Liverpool’s Tmesis Theatre and Physical Fest are back for 2015 with a line up set to be bigger and better than ever organisers say.

Liverpool's International Physical Theatre Festival Returns In 2015

This year’s festival runs between Friday 22nd – Saturday 30th May 2015, and for those who cannot wait that long there is a special festival warm up weekend for young people with Young Physical Fest on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd May. As always, Tmesis Theatre will be bringing the very best and most established artists from all corners of the globe, with companies from Italy and Spain joining the UK performers for a truly international Physical Fest.

“Last year was a milestone for Tmesis Theatre and Physical Fest with it being the 10th Anniversary; an incredible achievement and testament to the artists and everyone involved, and of course the people of Liverpool that have supported us and made it possible for us to come back year after year. This year we have been working harder than ever to ensure a fantastic programme of events. There is more performance than ever, with something to do every night, food and festival club at the Unity, street theatre, as well as a developed and packed weekend for young people in early May.” – Artistic Director of Physical Fest Elinor Randle

Physical Fest will launch on Friday 22nd May at The Unity Theatre with Pact with Pointlessness, a one woman performance that lies somewhere between stand up and vaudeville. Created to tackle the death of her friend, choreographer and dancer Nigel Charnock – who she performed with in DV8, the show is full of crackling wit and ridiculous movement and is a frank demonstration of how it feels to be knocked sideways by death, renegotiate and carry on.

The Unity will also play host to mini performances Honky Tonk Hideaway – a 15-minute immersive experience and Solotoria – a show for one audience member in less than three-and-a-half minutes. Both will be performed before the main shows at The Unity throughout the Festival.

On Sat 23 May also at the Unity Theatre, Ship of Fools present From The Cradle To The Bin, a hilarious odyssey about being thrown on life’s scrapheap, told through live music, grotesque parody and shocking imagery. Follow Mr Whitey, an affable English gent, as he spends his final days on the edge of a broken care system.

Following on from his fifteen-minute debut at Physical Fest 2014, Leebo Luby has had direction from Aitor Basauri (Spymonkey) to create a new absurd and extraordinary show, Faruchio Peru Is Extraordinare. On Sunday 24th May at The Bluecoat, self-proclaimed ‘showman’ Faruchio Peru is an enigma wrapped in an ego, surrounded by an unpronounceable name, in this one man clowning show.

Monday 25th May sees a night of work in development extracts at The Joe H Makin Centre, LJMU. In a double bill of exciting new physical work, Animikii Theatre present biblical tale Cain and Abel, exploring the theme of brotherhood through reimagined mythology, weaving vocal and movement languages with striking imagery and powerful music. Then Yorgos Karamalegos presents initial ideas from a two week workshop exploring the idea of Home and feelings of alienation, using the story of Medea as an entry point. Monday 25th May and Tuesday 26th May also features Wild Trio, a site specific dance performance providing a refuge from capitalism in the heart of Liverpool 1.

Also on Tuesday 26th May at The Unity, Animal Religion present a stunning contemporary circus performance bringing out the animal in us all. In a grotesque parody of the modern human and the differences between the sexes, the stage is transformed into an “animalarium”; with acrobatics, heels, a spoon in the nose, rooster fight and ritual dances.

Friday 29th May sees the return of the annual ‘Fest Live’ at The Unity, an international showcase of the most exciting new physical and visual work from both emerging and established artists, which is carefully selected by a panel of UK festival directors.

Following its UK premiere at last year’s festival, Jamie Wood returns with Oh No! to bring in the end of the festival on Saturday 20th May. Playing amongst the enigmatic instructions of Yoko Ono’s art works, in the shadow of Lennon’s death, Oh No! is a psychedelic ride – a wonky homage to the woman damned for destroying the Beatles and a show about reckless optimism, high art and what we might yet have to learn from the hippies.

There will also be a fantastic selection of Street Theatre set loose upon the public, taking place at various locations across the city including performances from Boom Booms, Eggmen and Conflux.

As always, the festival will also include a series of interactive workshops with sessions available in clowning, improvisation and physical theatre from top names in physical theatre including Anna-Helena McLean – a former member of Poland’s Gardzienice Centre for Theatre Practices, Yorgos Karamalegos, Jamie Wood, Italian company Instabili Vaganti, Vivien Wood, and Spanish company Animal Religion. Workshops will take place at The Bluecoat, full details and how to book a place can be found on the website

Ahead of the main festival, Physical Fest presents a weekend of free workshops and shows between Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3 May at The Bluecoat. Aimed at young people and families, the special programme of events will feature workshops and performances suitable for all ages, including Parkour performance with The Urban Playground Team, life-sized Punch & Judy from Foolsize Theatre, plus puppet making, stage combat, circus skills and theatre games. There will also be performances inspired by The Bluecoat itself performed by local youth groups, and a show exploring life as a 17 year old in a collaboration between Young Everyman Playhouse and Off the Ground.

“Physical Fest has become one of the international key events in Liverpool’s cultural programme, bringing the world’s best local, national and international movement and physical theatre artists to Liverpool in an exciting nine-day programme of events, workshops, taster classes and performances. With an exciting and diverse line up, 2015 promises to deliver the exceptional class of entertainment this festival has become renowned for.” – Press release

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