IF Milton Keynes, Festival, Music, TotalNtertainment, Family Events

Milton Keynes International Festival announces events

For 21 days from 10 to 30 July, IF: Milton Keynes International Festival 2021 returns to the City’s parks and green spaces, public squares

IF: Milton Keynes International Festival announces its events

With live outdoor music, comedy and performance in Campbell Park’s open-air Amphitheatre new for 2021

Plus circus, dance, theatre, installations, family events and a digital programme

Saturday 10 to Friday 30 July

For 21 days from 10 to 30 July, IF: Milton Keynes International Festival 2021 returns to the City’s parks and green spaces, public squares and retail destinations including centre:mk with a longer Festival allowing audiences ample time and space to enjoy coming together again for events. This year’s programme reflects the extraordinary times we are living through with a mix of open-air live music, dance and performance, joyful and free family events, transformative site-specific installations, pop-up performances and a digital programme including concerts and interviews recorded live from The Stables, producers of the Festival. 

Monica Ferguson, Festival Director and CEO of The Stables said: “We have worked hard to shape a Festival that is safe for visitors, artists and all of our team. The installations provide space and time for reflection and it’s great to play our part in helping to revive live events for everyone to enjoy.

The safety of audiences, artists, volunteers and staff is at the forefront of The Festival’s planning. As well as following all government and industry guidelines, we are working closely with specialist safety advisors to ensure all event locations are Covid-safe and secure for everyone. Key measures include pre-booking tickets for some free performances and events. Booking and further updates can be found on the Festival website: www.ifmiltonkeynes.org.”

IF Milton Keynes, Festival, Music, TotalNtertainment,

THE AMPHITHEATRE PROGRAMME

Theatre/Family
Slapstick Picnic: The Importance of Being Earnest                               NEW
Saturday 17 July, Campbell Park: Amphitheatre
First up in the Amphitheatre within Campbell Park is Slapstick Picnic (from the creators of the Handlebards) with a marvellously silly new production of Oscar Wilde’s The Importance of Being Earnest. Two rather dashing entertainers take on Wilde’s classic play of manners, affairs and handbags – with added culinary capers.
Saturday 17 July, 1.30pm and 5pm
Campbell Park: Amphitheatre, Milton Keynes
Tickets: £10
Booking: 01908 280800 / www.ifmiltonkeynes.org
www.slapstickpicnic.com

Circus/Family
Gandini Juggling: Smashed2
Sunday 18 July, Campbell Park: Amphitheatre

Featuring 80 oranges, seven watermelons and nine performers, Smashed2 is juggling reinvented with plenty of explosive fruit and slow-motion comedy, performed with meticulous unison and split-second timing. Inspired by the work of the great choreographer Pina Bausch, Gandini Juggling combines elements of her gestural choreography with intricate patterns and cascades of solo and ensemble juggling.
Sunday 18 July, 2.15pm and 4pm
Campbell Park: Amphitheatre, Milton Keynes
Tickets: Adults £5, Under 16s, £3, Family Ticket (4 people, max 2 adults) £12
Booking: 01908 280800 / www.ifmiltonkeynes.org
www.gandinijuggling.com

Comedy
Stand-up in The Park with Russell Kane, Rich Hall and Angela Barnes
Friday 23 July, Campbell Park: Amphitheatre

This night of comedy from Off The Kerb Productions showcases multi award-winner and TV regular Russell Kane, best known for the BBC Sounds podcasts, Evil Genius and Boy’s Don’t Cry; BBC4 documentarian Rich Hall, renowned for expertly-crafted tirades, quick-fire banter with audiences and delightful musical sequences; and social care worker-turned comedian Angela Barnes, winner of the BBC New Comedy Award in 2011 and a regular on Mock The Week, Live at the Apollo, and Hypothetical.
Friday 23 July, 7.30pm, Gates open at 6.30pm
Campbell Park: Amphitheatre, Milton Keynes
Tickets: £27.50 (includes booking fee)
Booking: 01908 280800 / www.ifmiltonkeynes.org

Music/Family
Orchestra for the Earth: For the Trees
Saturday 24 July, Campbell Park: Amphitheatre

Orchestra for the Earth brings together some of the finest young professional musicians, all committed to connecting audiences around the world with music and nature, highlighting climate change and the natural world. Here they collaborate with environmental charity Trees of Music to highlight how deforestation in Brazil is decimating the population of Pernambuco trees, the source of the wood used to make bows for stringed instruments. The programme will include Frank Bridge’s Moonlight (from the Sea Suite for Orchestra) and Beethoven’s 2nd Symphony in D Major Op 36 as a homage to the Festival’s Installations Gaia and Museum of The Moon with Elgar’s elegiac Cello Concerto in E Minor Op 85 played by rising star cellist, Rebecca McNaught.
Saturday 24 July, 8pm. Gates open at 6.30pm
Campbell Park: Amphitheatre, Milton Keynes
Tickets: £22.50, Under 24 years £11 (includes booking fee)
Booking: 01908 280800 / www.ifmiltonkeynes.org
www.orchestrafortheearth.co.uk / www.treesofmusic.org

PERFORMANCE/DANCE

Frauke Requardt & David Rosenberg: Future Cargo                            
Friday 23 and Saturday 24 July, The Point Car Park
Future Cargo is an immersive sci-fi dance show set within a 40ft shipping container. A truck arrives from an other-worldly location loaded with a mystery shipment and, as the sides roll up a strange and unstoppable process is set in motion. Audiences enjoy a large-scale dance spectacle while simultaneously eavesdropping via binaural headphones on the sounds of the dramas playing out inside the container.
Friday 23 and Saturday 24 July, 5pm and 9pm
The Point Car Park, next to The Point (MK9 3NB), Milton Keynes City Centre
Tickets: £5, Under 16s £3, Family Ticket (4 people, max 2 adults) £12
Booking: 01908 280800 / www.ifmiltonkeynes.org
www.requardt-rosenberg.com/

Jeanefer Jean-Charles: Black Victorians                                             
Saturday 24 and Sunday 25 July, Peace Pagoda, North Willen Lake
Inspired by an exhibition of black people in Victorian photographic portraits hidden for over 100 years, Jeanefer Jean-Charles’ Black Victorians tells some of the many untold stories of black people in British history. Her choreography for five black dancers, in Marsha Roddy’s boldly-reimagined Victorian costumes against African prints, challenges our expectations of what a Victorian person might look like, exploring a complex but often forgotten black presence in pre-Windrush Britain.
Saturday 24 July, 3pm and 7pm
Sunday 25 July, 12noon and 3pm
Peace Pagoda, North Willen Lake, Milton Keynes
Tickets: Free
Booking: 01908 280800 / www.ifmiltonkeynes.org
www.jeanefer.com/

MUSIC

The Stables Sessions: Live On The Bulbfield Stage                             NEW
Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July, Campbell Park: The Bulbfield
Programmed by Festival producers and Milton Keynes music venue The Stables, Live On The Bulbfield Stage is a weekend of open-air live music performances in Campbell Park. As ever, these Stables Sessions put a spotlight on new sounds, emerging talent and unsigned artists.
Saturday 17 July: 12noon Lizzy Hardingham; 1.15pm Anna Hester; 2.30pm Candi’s Dog; 3.45pm Manny & The Coloured Sky; 5pm 4th Labyrinth
Sunday 18 July: 12noon Hannah Scott; 1.15pm Smith & Brewer; 2.30pm Joe Miles; 3.45pm Inlak’esh; 5pm: Fred’s House
Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July, 12noon – 6pm
Each session lasts approximately 45 minutes
Campbell Park: Bulbfield, Milton Keynes
Tickets: Free
Booking: 01908 280800 / www.ifmiltonkeynes.org

The Stables Sessions: Virtually Live
Online broadcast dates and times to be announced

Virtually Live is a series of concerts and interviews recorded live at The Stables for online broadcast. The line-up of bands and artists is: Emma McGrath, Fred’s House, Hannah Scott, Hope in High Water, Jally Kebba Susso, Joe Miles, Manny & The Coloured Sky, Roses & Pirates, Smith & Brewer, and Steve Winch & The Inception.
Dates and times to be announced
Free to view

Drake Music: Planted Symphony
Wednesday 14 – Sunday 18 July Campbell Park: Canalside
Planted Symphony is an immersive music experience in nature, an accessible and interactive outdoor audio trail through the Canalside’s green spaces.  Audiences download the Planted Symphony app and enter a narrative which leads them through the space, transformed with installations. A six-part composition, songs and stories are triggered via GPS location technology. It was created by disabled and non-disabled artists working together, with initial compositions created for the app by Lucy Hale, then developed and arranged by Cassandra Gurling with the story and song lyrics written by Dave Young. Drake’s Music’s Planted Symphony includes BSL videos, audio description and resting pointsFor D/deaf and hard of hearing audiences, there will be Subpacs available which translate sound into vibration and over-ear headphones, compatible with hearing aids.
Wednesday 14 – Sunday 18 July
11am – 5pm: Lasts between 20 – 30 minutes
Campbell Park: Canalside, Milton Keynes
Tickets: Book access Subpacks in advance. More details from access@stables.org
Booking: 01908 280800 / www.ifmiltonkeynes.org
www.drakemusic.org/

FAMILY FOCUS WEEKEND

Saturday 17 – Sunday 18 July Campbell Park
A weekend of free daytime pop-up performances and drop-in workshops for all the family.

Workshops
Rachel Wright and Cathy Ebbels: Flag Making Workshops
Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July, Campbell Park:By The Milton Keynes Rose

These sessions for children and adults are inspired by the Festival’s MK Mandalas flag project (see Installations below). Participants will make a flag and take it home. The workshops will be run by MK Mandalas project manager, artist and tutor Rachel Wright ,and artist and tutor Cathy Ebbels.
Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July
Workshops every 30 minutes, between 11am – 4pm
Campbell Park: By The Milton Keynes Rose, Milton Keynes
Free: Please book a workshop place
Booking: 01908 280800 / www.ifmiltonkeynes.org

Theatre
Theatre of Widdershins: Treasure Chest Tales
Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July,
 Campbell Park: Labyrinth
A hugely-popular stalwart of Festivals past, Theatre of Widdershins returns with a new compendium of enchanting fairy tales, all told in the inimitable Widdershins style with fantastical props, music and charming puppetry.
Saturday 17 July: 11.15am The Princess & The Pea; 1.15pm The Hare & The Hedgehog; 3.15pm The Many Legged Musicians of Bremen
Sunday 18 July: 11.15am Granny Dumpling; 1.15pm Nanooshka Queen of the Goats; 4pm Ug, Bug and Dug
Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July, from 11.15am
Each Tale lasts approximately 40 minutes
Campbell Park: Labyrinth, Milton Keynes
Tickets: Free
Booking: 01908 280800 / www.ifmiltonkeynes.org
www.widdershins.co.uk

Dance/Circus
Mimbre: Lifted
Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July, Campbell Park: The Embankment Stage
Created with guest choreographers Yi-Chun Liu, HURyCAN and Gary Clarke, this captivating performance brings new approaches to Mimbre’s trademark all-female acrobatics. Lifted is a series of funny, poetic and surprising moments which explore what it means when one body is carried by another.
Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July, 11.15am and 2.30pm
Campbell Park: Embankment Stage, Milton Keynes
Tickets: Free
Booking: 01908 280800 / www.ifmiltonkeynes.org
www.mimbre.co.uk

Installation
Gobbledegook Theatre: Cloudscapes
Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July, Campbell Park: City Gardens
In this intimate installation audiences are invited to lie down on cushions in an outdoor cloud-gazing auditorium. Perched high on a stepladder, performer and creator Lorna Rees oversees the event, gently encouraging her listeners to look up and contemplate how, like humans, the clouds are constantly changing.
Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July
11.30am, 12.30pm, 1.30pm, 2.30pm, 3.30pm and 4.30pm
Running time 40 mins
Campbell Park: City Gardens, Milton Keynes
Tickets: Free
Booking: 01908 280800 / www.ifmiltonkeynes.org
www.gobbledegooktheatre.com/

Theatre/circus
Dizzy O’Dare: The Giant Red Balloon Show
Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July, Campbell Park: Labyrinth

Award-winning company Dizzy O’Dare channels the iconic Milton Keynes red balloon from the 1970s adverts for the garden city, adds in a 1980s soundtrack and has the audience in stitches. Non-stop balloon sculptures, high-energy comic performance, audience participation and the giant red balloon itself create a highly-entertaining show for the whole family.
Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July
Campbell Park: Labyrinth, Milton Keynes
Saturday 17 July, 12.15pm and 2.15pm
Sunday 18 July, 12.15pm and 3pm
Tickets: Free
Booking: 01908 280800 / www.ifmiltonkeynes.org
www.dizzyodare.com

Dance/circus
Kapow: Grow
Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July, Campbell Park: The Embankment Stage
A comment on humanity and a comedy gardening show combined, Grow is a playful and touching celebration of the power of nature to take over spaces and grow through the cracks. Smart, skillful and engaging, Kapow’s two dancers transform variously into weeds, seeds and beautiful sunflowers leaving the audience feeling uplifted and inspired to get outside and garden. Grow is presented in association with MÓTUS Dance.
Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July, 12.20pm and 3.35pm
Campbell Park: The Embankment Stage, Milton Keynes
Each performance lasts approximately 25 minutes
Tickets: Free
Booking: 01908 280800 / www.ifmiltonkeynes.org
www.kapowdance.co.uk

Dance
2Faced Dance: Power                                                                            NEW
Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July, Campbell Park: The Embankment Stage
The fearless new dance production choreographed by Alleyne Dance looks at the uneasy relationship with authority and control, how power can seduce, shift and shape our behaviour. An explosive mix of contemporary dance, kathak, circus skills and hip hop, the three powerful dancers ask the questions – who leads, who follows, who holds the power.
Saturday 17 and Sunday 18 July, 1.30pm and 4.30pm
Campbell Park: The Embankment Stage, Milton Keynes
Tickets: Free
Booking: 01908 280800 / www.ifmiltonkeynes.org
www.2faceddance.co.uk/

IF Milton Keynes, Festival, Music, TotalNtertainment,

INSTALLATIONS

Anna Berry: Breathing Room                                           WORLD PREMIERE
Saturday 10 to Friday 30 July, 
Queen’s Court, centre:mk
Commissioned by The Stables, Breathing Room is a kinetic installation created by UK artist Anna Berry, a Milton Keynes resident, who is known for creating socially and politically conscious work in non-gallery environments. Berry has created an illuminated tunnel, lined with thousands of delicate paper-like cones that move and breathe. Audiences walk through its pulsing interior in a multi-sensory and immersive experience. Its mesmeric movement is generated by the ingenious mechanics of a sculptural exterior created from found objects, cogs, chains and bicycle parts.
Saturday 10 to Friday 30 July
Queen’s Court, centre:mk, MK9 3ES
10.30am – 5.30pm
Free
www.ifmiltonkeynes.org
www.annaberry.co.uk

Marco Barotti: The Woodpeckers
Saturday 10 to Friday 30 July, locations throughout Milton Keynes City Centre
Berlin-based Italian sonic and media artist Marco Barotti specialises in interventions in both urban and natural surroundings. Throughout the Festival from 10 to 30 July, The Woodpeckers pop up in different Milton Keynes City Centre locations, attached by magnets to street signs, lamps, and other metal components of the urban landscape. The robotic birds transform the invisible signals from mobile and wireless technology into a constantly changing composition of rhythmic beats tapped out on the City’s architecture. A rural version of The Woodpeckers is also part of the Summer of Sound Festival at Kew’s country outpost Wakehurst from 9 July to 12 September.
Saturday 10 to Friday 30 July
Locations throughout Milton Keynes City Centre
Free
www.ifmiltonkeynes.org
www.marcobarotti.com/

Yara + Davina: Arrivals + Departures
Saturday 10 to Friday 30 July, City Square, at the junction of Silbury Boulevard & Saxon Gate outside centre:mk
Yara + Davina’s Arrivals + Departures is an interactive artwork rooted in the direct life and death experiences of local people. British social practice artists Davina Drummond and Yara El-Sherbini use the iconic format of an old-fashioned arrivals and departures board as a poetic context to reflect on birth, death and memories of lives lived. Over the 21 days of the Festival, names and other data will be gathered from the public and continually added to the artwork which will be located in City Square.
Saturday 10 to Friday 30 July
10.30am – 5pm
City Square, at the junction of Silbury Boulevard & Saxon Gate
Free
www.ifmiltonkeynes.org
www.yaraanddavina.com/ www.arrivalsanddepartures.net/

Kinetika Flag Project: MK Mandalas                                                      NEW
Friday 16 to Sunday 18 July & Friday 23 to Sunday 25 July, The Milton Keynes Rose, Campbell Park
For MK Mandalas, international creative company Kinetika is working with two Milton Keynes artists and ten community groups to design and create 30 batik silk flags. Inspired by the visual forms and mandala symbols that were used in designs for The Milton Keynes Rose – a spectacular public space in Campbell Park used for celebration, commemoration and contemplation – the flags incorporate resonant themes including coming together, appreciating nature and looking forward. The flags will be on display at The Milton Keynes Rose from 16 to 18 July and 23 to 25 July, with additional events on 16 July to mark Milton Keynes Disability Awareness Day.
Friday 16 to Sunday 18 July & Friday 23 to Sunday 25 July
The Milton Keynes Rose, Campbell Park
Free
www.ifmiltonkeynes.org
www.kinetika.co.uk/

Luke Jerram: Gaia
Saturday 10 to Friday 30 July, Middleton Hall, centre:mk

and
Luke Jerram: Museum of the Moon
Thursday 22 to Sunday 25 July, Tree Cathedral, Newlands

Installation artist Luke Jerram brings his monumental inflated 3D models of the Earth and the Moon to Milton Keynes, the first time the two works have been exhibited in the same city in the UK, at the same time. Installed in two contrasting locations, Gaia is in Middleton Hall in centre:mk, while Museum of the Moon is in the lush greenery of the Tree Cathedral. The two awe-inspiring internally-lit sculptures are seven metres in diameter and feature detailed NASA imagery on their surfaces. Atmospheric surround sound compositions are by BAFTA and Ivor Novello award-winner Dan Jones. With Gaia, Jerram wants audiences to share an astronaut’s experience of seeing Earth from space for the first time – a feeling of wonder about the planet and a renewed sense of responsibility for taking care of it. The Moon has always inspired humanity, acting as a ‘cultural mirror’ to society, reflecting the ideas and beliefs of all people around the world. Museum of the Moon lets us observe and contemplate our cultural similarities and differences, and learn about the latest Moon science.
Gaia
Saturday 10 to Friday 30 July
10.30am – 5.30pm
Middleton Hall, centre:mk, MK9 3EP
Free
www.lukejerram.com
www.ifmiltonkeynes.org
Museum of the Moon
Thursday 22 to Sunday 25 July
Thursday 22 July: 10am – 9pm, Friday 23 July: 10am – 11pm
Saturday 24 July: Afternoon only 4.30pm – 11pm, Sunday 25 July: 10am – 9pm
The Tree Cathedral, Newlands, MK15 0DT
Free. Tickets must be booked in advance, release date tbc. Please check website for updates.
www.lukejerram.com
www.ifmiltonkeynes.org

TALKS, DISCUSSIONS & SPECIAL ONLINE EVENTS
IF: CONNECTED
Presented online throughout the Festival
Throughout the Festival there will be a series of talks and discussions exploring different aspects the programme hosted by the Festival team and featuring a range of artists and companies. The digital platform will also host a series of special performances and events.
Saturday 10 to Friday 30 July
Online
Free
www.ifmiltonkeynes.org

Booking information
Tickets are on sale from Thursday 27 May. www.ifmiltonkeynes.org
Each ticketed event, free or otherwise, has a maximum of 6 tickets per booking (ie a standard ‘bubble’). The number of tickets/bubble bookings per household may be restricted for some events.