The exciting line-up for this year’s Amplify Festival at Nottingham Playhouse (18-21 Oct) has been announced. With something for everyone – from Bridie Squires Casino Zero, based on her years working as a croupier at a local casino, to brand new comedy and Edinburgh Festival successes, clowning works in development to a play without actors – it’s a chance for artists and audiences to come together to delight and invest in local talent.
Amplify Festival is an annual celebration of artists from across the wider Midlands regions and features new work, work in progress and scratch productions, workshops for artists and networking for theatre-makers. This year, there are 18 companies from across the Midlands taking part, performing across 4 days, with opportunities for networking and development throughout. With a packed programme of events held across the building, there’ll be a real festival buzz.
Beccy D’Souza, Artist Development Producer, said:
“I’m really pleased with the breadth and depth of this year’s lineup of work. There is so much great work being produced locally and to be able to put it in front of audiences, some of it whilst still in development, is both really exciting for the artists involved and a great opportunity for audiences.”
Accessibility has been a core focus for the Festival this year and the majority of shows are either BSL Interpreted, captioned and/or produced as relaxed performances. In addition, a workshop entitled Creative Access will consider how best to build audience access into the creation of shows, and one on Access for Production looks at best working practices to support creatives with access needs in producing. Both workshops will be BSL interpreted.
Nikki Charlesworth, Agent for Change, said:
“This year I am delighted to have teamed up with Beccy to plan an Amplify Festival that has greater access provision than previous years and also introduces artists to new processes and good practice. I am also thrilled to see a programme of work that amplifies disabled and neurodivergent voices.”
Nottingham Playhouse’s Amplify artist development programme has over 600 members, and offers support through free workshops, mentoring, one to one sessions, co-working days and use of space at the Playhouse. Led by Beccy D’Souza, the programme is expanding its reach and having a real impact on artist’s careers.
More details on Amplify Festival
WEDNESDAY 18 OCTOBER
Batman (aka Naomi’s Death Show)
6.30pm (Relaxed performance)
Writer: Naomi Westerman
Co-produced by Chronic Insanity and Little But Fierce Theatre
Batman (aka Naomi’s Death Show) is an interactive live storytelling piece, which is completely true. The play explores the author’s personal experience of parental death and bereavement, satirises the true crime genre … and looks at how love can save us or condemn us.
8.30pm (BSL interpreted)
Writer: Bridie Squires
This is a tale of minimum wage, grief and addiction. Inspired by two years of night shifts working as a croupier in a casino just around the corner from Nottingham Playhouse, this play highlights the social issues of gambling culture, caricaturing the industry through the eyes of a female, working-class writer from Nottingham.
THURSDAY 19 OCTOBER
Yeah, No, Fine.
Writers: Emma Gray and Grace Carter
Yeah, No, Fine features Alice, who’s trying to write a script (it’s a big deal) but is met with a series of obstacles: flat mates, nights out (when she shouldn’t) and getting locked in a toilet. The play gives an insight into how a lot of people are feeling at the moment- burnt out, unsure about the future, stressed, and tackles themes surrounding boundaries, priorities, people pleasing and guilt.
8pm (Captioned Performance and Relaxed Performance)
Writer and Director: Nathan Ellis
Work.txt is a show performed entirely by the audience about the gig economy, financial instability and bullshit jobs. Garnering 5* reviews at the Edinburgh Festival in 2022, this show shines a light on the ‘pointlessness and mundanity of modern work culture’ The Skinny.
FRIDAY 20 OCTOBER
Amplify Futures – a double bill
2.45pm (BSL Interpreted)
An afternoon celebrating new artists and the work they are creating. Both performances are work in progress showings.
by Infinite Egg Theatre
How do we communicate the dangers hidden within the waste we are generating to societies of the distant future? A lecture pondering this question turns weird, plunging us into that future. Glimpses of rituals and culture that seem to contain relics from our time. The show will use Mask and no words.
by Calathea Arts
A coming-of-age, environmental comedy, Eco-Ball follows the Oakwood Academy School Council as they try and organise an eco-friendly end-of-year leavers do. Much to the distress of the rest of Year 11 and the teachers, things don’t go quite according to plan!
Tell It To The Bees
5.10pm (BSL Interpreted)
This performance storytelling and live music show is a set of interlinked stories inspired by folk tales, true life accounts and encounters with bees both in folklore and the natural world. It is about travelling forward, hope, and life whilst still remembering those that have gone before. It is lively, funny and thought provoking.
Restoration: Restoration – a double bill
7.50pm (BSL Interpreted)
Writer, composer, performer: Annabelle Terry
Director: Ellie Hurt
Designer: Maria Terry
A work in progress which features original songs and a mixture of factual and imagined dialogue to tell the story of the women who rose to fame without a name.
Who was the first woman to perform on the English stage? WHATSHERNAME?
The 17th Century Show
By Adam and Mark Nightingale
What happens when you make King Charles II really, really, angry? How can you tell if someone is trying to sell you a dodgy sword? Was the Witch-Finder General secretly a really, really nice guy? Storyteller Adam Nightingale and his musical companion Marco the Mute Musician help uncover the answers to these timely and troubling questions.
SATURDAY 21 OCTOBER
Clown Hour (and a bit!) – a triple bill
11.50am (BSL Interpreted and Relaxed Performance)
Three Clown shows – Alistair Inkle, Clown WIP and Serious Nonsense – perfect for audiences 7+ with lots of physical comedy craziness, bizarre beasts, energetic rhymes and lots of laughs.
2.30pm (Relaxed Performance)
A work-in-progress performance. Cufynol are brought to Nottingham by Stiwdio 64, a community art hub located in Porthmadog, North Wales, and returning to the city that nurtured them.
You receive a message from the future in danger of being forgotten. You’ll have 30 mins to help us make this future a reality. Maybe you’ll get it wrong, maybe you’re lucky enough to have the answers from the beginning. Where do you want to end up?
Women Writes – triple bill
2.30pm (BSL Interpreted performance)
Join us for an afternoon celebrating work created by women. All three shows are work-in-progress performances.
that face should form another
by Francesca Hess
Kate is #livingherbestlife. She’s still in her twenties, the party is going strong and thankfully she’s NOTHING like her mother … Right? But as her 30th birthday rapidly approaches, reality distorts. Memories collide. 00’s bangers play. And Kate is forced to make a life changing decision.
The King Stone
Writer: Charlotte East.
Director: Hannah Stone
What is home? For Phil it’s the stars – they’re safe, out of reach and always reliable. For Kristen this place is just a house, she wants more! Can these star-crossed lovers find their true sense of home?
By Dandy Lion
DYS is about waking up and finding everyone lied about who you are. DYS is about fairy tales, musicals, and magical powers no one talks about. DYS is about dyslexia, and how bloody brilliant it is!
Dandy Lion is a new musical theatre company for and about the neurodiverse.
Amplify Festival Finale: A double bill
7.50pm (BSL Interpreted)
Lend Me Your QuEar
By Lottie Manning
This solo show explores ideas of Queer Utopia through layering disciplines such as spoken word, lip-sync, music, movement and more to create an audibly and visually textured piece. You may find yourself becoming a plant, in the toilet of a queer night club or being visited by a drag king
My Dad Wears a Dress
By Maria Telnikoff
Brimming with life and sincerity, this one-woman show about growing up with a trans-female parent challenges a world of heteronormative values, from the struggles of buying a Father’s Day card to the questions raised describing one’s family in a French lesson. Offie nominated, winner of FUSE Festival’s Best Fringe Show and long listed for Brighton Fringe’s Award for Excellence.
Posted on 18 September 2023