Reading Fringe Festival Highlights 2018

FOREIGN AMERICAN
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/foreign-american/
Themes of immigration and domestic abuse. A music performance with ukulele and body percussion with original spoken word pieces. Storytelling and social activism. PERFORMER: NICOLE MONIQUE JOHNSON

AND THEN THE RABBIT DIED
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/and-then-the-rabbit-died-at...
A laugh a minute Irish comedy about reproductive rights “Then I become some big horrible reclusive stretch-mark ridden, man- lusting and ironically man-repelling beast... Oh my god. I’ve become my Auntie Eileen.”

This whirlwind ride through Ireland’s family planning system (or lack of...) will leave you in stitches as the outspoken Aisling delivers a hilarious account of what it means to be pregnant in modern day Ireland. (Contains strong language and deals with issues of pregnancy throughout.)

FREUD THE MUSICAL
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/freud-the-musical
Based on the true-life account of Sigmund Freud’s cocaine abuse this comedy gleefully annihilates the father of modern psychology in a flurry of cross-dressing and dick jokes. Unrecognised and approaching middle age Sigmund is drowning in debt, crippled by cocaine and surrounded by madness. Worse yet, his best ideas come from Oedipussy: an imaginary cat-woman who encourages Sigmund to simply listen to his clients between insulting them and taking their money. Watch as this neurotic mess transforms into Freud: the intellectual colossus and father of modern psychology.

Natasha Sutton Williams gives a fearless performance, playing all the characters including the bombastic and desperately addicted Freud and his patients: the raging lesbian Dora, the anal Rat Man and Little Hans, the original Freudian motherfucker. Music is provided a pianist and a soundscape of looped voices is created live each night. The score features thirteen original tunes, including maybe the finest song ever written about sticking rats up your anus.

Female Arts Review, “I laughed out loud the entire way through and could have happily watched another hour of this work.”
http://www.femalearts.com/node/2561

EXCESO DE LA NADA - EXCESS OF NOTHING
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/exceso-de-la-nada-excess-of...
"My head has already forgotten many things, but my body remembers everything."
This is the artistic approach of “Exceso de la nada - Excess of Nothing” with which Maura Morales deals with her native Cuba, which she left in 1996.
"At the age of 6, I learned how to dance, how to use a Kalashnikov at the age of 10, and at age 18, that the history of my country was a lie." (Maura Morales)
A dance solo about swimming in the dry, about swimming against the flow of a photogenic country that looks like it is laughing when it is crying.
A ballad about an exploitative island that you want to visit in this country ""before something changes"" while the Cubans want to go out, because nothing changes.

ANYTHING FOR A QUIET LIFE
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/anything-for-a-quiet-life-s...
Sally Firth's son is a stand up comedian who pulls out of his gig at the last minute. What happens when she steps in? Will she deliver his dodgy material, or use her temporary platform to subject her audience to something else?

Comedian's Mum steps in when her son Johnny falls ill and does her version of his set, doing her best to remember what he talks about on stage. She then recounts various incidents in her life and frequently refers to her unsatisfactory husband, Roger. Saucy and occasionally shocking, but not offensive, with mild sexual content but no swearing.

BICYCLE BOY
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/bicycle-boy-by-helen-eastman/
Sam has 24 hours to clear out his grandad’s old bike workshop. He remembers granddad teaching him to ride (and pretending to be his favourite superhero, Bicycle Boy). It seems grandad may have left Sam a present somewhere in the workshop, and some clues to find it. But there’s no power and Sam needs electricity to unlock the clues. Can you help him? If we can connect up enough bikes and pedal like mad we can make generate enough power for Sam’s journey (and the show). Join us for a musical adventure (and be prepared to help pedal power the performance!).

A bicycle powered musical, for children aged 6-10 and their families. In association with Reading Rep. From the writer / director of Alby The Penguin Saves Christmas.

ONE WOMAN ALIEN
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/one-woman-alien/
Returning from the success of the award-nominated Edinburgh Fringe show, Cacophony, the "impossible to forget" [The List] Heather-Rose Andrews tackles the classic horror alone (with a cat). Written and directed by Andrew Allen. In theatre, no one can hear you scream: one hour, one woman, one cult movie! In the 60 minute show Heather creates a parodied re-enactment of the movie of Alien, playing all the characters and using an array of delightfully low budget props, puppets and effects.

It’s a physical tour-de-force of comedy, mock-horror and geekdom.

One Woman Alien is a love letter to a cult movie and will be loved by sci-fi fans and theatre goers alike. It also strikes a chord with feminist audiences, by asking if we have advanced at all since the ground-breaking movie was made in 1979.

DO MY BOOBS LOOK BIG IN THIS
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/do-my-boobs-look-big-in-this/
A show about body image for anyone who has ever worried that their boobs are too big or too small. And for those with perfect boobs. And for those with none. Why is our self-worth linked to our self-image? Both light-hearted and deep, this show will make you think. And laugh. And maybe even cry a little bit.

GATO PRETO
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/gato-preto/
"Their masked mystique is the music – a tropical bass thunderstorm of candy rain and sound clouds. Gato Preto – producer Lee Bass and rapper/singer Gata Misteriosa – unveil an African music paradise reflecting their roots in the polyrhythm of bass from Ghana, the Portuguese slang of Gatas from Mozambique and, in live performances, the incredible Djembe of Moussa Diallo from Senegal.

Gato Preto are part of the international afro-futuristic scene. Their live performances are magic: Electronic Beats with warm percussion support and the voice of a woman with power! World music today, combined with decades of black music.

J’N’R
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/jnr/
It’s 4 am, you’re stuck in the middle of an airport and there’s a very good chance you might be falling in love with the guy you just met. Problem is, you’re going to Hong Kong and he’s going to Morocco. You have one hour until your flight is called. What do you do?

J’n’R is a comedy loosely based on the balcony scene from Romeo and Juliet. It may or may not be a love story.

KRAKEN
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/kraken-a-story-backwards/
"Close your eyes, let this story take you deep down to the very bottom of the ocean, where there’s a ship, sunk by a great creature.
In this ship there is a girl. She is dead, but she doesn’t let this stop her. She has a story to tell you." A one-woman, spoken story that reinvents one of the most feared mythical creatures known to man: the gigantic octopus known as the Kraken. Using narrative verse, props and audience participation, this story will transport its audience through the magic of words to the deepest, darkest wreck in the sea.

LOLITA PAINTS HER TOENAILS
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/lolita-paints-her-toenails/
Claire Dyer, Lesley Saunders and Susan Utting are the award-winning poets who make up High Wire Act: they are three distinctively female voices who, in their new show 'Lolita Paints Her Toenails’, explore themes of gender and identity through fact, fantasy, myth and memory.

MEDEA
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/medea/
Jean Anouilh's Medea: an intimate tragedy of longing and exile.
Wretched Strangers is a company that hails from Europe and gives an accented voice to foreigners. Our intimate production of Jean Anouilh's Médée, translated from French, revisits Euripides’ Greek tragedy from the viewpoints of exile, terror and orientalism, and is based on our own visceral experience of immigration and assimilation.

Susanne Diesner: OPENing - the Open Space Project
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/opening-the-open-space-proj...
An installation as a place for interdisciplinary exchange about inner and interpersonal spaces and ways to discover and open them. The conceptual work by Düsseldorf based photographer Susanne Diesner invites dancers and musicians to co-create a room for contemplation and improvisation on OPENing. Exploring an emotional quality through photography, dance and sound

PRESENTATION AND FUNDING SURGERY WITH ARTS COUNCIL ENGLAND
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/presentation-and-funding-su...
Join Anna Jefferson, Relationship Manager, Theatre, and Terry Adams, Relationship Manager, Diversity to find out more about Arts Council England and the Project Grants available to artists, makers and companies. For artists who would like to discuss a specific project they are considering applying for funding for, there will be the opportunity to book into a 15 minute 1-2-1 surgery with either Anna or Terry after the presentation.

SCENES CUT FROM OTHER PLAYS
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/scenes-cut-from-other-plays/
Can you have your life ruined by a custard cream biscuit? This scraggly touring theatre troupe are about to find out. Offstage feuds spill onstage in a joyous mishmash of farce, tragedy, dubious dancing, theatre, comedy songs, and biscuits.

STAND UP, WEATHER GIRL!
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/stand-up-weather-girl/
Sam Fraser has been a BBC local weather presenter since 2012, on a steep learning curve. Flattered by online comments about her bottom, she wonders, can you be a full-time feminist and a part-time weather girl? Join her as she forecasts storms of delight and gales of laughter!

THE SLEEPING PRINCESS
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/the-sleeping-princess/
A fairy curse. A sleeping princess. A kingdom in turmoil. A story you think you know. Borrow the skins of beloved characters treading unfamiliar paths, and join storyteller-poet Hel Robin Gurney for a dark fairytale of love, trauma, and resilience.

THE ZAP SHOW
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/the-zap-show/
The Zap Project was started in 2009 by a group of people with learning disabilities to write and perform original comedy. The group performs regularly at the ‘Here Comes The Sun’ festival, organises an annual panto, performs stand up, slapstick, radio shows, comedy magic.

TIL DEATH US DO PART?
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/till-death-us-do-part/
A man is murdered at a wedding but whodunnit? Three women have both motive and means... and the audience is asked to choose the murderer in this original musical comedy about marriage, motherhood and murder.

VIRGINIA WOOLF – AN IMPOSSIBLE MUSIC
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/virginia-woolf-an-impossibl...
BBC presenter Fiona Talkington talks about recent BBC Radio 4 programme which she wrote and presented. It was inspired by staying at Monk’s House, the Woolfs’ home in Sussex and led her to explore Virginia’s world of sound at home and in her writings. The programme featured Tamsin Greig as Virginia Woolf.

WHERE WOULD WE BE WITHOUT GOOD OLD AUTISM?
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/where-would-we-be-without-g...
Last year Aspiregers asked "How can people with Autism Help You?" and we had great fun telling you. So, this year we are asking "Where would we be without good old Autism?" in which we will be taking a larger than life and compelling look into how Autism has revolutionised the world we live in today.

WORD
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/word/
They’re pretty special. They give a person the opportunity to express themselves. They can be read. They can be heard. They can be spoken. They allow us to communicate. I was always told that it’s not what you say, but how you say it - is this true?
PERFORMER: JAMAL HAREWOOD (The Privileged)

ZAHRA BARRI IS ZAHRA WARRIOR NOT PRINCESS
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/zahra-barri-is-zahra-warrio...
Zahra has never stood in front of a mirror & taken a Selfie. She's more likely to stand in front of the mirror and ask herself to make a change. In a world full of Kim Kardahsian's career be Kim Jung On's Korea. Society is a constant mix of War and Priss and Zahra really wants to be a Warrior, not a Princess. After all,Mohammed Ali arguably the greatest warrior in the world said 'My way of joking is to tell the truth, that's the funniest joke in the world.'

ANNETTE GREGORY & MA BESSIE PRESENT: LADIES OF JAZZ AND BLUES
https://readingfringefestival.co.uk/whats-on/annette-gregory-ma-bessie-p...
A double bill of jazz and blues featuring the wonderful vocal talents of Annette Gregory and Julia Titus.

Annette will take you through the changing land scape and influence of some of the wonderful female vocalist of Jazz. Annette and her band will be performing some of the best loved jazz favourites. Following on from her successful ‘Ella’ tour, Annette will captivate you with The Ladies Of Jazz.

With a passion for the Empress of the Blues, Julia Titus started to perform as Ma Bessie in 2015, sharing the music of Bessie Smith and her contemporaries with a new generation. With Julia’s rich, warm vocal sound, Ma Bessie mixes classic blues with jazz tunes from the inter-war years.

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