Search for new theatre talent

ASPIRING actors and musicians could be given a helping hand on their way to fame and fortune through an Ipswich arts festival.

ASPIRING actors and musicians could be given a helping hand on their way to fame and fortune through an Ipswich arts festival.

Plans are already underway for the annual Pulse Fringe Festival next year and the applications to take part are being invited.

The Pulse Festival is organised by Ipswich's New Wolsey Theatre with funding from the Arts Council East and has been designed to give new and emerging theatre groups and performers with aspirations to become professional, the chance to showcase their work.

The festival was first held in 2001 and has since grown into a major annual event that attracts actors, dancers, writers and musicians from all over the region.

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Next year the four week festival will run from May 31 until June 24 and the deadline for applications is later this month.

Applications from performers creating all kinds of new work are being asked for, and thanks to the festival's connections with the Arts Council, it means performers will be given vital exposure to other professionals who are scouting for new talent.

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Lynn Whitehead, the New Wolsey's Pulse Festival director said: “Pulse provides a hotbed for the region's talent and a chance for audiences to be the first to see new and emerging work”

“We also provide substantial technical, artistic and marketing advice so participants not only get the opportunity to perform but also get the benefit of professional back up.”

The festival this year saw performances take place at several venues across Ipswich, with productions ranging from drama and comedy to dance, poetry and music, although organisers are keen to stress that applications from all art forms will be considered.

For a Pulse application form and more details, visit or if you have an idea that you would like to discuss, email or call 01473 261142.

PULSE 2006 saw 45 performance take place throughout it's four week run.

One of the groups chosen to take part in this year's festival was Chopped Logic, who performed a show called Paramour, a play that looked at two very different characters whose lives collided became intertwined.

Cassie Werber, a joint artistic director of Chopped Logic, said taking part in Pulse had been a great experience for the group - and had led on to a series of performances at the prestigious Edinburgh Festival.

“After Pulse we went to Edinburgh and got some really nice reviews for the show,” she said.

“It was a very professional experience and we had a lot of support from everyone else involved and there was lots of help and advice.

“It's not one of those festivals that has a complicated application process, it's very personal and you can talk to people and find things out.”

For theatre groups are just starting out, taking part in a festival can be a boost, said Cassie.

“It gives you a real incentive to aim for something,” she said.

“Everyone wants to be making work, but if you don't have anything to aim for then you can start to feel a bit unfocused.

“We had already done the show at the Brighton Festival first, and then we did Pulse and then went on to Edinburgh, where we did 28 performances.”

As well as Chopped Logic, Cassie is now also working with Ipswich based theatre company Eastern Angles, which was organised as a result of her taking part in Pulse.

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