Wonderful Wednesdays, the season of groundbreaking performance events at Colchester Arts Centre handpicked by director Anthony Roberts begins tonight.

The season represents a mix of what Anthony considers to be some of the most exciting work,  some of the newest ideas and some of the most interesting ways of working on the performance scene today. All of it will be provocative, some will be funny, some will be tragic, none of it will be dull.

The pricing structure is simply “pay what you can afford”, Anthony wants everyone, whatever their income, to have the chance to see some really groundbreaking new work.

Doors open 7.30pm and the performances start at 8pm.  To book tickets visit www.colchesterartscentre.com

Here’s this season’s line-up of Wonderful Wednesdays…

Wednesday 7th October
Once Upon A Time
A show about ageing and the passing of time, told through the extraordinary bodies of two dancers and one trapeze artist, all aged over 65. At once a celebration of, and a provocation on our relationship with ageing, this dance-theatre performance reveals how time marks its inevitable course through our skin, our muscles, our identity.Inspired by Jean Amery’s book On Ageing: Revolt and Resignation, Agnieszka Blonska has created a poetic piece focusing on the life and work of three physical performers, revealing their individual stories and letting us into the joy, pain, beauty and strength of older age.
Produced by Theatre Bristol with Circomedia and in association with the Polish Cultural Institute, London.

Wednesday 14th October
Cardboard Sumo Ultimate Destruction Series: Tear Down The Temple
Morven Mulgrew will build a grand arena for her largest, most ambitious Cardboard Sumo battleground yet! It may not be as large as the O2, but it took her literally weeks to build! She invites you to visit the arena, drink in the ambience, smell the atmosphere, eat at the food cart and watch the action through the mist of the smoke machine!. She also invites you to wrestle with her, or if not, she will just wrestle with herself. Free Popcorn with every entry ticket. Please note this performance is for a standing audience

Wednesday 21st October
Tim Jeeves: The Kindness Of Strangers
In 1997, whilst studying for his English A-Level, Tim read Tennessee Williams’ ‘A Streetcar Named Desire’ and came across the play’s tragic protagonist, Blanche DuBois: a woman, dangerously mismatched to her surroundings, who’s eventual undoing is encapsulated in the line, “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers”.
A year later, in 1998, after treatment for cancer of the leg, lungs and liver, Tim also turned to the benevolence of someone he didn’t know when he received bone marrow from an anonymous donor.Partly a reflection on how to thank the most significant person he has never met, but also an exploration of how we deal with another’s generosity, ‘The Kindness of Strangers’ explores the relationship Tim has with both Blanche and his donor, whilst also acknowledging the specific generosity of those with him in the performance space.
The Kindness of Strangers was developed with the support of Arts Council England and The Bluecoat.

Wednesday 28th October
Stacy Makishi: Vesper Time
Looking at loss and mourning, and Stacy’s one-time wish to be a missionary, Vesper Time weaves together the undercurrents of Moby Dick alongside 80s and 90s pop culture to offer up a ‘vesper’, a secular evening prayer.
Shot through with her characteristic wit, this solo show draws on Stacy’s stand-up comedy roots and her theatrical sense of the uncanny.Vesper Time is a Chelsea Theatre and Colchester Arts Centre co-commission supported by the National Theatre Studio and with generous support in kind from The Yard. Supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and produced by Artsadmin.

Wednesday 4th November
Novus Theatre: The Reverse Is Also True
We join 49 year old Eddie Young on the day when he is suddenly confronted by his own 18 year old self on his own doorstep. Is he going mad? Is it some kind of cosmic joke? And how is he going to explain it all to his wife, Sarah? A warm-hearted – but provocative – new piece. Think Black Mirror meets Back To The Future.

Wednesday 11th November
Figs In Wigs: Show Off
You’re so vain you probably think this show is about you. But it’s actually about Figs in Wigs – the lowbrow answer to avant-garde. Show Off nosedives deep into our shallow digital existence, goggling at how social media has bred a new form of narcissism. Masquerading as a variety show this desperately glitzy number continually reinvents itself to satisfy even the most depleted of attention spans.
In a selfie-obsessed effort to tick every box five performers reintroduce themselves as comedians, dancers, visual artists, musicians and circus entertainers. After all, nowadays one trick ponies rarely make the cut.

Wednesday 18th November
Mars Tarrab: The Ladys Not For Walking Like An Egyptian
What do you get if you cross all of the words of Margaret Thatcher’s public speeches with all of the words of every top ten hit by a female artist from the 80s? Drag out your Lycra, your legwarmers and your Greenham Common Songbook. This is the 1980s like you’ve never seen them before. Or…exactly like you saw them before.
Join Mars.tarrab as they desperately try to understand pop culture, politics, the power of love and what the 80s ever did for us.

Wednesday 25th November
Rhiannon Faith: Scary Shit
A show about friendship, being a woman and asking for help. Quirky and outrageous dance theatre, Rhiannon Faith brings a moving and courageous physical experience to the stage.A rollercoaster real life experiment Scary Shit is a show where two young women attend therapy to learn about themselves, the world, and dare to suggest a future without fear. We all have personal fears, be it Public Speaking, Smear Tests, Heights… But what if you could take the time to cure these fears? Would you be a better person? Would the world be a better place? Could you do or be anything you dreamed?

Wednesday 2nd December
The Peoples Republic Of Poetry With A Firm Of Poets
A quartet of poets faces the audience; in turn they step up to the mic to perform their poems. A cross between a poetic super-group and ‘Whose Line Is It Anyway?’ the show is fast paced and never the same twice. With humour, pathos, quizzes and audience participation, this is a fun night out that will both move and entertain.

Wednesday 9th December
Project O: O
A physical unfolding of a realisation of difference, O presents bodies as they negotiate histories, fantasies and assumptions in a 50-minute romp through politics of identity. Kinda like what happened when Yellowman met Angela Carter for a cup of tea in the jungle. Refusing to be held down, Alexandrina and Jamila are outraged, joyous and simply hurt. This is a dance that reconsiders the dilemmas, assumptions and sexualisation that brown and female bodies can be subjected to. A physical unfolding of a realisation of difference.


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