different dance companies wowing audiences at Kinetic Visions in the Rose Theatre Main House on 14th July.