Problems with libido, Europe and a footballing Shakespeare are all part of Pulse 2019 at New Wolsey
PUBLISHED: 12:01 29 May 2019
The Pulse festival offers local audiences a first-look at brand new fringe theatre which is currently being developed for the Edinburgh Festival or is currently on tour. We take a look at this year’s highlights
Fringe theatre used to be synonymous with alternative theatre. Imaginative, quirky, inventive small works which could be staged anywhere with the minimum of scenery, just a few props and a change of hat and a collection of multi-talented performers.
Today, mainstream theatre is so rich and diverse that it could be argued that fringe theatre has entered the mainstream. Certainly the performance techniques and the free-form approach of fringe theatre has transformed how we look at modern theatre and it's boosted the popularity of fringe theatre events like Pulse at New Wolsey.
Pulse is now in its 19th year and has gone from a small-scale side event in the New Wolsey programme to one of the main platforms of the year with additional Pulse Presents showcases dropped into the main spring and autumn seasons.
This year the main Pulse festival runs from Thursday May 30 to Saturday June 8 providing a showcase for both established and emerging artists. With more than 50 shows scheduled over 10-days, there really is something for everyone: Choose from fly-on-wall drama, experimental theatre, bite-sized works in development, immersive digital experiences, visceral verse, laugh-out-loud humour, musical theatre and even puppetry and circus.
This year Pulse will be taking over New Wolsey Theatre main stage, New Wolsey Studio in St George's Street, The High Street Exhibition Gallery and will include performances at DanceEast and the Black Horse Inn.
Tickets start at £10 per show (£5 for under-25s), with a Frequent Flyers deal, where if you book five or more shows you get all tickets for just £5 (terms and conditions apply). To book your tickets call the New Wolsey on 01473 295900 or visit the website at www.pulseipswich.co.uk
Ad Libido (Thurs May 30) opens Pulse 2019. Join Fran as she seeks to fix sex. No matter what she tries, how many trips to the doctor or offers of help from friends, she doesn't feel her fire's been lit. Expect toe-tapping tunes, a visit to sex camp and, err, dolphins.
Following the success of Golem at PULSE in 2017, award-winning company 1927 return with their international smash-hit combination of music and animation in The Animal's and Children Took to the Streets (Sat June 8), described by critics as "A really astonishing piece of work".
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Edinburgh Comedy Award nominees Max and Ivan, otherwise known for their meeting room roles in BBC 2's W1A, present Edinburgh preview Commitment (Sat June 1) and festival favourites Hoipolloi return with the third part of " The Loose Change Trilogy", The Ladder (Tues June 4) which they unveiled at the Norfolk & Norwich Festival.
Brick Wall Ensemble performs Henry 5 (Saturday June 8), a story of football, friendship, hilarity and heartbreak, in the Black Horse Inn.
On Friday May 31, Suitcase Prize Day challenges theatre makers to think in an environmentally and economically sustainable way and encourages companies to tour leaving a lower carbon footprint. Including 12 scratch performances of 20 minutes each, performers will compete to win the coveted title and £1,000 prize to find the best show that can be toured using public transport only, literally in a suitcase.
Scratch Day on Saturday June 1 will see 10 acts bravely present new works before asking for audience feedback, and Free Day on Sunday June 2 includes artists new to the festival producers and will invite audiences to take a risk on the unknown, or try something new and to pay what they think for the shows that they see.
Jade Byrne, brings her one-woman stage show, Pricks, to Pulse 19 (Tues June 4). Over the past eight years she has developed the Pricks story in order "to set the record straight about Type 1 diabetics like me," whilst also being "able to educate through entertainment about what it (Type 1 Diabetes) actually is and I want the entire world to see it."
Lights! Planets! People! is an insightful, moving, funny and inspirational take on the interconnected worlds of women, science and space travel. It lands on the New Wolsey stage (Mon June 3) and shifts between a lecture by leading scientist Maggie Hill and Maggie's first therapy session. Six months ago she launched an unsuccessful mission to find habitable planets beyond our solar system, shortly after which her girlfriend stopped speaking to her. Written and directed by Norwich-based scriptwriter, theatre maker and broadcaster Molly Naylor, it is performed by experienced actor Karen Hill.
The festival ends (Saturday June 8) with the return of character comedian, and Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominee, Kieran Hodgson and his tale of how Britain joined Europe with Kieran Hodgson '75. He discovers that the '70's were about more than Tiswas, the colour brown and the words "Let's go on strike again."