This month, Brixton House will be handing over the keys to eight London artists for two weeks to play and reimagine the theatre space as a world of their own.
The inaugural Housemates Festival, the first to be held in Brixton House since it moved into its new home in the heart of Brixton in February this year takes place from the April 21 to May 6.
The event reflects the venue’s commitment to working with new independent artists and has been created to spotlight their work and celebrate the stories that they been in development over the past two years.
The multi-artform line-up will be an explosion of experimental live theatre, comedy, spoken word and dance exploring themes including self-discovery as seen in Shakira Newton’s Things I Can Laugh About Now; nostalgia and partying hard in the shape of British Comedy Guide Pro Performance Awards runner-up 2021, Suchandrika Chakrabarti’s I Miss Amy Winehouse and closing the festival will be Corey Bovell’s Chicken Burger N Chips.
More than just an ode to Morely’s, Bovell’s fast-paced witty story is about gentrification and its impact on the lives of its youths in South London. Directed by Almeida Theatre resident director T.D Moyo.
Artistic director and joint CEO Gbolahan Obisesan said: “Housemates festival was born out of our open Housecall.
“Many artists had made work prior to or during the pandemic and very much wanted to find a home for their efforts and stories to be seen and appreciated.
“A number of these artists have been chosen and curated for this inaugural event in celebration of our wider artistic communities sharing distinctive experiences that we believe will speak to Brixton House audiences.
“We have high hopes for the journey these pieces will go on and hopefully among them will be returning titles in our programme.
“We hope the festival will grow in the future beyond our building as a Brixton-wide showcase of ambitious emerging artists with new work, new narratives and new forms of storytelling that speaks to our communities and intergenerational audiences for years and reveals a new canon from Brixton House.”
Dates: 21 April – 6 May 2022
Prices: Ticket deal: Book for two shows in the Housemates Festival for only £15.
Booking Link: https://brixtonhouse.co.uk/housemates-festival
Big Girl Words
by Winnie Arhin
Ama, a young writer-performer, is trying to win a performance slot in a new theatre programme for marginalised voices.
She shows the producers snapshots of her character ideas for solo shows.
Here we meet Miya, a nosy little girl who is always in the wrong place at the wrong time, broken-hearted Josephina who finds a surprising new love interest and Gabrielle, the oversharing North Londoner.
While showcasing her ideas, Ama is faced with a dilemma infused with microaggressions and family obligations.
Should she follow her moral compass or compromise to achieve her dreams?
By Sonny Nwachukwu
A stunning choreopoem by Sonny Nwachukwu that explores the psychospiritual clashes produced in black people by the weight of history.
Saturn Returns enwraps modern psychological issues of being trapped in repeating self-destructive patterns with a spiritual affirming circularity of rebirth along family lineage that is a feature of Igbo mythology.
Through music, spoken word and dance, this powerful piece contrasts Christian notions of redemption through suffering, with mystical notions of escaping the constraining mortal realm through astral projection.
Things I Can Laugh About Now
By Shakira Newton
In this coming-of-age, uplifting story of self-discovery and hope, we get an insight into what it means to grow up differently to the world immediately around you, and how that can skew your idea of home, friendship and most importantly, love.
“Most people fantasise about their crush showing them love. I fantasise about mine dealing with conflict properly… Ooh Yeah, baby. That’s it. Offer me a cup of tea and apologise with changed behaviour!”
Is humour a good healthy coping mechanism for deteriorating mental health? Maybe not.
But hey, at least she’s finally talking about it with someone!
Comrades in the Dark
By Caitlin Barnett
An exhilarating and visceral portrayal of one man’s attempt to maintain his identity told through poetry, dance and Irish music.
In H Blocks, Belfast. 1981. Bobby Sands embarks on a hunger strike in pursuit of political status. On day 66 he dies. Nine other prisoners would die before the strike is called off.
Expect raw, pulsating dance, accompanied live by the rhythms of the traditional Irish drum – the bodhrán.
Choreographer Caitlin Barnett presents Comrades in the Dark, a highly physical contemporary dance exploring the brutality and humanity within Sands’ poetry and prose, written in secret behind bars.
Captioned Performance: Fri 29 April, 9.00pm .
by Carly Fernandez
Concha is a semi-autobiographical show that explores the queer experience and all of the glorious and messy things that comes with it.
We find out about Concha, who has just discovered they’ve contracted an STD after doing something they shouldn’t – which takes them on a journey of past and current relationships, friends, love, family, sex and the importance of the use of condoms.
Featuring monologues, voiceovers, music, lip-syncs and video projection, the audience is taken into Concha’s world as they try to find their place in the world.
May 3-4 May
I Miss Amy Winehouse
by Suchandrika Chakrabarti
Suchandrika Chakrabarti invites the audience to join her in missing Amy Winehouse.
This is a show about nostalgia, the death of print media and partying hard. There will be quizzes too!
For The Love Of A Primary Caregiver
by Cheryl May Ndione
Rosemary is about to do a speech at her mother’s wedding. She’s not quite sure how to hit the right note as the relationship between Rosemary and her mother has been… less-than-rosy.
As latent thoughts and feelings bubble to the surface we realise, maybe the apple hasn’t fallen very far from the tree. This is a revealing one-woman show that explores a toxic bond between a mother and daughter and deals with themes of belonging, self-esteem, and learned behaviour.
Chicken Burger N Chips
by Corey Bovell
Summer holidays in South London, Corey dreams of nothing but hanging around with his friends while ordering as much Morley’s as possible.
Until Jodie comes along and makes him realise the changes which are happening within his beloved Lewisham borough.
A raw and nostalgic coming of age story about growing up in South London. Directed by T.D Moyo, Corey Bovell’s fast-paced,
witty play tells a story about gentrification
and the impact it’s having on the lives of
Pictured: Front left, Caitlin Barnett – Comrades In The Dark. Front right, Winnie Arhin – Big Girls Words Middle from left, Shakira Newton - Things I Can Laugh About Now, Suchandrika Chakrabarti - I Miss Amy Winehouse Carly Gianni Concha, and Corey Bovell - Chicken Burger N Chips Back, from left, Cheryl Ndione - For The Love Of A Primary Caregiver, and Sonny Nwachukwu - Saturn Returns Picture: Brixton House