Entertainment South Wales explores Cardiff based theatre company, Hijinx first online festival, Hijinx Online/ Ar-lein [24 April – 22 May] – a free festival of theatre and film.
Hijinx makes outstanding theatre productions with learning disabled and/or autistic actors, invites people who are self-isolating to a screening of a world premiere, streamed theatre shows, workshops, Q&As with artists, and an end of festival party!
Hijinx Online Entertainment
To connect with audiences during lockdown, the company will be sharing archive shows and brand-new material, including the world premiere screening of The Matthew Purnell Show [streamed Wednesday 20 May, 8pm]. Hijinx’s first in-house short film, is a fast-paced comedy set soon, where learning disabled and/or autistic people have taken over the world of film & TV. At the forefront is The Matthew Purnell Show, the world’s biggest chat show, which is about to give its 100th episode. As part of this online exclusive, audiences will have the opportunity to join the creative producers of the film in an online Q&A after the screening.
From the 27 April, Hijinx will release a theatre show every Monday at 12pm, which will be available for one week. Each Thursday at 4pm there will be a live Q&A with the artists/ production team of the shows, including conversations with some of Hijinx’s partners and co-producers: Mark Downs (Artistic Director at Blind Summit), Toby Park (Managing Artistic Director at Spymonkey) and Scott Graham (Artistic Director at Frantic Assembly).
Theatre shows released each Monday include:
Telling the story of the potty-mouthed puppet who fights prejudice. The internationally acclaimed theatre show has been performed over 250 times and seen by over 23,000 people in 20 countries. [Streamed 27 April].
It’s 17th Century Paris and a couple seem to have it all… except a baby. Described by The Independent as “A hoot, an utterly improbable and saucy farce featuring a brilliant integrated cast”, this is one not to miss. (In association with Spymonkey). [Streamed 4 May].
Into The Light
On stage, are we illuminated or exposed? A thrilling, daring and beautiful physical theatre show from Hijinx and Teatro La Ribalta (Italy) in association with Frantic Assembly, and in partnership with Danza Mobile (Spain) and the Sherman Theatre. [Streamed 11 May]. Read Entertainment South Wales review of Into The Light
Every Friday, Hijinx will stream Flatmates, a surreal and energetic five-part comedy series from Hijinx Associate Artist, Richard Newnham, commissioned by Unlimited IMPACT. Other festival activities will include Wednesday Workshops with the Hijinx team, and of course, an End of Festival Party [20 May, 9pm] – bring your own bottle of course!
Artistic Director for Hijinx, Ben Pettitt-Wade said
“With the situation that COVID-19 has presented, one surprise for us at Hijinx is how technology has brought us closer together as a community. In the past three weeks, we have been focussing on bringing our groups of actors together by holding weekly video calls, where we can check in, chat, laugh and play together.”
“We may not be stood side by side, but we have still managed to find the joy in these virtual rooms, and travel in an instant to meet people in our community in all corners of Wales. In many ways this separation is bringing us all closer, and so we asked ourselves how can we include and share this experience with everyone – the Hijinx Online Festival became our answer – giving exclusive online access to our shows for audiences in lockdown.”
Hijinx Associate Artist and actor, Richard Newnham said
“Working with Hijinx from home during lockdown is strange, as I’m sure it is for anyone at this time but I’m adapting well and allowing myself to be as busy, creative and active as possible. I’m looking forward to Flatmates being streamed as part of the Hijinx Online Festival – I think to any artist, having their work shown in festivals is like introducing a new baby into the world. It’s magical, and for Daniel, Sean and myself, Flatmates was our baby.”
Tune in to the Hijinx Online/ Ar-lein from the 24 April – 22 May on Facebook www.facebook.com/hijinxtheatre. For live Q&As and workshops, more details and links to screening rooms can also be found on Facebook.
The full festival programme will be available at www.hijinx.org.uk. Follow Hijinx on Twitter or Instagram @HijinxTheatre for more information.
Main Photograph from Meet Fred by Kirsten McTernan