In London’s (Off) West End 2019: Ovalhouse’s Demolition Party Season 2019 (Preview)
LONDON – For the final season in their Kennington home, Ovalhouse’s Demolition Party Season will see collaboration between engineers and companies to allow artists dismantle parts of the building as part of their creative process. After 80 years as a community venue and 55 years as a professional theatre, Ovalhouse will relocate to Brixton, opening a brand new, purpose-built theatre in spring 2021.
A venue that has been packed full of exceptional artists making fearless new plays was never going to have a traditional send-off, and rather than reverentially memorialising what has come before, Ovalhouse are ready to tear it down. Structural engineers alongside building and materials specialists have worked with theatremakers to create a truly unique opportunity to dismantle the physical structures that contain them. Ovalhouse are giving their artists the freedom to take risks on stage, off stage and with the very stage itself.
The Demolition Party Season will see Emma Frankland assemble an international cast of trans artists to focus our attention on a global trans genocide in We Dig. Carolyn Defrin and Abigail Boucher will also invite audiences to consider how to respond to dark times with ‘a lot, a lot of love’ in Kissing Rebellion. Returning to Ovalhouse, Christopher Brett Bailey brings back his apocalyptic beat poetry This Is How We Die while Rachel Mars and Greg Wohead poke at plot holes and political lies in Gaping Hole: Story #3.
Ovalhouse’s FiRST BiTE programme sees Associate Artist Xana bring their incredible skill with live loop to Swallowing Your Idols, a powerful exploration of black childhood. Sometimes I Leave is Vijay Patel’s work-in-progress show that promises an honest look at being neurodivergent and navigating social experiences
Finally, to see the season off in style, four companies will takeover Ovalhouse with parties that give new meaning to “bring the house down”. Bar Wotever, The Cocoa Butter Club, Brazilian Wax, and The R.A.P. Party will ensure the theatre closes with big hits and a smashing good time.
Says Owen Calvert-Lyons, Ovalhouse’s Head of Theatre & Artist Development: “As Ovalhouse prepares to relocate to Brixton and to mark the end of this extraordinary space, we wanted to do something special. We have brought together inspirational artists to create a unique season of work in which artists are given licence to demolish elements of the building as part of their creative process. It is not the walls of this building that have given Ovalhouse its unique position in London’s cultural landscape, but the artists who have filled it with acts of revolution and the audiences who have witnessed them. It is the natural order that from destruction comes new growth. So put on your dancing shoes and pick up a sledgehammer: Welcome to The Demolition Party.”
Ovalhouse’s Demolition Party Season runs from 26th September to 14th December 2019 at 52-54 Kennington Oval, London SE11 5SW. Tickets and full programme lineup available here