Fuel Announces 2019 Season

Posted on: 20th December 2018

We are excited to have confirmed our season of work for 2019. Discussing the season, Fuel Director, Kate McGrath, said:

“Understanding the world we live in seems more complex than ever. Imagining a positive future requires new levels of optimism. Coming together in a theatre is a way to do these things, and have a good night out. Brilliant artists create a space for a temporary community to come together and seek to understand and to imagine. Fuel’s job is to identify those living artists and bring their urgent and brave work to life for people to experience. As we approach our 15th birthday, we reflect on what has changed in the world since 2004, where we find ourselves today, and what 2034 might hold for us all. Our 2019 season celebrates our common humanity: how we all connect to the earth and to each other.

The Kids Are Alright is an Encounter Productions creation co-commissioned by Fuel and The Place. Directed and choreographed by Jennifer Malarkey and written by Lee Mattinson it brings together new writing, dance and sound installation in two performances on one stage. An adult narrative wading through parental grief and an immersive audio experience for primary aged children full of hope for the future.

David Greig and Tom Morris’ critically acclaimed adaptation of Joe Simpson’s huge international best-seller Touching the Void will tour to Edinburgh, Perth, Inverness and Hong Kong. It tells the terrifying story of Joe and Simon Yates’ successful but disastrous and nearly fatal climb of Siula Grande in the Peruvian Andes in 1985. It was made into an award-winning film in 2003 and here is adapted for the stage for the first time. Touching the Void is a co-production between Fuel, Bristol Old Vic, Royal Lyceum Theatre Edinburgh and Royal & Derngate Northampton.

On Monday 10th December Fuel announced a major new collaboration entitled Fly The Flag to mark the 70th birthday of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  A new flag for human rights has been designed by Ai Weiwei, commissioned in response to the real and present dangers of a world changing at break-neck speed, to offer hope and to educate generations to come about the absolute importance of universal human rights. This grassroots moment of creative awareness and activism will be led – jointly and uniquely – by arts organisations and human rights charities.

The flag will be available to schools and care homes, town halls and office blocks, hospitals and libraries across the UK, with everyone invited to Fly The Flag for Human Rights six months from now between 24 – 30 June in events across the country, more information on which will be released in due course. Wherever flown, both physically and digitally, by groups or individuals, big or small, the flag will mark the value of human rights in everyone’s daily lives.

Fly The Flag is co-produced by Fuel (Lead Producer), Amnesty International, Donmar Warehouse, Human Rights Watch, Liberty, National Theatre, Sadler’s Wells and Tate Art Galleries.

The Dark, a new play by poet Nick Makoha will tour the UK in Spring 2019 beginning at Tara Arts on January 8th. It tells the harrowing and uplifting auto-biographical story of how he and his mother escaped from Idi Amin’s Uganda in 1978. Two performers play multiple characters in this exploration of memory which is directed by the award-winning Roy Alexander Weise (Nine Night).

Barber Shop Chronicles, Inua Ellams’ acclaimed play (co-produced by Fuel, the National Theatre and Leeds Playhouse) about the melting pot world of the male barber shop, has completed two sell-out seasons at the National Theatre and a hugely successful tour of Australia and New Zealand and is currently touring America and Canada. As previously announced the production will embark on a UK tour which begins in Manchester on March 7th at the Royal Exchange.

Fuel will also co-produce two new commissions by Inua Ellams in 2019. Firstly in a co-production between Fuel, Kiln and Birmingham Rep, The Half God of Rainfall a contemporary saga that weaves poetry with storytelling in a majestic, chaotic journey across mythologies that transports us from a tiny village in Southern Nigeria to the further reaches of our galaxy and beyond. The production will be directed by Nancy Medina (Yellowman, Young Vic).  Then in the autumn Inua Ellams returns to the NT with a new play, Three Sisters, after Chekhov. Directed by Nadia Fall, Theatre Royal Stratford East Artistic Director, Three Sisters transports the play to 1960s Nigeria, before, during and after the Biafran Civil War. The play was originally commissioned by Metta Theatre. Hundreds of tickets for every performance will be available at £15.

Today will also see the launch of Fuel’s partnership with Coombe Farm Studios, Devon on a programme of residencies for producers and artists. Residencies will focus on supporting artists exploring stories about place, migration, climate change and human rights.  In 2019 our resident artists will include Will Adamsdale, Heather Adjyepong and Slung Low.  Fuel also confirmed Producer Farm, their ground-breaking residency for producer development, a collaboration with Bristol Ferment, Dance Umbrella and In Between Time, will return in 2019, with an open call for applications to come in January.