Zum Zum Teatre are one of Spain’s leading theatre companies and, after 25 years, have just made their first outdoor show. Hippos comes to Hounslow on 20 July. Three dancing blue hippos will be at Bell Square. Yes, that’s right. Three. Dancing. Blue. Hippos. So I talked to Zum Zum about their work and their experience of making an outdoor show for the first time.
Joli Vyann have been in rehearsal at Watermans where they’ve been rehearsing the outdoor version of their new show Anima, which will be at Bell Square on Saturday 6 July. In this 5-minute video they tell us how they met, what’s special about the dance style they’ve developed, and you’ll get a taster of what to expect on the day. Enjoy!
Bash Street Theatre Company rolls into town on Saturday 22 June with their new show, Bellevue Hotel. Set up 28 years ago by partners Simon Pullum and JoJo Pickering, this is one of Britain’s oldest street theatre companies. Now performing with their 2 sons, Lochlann and Finbar, and niece, Kesha, this is a traditional family-run company that tours all over the world.
Bash Street perform fast-moving, silent-comedy, street theatre shows with live musical accompaniment.
The timeless story of Icarus flying too close to the sun is retold in a dramatic free outdoor show - find out more about the inspiration behind it!
If you read this blog regularly, you will know that, for me, the shows at Bell Square are about the stories that affect us all. As the UK struggles with Brexit and how in future we will connect with the wider world, culture can help bring us together, build a shared identity in our community, and help us stay connected with the perspectives of others in our increasingly globalised world.
So, the Bell Square shows this year come from across the UK but from many other countries, too.
After the last event of the season and as we look forward to the new year, it is always tempting to think back to our favourite moments of the last year. Here are our 10 Magic Moments of 2018!
The last time giant prehistoric beasts walked the earth? Not sure. The last time they walked on Hounslow High Street, though, I do know – August 2012. It was a blazing hot day during the London 2012 Games.
The next Bell Square show is a little bit different. A group of pink aliens will be beamed down into Hounslow town centre – and they are very curious and sociable and will want to get to know you. However, these immigrants who arrive on our High Street have some quite different codes and conventions in how they relate to others - so you have been warned!
The phrase that underlines much of the programme at Bell Square is ‘stories that affect us all’. It’s well known that 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives, so it’s clear that almost all of us will have some experience of mental illness, either ourselves or in someone we know. And we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about it.
One of the most enchanting sights in the night sky is a full moon. For thousands of years, the moon was vital for ancient cultures in tracking the passing of the months and helping them to decide when to plant and harvest crops. But the full moon, especially, has also inspired writers, artists and poets for centuries.
Belly of the Whale is set on a giant, semi-circular, see-saw structure. It is a beautiful wooden sculpture in its own right and the company use it to showcase their signature blend of circus skills, humour and breathtaking moments of risk.
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!
Over the years, we have had many events at Bell Square which have involved local people getting directly involved in the show. They are always popular, and usually quite special. On Saturday, I’m looking forward to welcoming Stalker Teatro with their project, Steli. Everyone who would like to get involved can come and help build some beautiful, coloured structures together on the Square.
It’s Sunday night in Krakow. I’ve been here for a few days now, visiting the Ulica festival. Ulica means ‘street’ in Polish and this is a festival of theatre on the streets and squares of Krakow.
I'm always looking for the best shows for next year at Bell Square, and I go to festivals to see around 25 shows in 3-4 days. Festivals, though, are also a great opportunity to meet new artists and talk to other programmers, often from all over the world, and to be inspired by new ideas and new people.
On 14 July, Catalan artists Insectotropics return to Bell Square with a performance of The Legend of the Burning Man. This is a searching investigation into how our understanding of world events is manipulated by media. It follows the story of how a local incident in a small, rural Tunisian town sparked protests and revolutions across an entire region that became known as The Arab Spring.
We’ve got a really great French dance company, Cie Dyptik, coming to Bell Square on Saturday, 30 June. They're quite new to touring in the UK and this will be one of the first chances to see them here, so I’d like to introduce them!
from C-12 Dance Theatre's fantastic show Trolleys
While most people might be out doing their weekly shop on a Saturday afternoon, the shopping trolleys assembled in Bell Square last week were being put to a much better use.