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Battersea Arts Centre’s Phoenix Fund at Southbank Centre

Phoenix FundraiserComing soon, an event to raise money for Battersea Arts Centre’s Phoenix Fund at Southbank Centre, whilst upstream in Battersea the old town hall building is full to the brim with activity.

An unforgettable night of live entertainment. Expect comedy, music and theatre from Stewart Lee, Tim Key, Bridget Christie, Arthur Smith, Mackenzie Crook, Jackson’s Way, Lemn Sissay, Toby Jones, Forced Entertainment, BAC Beatbox Academy, Kneehigh Band and more.

Battersea Arts Centre’s Phoenix Fundraiser
Saturday 18th April | 7:30pm | Royal Festival Hall | Southbank Centre

Battersea Arts Centre’s Phoenix Fundraiser: an unforgettable evening of live entertainment with some of the UK’s leading comedians, musicians and performers, headlined by Bridget Christie and Stewart Lee and generously housed by Southbank Centre. The almighty bash was the brainchild of Stewart, suggested only a few hours after the fire that tore through a third of Battersea Arts Centre’s (BAC) building on 13 March, a place he considers home.

A stellar line-up, to be revealed online at bac.org.uk/phoenixfundraiser, will feature artists with deep ties to BAC, a clutch of whom made their first tentative steps towards the bright lights here at the very start of their careers, others have returned to Battersea year-on-year as the London stop on globetrotting tours.

Further to generous donations from individuals and organisations, and support from government, all proceeds from the event will help BAC tackle the challenge of losing its largest space, the Grand Hall, for up to three years. More information on the fundraising campaign can found at batterseaartscentre.wordpress.com.

Celebrating the wealth of talent nurtured within the walls of BAC’s unique old town hall building, the Phoenix Fundraiser will help to secure its future as a place where creativity continues to thrive.

Tickets go on sale at 10am on Friday 27 March priced from £10 – £100. southbankcentre.co.uk

Like Mother, Like Daughter
Complicite Creative Learning & Why Not Theatre | 26 May – 6 Jun
Press Night: Wed 27th May
If you could ask your mother one question about her life, what would it be? What is the most important thing a mother can pass on to her daughter? The kitchen table is at the heart of this performance created with and performed by four pairs of mothers and daughters of different faiths. The audience listen in as women take a seat at the table and talk one-to-one or in small groups. Questions about their lives, about the world, about faith, about growing up as – and bringing up – daughters prompt unexpected truths, as well as humourous and poignant responses. Culminating in a shared meal for all and the opportunity to view the accompanying exhibition, Like Mother, Like Daughter draws people together to examine and celebrate this singular relationship.

Until You Hear That Bell | Sean Mahoney | 10 – 27th June | Press Night: Fri 12 Jun
At the age of eight Sean Mahoney was gently cajoled into the boxing ring by his father. By the time he was thirteen he was hitting the gym three times a week. Fast-forward two years later and Sean was lifting his first youth titles. With Battersea Arts Centre’s support, Sean – a protégé of spoken word artist Polarbear – was able to quit his job in a greasy spoon to turn his attention towards developing his first solo performance. Until You Hear That Bell is timed to precision, as the metallic cry of the boxing bell unleashes three-minute spoken word torrents, moving through childhood reminiscences and rites of passage, spliced with sequences of lightening quick rope-work, jabs and mighty uppercuts.

This Is How We Die | Christopher Brett Bailey | 2nd – 20th June | Press Night: Wed 3 Jun
Christopher Brett Bailey returns to Battersea Arts Centre with his debut show This Is How We Die following a string of sold-out performances in the autumn. From the author of award-winning ‘punk-opera’ The Inconsiderate Aberrations of Billy the Kid and associate artist with Made In China, This Is How We Die is a savage, surreal, and apocalyptic blend of spoken word, storytelling, caustic humour and gutter philosophy with echoes of Lenny Bruce, William Burroughs, beat poetry and B-movies. Filled with tales of paranoia and young love, ultra-violence and pitch-black humour, the show is a spiralling odyssey of nightmarish imagery delivered simply and powerfully by this inimitable artist.

As the nation goes to the polls, Battersea Arts Centre presents an alternative series of politically engaged shows and events. Over two months, the radical political history of Battersea’s former Town Hall will be reawakened in a mixed programme of performances celebrating the right to free speech and everyday democracy. Following the fire on 13 March, alternative venues are being sought for some shows. Highlights include:

Confirmation | Chris Thorpe & Rachel Chavkin | 7th – 18th April
Can we have real dialogue with someone we fundamentally disagree with? This is the provocation at the heart of writer-performer Chris Thorpe (There has possibly been an incident) and director Rachel Chavkin’s (The TEAM) monologue, Confirmation, a vigorous challenge to our prejudices and entrenched beliefs.

The Money | Kaleider | 15th April – 1st May
A show-game: the box office takings are handed over to the audience who must unanimously decide on the best way to spend the money before the evening is out. The Money puts the audience centre-stage in this playful and totally original piece of theatre.

STAND | Chris Goode & Company and Oxford Playhouse | 20th April – 9th May
Award-winning theatre-maker Chris Goode (Monkey Bars, Men in the Cities) gathers six stories from real life, taken verbatim, of everyday courage and conscience from people who stood up for something, or someone, that they believed in.

Early Days (of a better nation) | Coney | 20th – 25th Apr (Venue TBC)
Early Days… explores the possibilities of nationhood and democracy, drawing inspiration from the 2011 England riots, the Arab Spring, Iceland’s crowd-sourced constitution and the rise (and fall) of Occupy. This is interactive theatre for a playing audience to create a new and different kind of society.

Cuckooed | Mark Thomas | 27th April – 2nd May (Venue TBC)
Comedian and political activist Mark Thomas tells a true story of hubris, deception, planes and betrayal; how he discovered his close friend was spying on him for one of Britain’s biggest arms dealers.

Bravo Figaro! | Mark Thomas | 4th – 9th May (not 7 May – Venue TBC)
Thomas’s father was a self-employed builder, a brutal Methodist-Thatcherite and a man with a passion for the great masters: Verdi, Rossini, Puccini and Mozart. When he was diagnosed with progressive supranuclear palsy, his life begins to crumble. As his father’s illness progresses, Thomas stages a concert to try to reconnect with him through the music that has been the soundtrack to his life.

Backstage in Biscuit Land | Touretteshero | 11th – 23rd May (Venue TBC)
Jess Thom has Tourettes, a condition that makes her say ‘biscuit’ 16,000 times a day. Jess’s unusual neurology and unique perspective on life are celebrated in this two-woman show that also examines her right to be treated equally and access experiences both in and outside of the theatre. Bursting with spontaneous creativity, Backstage in Biscuit Land returns due to popular demand.

The Siege | Freedom Theatre | 19th – 23rd May
Battersea Arts Centre is delighted to welcome the Freedom Theatre and their brand new production, The Siege, as the London stop on their first-ever UK and Ireland tour, the largest tour ever mounted by a Palestinian theatre company in the UK. Inspired by the true story of a group of Palestinian fighters who took refuge in the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem during the height of the second Intifada in April 2002, The Siege is drawn from real-life testimonies of those extraordinary 39 days.

David Jubb, Artistic Director, Battersea Arts Centre:
People and politics shaped the history of Battersea Arts Centre’s former Town Hall building. It has witnessed Richard Bell rallying the railway unions in the Grand Hall in 1901; the ascent of local man John Burns who became the first working class man to gain a seat in the Cabinet in 1905; the meetings of the suffragette movement from 1909; the election of London’s first black Mayor John Archer in 1913. At Battersea Arts Centre we owe a debt to those radical revolutionaries who dared to challenge the status quo. Taking a Stand is as much about them as it is about the theatre-makers we have invited to take over our spaces in Spring 2015. Millions of people in the UK are politically active in their everyday lives and we hope this season of work will further galvanise those who are impassioned to use our shared power to create a better world and stand up for what we truly value in society.

Wednesday 25th March 2015

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