Overload is a new theatrical festival beginning tonight (March 18) to showcase eight new shows from JMU Drama students. Taking place at four venues across the city over the next four weeks, they say it is a selection of the best and brightest talent the uni has to offer, with a spectrum of performances from high-energy physical theatre to musical theatre, from published plays to new and original works.
It all kicks off tonight at the Blade Factory (part of Camp & Furnace), with Mercury Fur by Philip Ridley. As the sun goes down the party spirals out control for two brothers and they realise the success of the evening will not just safeguard their security, but their very existence depends on it. There is a second performance tomorrow (March 19).
New play Locks (JMU’s upper gym, March 25 and 26) is set in the Deep South and explores sexuality and status in a women’s prison.
Forget-Me-Not at the Joe H. Makin Theatre on Pilgrim Street (March 28 and 29) is described as “a musical tale of love lost and gained in a struggle for power”, it is set in a castle of the kingdom of Wales. “There is no place for fantasy but we all can dream.”
Memoirs Of A Killer (Joe H. Makin Theatre, April 1 and 2) is a piece of physical theatre that delves into the mind of killer Levi Belfield, “unearthing his otherworldly dark fantasies and reveals the deluded reality he created for himself and the souls in his path”…
Bryony Lavery’s Beautiful Burnout (upper gym, April 4 and 5) is a piece of physical theatre that immerses the audience in the explosive world of boxing.
The C-Word (Joe H. Makin Theatre, April 6 and 7) aims to challenge audience perceptions of cancer and is described as ” a visually striking yet emotive piece of verbatim theatre”; Wasting Efforts (Haus on Greenland Street, April 9 and 10) is a tale of society gone too far –a generation lost to the scrapheap.
The festival closes at the Joe H. Makin Theatre with Covers Up (April 10 and 11), developed by third year student Gemma Oliver. This new show explores relationships – new love, old love, lost love, true love, loyal love, no love.
In addition, running alongside Overload throughout is the Flip Side Fest –an alternative festival that organisers say “takes theatre out of the theatre”. Running now until the 28th March there are more than 30 performances going on, which consist of not only scripted plays but also new contemporary drama executed in unusual spaces. Again, for further details visit them on Facebook or check them out on Twitter.