The new Summer season at Omnibus Theatre highlights five productions including a modern revival and three pieces of new-writing. Festivals also make their mark on the season, in particular the return of 96 FESTIVAL, a three-week celebration of Queerness and theatre.
Highlights in chronological order:
Director George Richmond-Scott, who brought BLOOD WEDDING to Omnibus Theatre in 2018, returns with Peter Gill’s seminal play SMALL CHANGE. This modern revival has not been staged in London for over twelve years. 21 April – 9 May.
ANGRY YELLOW WOMAN is written and performed by theatre-maker, improviser and actor Vera Chok who co-wrote The Good Immigrant, Book of the Year 2016, BBC Book of the Week, #1 Guardian Books. In this new autobiographical work Vera figures out if she’s a “racist” or if the world is too black and white. 19– 21 May
96 FESTIVAL, Omnibus Theatre’s celebration of Queerness returns and finds a new regular calendar date, moving from February to June. Three weeks of surprising performances, cabaret, drag and theatre,featuring Cocoa Butter Club’s MisSa Blue, Katie Bonna, Monica Gaga and anchored by special Takeovers from Beth Watson, LGBTQArts’ Amie Taylor and The Family Jewels. 9 - 27 June.
NOTHING IN A BUTTERFLY, new-writing by Ric Renton, directed by Chris White and supported by the Synergy Theatre Project. A visceral odyssey from flying fists in Tyneside to hard sales in Dubai via elephant rides and the elusive search for the perfect pocket squares. 23 – 28 June.
WOOD by Adam Foster is a sharp, witty and observational play exploring porn and patriarchy. A hit at The Vaults in 2019, this fully-developed production directed by Grace Duggan runs for three weeks. 30 June – 18 July.
DEM TIMES created and written by Jacob Roberts-Mensah and Rhys Reed-Johnson. A comedy drama which follows the re-education of British-born troublemaker Samuel Adjei who finds himself on a plane back to Ghana. A story about cultural migration. This episode performed live is part of a unique serialised drama which will be aired on the DEM TIMES podcast. 10 July.
Commenting on the new season, artistic director Marie McCarthy said;
“A very warm welcome to our magnificent seventh summer season at Omnibus Theatre.
I’m thrilled that director George Richmond-Scott, who brought us his hit adaptation of Blood Wedding in 2018 will be staging a revival of Peter Gill’s Small Change at the start of the new season. Widely regarded as a poetic masterpiece, this exploration of the complex relationship between mothers and sons receives its first London staging in twelve years.
Our programme of events and productions changes gear from April through to August reflecting the vibrant energy of Summer and, for me and the team, this means festivals, four of them, of all kinds for all people. Among the four programmed, I am especially excited that 96 Festival, a celebration of Queerness and theatre returns, this time in June. Brace yourselves for a line-up filled with surprising performances including MisSa Blue, the sword-swallowing performance artist, Improv artist Monica Gaga with Hell Yeah! and we have Takeovers by The Family Jewels, Amie Taylor and Beth Watson. Plus theatre-makers Katie Bonna, Roann McCloskey and many more artists will be filling our multiple spaces for a three-week extravaganza. Our Edinburgh Previews in July have now become a great staple in our programme, we showcase some of the very best talent right here in our corner of South London; and rounding off August Out of The Wings Festival return for a wonderful week of never heard before play readings from the Spanish and Portuguese-speaking world.
Anchored firmly between these festivals we champion new voices and stories that explore universal themes including power and patriarchy. Wood is a must-see which examines patriarchal structures from a unique perspective. There is also brand-new work from exciting writers and performers including Ric Renton’s Nothing In A Butterfly developed with Synergy Theatre Project, Jacob Roberts-Mensah and Rhys Reed-Johnson with their DEM TIMES teen odyssey and podcast project and Vera Chok’s thought-provoking ANGRY YELLOW WOMAN, an-autobiographical exploration of racism.