Physical fest returns

Physical Fest hosted by Liverpool based physical theatre practitioners Tmesis Theatre – the only festival of its kind in Europe – returns from 24 May-1 June 2013 for its 9th annual outing, and this year is set to be the biggest and best yet! With more events than ever before, Physical Fest will this year can boast two UK premieres and is set to incorporate street theatre for the very first time.

Performers will travel from far and wide for the festival, with companies from Zambia, France and Germany travelling to join the UK performers.

Artistic Director of Physical Fest Elinor Randle said “I am very excited to host what will be our most exciting festival yet! It’s an honour to host the incredible Daphnis Kokkinos from Pina Bausch Tanztheater in Liverpool for the first time ever, as well as a fantastic workshop and performance programme, with street theatre and brilliant local, national and international artists. It has been a particular dream of mine, since I first went to Zambia in 2010 to bring over the inspiring young acrobats I met there, so I am very happy that this dream will be met this year, and they will share their skills with people here as well as getting to take part in the amazing training programme that Physical Fest is.”

Physical Fest will launch on 24 May at the Unity Theatre with the annual ‘Fest Live’ international showcase, five different companies in one entertaining and dynamic evening. It has been part funded by Liverpool City Council.

On Saturday 25 May the Unity Theatre hosts the first of two UK premieres when Daphnis Kokkinos, a 20 year veteran of the renowned Pina Bausch Tanztheater Company brings his first work outside of the company. A one-way ticket on a reflective journey through Japan, India, Greece, France, South America, and most importantly, life, Addio Addio Amore is a passionate and moving dance theatre performance in which Daphnis reveals stories, experiences, anecdotes, exchanges and dreams that he shared with the late Pina Bausch.

On Friday 31 May the Unity Theatre will also host Mary Pearson’s one-woman show Failure (And Other Opportunities For Non-Linear Success. Left standing at the disco. Caught naked on the red carpet. Gathering dust after the big sale. Expired. Bagged. Tagged. And recalled. Fashion victim, aspiring pop diva and chronic underachiever is consumed by delusional fantasies of commercial success. Watch with amusement, outrage, empathy embarrassment and relief as pedestal becomes soapbox and FAILURE turns into freedom. A new solo performance bringing together visual absurdity with contemporary dance, comedy and social commentary.

Physical Fest is delighted to welcome a group of dedicated young acrobats from Zambia’s vibrant capital city Lusaka to Liverpool. The Barefeet Acrobats work with young people (aged 5-25) from a very poor background, living in Lusaka’s notorious compounds, helping them channel their energy into something positive, teaching unique skills and create opportunities for talented youngsters to develop and to showcase their abilities. Barefeet Acrobats, who will deliver a fun workshop at The Bluecoat, have a collection of high profile performances under their belt and are widely considered to be Zambia’s number one acrobat group.

The closing performance of Physical Fest (at Unity Theatre) is another UK premiere. Clowning show Beating McEnroe by Fringe First winner Jamie Wood visits Liverpool en route to the Edinburgh Fringe, making its premiere at the Unity Theatre on Sat 1 June, the final night of the festival. Beating McEnroe is about rivalry, love and how they can both better and destroy us, and is energetic, entertaining and ridiculously competitive.

Workshops will also make up a large part of the festivities with a number of sessions including clowning, mask, improvisation and physical theatre classes led by top names in physical theatre including LAMDA’s Michael Brown, Tmesis Theatre’s Yorgos Karamalegos and Elinor Randle, Compagnie Mangano Massip, Daphnis Kokkinos, and physical fest regular Fin Walker. All workshops will take place at The Bluecoat. For full workshop details please see

Watch out for street performances in Liverpool City Centre on 31 May and 1 June from Conflux International Residency Programme, featuring emerging artists from across Europe in what is a Physical Fest first!

Physical Fest is organised by Tmesis Theatre and brings the world’s best local, national and international movement and physical theatre artists to Liverpool in an exciting 8 day programme of events, workshops, taster classes and performances. The aim of the festival is to make Liverpool a hub for Physical Theatre, bringing the best performers and companies to the city in addition to new work and premiere performances in order to inspire more local people to follow and take part in this exciting theatre genre. Physical Fest is already one of the international key events in Liverpool’s cultural programme.

Liverpool Waterfront