By James Twomey
A theatre festival that will span three sites and include plays, spoken word, music, visual arts, free workshops, political cabaret and opera will take place this spring.
Rebels is an even by The Albany theatre in Deptford which promises a season of exploring politics, protests and celebrating differences from April 11-June 1.
The festival builds on The Albany’s long history of countercultural shows and radical arts production.
Among the performances are interactive theatre productions involving the building of two rival nations; a futuristic new opera about aspirations and freedom; a sci-fi show placing the audience in the grip of technology; and a devastating show which presents two performances on one stage at the same time.
The season spans the three venues run by the Albany – the Albany, Deptford Lounge in Lewisham and Canada Water Theatre in Southwark.
Gavin Barlow from The Albany, said: “Rebels is a season about politics, protest, breaking the mould and celebrating difference.
“This work is vital, daring and captivating – we are supporting artists to push boundaries and challenge what we might expect.
“As a result, most of the events will be difficult to label just like people.
“We believe the majority of ‘real’ rebels are ambitious and bold individuals trying to shake up the status quo and create positive change. This has been an inspiration for The Albany over the past 40 years and we believe our rebellious nature is reflected across the season.
“There are lots of opportunities to get involved in the shows and events across our three venues.
“There is a pay-what- you-decide workshop and talk programme.”
Among the highlights of the season is a political and interactive production, Drawing the Line, which combines storytelling, gaming and group decision-making.
The line divides the audience into two rival nations with each side deciding how their nation grows.
Elliot Hughes, artistic director at Hidden Track Theatre, which is premiering Drawing the Line, said: Drawing the Line is game theatre which looks at how easily we can be divided and turned against each other, but also how easily we can be united.
“It is the most fun you will ever have thinking about politics and has never felt like a more relevant show.
“It’s unbelievably exciting to get the chance to make and premiere this story with the incredible communities around the Albany and Deptford Lounge, and in a season that’s not ashamed to say we need to be talking about politics right now.
“We need to be playing, thinking and imagining together to work how we’ve got to where we are, and how we can come together to move forward. We can’t wait to show you what we’re making.”
Rob Watt, director of Rallying Cry, which presents a collection of spoken word poets addressing the state of the nation, said: “The Rebels season at The Albany celebrates disruption and is the perfect place to feature Rallying Cry.”
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