Festival has its finger on Pulse

IPSWICH: This year’s New Wolsey Theatre Pulse Fringe Festival will bring entertainment not only to the town’s theatres but its car parks, hotels, markets, bedsits, cafes and parks.

With more than 50 performances, the programme draws together the very best artists to the East of England. It will include theatre, dance, comedy, event-led visual arts, participatory theatre, physical theatre and circus.

“Pulse is now firmly on the cultural radar as the place to see new work. With 58 events in just two weeks, it is going to be a demanding but highly rewarding experience for dedicated festival supporters,” said festival director Stephen Freeman.

“However, the range of work is immense, from deeply personal stories to tales of magic realism, from work in a traditional theatre space to work in a car park, from work which is provocative to work which will make you giggle – so I hope this year’s festival attracts lots of new supporters.”

Venues this year include The New Wolsey Theatre, New Wolsey Studio, Sir John Mills Theatre, Jerwood DanceHouse, McGinty’s Pub, The Greyhound Pub, Novotel, Arlingtons, Town Hall Galleries, Buttermarket Shopping Centre, University Campus Suffolk and the Underground Spiral Car Park.

The opening weekend showcases nine works which have emerged from Escalator – dedicated to supporting artists and companies as they look at their practice and undertake a creative journey.

Seven more Escalator artists/companies will be presented throughout the rest of the festival.

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Highlights of the Escalator weekend include work-in-progress Free Time Radical, which tells the story of two surf lovers living together in a converted church as the city around them begins to flood.

Nabokov shares a rehearsed reading of The Siege by Skins and Shameless writer Jack Thorne and a one-off performance of Come To Where I’m From, a selection of work by local writers inspired by the places they grew up, presented by Paines Plough.

Other performances include 30 Bird Productions’ reflection on the cultural and personal implications of the Poland v Iran football match at the 1976 Olympics in their slide lecture/performance, Poland 3 Iran 2.

The festival will feature a large number of site specific works.

Leo Kay’s It’s Like He’s Knocking is a personal, stripped-down performance about three generations of men, performed for a small audience in a bedsit.

Metis Arts’ 3rd Ring Out is performed in an industrial container, asking the audience to take on the role of a disaster response team facing a natural disaster in Ipswich.

Hydrocracker Theatre Company’s Shakespeare a la Carte, meanwhile, will combine bite-size performances from the Bard with a two or three-course meal in Arlingtons, Museum Street.

Some of the most significant, multi-award winning works to make a splash at the likes of the Edinburgh Festival will also be making an appearance.

Ontroerend Goed’s Internal – winner of an Edinburgh Fringe First and a Herald Angel Award – is an intimate, highly personal performance for five audience members.

Daffyd Jones and Ben Lewis present Total Theatre Award-winning My Name is Sue, an unlikely but hilarious music theatre piece sharing the inner thoughts of a piano-wielding spinster from Wales.

Kirstin Fredricksson’s Everything Must Go is a moving meditation on the relationship between a father and daughter, combining cinefilm, clowning, puppetry and hurdling.

n Tickets are on sale now from www.pulsefringe.com