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Orbit Festival 2019 ‘Conquer The Divide’

HOME presents 10 shows in 15 days that inspire, provoke and speak truth to power from some of the most exciting theatre companies and performers working in the UK today

The world is becoming more divisive; people increasingly at odds with one another. For HOME’s fourth annual Orbit Festival in 2019, we have assembled a group of artists, theatre-makers, provokers and thinkers who are exploring this prevailing divide and how we might conquer it, together.

These artists are looking at what unites us, makes us strong and how we connect with each other. They are looking at how we care for and share with one another. How we come to be in this place. In this space.

Amongst this year’s festival highlights are Clean Break’s Sweatbox, performed to audiences of 12 in a prison van (Thu 19-Sat 21 Sept); Care, from The Pappy Show,

which celebrates 70 years of the NHS (Fri 20/Sat 21 Sept); HOME Associate Artist La John Joseph’s A Generous Lover, a haunting queer tale about someone navigating the minefield that is mental illness (Tue 24/Wed 25 Sept); the return of HOME favourites Sh!t Theatre with Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum With Ex-Pats, a hilarious account of their experiences in the European Capital of Culture 2018 in Malta (Thu 26-Sat 28 Sept); Total Theatre Award-winners 2017 YESYESNONO with the accident did not take place, inspired by the 21st century phenomenon of post- truth news (Fri 27/Sat 28 Sept); and Queens of Sheba from the multi-award winning Nouveau Riché, the stirring Edinburgh Festival hit of how four young black women were turned away from a nightclub for being ‘too black’ (Tue 1- Sat 5 Oct). In addition, many of the shows are accompanied by post-show discussions and workshops.


Clean Break and HOME presents Propel Wed 18 Sept 19:00 Theatre 2, £7 Propel is HOME’s platform for artists to play with new ideas, to experiment and to try out new ways of working. Curated by award-winning theatre company Clean Break, this evening will see all chosen artists explore the same theme: ‘speaking truth to power’. You will get to see pieces at the beginning of being made, some you might love and some that might leave you with more questions. Either way, it’s a front-row seat in helping to shape the theatre of the future.

Paul O’Donnell presents We’ve Got Each Other Thu 19 Sept 19:00; Fri 20 Sept, 21:00 Theatre 2, £12.50 (£10) The modern jukebox musical traditionally comes a multi-talented cast – a live band, opulent sets and decadent costumes, extravagant dance routines, dramatic key changes and the odd hydraulic lift or two. We’ve Got Each Other has none of these things (they cost a lot of money). Nonetheless, Paul still tries to create an all-singing, all-dancing spectacle using the powers of your imaginations in a show which comes garlanded with five-star reviews.

Clean Break, the Royal Court Theatre, and Sites of Resistance at Manchester Metropolitan University presents Sweatbox Thu 19 Sept – Sat 21 Sept 17:30, 18:00, 19:30, 20:00, 20:30 £5 Ever wanted to know what happens in a prison van transporting people from court to prison, prison to prison, and prison to court? Sweatbox’s explosive Sweat Box takes place in a real prison van in front of an audience of just 12. Clean Break was set up in 1979 by two women prisoners who believed that theatre could bring the hidden stories of imprisoned women to a wider audience, and now, marking their 40th anniversary, their mission is as strong as ever.

The Pappy Show presents Care Fri 20 Sept 19:00; Sat 21 Sept 14:15, 19:00 Theatre 2, £12.50 (£10) It is the classic 21st century dilemma – how in an advanced western society such as the UK have we become the most in debt, obese, addicted and medicated people in history? Care looks at how care is given in one of our most precious national services in 2019, the National Health Service. Following Boys, in last year’s Incoming Festival at HOME, The Pappy Show return with a brand-new show.

La John Joseph presents A Generous Lover Tue 24 Sept 19:00; Wed 25 Sept 21:00 Theatre 2, £12.50 (£10) This is the true and very queer tale, of one soul’s journey through the wasteland of mental illness, to deliver their lost love. Brimming with psychedelic proletarian prose, and trenchant wit, it recounts the pandemonium of navigating mental health services on behalf of a loved one, whilst being gender queer, and occasionally being mistaken for a patient. La John Joseph is an associate artist at HOME and works at the intersection of artist film and live performance.

Sh!t Theatre presents Sh!t Theatre Drink Rum With Ex-Pats Thu 26 Sept 19:00; Fri 27 Sept 21:00; Sat 28 Sept 19:00 Theatre 2, £12.50 (£10) Celebrating their final year as Europeans, island-monkeys Becca Biscuit and Louise Mothersole from Sh!t Theatre get invited to the 2018 European Capital of Culture in Malta, having missed out on Hull last year. Lads on tour Sh!t Theatre want to talk about home, your home, what we are doing in your home, what you might be doing in our home and how cheap the beers are. Finally, that

experimental fringe theatre show, from HOME regulars (Women’s Hour, Letters To Windsor House, and Dollywould) about Malta you’ve all been waiting for!

YESYESNONO presents the accident did not take place Fri 27 Sept 19:00; Sat 28 Sept 21:00 Theatre 2, £12.50 (£10) The other side of the world. A plane is falling from the sky. You can see it on your laptop screen. You can watch it happening on YouTube. You can hit refresh and watch it burning on repeat. With a new guest performer taking to the stage each night, the accident did not take place from award-winning YESYESNONO, whose 5 Encounters on a Site Called Craigslist and [insert slogan here] have been big HOME hits, is a dance-filled deconstruction of digital information. YESYESNONO are Pleasance Theatre Associates for 2019.

Jamal Harewood presents Word Mon 30 Sept 19:00; Tue 1 Oct 20:30 Theatre 2, £12.50 (£10) They’re pretty special. They give a person the opportunity to express themselves. They can be read. They can be heard. They can be spoken. They allow us to communicate. I was always told that it’s not what you say, but how you say it – is this true? Become the contestant or host in an audience-led gameshow that puts the words we use under a magnifying glass. Following The Privileged (Orbit Festival 2016), Jamal Harewood returns to HOME with Word.

Nouveau Riché presents Queens of Sheba Tue 1 – Thu 3 Oct 19:00; Fri 4/Sat 5 Oct 21:00 Theatre 2, £12.50 (£10) After being turned away from a nightclub for being ‘too black’, a group of friends’ lives are changed forever when confronted with misogynoir in its most vicious form. Jessica L Hagan’s debut play sheds a light on the lives of everyday women battling what shouldn’t be an everyday problem: the collision of racism and misogyny. Nouveau Riché is a multi-award-winning arts production company and an ever-expanding creative movement who won the 2018 Edinburgh Stage Award and The Untapped Award.

HOME, and Journeys Festival International presents Phosphoros Theatre’s Pizza Shop Heroes Fri 4 Oct 19:00; Sat 5 Oct 14:15, 19:00 Theatre 2, £12.50 (£10) Phosphoros Theatre features four refugee young men who made the arduous journey to the UK on their own as children from Afghanistan, Eritrea and Albania. From the precinct of a pizza shop we embark on a journey across time and continents to explore how they got here, where they’re going, and what they’ve learnt along the way. They have told their ‘stories’ repeatedly to the Home Office; powerful, celebratory, affirming, authentic; now it is your chance to hear their story in a piece of theatre that puts refugees centre stage.