Pleasance London will present an exciting season of in-person performances featuring Fringe favourites alongside emerging and thrilling artists that will run alongside the Pleasance’s Edinburgh programme. News of the venue’s Edinburgh Fringe programme will be announced shortly.
As part of the London season, five of the seven recipients of the Pleasance’s National Partnership Awards will come to Islington for a live run, with digital on-demand performances to be announced soon. Each award is made in partnership with a regional theatre – Bristol Old Vic, Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Leicester Curve, Theatre Royal Plymouth and HOME Manchester – with support from the John Ellerman Foundation and William Syson Foundation.
Pleasance are also delighted to announce a new pilot programme, The Edinburgh Fringe Digital Showcase in partnership with The Academy of Music & Theatre Arts (AMATA) at Falmouth University. Throughout August audiences will be able to enjoy a fantastic range of shows from Cornish and non-Cornish artists, with multiple viewing options. The world-class broadcast and creation studios at AMATA will become livestreaming hubs to broadcast Fringe performances online and at live screenings in Cornwall. This project is funded by the Arts Council England National Lottery Project Grants, Falmouth University, Pleasance Theatre Trust, AMATA, Hall for Cornwall, and supported by Sennheiser.
Together, these programmes represent significant financial support to emerging artists from across the country and continues Pleasance’s rich history of supporting new talent.
Anthony Alderson, Director of Pleasance Theatre Trust, comments, It’s been a challenging year but presenting a summer of theatre is what Pleasance are all about and I’m thrilled that we’ll be offering a London and Edinburgh programme this year. Albeit scaled back, the programme showcases all Pleasance stands for with challenging work from upcoming and established artists.
Kicking off the National Partnership Awards shows will be DESTINY (3rd – 7th August), supported by Bristol Old Vic Ferment. This semi-autobiographical monologue by Florence Espeut Nickless follows a teenage girl growing up on a rural Wiltshire council estate whose life spirals out of control as she desperately tries to learn how to love and be loved. Supported by Pitlochry Festival Theatre, Look No Hands (10th – 14th August) is inspired by the writer’s own cycling collision and explores the female cycling experience and Post Traumatic Growth.
Recipient of the 2021 National Partnership Award by Theatre Royal Plymouth is Moist, Moist, Moist (17th – 21st August). Part poetry, part stand-up, part gig, this spoken-word show is from one of the UK’s soggiest submerging artists, Chris White. Prison Game (7th – 11th September) is supported by HOME Manchester and performed by Marcus Hercules. Developed using real life accounts, it tells the story of how prison can define a man and deals with the effects of institutionalisation on individuals and the people around them. Award-winner with Curve Theatre, Leicester, It Kind of Looks Like A Doughnut (10th – 14th August) is a story about sexuality and sexual health steeped in the beautiful bluntness of the rural East Midlands.
Coming to the Pleasance Main House will be Magicians of the Fringe: Kane & Abel and Tom Brace (29th – 30th July). Join fringe veterans Kane & Abel and Tom Brace as they perform their critically-acclaimed magic shows back-to-back and expect the unexpected in this magic extravaganza! Rhys Slade-Jones will return with his 2019 hit show The Land of My Fathers and Mothers and Some Other People (31st July).
Comedy fans will also be well catered for in the Main House, including a mixed bill of brilliant stand-up, sketch and improv comedy hosted by Stuart Laws (10th August). He will be joined by Steen Raskopoulos, Sadia Azmat, Rose Johnson and Camille Ucan and more to bring you a wonderful mix of laughs on what we predict (hope) will be a wonderfully balmy evening. There will also be the already announced work-in-progress performances by Rob Beckett (8th – 9th August) and Jayde Adams (12th – 14th August) as well as Milton Jones who will come to North London with Milton: Impossible (26th – 27th August). One man. One Mission. Is it possible? No, not really. Milton reveals the truth about being an international spy, before being given a disappointing new identity which forced him to appear on Mock the Week, Live at the Apollo. More comedy shows will be announced over the next few weeks too.
There will be more theatre in the Main House as VAULT Festival hit Patricia Gets Ready (for a date with the man that used to hit her) (11th – 13th August) invites the audience to join Patricia as she gets ready for the date with her ex; tells stories of her past, how it has affected her present, and looks honestly at her future. Ploughing across to Islington will be farmers-turned-entertainers, David and Sam, with their rambunctious family comedy for all ages, The Misadventures of David & Sam (13th – 14th August). Also, for the whole family, join the Superhero Academy: Environmental Adventure! (20th – 21st August) to be part of the greatest quest to off all: to save the world… quite literally!
If you’re ready for some meticulous improvisation, don’t miss Edinburgh fringe favourites Murder, She Didn’t Write (16th – 18th August) who will bring their classic – and totally improvised – murder mystery to North London. Take up your magnifying glasses and don your deerstalkers for an evening of murder, mayhem and making it up. And if that’s not enough, catch The Importance of Being… Earnest? (19th – 21st August). A faithful revival of Wilde’s classic is in chaos as the cast start dropping like flies so now it’s up to YOU to tread the boards, step into the spotlight and save the show!
Filling the Main House with music will be one of the greatest tribute shows in the world, Simon & Garfunkel Through the Years (26th – 28th August). Featuring iconic hits including The Sound Of Silence, Mrs Robinson, The Boxer and the smash hit Bridge Over Troubled Water, this live concert experience exquisitely recreates the unmistakable sound of Simon & Garfunkel. With original songs and an expertly wielded ukulele, Katie Arnstein’s Sticky Door (30th August – 1st September) is an unmissable storytelling show about sex, stigma and cystitis.
Opening the programme in Pleasance Downstairs will be Fringe Futures Festival sell-out hit Pauline (27th – 30th July): a funny heart-warming journey of personal-discovery about the grandmother Sophie never knew. This will be joined by head/lining (27th – 30th July), another Fringe Futures Festival favourite, a crackling indie rock gig that tears itself open to confront fragments of society, family and self. Eyes. Teeth. Soil. (3rd – 7th August) is a queasy ride through the mind of a woman consumed by what she cannot escape. COMMON Award-winner 2020, The Nobodies (17th – 28th August) asks what it takes to enact real change and what you would sacrifice to keep it? Penny (24th – 28th August) was shortlisted for Pleasance’s Charlie Hartill Special Reserve for Theatre 2020. Adelaide wants to make her mom’s life-story mythic but when she invokes the help of Penelope, everything soon unravels.
These electric new shows will be joined in Pleasance Downstairs by Offies Award-winning Sound Cistem (31st August – 4th September), an exuberant show about the cisgender gaze on the transgender body. Under disco lights, over pulsing music, a queer celebration takes place and two transgender performers invite you to their radical dance party! BLOWHOLE (31st August – 11th September) is a hilarious, yet tender portrait of contemporary swipe-right culture, and seeking connection in our modern lives. The season ends with a disaster movie about falling in love or a rom-com about the end of the world, Catching Comets (14th – 19th September). This multi-dimensional genre mash-up which asks how we can be the heroes we grew up with on our screens.
The line-up of productions for the Edinburgh Fringe Digital Showcase with AMATA includes Jam First’s Hellish (6th August), The Sian Clarke Experience (13th August), Owdyado presenting Twisted Tales Goes to The Fringe (17th August), Arthur Smith’s SYD (20th August), Natasha’s Brown’s I am (Not) Kanye West (27th August), and children’s work with Coppice Theatre’s Science Adventures – The Power Pickle (24th August). Tickets for online livestreams and to the physical livestreaming hub at AMATA are on sale now. More productions and details on how to view online on Fringe Player will be added throughout July.
Pleasance’s London programme will operate across both their socially distanced cabaret style Main House, and Downstairs studio, which will operate at a maximum of 80% capacity to provide audiences with additional distancing as restrictions ease. This will be complimented by enhanced cleaning, increased ventilation, and additional hand sanitising stations to create as safe a theatre going experience as possible.