Today I'm Wiser - Arcola Theatre

Empty streets. Buildings boarded over. Lone figures trudge the pavements, their faces covered. The city has fallen quiet. But inside flats and houses, in bedrooms and kitchens, something is stirring. People are shifting, questioning, creating. They join together in protest, innovation and debate. They look at the world as if for the first time. And they’re no longer satisfied.

Today I’m Wiser is an outdoor festival inspired by the present and fuelled by our collective desire for change.

Taking place in Arcola Outside, our new outdoor performance space in the heart of Dalston, Today I’m Wiser features work across different genres, including bold adaptations of classics, new writing and works-in-progress.

27-30 June 2021
Thistle and Rose Arts presents
MY FATHER THE TANTRIC MASSEUR
by Roann McCloskey

In this joyful hour, Roann McCloskey takes on sex, sexuality and power as she navigates her life as a queer, British-Algerian woman.

1-4 July 2021
Defibrillator in association with The Actors Centre
SUNNYMEAD COURT
by Gemma Lawrence

Nominated for four Offies, the “sensational” Sunnymead Court is a funny and uplifting queer romance coming to Arcola Outside.

5-11 July 2021
Flux Theatre presents
THE NARCISSIST
by Will Adolphy 

This laugh out loud one-man help-session, written and performed by Will Adolphy, blends monologue, stand-up, dance and rap.

7 July 2021
Maya Productions presents
BENNY AND THE GREYCATS:
WORK IN PROGRESS + Q&A

Music by Mike Gorman and Riz Maslen, Book/Lyrics by Suzanne Gorman

A 1960s story of a family of Anglo-Indian musicians who swap playing in swing bands in South India to pursue a new life in the steel city of Sheffield.

8-9 July 2021
Arcola Theatre and Coram presents
WHAT’S IN A NAME?

Using historical stories as inspiration and led by rapper and artist Ric Flo, 12 care-experienced young people present a performance exploring their own identity struggles using spoken word, music and rap.

14 July – 7 August 2021
Arcola Theatre presents
THE GAME OF LOVE AND CHANCE
by Pierre de Marivaux, in a new version by Quentin Beroud and Jack Gamble

Pierre de Marivaux’s classic comedy is catapulted into a modern world of minor royals and major scandals, in a brand new English version by Quentin Beroud and Arcola’s Associate Director Jack Gamble (The Daughter-in-Law).

17 July 2021
Tower Theatre presents
I CAN’T BREATHE
by Vanessa Owusu, Nicole Acquah, Tyan Jones & Idris Goodwin

Written during the time of Covid-19, this collection examines what it means to be “black”, questioning when black lives and black futures will finally matter.

17-18 July 2021
Tower Theatre presents
JUBILEE VOICES
by Year 6 students from Jubilee Primary

A group of talented Year 6 writers have provided original and inspired material for the Tower Theatre, in this series of poignant monologues reflecting on lockdown.

18 July 2021
Tower Theatre presents
BOOSTER JAB

Monologues and duologues selected from the best of the ‘Vaccine Programme’ strand of the Tower Theatre’s festival, Love [and Survival] in a Time of Covid.

6 August 2021

KIM 2.0: WORK IN PROGRESS

Kim 2.0 is a one woman comedy show that explores the trappings of gender, its impacts on adolescent development and its effect on a young girl through the lens of dance culture.

8 August 2021
Airlock presents
HOW WE LOVE
by Annette Brook

Telling the story of lesbian student Regi and gay journalist Babs, this play explores the treatment  of LGBTQIA+ people in Nigeria and different types of love. 

9 August 2021
The Wild Stage presents
SONGS OF RESISTANCE
by William Ludwig & Dean Austin

The ‘cabaret kings’ William Ludwig and Dean Austin return with satirical songs of the Berlin Cabarets, protest songs from Latin America and more.

11-12 August 2021
Peculiar Hand presents
ANYTIME THE WIND CAN CHANGE
by Benjamin Yellowitz and Alex Podger

A unique cabaret night of lonely giants, comets and compassion, with beautiful live music and heart-warming shadow puppetry from a world-class ensemble.

9-21 August 2021
Tin Cat Entertainment presents
SERIOUSLY ANNOYING
by Mark Thomas

What does the man who has made his living annoying people do when the state starts to outlaw annoyance? Faced with a government being most uncivil with our civil liberties, Mark Thomas takes a critical look at the Police Bill.

17 and 22 August 2021
the wonderful presents
NEVERGREEN: WORK IN PROGRESS
Music by Georgina Lloyd-Owen, Luc Wilkinson and Eloïse Poulton, Text by Gus Mitchell

The astonishing untold story of environmental pioneer Rachel Carson, combining multimedia invention with poetic power and audacious storytelling.

18-21 August 2021
Metamorph Theatre presents
SCAB
by Luke Stapleton

Set in a coastal town in northern England, Scab explores the themes of trauma, family and loneliness through the encounter of an alienated young man with a stranger.

21 August 2021
Turtle Key Arts presents
GOD’S D*CK: WORK IN PROGRESS
by Hassan Abdulrazzak

Set in a laboratory, God’s D*ck is a Darwinian comedy about competition that puts the cut-throat world of scientific research under the microscope.

9-11 September 2021
The Write Network presents
BLOOD SWEAT AND VAGINAS
by Paula David

Carolann’s awakening is sudden and all-consuming. Join her journey of self-discovery to find out whether she can continue perpetuating the myth of the strong black woman.

9-10 September 2021
Papergang Theatre presents
AMATERASU – OUT OF THE CAVE: WORK IN PROGRESS
devised by the company

Inspired by the Shinto myth of the Japanese Sun Goddess and the God of Sea and Disease, welcome to a vibrant collision of folklore, new writing, Taiko Drumming and movement.

20-26 September 2021
The Waking Theatre in association with Jessie Anand Productions presents
MAGDALENE
by Mary Galloway

A new show about dating, destiny and finding Jesus in your bedroom. MAGDALENE asks the question: how and where do we find real connection?

29 September – 2 October 2021
Utopia Theatre presents
HERE’S WHAT SHE SAID TO ME
by Oladipo Agboluaje

Drama, music and poetry combine to tell a moving story of daughters and mothers in the world of migrations and shifting identities.

29 September – 2 October 2021
Utopia Theatre, by arrangement with DALRO (Pty) Limited, presents
AND THE GIRLS IN THEIR SUNDAY DRESSES
by Zakes Mda

A revival of Mda’s 1988 play, set in the shadow of apartheid, when the possibility of change in South Africa remains suffocated by corruption.

4-9 October 2021
Max Wilkinson and Nico Pimparé present
RAINER
by Max Wilkinson

The story of a solitary delivery rider and her mental collapse, as she moves from leafy suburbs to luxury flats, invisible to those around her.

6-7 October 2021
R.A.T. presents
NOMAD
by Nell Hardy

A dizzying true story of homelessness and mental health hospitalisation, told with devastating authenticity, disarming humour and, ultimately, hope.

26 September, 3 & 10 October 2021
SEYYAR KUMPANYA presents
DURUŞMA (THE TRIAL)

What do you do when you are suddenly accused of an unknown crime? This bold new adaptation of Kafka’s mysterious adventure asks questions about the deep truths that underlie our society.

8-9 October 2021
Nicole Botha presents
10 REASONS WHY
by Nicole Botha

What if the people of London got the voice they deserve? In a fusion of spoken word and basslines, 10 letters transform into stories of people who make our city what it is.

10 October 2021

ON/OFF HENRY: WORK IN PROGRESS
by Nina Bowers and Philip Arditti

Would you die for your country? on/off henry draws on Shakespeare’s greatest hero to unpick the stories we tell about ourselves.

17 & 24 October 2021
Speaks of Rivers presents
THE FOURTEENTH STOP

Adventure through a city transformed by young Taaliyah’s imagination. Featuring puppetry, poetry and physical theatre in an uplifting interactive experience for all the family.

13 October – 6 November 2021
Arcola Theatre presents
BROKEN LAD
by Robin Hooper

Above a pub in North London, Phil waits anxiously to go on stage. As he laments his dwindling career, his son Josh arrives believing that his dad harbours a damaging secret. Tonight, Phil’s career might not be the only thing in tatters.

24 & 31 October 2021
Yasmeen Audisho Ghrawi presents
FROM THE DAUGHTER OF A DICTATOR: WORK IN PROGRESS
by Yasmeen Audisho Ghrawi

Remain seated, listen carefully, it may save your life. Your tolerance of the tragic hilarity of power will be tested, so will your thoughts and feelings about governments and fake truths about our collective existence.

7 November 2021
Women’s Writes presents
WOMEN’S WRITES
by three womxn playwrights

The ONCOMM Nominated Women’s Writes returns, this time with three brand new short plays written by womxn playwrights. Join us for an empowering night of female-driven theatre.

8 November 2021
Miniver Theatre presents
FOUND IN TRANSLATION

A stand-up comedy night featuring comedians who are d/Deaf, hard of hearing or use BSL to communicate.

12-14 November 2021
MADDIE
by Josh Merritt

The world looks different to Maddie, as she navigates streets and stations that are her temporary homes. Being autistic helps her see light in the darkness. Lucky for Maddie.

14-15 November 2021
Emma Spearing presents
WHOLE: WORK IN PROGRESS
by Emma Spearing, co-devised by Jamie Wood

A dive into the depths of what happens when you lose part of yourself, Whole is a raw, tender, messy love story, a wound splashed in whiskey and haunted by ghosts.

Available online until 15 November 2021
Jessica Friend presents
YOGHURT IS NOT SEXY

An expressionistic and theatrical short film that explores three archetypes of woman in a warped world which uncomfortably resembles our own. Food. Sex. Innocence. Consumption. Mother Earth. Yoghurt.

12-14 November 2021
MADDIE
by Josh Merritt

The world looks different to Maddie, as she navigates streets and stations that are her temporary homes. Being autistic helps her see light in the darkness. Lucky for Maddie.

14-15 November 2021
Emma Spearing presents
WHOLE: WORK IN PROGRESS
by Emma Spearing, co-devised by Jamie Wood

A dive into the depths of what happens when you lose part of yourself, Whole is a raw, tender, messy love story, a wound splashed in whiskey and haunted by ghosts.


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