What to expect from the new season at Arts Centre Washington

I, Malvolio. Photo by Helen J Brown.
I, Malvolio. Photo by Helen J Brown.
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Drama, stand-up comedy, live music and an exhibition from young local artists help make up a busy spring programme at Arts Centre Washington (ACW).

Theatre highlights include I, Malvolio on February 15, which explores the character of Malvolio, the pompous manservant to Olivia in Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night.

Comedian Anna Nicholson

Comedian Anna Nicholson

Later in February, on the 27th, ACW will host a completely different type of show – Woke, by Testament, a beatboxing, storytelling standup comedian and rapper.

Other theatre highlights include Odyssey, a hilarious new verse adaption of the most epic journey of all time (March 13), and The Time Machine, Stephen Cunningham’s fresh take on H.G. Wells’ legendary tale (April 11).

There’s also drama aimed squarely at young people and families. First of all there’s Thief, Fox and Phoenix, the tale of a mischievous thief who, along with his friend the fox, goes on a quest to find the enchanted phoenix, on Friday, February 22.

Another family show is Chicken Licken: a TaleJam, the tale of a young chick who can’t decide what to do. The show is a musical storytelling experience, exploring an old fable in a new way with fun, fake news and feathers. Chicken Licken: a TaleJam is at ACW on April 13.

The programme includes performances from two stand-up comedians – Anna Nicholson and Patrick Monahan. Anna’s show, Woman of the Year, is on Saturday, November 2, and was a sell-out show at Edinburgh Fringe. Patrick’s show, #Goals!, was also a hit at Edinburgh and will be performed on Friday, March 22.

As well as the popular, regular Davy Lamp Folk Club, held at ACW on the first Saturday of every month, the spring includes two top tribute bands. 10CCLO, who perform a brilliant repertoire of 10CC and ELO hits on March 8 and March 9. Later in the same month, Sabbra Cadabra will perform the hits of Black Sabbath (March 23).

A regular at ACW, the Youth Arts Exhibition, returns for its annual showing between February 1 and March 9.

Matt Blyth, audience development officer at ACW, explained: “The Youth Arts Exhibition has become a staple in our main gallery’s calendar - each year we receive more and more high quality pieces of artwork from young people aged 11-19. This year we are changing things a little and asking young curators, supported by professionals, to select work for the best promising young artists aged 11-19 living in the city.

“We will also have an online virtual art gallery featuring the work of all of the artists entering this year’s event.”

Another exhibition, A View From the Edge, will be at ACW between March 21 and May 4.

“This will be a really interesting exhibition,” said Matt. “A group of artists discover what a fresh start means to them. This is about the act of anticipating the future by understanding the past. This exhibition might shock, or might change your viewpoint, or even move you in some way. Whatever it does, it will make you think.

“Our varied programme has something for everyone and hopefully will prove popular with both regulars and newcomers,” he added.

For more information on the programme, or to book tickets, visit https://www.artscentrewashington.co.uk