Fuel announces 2020 season

Posted on: 29th November 2019

We are excited to be able to introduce our programme of work for 2020.

Discussing the season, Fuel’s Director, Kate McGrath, said:

The 2020s. Here they come! A new decade and, hopefully, a new beginning. At a time when empathy has been radically eroded in our public life, this season is a clarion call for a new decade of empathy and a celebration of unity in difference.

For 2020, Fuel pledges to make 10% of all tickets for its programme available for free to those who would not otherwise be able to attend. This initiative builds on the success of Fuel’s audience development programme on Barber Shop Chronicles.

An Evening With An Immigrant (photo by Oliver Holms)

Fuel’s first commission for 2020 is Inua Ellams’ first work for children: a radical afro-futurist reimagining of the classic French children’s story The Little Prince by Saint-Exupéry. Broken down in the Sahara Desert, desperate to repair her plane, a pilot meets an extraordinary Prince. They quickly form a friendship and the pilot re-discovers the power of imagination, the importance of small efforts, and the meaning of friendship. Directed by Femi Elufowoju, jr with design by Miriam Nabarro and music by Cassie Kinoshi, the show will open at Stratford Circus Arts Centre as part of a programme supported by Newham Council to give every year 6 pupil in the borough the opportunity to see a new piece of theatre for free.

The Body Remembers is a new work exploring healing and trauma by Heather Agyepong, created in collaboration with Imogen Knight. Using movement, projection and a series of audio testimonies, The Body Remembers explores the effects of somatic pain in the body and how we often normalise and reject the effects of internalised distress. The project aims to explore body work practices and how we can take ownership in our healing. Working with experts from The Wellcome Trust and extensive interviews with people who have experienced trauma themselves, Agyepong’s show will premiere at an offsite venue with Camden People’s Theatre in London followed by a tour.

In a new partnership with Rambert, Fuel have commissioned dancer and choreographer Hemabharathy Palani’s first collaboration with director Hetain Patel to create Salt and Sugar. Part dance, part spoken word, the show dissects what it means to be an Indian woman in the 21st century. This new live performance piece will tour to venues including Luton’s Hat Factory and Glasgow’s Tramway.

A Dead Body in Taos is a new play by David Farr which will premiere at the Arcola Theatre in November 2020. The production will be directed by Rachel Bagshaw (The Shape of the Pain). More information to be released soon…

Peaceophobia (photo by Aina Khan)

Fuel will premiere a new project by Common Wealth, Speakers Corner and Bradford Modified Car Club exploring Islamophobia, racial profiling and modified car culture. Peaceophobia challenges the political, social and cultural narratives sounding young Muslim men. Part theatre show and part car rally, Peaceophobia walks the line between political and fun and addresses the hostility and misunderstanding surrounding Islam. The production will premiere in Bradford in 2020 and tour the UK in 2021.

Director Alan Lane (Slung Low), writer Keisha Thompson (Man in the Moon) and designer Börkur Jónsson (Vesturport) will collaborate on a new show for children entitled Izzy, BOSSS and Fractal which creates a world where children have to work together to solve the problems we face today.  All children have a right to experience high-quality live performance and at a time when it is increasingly difficult for schools
to provide this, Fuel brings the brand new, visceral show for children aged 5+ straight to them, in school playgrounds, public spaces and family-friendly festivals.

Existing shows The Day I Fell Into A Book (Lewis Gibson), An Evening with an Immigrant (Inua Ellams), So Many Reasons (Racheal Ofori), The Kids Are Alright (Encounter Productions), will also tour across the UK and internationally from Eastleigh to Kerala. The Hartlepool Monkey (Gyre and Gimble) will be rep-imagined with the community of Hartlepool, presented at the Waterfront Festival 2020.

The Day I Fell Into A Book (photo by Winnie Yeung)
So Many Reasons (photo by Dan Tsantilis)








Following the success of Fly The Flag in 2019, Fuel will be leading the project through to 2023, the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This five-year project, in partnership with producers Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, Liberty, Sadler’s Wells, and co-producers Coventry City of Culture and Farnham Maltings, aims to inspire the next generation to know and claim their human rights.

Fly The Flag (photo by Camilla Greenwell)

Fuel announces the appointment of Dr Magda Osman as Associate Scientist who will lead a new Fuel initiative called The Laboratory. Dr Osman is Head of the Centre of Mind in Society at Queen Mary university of London. The Laboratory will invite artists to submit applications for projects that are rooted in a cross-disciplinary approach. The project is part funded by the Wellcome Trust through Sustaining Excellence.

Fuel also confirms 2020 will see a continuation of its unique partnership with Coombe Farm StudiosThe Distillery. It provides a supportive environment to enable artists and producers to undertake focused periods of research and development in rural Devon.

Among these residencies, Fuel will also continue Producer Farm – a place for producers to refresh their current and future practice, in partnership with Bristol Old Vic, Coombe Farm, Dance Umbrella and In Between Time. Fuel will also extend its residency programme in 2020, working with Cove Park and Hawkwood House to offer artists and producers a place to develop fresh ideas and foster new collaborations.

The Kids Are Alright (photo by Chris Nash)


It’s time for a new decade – of hope, of reconnection, of empathy. When we care for the most vulnerable, celebrate difference, and unite our common humanity. If theatre-making is anything, it is about a shared experience of empathy. Right now, it feels like we need that more than ever.

We hope you’ll join us – get involved, tell us what you think, come along – here’s to #Fuel2020