Arts of the UK 2020: Damsel Outdoors by Damsel Productions
LONDON – Creating new possibilities of bringing live theatre to audiences in these challenging times, Damsel Productions presents Damsel Outdoors, a project that embraces theatre and performance outside. The pieces staged could be scenes, monologues, music, poetry and beyond – the only requirement is that the piece is enhanced by being outdoors, not hindered. It is a chance for the artists to explore the creative potentials of the outside, with no limitations on the subject matter.
Working together to create short pieces for the outdoors, the project brings together an all women and non-binary inclusive team of four writers, four directors, four designers and Damsel’s two producers, Hannah Hauer-King and Kitty Wordsworth. Damsel Outdoors is inherently collaborative and offers a chance to go back to basics and build powerful longterm connections.
Writers Abi Zakarian (Fabric), Benedict Lombe (rise from the wreckage), Iman Qureshi (The Funeral Director), and Timberlake Wertenbaker (Our Country’s Good) will work alongside directors Abigail Graham (Carmen the Gypsy, Arcola theatre and tour), Beth Pitts (Spine, Soho Theatre and UK tour), Lakesha Arie-Angelo (soft animals, Soho Theatre), and Sita Thomas (The Rose and the Bulbul, Kadam). Damsel is also particularly keen to include designers from the beginning of the project, as there is a particular dearth of opportunities for designers during these times. Taking part are Anna Clock (I WANNA BE YOURS, The Albany, Bush Theatre and UK tour), Anna Reid (The Sweet Science of Bruising, Wilton’s Music Hall), Khadija Raza (A History of Water in the Middle East, Royal Court Theatre), and Nicola Chang (White Pearl, Royal Court Theatre).
Damsel is working with councils within local communities to find accessible and exciting spaces to stage these pieces. Dates and locations will be announced in late July, with plenty of warning and in line with government mandates and social distancing measures. All the shows will be open for anyone to watch and free for all audience members.
Damsel Productions’ Hannah Hauer-King and Kitty Wordsworth comment: “We have thought long and hard about what is a meaningful contribution during these difficult and strange times. We landed upon Damsel Outdoors as an expression of what we love about theatre most: the live collective relationship between artists and their audiences. As a small company, we are acutely aware of the limitations of our reach and just how many talented creatives are out there impacted by this pandemic. We hope this will be the start of many future outdoor projects to come, that include as many fantastic artists as possible. See you Outdoors!”
Damsel Outdoors is set to premiere in late July, with venues still to be confirmed. Find out more on their website here