August 19, 2016

Unity Culture Club: On Your Radar – 19.08.16

We couldn’t see August out without a visit to Edinburgh. With the Fringe in full swing, where better to see some of the most weird and wonderful, yet-to-be-discovered creativity and culture.

Producing some of the most boundary-pushing art and new writing around, the festival gives artists the chance to provoke, question and defy – acting as a hotbed of transformative inspiration for audiences. So, we’d be remiss not to flag some things we think you should check out.

But on the yet-to-be-discovered front that’s closer to home, we’re also celebrating the opening of the 24-hour tube – so there’s no need to worry if you can’t make it up to Edinburgh, as we have a few picks to coincide with its launch.

This is a fantastic opportunity to make the most of the tube and everything London has to offer – not just for the inevitable all-night raves, but to see the city in a new light and use it as a source of stimulation. As the night opens up, we’ll hopefully see more inventive, early-hours art, creativity and culture transforming the capital; following in the footsteps of not only the Fringe, but other 24-hour cities like Amsterdam and New York.

So whatever direction you’re heading in this week, we’re bound to bump into each other at one of the below…

1. MADE UP

One of our Edinburgh Fringe must-sees is ‘Made Up’ – an original show blending spoken word, comedy and physical theatre by Unity friends, The Fast Food Collective.

Sharing the tale of a night out in Dublin, the production sees a series of fragmented accounts piece together a striking portrait of modern nightlife culture, with all the delight and depravity that comes with it.

Boasting an ensemble energy, all-female cast, and live onstage DJ, it’s an engaging and inventive new piece of writing that immerses audiences in its world, taking them through bops, highs, and heartbreak. Perspectives on nights out will never be the same again.

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2. REVOLT. SHE SAID. REVOLT AGAIN.

For a provocative dismantling of language and gender relations, look to our second Edinburgh pick, ‘Revolt. She Said. Revolt Again.’

Examining the behaviour and forces acting on women, the play issues a challenge to be disruptive and question what is accepted. Including the telling instruction ‘Most importantly this play must not be well behaved’ in its stage directions, it is a biting deconstruction of the language used to shape them.

The Fringe is consistently home to socially and politically-aware productions, and Alice Bircher’s play is no exception; ultimately asking what’s stopping us from doing something radical to change the status quo. If you don’t see it in Edinburgh, don’t fret – it’s heading to Shoreditch next month for a limited run.

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3. BLOOD WILL HAVE BLOOD

Looking closer to home, the Camden Fringe Festival offers Londoners the chance to explore experimental, off-the-wall theatre and art without having to leave the city. And with the tube, there’s no excuse not to stay until the very end.

Our pick for the next week is ‘Blood Will Have Blood’ – an intimate, audio-immersive sequel to Macbeth that pushes the boundaries of storytelling through technology. Following the story of the young Fleance, who witnesses the murder of his father, Banquo, the production explores the aftermath of Macbeth’s brutal new Scotland.

Guided by a mysterious local woman, the boy and audience bury their father, clean the houses of dead traitors and discover an unsettling prophecy about their future – with the narrative tailored by headphone technology that responds to the audience’s choices. It’s a novel way of producing an experience that is seen in a new light each performance, both for the actors and viewers.

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(And if you’re in the mood for an after-show tipple, pop to The Blues Kitchen, which is open until 3am. Find out more)

4. ALL-NIGHTER AT LIBRERIA

Tonight, as we celebrate the launch of London’s long-anticipated weekend Night Tube service, we’ll be heading to Libreria. Forget raves, though – we’ll be going for the readings, whiskey, live music and ‘surprise happenings’.

The bookshop will be open between 8pm and 8am, with a line-up including a ‘dialogue on drunkenness’ from author Mark Forsyth, live music and DJ sets, a 3am screening of Martin Scorsese’s film ‘After Hours’, and a ‘bagels and poetry’ session at 6am.

The free event is just one of the many ways London’s creative scene will be boosted by the extended tube service – and is the perfect, diverse celebration of its opening.

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5. ALL THAT LIFE CAN AFFORD

With Londoners having a new excuse to stay up late, the city’s venues are going to have to step up their game and react accordingly to attract night time audiences.

So, we’re putting our money on cultural events becoming the new pre-drinks – a transformation that has already started with the advent of Late Nights at the Museums. One example is ‘All That Life Can Afford’, the first London showing of street photographer Matt Stuart’s acclaimed exhibition. Distinctively witty and humourous, his photographs capture fleeting moments on busy streets and in human traffic – from clever juxtapositions to tender moments.

The exhibition, which opens today, runs until the end of next week theprintspace Gallery in Hoxton. As Friday nights get longer, only the hard-core will need to drink from 5pm – and with the Hoxton gallery not closing before 7pm each night, it’s the perfect place to eke out the night and grab some creative inspiration before drinks.

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6. UNITY CULTURE CLUB MEETS BEN EINE

And if all of the above wasn’t enough to satisfy your appetite for inspiration, check out our recent interview with the brilliant street artist Ben Eine; another force who transforms the way we see cities. We discussed his creative process, what’s kept him motivated, and what brands should be doing to stand out from the crowd.

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