We’re delighted to announce that Alchymy, our annual festival of new work, will go ahead in 2021 as a digital festival. All events will be available to stream from 3 – 31 May through the website.
Launched in 2017 as a weekend-long platform for early-career theatre-makers to share new work created for the stage, Alchymy Festival has evolved over the years to include panel discussions and masterclasses. Many of the writers, directors and actors involved in the festival have taken part in our ArtsLab programme, which offers opportunities for early-career artists from across the UK to develop their practice through residencies, training and mentorship. The spirit of the festival has always been one of openness and experimentation: a space to share new ideas and celebrate creativity. As Alchymy 2021 moves out of the theatre into an online space, the programme has shifted to include new work created specifically for digital platforms.
On Demand Events
This year’s festival will include newly-commissioned work by The North Wall’s Creative Associate companies, The PappyShow, Ad Infinitum, and Poltergeist Theatre. There’s another chance for audiences to stream Wardrobe Ensemble’s acclaimed production of The Great Gatsby, launched earlier this year by The Wardrobe Theatre in Bristol. The festival will also include a new audio drama by ArtsLab writer Marika McKennell, whose play E8 was awarded a Fringe First and The Stage Award for Acting Excellence in 2019 at the Edinburgh Fringe. A second audio drama, created by participants of this year’s Catalyst writers residency, will also premiere; alongside four micro-commissions from artists in The North Wall’s ArtsLab network, and podcasts with writer Karim Khan, Euton Daley MBE and producer Ellie Keel.
Live Panel Discussions
Alchymy 2021 launches with a series of live-streamed panel discussions (5-7 May 6pm) featuring a range of speakers from across the theatre industry, including directors Emma Rice (Wise Children) and Matthew Xia (Actors Touring Company) and journalist Lyn Gardner. Among the subjects tackled will be class and opportunity, and the future of British theatre. All panels will be captioned and recordings made available to watch on demand for the full length of the festival.
Ria Parry and John Hoggarth, Co-Directors of The North Wall, said “The last year has been tumultuous for the arts, but despite the closures and cancellations, the creativity of theatre-makers has never been more apparent. Alchymy 2021 is a chance to celebrate the innovation and talents of these artists, and to look forward to what the future of theatre might hold.”
All events at this year’s Alchymy Festival will be offered on a free or Pay-What-You-Feel basis.
The full festival programme will be announced on 20 April. Click here for further updates
Alchymy 2021 has been made possible thanks to the generous support of the Garfield Weston Foundation, the Cameron Mackintosh Fund for Contemporary Drama at the University of Oxford, and St Edward’s School.