The F-Word stage blog: June 2021

A quick introduction  for the beginning of this month’s stage blog: I’m Laurie, the new stage editor at The F-Word. I’ll be taking over these monthly updates from Lissy, and hopefully building on the fantastic work she’s done with this section over the past few years.

It’s an exciting time to start working on theatre and comedy updates because things are now taking place on real stages with real live audiences. While there are still  interesting and fun online things happening though I’ll be sure to include them here. Let’s all hope we don’t lose the accessibility and the innovation that came with lockdown performances. It’s worth noting as well that while it’s all starting up again, there are a lot of cancellations and date changes, so I’d recommend being as flexible as you can with your dates.

There have been some exciting theatre announcements coming out this month. At Theatre Peckham 13 July-7 August is the premiere of …cake by babirye bukilwa. It is, in the author’s words: “a story through a Black queer femme lens that interrogates the meaning and function of love and self-worth in an exploitative climate of working-class London in the noughties.”

Breakin’ Convention, the festival of hip-hop dance theatre returns for its 18th year at Sadlers’ Wells from 1-4 July. The line-up is wide-ranging, with film and writing elements too. Performances include AWA (Atypical with Attitude), a group made up of young dancers with different special needs and disabilities, and work by choreographer and performer Patience J (pictured), bringing performance exploring modern Afro dance forms from the African diaspora including n’dombolo and azonto.

Booking is open for shows at the comeback of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe from 1 July, with a mixture of in person, live online, and on-demand performances. The festival will run 6-30 August, and show registration is also open.

Quite a few standups are back on tour this month. Bridget Christie is doing a few London dates over the summer then touring her show Who Am I? Jessica Fostekew is going around the country with strength-focussed show HENCH and Sofie Hagen is performing The Bumswing in venues all over Britain.

On the topic of comedy, tickets for Aberystwyth Comedy Festival shows are now on sale. Running 1-3 October, it’s worth booking in advance (and planning a Welsh holiday for). The announced lineup includes the likes of Sophie Duker, Joe Lycett, Leila Navabi, Lou Sanders, and The Delightful Sausage. There’s a mix of finished and in-progress shows this year, the atmosphere is friendly, and the Friday late-night showcase hosted by Kiri Pritchard-McLean is guaranteed to be great.

That’s all for this month! If you want to get in touch with me to tell me about upcoming  shows or pitch stage-related articles, drop me a line on [email protected].

Image: The photo is of Patience J’s dance group and is by Antonello Zappa. A group of ten primarily Black dancers are posed for the camera on a pavement. They are wearing red, white and pink streetwear. All are looking directly at the camera holding strong poses on different levels.