Returning for its 15th year, this 10 day festival offers a bright and inspiring snapshot of contemporary theatre with established and emerging artists both local and those from further afield.
Opening PULSE are Britain’s hottest young acrobats, the all-male trio Barely Methodical Troupe with Bromance, described as “a jaw-dropping magnificent show” by The Stage. The performance won a Total Theatre Award at the 2014 Edinburgh Festival and is a witty and inventive mix of flawlessly-timed acrobatics, shoulder-high balances and a stunning routine inside a spinning metal wheel. Completing the double bill is Idle Motion’s That is All You Need to Know, a fantastic piece of visual theatre that tells the story of Bletchley Park and the untold secrets of the remarkable men and women, such as Alan Turing and Gordon Welchman, who cracked the enigma code during WWII.
This year for the first time Latitude Festival joins Mayfest (Bristol), Watch Out (The Junction, Cambridge), Sprint Festival (Camden People’s Theatre, London) and PULSE to offer the Spring Festivals Commission. This year’s chosen piece of work is Action Hero’s Wrecking Ball which will be performed as a work-in-progress at PULSE on Saturday 30th. Wrecking Ball generates a conversation about consent, authorship and putting words in other people’s mouths, and is about what it really means to say ‘yes’.
New this year, PULSE features a new day of programming focused on deaf and disabled artists and audiences. A day of performance and provocation, aimed at inspiring theatre-makers to think and act differently around disability and inclusion, Ramps On The Moon (5 June) will include talks and performances from Fingersmiths and Sue Maclaine among others. This year, working with Agent for Change Jamie Beddard, PULSE aims to increase the number of deaf and disabled audiences by offering more accessible performances and programming more work with disabled performers.
Other highlights of PULSE 2015 include Inua Ellams The Spalding Suite which is inspired by the UK’s basketball sub-culture and mixes live beatboxing, hip-hop, music, moves and poetry, Chris Goode’s STAND examines what makes people elect to take a stand for what they believe in and Greyscale Theatre Company’s War Is Boring/War Is Fun was written 24 years ago during a civil war by a teenage girl. Half of it was written while living on one side of the conflict, and the other half while on the other.