Heads Up Festival returns for its 8th season

Published: Tuesday 7th March 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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Heads Up Festival is a biannual event that celebrates the best new theatre, dance, comedy, music and audio performance.

Hull-based theatre company Ensemble 52 have collaborated with London’s Battersea Arts Centre to organise ten days of wonderful entertainment.

The eighth season of the festival brings exciting shows, performances and presentations to local primary schools, studios and public spaces. These include Ferens Art Gallery, Kardomah94, Hull Central Library and The New Adelphi Club.

“Heads Up Festival is all about breaking down barriers with theatre-makers and audiences,” says Dave Windass, Festival Producer.

“We like to challenge preconceptions that potential theatre audiences might have.

Kicking off the new season, French theatre company Via Cane and British puppetry company Indigo Moon Theatre join forces to explore a fascinating idea.

Their puppet show asks what playwrights Shakespeare and Molière would say if they were alive today. More specifically, what they would write about the wave of migrants that have recently landed on French and English shores.

An intriguing concept presented in an exciting, family-friendly way, Shakespeare Versus Molière is set to be a key highlight of the festival.

“We’re one of the only shows outside of Hull city centre,” Anna Ingleby, Founder of Indigo Moon Theatre, tells us.

“Puppetry is often seen as quite a childlike art form, but it’s very visual and captivating for adults too.”

Shakespeare Versus Moliere

In contrast, Shannon Yee has created an autobiographical, audio-based artwork from her experience of falling critically ill with a rare brain infection.

Audience members (six per show) will lie in a makeshift hospital room, where they will be able to hear Shannon’s story as if they were inside her head.

“Heads Up Festival prides itself on bringing theatre to non-traditional venues, and Reassembled, Slightly Askew is a perfect example of this,” explains Dave.

“We’ve converted a forgotten space in Hull Central Library into a unique environment specially for this piece of art.”

Reassembled, Slightly Askew

Meanwhile, children can enjoy a range of shows, including Tom Penn and Battersea Arts Centre’s co-production of Neverland.

This immersive performance is aimed at kids aged 1-3 and their parents. It has been designed to spark magic in young imaginations as they sail through the sky to the home of J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.

“Again, we’ve created a special space in Hull Central Library,” Dave adds. “This time for toddlers to explore.”


Heads Up Festival has also collaborated with the Women of the World (WOW) Festival. A showing of Blazon Theatre’s ICONS on Saturday 11 March at Ferens Art Gallery will retell myths of Amazon warriors and their tribe of sisters.

The season will come to an end with Will Dickie’s The Rave Space. Live theatre and club culture collide in this spectacular DJ set at The New Adelphi Club.

Rave-Space-Image and pentagon

For more information about Heads Up Festival and to buy tickets, please visit headsup.e52.co.uk.

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Published: Tuesday 7th March 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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