Theatre Royal Stratford East has announced a new festival, Stronger than Fear, which will run in its studio and café space in February.
Reacting to current affairs, the three-week festival, made up of work from eight companies, will channel hope and positivity, as well as solidarity within community. It will be overseen by the venue's Gerry Studio producer Daisy Hale.
The studio's season opens with a double bill made up of The Girl with Glitter in Her Eye from OPIA theatre and F**king European from Rita Suszek. The two shows will run from 8 to 10 February. The Girl with Glitter in Her Eye follows the life of a young woman in London, while F**king European examines the consequences of Brexit on the diverse community of London.
From 15 to 17 February, Cut the Cord's show Beyond the Blue will run in the earlier slot at the studio space. Beyond the Blue is a show written by children in response to the refugee crisis, in association with Omnibus Theatre. On the same dates during the later slot, Kassius Nelson will present Moon-Stained, charting a day in the life of Akintoye, a young woman with an identity crisis and a mind full of questions.
The following week, Nouveau Riche will perform their show Timbuktu, a direct response to the current crisis surrounding black male identity, from 22 to 24 February. Over the same dates, performance poet and singer Ivy Davies will stage Play Ground, a lyrical cosmic and one-woman show.
In the venue's café space, Holly&Ted will mount Polaris on 6 and 14 February. The show will examine violent language in casual conversation, and its social impacts. The show will also host a Q&A with YouTuber Leena Normington on 6 February. On 21 February, Feat. Theatre will present their The Welcome Revolution, an experimental piece that transforms a tea party into a discussion of global communities.
Of the season, Hale said: "Recently, I've seen a lot of great, powerful work commenting on our world today, but so often I leave with a sense of 'What should I do now?' 'Where can I go to change this or talk about this?' and ultimately a sense of sad catharsis. That's why I wanted to create this festival and call on artists to bring us their work about today's issues in all its widest ranges, but also to uplift their audiences, galvanise them with resources, options and hope."
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