In 2019, Offbeat offered a programme of support for six artists, all at early stages of their careers.
Each artist was given tailored support in dramaturgy, marketing, travel, accommodation and technical theatre – and each had three performances at the festival to develop audiences and work on their show.
There was spoken word and music from Channie B, a VR experience from Electrick Village, a poetic play from Rowan Padmore. Thomas Page Dances brought an intimate dance duet, Plaster Cast created a radically queer dance party, and Ashanti Wheeler-Artwell presented her first one-woman show.
Life is terrifying for nearly 25-year-old Ashanti. She has no idea what she’s doing.
Unemployed, trapped in her childhood bedroom on a permanent Netflix binge, and attempting to avoid the inevitable “when are you getting a job”? Until a chance arrival encourages her to try and subvert the quarter life crisis and finally find a socially-acceptable answer to “but where are you really from?”…after just one more episode.
Ashanti is an actor, writer and poet. British Vogue is her debut play.
“These are our bodies. What do you see?”
Two transgender performers say f*ck you to the binary, and invite you to their radically queer dance party!
Set in nightclubs, Sound Cistem is an exuberant dance show about the cisgender gaze on the transgender body. Through riotous, glittering disco, shame is rejected and a self-love manifesto made. Unafraid to punch hard, Sound Cistem asks you to see the beauty in these bodies: and your own too.
Plaster Cast Theatre is a Manchester-based exciting emerging company of young creatives, passionate about making politically-engaging theatre.
Responding to Bren Gosling’s ‘Moment of Grace’ two performers explore what it was to be gay in the 80s when the UK was full of fear and ignorance. An intimate duet moving through themes of paranoia, intimacy and oppression. The work also gives thanks to those who made it possible to say “HIV is no longer a death sentence.”
Thomas Page Dances is a contemporary dance company presenting the work of artistic director Thomas Page. The company's work is rooted in socio-political ideas.
Morecambe, a northern seaside town, is struggling to survive just like its inhabitants. Mandy’s avoiding her Uncle Rick’s dodgy dance moves. Sarah’s watching a festival she’s never been to on the telly. Albert’s spending the little time he has left down the pub. And Stanley’s run away from school. But will anybody notice? Does anybody care? Run Stanley Run is a new poetic play written and performed by Rowan Padmore, about bereavement, loss and loneliness.
Rowan is a writer and performer originally from Lancashire and now living in Oxford. She writes, rhymes and rants words about life and those that live it.
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Electrick Village create immersive virtual reality (VR) experiences that blend the use of 360 degree video with live, sensory-stimulating elements.
Surge is all about stereotypes. It is about prejudice and discrimination. It is about how you see others and judge them on race, class, religion and sexuality. It is a show that hopes to challenge your perceptions, stripping you of what you think is true and reminding you of the potential you have to change your ideas.
Channie B is a performance artist who specialises in photography, videography and the research of race politic and stereotyping within our modern day society.