I’m writing this in one of the hottest summers we’ve had in years. It seems barely imaginable that we’ll soon be heading into the cooler autumn days, with the nights drawing in, and through to the crisp, cold days of winter. But we have another 8 great shows for you, so winter won’t be so bad!
We have spectacular theatre, stunning installations and more great circus. We have artists from all over the UK, and from Poland, Slovenia and the Netherlands. We have shows that will make us think and shows that I hope will get us talking! How do we face up to challenges? How do we welcome new people into our community? What happens when someone we love experiences mental health problems?
And there will be experiences that I also hope will linger in our memories. What does the moon look like close up? We can lie on the Square and find out!
We start the autumn season on 8 September with one of the UK’s most exciting contemporary circus companies. Ockham’s Razor bring their first outdoor show, Belly of the Whale, to Bell Square. It has 3 performers on a beautiful, wooden sculpture, something like a giant see-saw. The show is based on mythology from around the world which talks of the ‘belly of the whale’ and asks what happens when we confront our fears and come face to face with the power of things we seemingly can’t change.
On 22 September, Bell Square will host Luke Jerram’s Museum of the Moon. This large-scale installation is 7 metres in diameter and is an exact replica of the surface of the moon, taken from detailed NASA imagery from space. Lie on grass on the Square and gaze at the moon! Listen to music and stories inspired by the moon, and see a wonderful performance by Humanhood called Orbis.
In my opinion, one of the highlights of the year will be The Winter’s Tale by legendary Polish theatre company, Teatr Biuro Podrozy. They will present a ‘promenade’ version of The Winter’s Tale – a spectacular of fire, music and stilt-walking. Processing through Hounslow town centre, this is Shakespeare’s story of a king who murdered his wife, and the guilt and terrible repercussions of jealousy. 6 October - a date for your diary!
On 20 October, we welcome back Company Chameleon from Manchester. Witness This turns a spotlight on mental health in a moving and emotional portrayal of how loved ones cope when mental health problems take hold of someone close. Powerful and deeply personal, the piece tells the story of one of Company Chameleon’s founding dancers, following his journey and struggle with bipolar.
On 3 November, we have a real treat for you! Motionhouse dance company come to Bell Square with one of their famous ‘digger shows’. These are shows with dancers and a JCB. EXO is their brand new ‘digger show’ for 2018 and explores the relationship between ‘man and machine’ in a breath-taking display of strength, emotion and beauty.
I think many of you know what will happen on 17 November. Yes, it’s Hounslow’s annual Winter Lights parade! People from all over the borough will have made lanterns with artists, Same Sky, in the weeks leading up to the event. On the night, hundreds of people carrying lanterns create a spectacular procession through the town centre, leading to a finale performance at Bell Square.
December will be very international! We start with a visit from Ljud, a company from Slovenia, on 1 December. On this day, pink aliens from outer space will land in Hounslow. They are very curious and sociable and they will want to get to know you! This is a very funny show but also quietly questions how we welcome new people into our community.
And to wrap up the year on 15 December, Close Act from Holland bring us one of their large-scale visual spectacles. Saurus is magical and hypnotic for an audience that finds itself immersed among life-size dinosaurs!
So, bring on the autumn, and even the winter! Let’s walk the streets with the Queen’s coffin. Let’s watch a super cool driver make a digger dance. And let’s walk with dinosaurs!
Huge thanks to Arts Council England and London Borough of Hounslow for their support of these events. #BellSquareLDN #Community