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Physical Fest 2016: One Week To Go

THERE’S just one week to go until Tmesis Theatre launches Physical Fest 2016 – Liverpool’s international physical theatre festival. This year the festival features a packed programme of performances at the Unity Theatre, Bluecoat and Playhouse.

Placing a real emphasis on comedy for 2016, the festival opens on Friday 20th May with the acclaimed Nautilus show from New Zealand’s physical comedy genius Trygve Wakenshaw. Mad, risqué and uniquely eccentric, Wakenshaw is an award-winning Gaulier-trained clown, nominated for Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award (2015) who brings a tour-de-force of high-octane mime comedy to the Unity.

A fitting tribute to 400th year anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, Spymonkey will bring their Bard-themed show, The Complete Deaths, to the Playhouse on Saturday, 21st May in association with Everyman & Playhouse theatres. There are 75 onstage deaths in the works of William Shakespeare….and Spymonkey will perform them all – sometimes lingeringly, sometimes messily, sometimes movingly, sometimes musically, but always hysterically.

Following sell-out hits at the 2015 London International Mime Festival, Latitude and the Edinburgh Fringe, Theatre Re presents Blind Man’s Song, a wordless tale about the power of imagination blending physical theatre, mime, illusions and a live musical score on Monday 23rd May.

One of the festival’s highlights is Fest Live (Wednesday 25th May) featuring a selection of extracts of new and exciting work from local, national and international artists. This year’s artists include: Hilary Chaplain in Classically Trained Artistes, Mary Pearson – FoMO, mofos! (Fear of Missing Out, motherf***ers!), Irreverent Sideshows – Reservoir Ducks, Joanne Tremarco (2016 MDI/Physical Fest Bursary award), Sean Kempton – Stuff and Emma Jayne Park (Conflux).


Manchester’s Animikii Theatre presents the untold story of the world’s first murderer in Origins (Thursday 26th May). Origins is a psychological thriller that plunges into the heart of darkness. After murdering his brother, in cold blood, we meet Cain, living out his life exiled from his homeland. Animikii will be supported by Creature – Off The Ground, a physical piece created with members of Merseyside youth theatres.

A double bill on Friday 27th May brings together Oog – Al Seed and Cabaret from the Shadows. Enjoy an intensely physical performance by Glasgow-based performer/director Al Seed which leads audiences deep into the fractured mind of a shell-shocked soldier, who, against all odds, comes to terms with the demons of his past and re-imagines his future. Before Oog, Liverpool company Cabaret from the Shadows bring out a group of misfits under the light of a full moon…

Renowned artist Wendy Houstoun will close the festival with Stupid Women – an improvisation performance for five women, live directed by Houstoun, on Saturday 28th May. It combines idiocy with skill, anarchy with meaning and costumes with music and features five guest performers of high calibre (and low income.)

There are free performances at Bluecoat including Bring Your Own Beat (BYOB) with Onur Orkut (Thursday 26th and Friday 27th May), and Impropriety Moves, a performance by Liverpool’s own improv company, Impropriety (Sunday 22nd May).

Tmesis Theatre Graduate Company presents Grimm, an immersive, 15 minute, dark and quirky fairytale experience in Unity2 before each festival show.

As well as the performances, you can enjoy authentic Italian street food by Fritto outside the Unity Theatre every night from 6pm before each show.

Elinor Randle, Artistic Director of Physical Fest, said: “We are really proud of our programme of performances for 2016 which boasts some of the best UK and international physical theatre performers. We invite you to come early to see intimate performances, have a bite to eat and enjoy tunes from the resident DJ after each show at the Festival Club.”

For full listings and to book a place on any of the workshops or classes visit the website


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