The programme begins with a shout, with Protest, a month of talks, exhibitions, debates and music around the subject of protest. With many of the events taking place at New Greenham Arts, originally the rec centre for the American nuclear airbase and meters away from Greenham Common, famous for the Women's Peace Camps, the festival will explore how protest informs art and art informs protest. Veteran Labour politician Tony Benn will give a talk at the Corn Exchange on Friday, April 5, while folk rock singer Grace Petrie will perform at New Greenham Arts on Saturday, April 6. The singer-songwriter has drawn plaudits for her beautiful acoustic melodies and clever wordplay on songs including Emily Davidson Blues and Maggie Thatcher's Dream.
October, a multimedia documentary artwork, made entirely from information found online by visual artists Jon Thomson and Alison Craighead, uses video and projection to explore the Occupy movement and will be on show at New Greenham Arts until April 21.
And on Saturday, April 6, there is Think In, an afternoon of discussion, debate and talks featuring Peter Kennard, Noel Douglas and activists involved in the Greenham Common Peace Camp and the third battle of Newbury.
At Corn Exchange, the film 5 Broken Cameras is a first-hand account of a non-violent resistance in a village threatened by encroaching Israeli settlements, showing on April 14 and 16. On April 18, The Vocal Abolutionists explores songs and readings presenting the life of the Hutchinson Family Singers, the originators of American Protest singing, at New Greenham Arts.
Also coming up during the new season, all-male dance company 2Faced Dance present Out Of His Skin on Thursday, April 18 - a fierce, visceral and tender piece with the tagline 'Everyone has limits. Not everyone accepts them'.
For theatre fans, The Fantasist explores the dark depths and heady heights of bipolar disorder through puppetry, physical theatre and music on Tuesday, June 11, brought to the stage by Theatre Témoin and War Horse's Robin Guiver. And for laughs, Sean Hughes, Josh Widdicombe and Alistair McGowan are just some of the top names ready to tickle funnybones at the Corn Exchange, while The Reduced Shakespeare Company will be cramming The Bard's 37 plays into just 97 minutes with typical irreverence, on Wednesday, May 1, at the same venue.
Visit www.cornexchange new.com for tickets.
Stay tuned to The Guide for announcements and interviews!