Explore the unexpected during opening weekend of Basingstoke Festival 2022
Basingstoke Festival returns between Friday 24 June and Sunday 10 July 2022, with three weekends of free outdoor theatrical productions, breath-taking street theatre and music and dance performances in the town centre.
Kicking off the festivities, community groups and schools from across the borough will come together during a colourful and musical parade in celebration of this year’s festival theme – diversity. The Together Parade will see large towering giants, larger than life snails and colourful Indian elephants from carnival company Global Grooves, a gigantic Lion made by Basingstoke-based Scratchbuilt Productions and other costumes last seen at the Jubilee pageant in London. Visitors can join in the celebrations and soak up the party atmosphere from 5.30pm at Willows in Cross Street. The parade finishes at the amphitheatre in Festival Place with further performances from 6pm.
Topping the bill is Roll Play by Simple Cypher, an outdoor production full of explosive tricks and artful dexterity where performers blur the boundaries between hip hop and circus through a series of captivating and playful interactions challenging identity, status and societal roles. Performances will take place at 12.45pm and 3.45pm on 25 and 26 June at Eastrop Park.
Also in the line-up is Distant Drums, a dynamic and thought-provoking experience that tells the story of Reggae Sound System culture and its role in the fight for racial equality. Performances will take place at 12 noon and 2.30pm on 25 and 26 June in the Top of the Town.
Altered States will present The Invisible Man, a new strolling interactive street theatre performance using a mixture of magic, puppetry and audio-visual projection and offering people the chance to come face to face with the man who isn’t there. Performances start at 11.30am and 2pm at the Triumphal Gates at the Top of the Town.
And for younger festival goers, Pif Paf Theatre Company will be performing Seed, a surprising and inspiring hitch-hike on the journey from small acorns to great oaks with a rockabilly tree-planting anarcho-nomad called Wilford. Performances will take place at 1pm and 3pm at the amphitheatre in Festival Place.
In Glebe Gardens, enjoy performances of Shakespeare’s ‘Much Ado About Nothing’ from Half Cut Theatre. Shows will take place at 1pm and 5pm on Sunday 26 June with visitors encouraged to pay what they can.
On Saturday 25 June and Sunday 26 June, Corrine Marsh with community artists from ArtWell, will be in the town centre creating new works of art on street furniture as part of the Streets Alive project and answering your questions.
Elsewhere at Milestones Museum, there is a chance to catch Scratchbuilt Productions’ ‘The Thornycroft Girls’, as part of the Armed Forces Day Convoy 2022 on Saturday 25 June. The piece celebrates the women who worked during the Second World War.
Leader of Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council Cllr Simon Bound said: “We are really excited to be bringing back a fantastic showcase of street theatre, music, dance, art and much more as part of this year’s Basingstoke Festival.
“The first weekend of the festival will not disappoint with a great line up of free outdoor performances with lots of magical moments for all the family to enjoy. Please keep an eye on the Basingstoke Festival website and social media for more information and regular updates.”
Basingstoke Festival is a partner in Without Walls, working with festivals and artists to bring fantastic outdoor arts to people in towns and cities across the UK. The Together Parade has been funded by Arts Council England, awarding funds from The National Lottery.
For more information on Basingstoke Festival and how to take part, visit www.basingstokefestival.co.uk or follow @BasingstokeFestival on Facebook and @BstokeFestival on Twitter and Instagram. The website will be regularly updated as more acts are confirmed.