Preview: Press Play A Season of New Digital Performances

Press Play
Press Play

From the award winning duo Popelei ( 100 Years at Arcola Theatre, Push at VAULT Festival 2020 ), and the producers of Fringe First award winning show Bobby & Amy (Edinburgh Fringe 2019) comes Press Play, a two week season of new audio plays, short films and community digital projects.

Written and performed by an acclaimed and international female-led creative team, these six original pieces explore connection and empowerment in our current uncertain times of isolation.

The Press Play season is supported by Arts Council England.

Featuring new work from babirye bukilwa (Women’s Prize for Playwriting 2020 finalist and Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting Shortlist 2019) and Motswana poet Tjawangwa Dema (winner of Sillerman Prize for African Poetry ) and starring Natasha Magigi (Twelfth Night , The Globe; Don Quixote , RSC) and Joyce Greenaway ( Truth and Reconciliation , Royal Court Theatre) , Press Play is a project curated to champion female voices, and offer accessible and exciting theatre while the UK cultural landscape continues to operate under survival mode.

All three audio plays – Feast, Mirrors and Half Acre , have been ‘set-designed’ with the audience members asked to be in a certain location to experience the play. These are simple locations which can be accessed relatively easily and safely – a kitchen, in front of a mirror, and a park bench.

The films, both pre-recorded and live, will feature international collaborations with UK and Latin-American artists. You Give Me Butterflies will be presented in English, while Desa(R)mar will be a live Zoom performance in Spanish.

Food of the Gods, is a community digital audio and taste project, taking place in Bristol, where both Popelei and Tjawangwa Dema are based. Collaborating with the charity Womankind Bristol , that was set to help women improve their mental health and well-being, this play is a solo or two-person audio experience to be enjoyed with locally-sourced chocolate, which will be delivered to the participants in advance.

Tamsin Hurtado Clarke, Artistic Director of Popelei says: “ We are thrilled to be showcasing such high calibre work from this exciting team of female writers, performers and sound designers. We of course miss presenting work in physical spaces; however, this digital project has given us the chance to explore international connections and offer accessible audience participation in ways that weren’t possible before. We’re also delighted to be collaborating with the Womankind Bristol charity and look forward to offering their volunteers and members a chance to experience arts in a safe way within their community.”

All Press Play shows are completely free and can be accessed online. In a time when the UK chancellor Rishi Sunak can imply that theatre is not ’viable’, this female-led season sets to showcase six new pieces of digital work from upcoming and established artists. Most theatre venues may still be shut, but the demand for art and a chance for escapism is higher than ever.

Press Play and forget about the world. Even if it’s only for ten minutes.

Press Play runs Monday 19th October – Monday 2nd November 2020 Tickets are available here.

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