Freedom Festival 2019

Without Walls: 18 New Shows Commissioned

We’re proud to be a commissioning partner of Without Walls, a network of festivals that brings fantastic outdoor arts to audiences across the UK.

As a partner we're working with Without Walls to support 18 companies to bring new outdoor work to fruition this year - touring to nine leading outdoor arts festivals across the country, including Freedom Festival 2019.

The new touring programme celebrates artistic innovation and diversity with many shows addressing issues of modern-day slavery, female empowerment and immigration.

These shows are socially relevant, provocative and incredibly entertaining outdoor works. We’re really proud to support these UK artists and organisations to create new and powerful work which will tour to audiences across the country. We can’t wait to welcome familiar names like Motionhouse, Ray Lee and Plungeboum with their new shows , alongside new artists such as Justice In Motion to Freedom Festival 2019.

The 18 supported artists and shows include:

Justice in Motion and the Inspire Parkour Community, working with Pawel Szkotak (Teatr Biuro Podrozy) presents ON EDGE, an athletic and parkour piece on top of a scaffolding site structure which explores issues of modern slavery and forced labour within the construction industry.

Motionhouse presents Wild, a daring dance and circus performance exploring our disconnection with the natural environment, based in and on a forest of poles inspired by a bus stop designed by Japanese architect Sou Fujimoto

Congregation is a new outdoor, immersive, sound art procession from multi-award winning composer and artist Ray Lee. The audience gather in various places in the city. Each person is given a mysterious silver sphere which guides them collectively to a secret location by emitting sounds. The mass of ‘singing’ spheres hum louder and louder as the strangers begin to meet each other while the finale creates an overwhelming sense of community and belonging, brought together by sound.

Talawa Theatre Company, the UK’s primary Black-led touring theatre company has created The Tide – the company’s first ever show created for outdoor performance. Following the 70th Anniversary of Windrush and ongoing media stories about immigration, this piece has been stimulated by the image of a dinghy arriving on a shore.

Initiative.dkf presents Scalped, a dance theatre exhibition piece which features a giant sculpture of Grace Jones as it addresses the perceptions of Black women’s hair in professional spaces and western society

Kapow Dance Circus Theatre’s Adrift is the story of two women lost at sea on a moving wooden raft. In this journey across oceans, witness the danger, courage and struggles of the women as they battle the odds and learn to live together in this small and unpredictable landscape.

Mimbre’s Lifted is a collection of choreographies celebrating physical and acrobalance movement and explores the expressions and impressions that appear when three strong women move, lift and balance each other. This brand new outdoor show is a collaborative choreographic indulgence between Mimbre and three guest choreographers Yi-Chun Liu (Taiwan/Belgium) from Peeping Tom; Candelaria (Argentina/Spain) from HURyCAN Dance Company and Gary Clarke (UK).

Spitz & Co present Les Gloriables, a highly visual and physical performance in French and English, based on Les Miserables. A performance about socialism, women and the power of the people, however at its heart is the comic relationship between a selfish diva and her long suffering assistant

Yara El-Sherbini and Davina Drummond, with Artsadmin, present Arrivals + Departures, a flagship, ambitious public space artwork, which announces new births (arrivals) and commemorates lost lives (departures) of individuals. The recognisable format, located in public contexts, poetically teases out the contemplation of life and death, inviting people to question where they are in relation to their own journey in the face of mortality.

Stopgap Dance Company presents Frock, a ‘punkish’ explosion of colour and diversity where individuality is joyously celebrated and the question of what is considered acceptable appearance is explored.

Tickertape Parade’s Fantabulosa! is a glitter-filled world of drag and queer performance and activities, where anyone can present as they wish, created for 3-8-year olds but fabulous for all ages!

Upswing’s Catch Me explores age and gender stereotypes and blends pop up performance, circus and technical tricks to playfully poke at expectations of the relationship between generations, genders, who is of value to whom and who is capable of what.

Wild N Beets’ Buck A Brenda, is a playful ‘end-of-the-pier’ disability politics twist on the classic family favourite game Buck A Roo. The show features an adapted wheelchair machine which tilts and tips objects representing things that are perceived as weighing disabled people down.

Apocalyptic Circus with My House, a playful experience for children and their families which takes place in a free-standing outdoor magical and quirky structure and explores what habits and routines we create to feel at home and how we must compromise to live alongside others.

Joss Arnott Dance presents PULSE! an innovative, new family friendly work, combining intricate choreography and a pounding percussion score set entirely around a five-meter moveable wheel, which doubles up as the percussion kit.

Newtons Ladder’s Sirin (Hope is the Thing with Feathers) is the company’s first aerial / dance production for outdoor touring festivals. Drawn from the ancient myths of man falling in love with beautiful half-human creatures, this love story is an up to date expression of the innate human ambition to capture, possess and tame the extraordinary.

Plunge Boom with Boing, created by Ben Faulks (CBeebies Mr Bloom’s Nursery), is about a character that makes noises but never speaks. A unique non-verbal show for all ages combining physical comedy and an inventive soundscape with humour with pathos.

Thingumajig Theatre’s Ghost Caribou is a night-time street procession of giant illuminated `creatures, part caribou, part spirit, which roam a mystical world after dark, accompanied by a wild herdsperson, they tell stories of lost homes, impossible migrations, and seeds of hope.