The Accidental Festival 2010

BA (Hons) Theatre Practice: Performance Arts Class of 2011

I was Head of Programming at The Accidental Festival 2010 - a three day interdisciplinary performance festival held at London's Battersea Arts Centre featuring works by live art company LEIBNIZ, puppeteer Nenagh Watson and spoken word artist Indigo Williams. 

Play-ful and tongue-in-cheek, the Accidental Festival aimed to break down the barriers between ‘professional’ artists and the vibrant, creative audiences that share the festival. We believe that our programmed emerging artists, student companies and 16-19 year old outreach workshop participants stand alongside seminal, established artists such as John Davidson, Mr Mistress, Hitchhike Dance Collective, Astrid Breel and 8-technology as exponents of innovative, inspiring art. We are drawing them together, with our diverse audience base, for an egalitarian weekend of collaboration and artistic exchange that celebrates new ideas, new forms and new faces in contemporary performance.

With such a wealth of available performance, it was impossible to see everything, and difficult to select favourites - but I tried my best. Among the most impressive were the one-on-one performances: Tiffany Charington and Shaun May charmed and delighted with their intelligent and playful works. Kati Francis’ Wash-a-bye-baby, a rhythmically arresting investigation of single motherhood, represented a truly exceptional coup of programming. The installations - ranging from confectionary scale-models to tactile tapestries, from treasure hunts to an alien cube (all the way from Essex!) - intrigued in the foyers and corridors, while the bar area was held rapt by an incisively written and energetically delivered gig from ‘Folk n’ Word’ group Poeticat, and provided a raucous venue for Mr. Mistress’ win-ning presentation of London’s sexiest new burlesque acts.

Sian glibly summed up the festival as a way for the team to present ‘the stuff we really enjoy seeing’; if this experience can convince them to continue pushing such bold and imaginative programming into future festivals, it will have been entirely worthwhile.

Review by: Thomas Martin

Using Format