Now, more than ever we’re hearing people use the phrase “Now, more than ever”.
There’s been an unprecedented use of the word “unprecedented”.
Describing things as “The new normal” is the new normal.
And as if to prove it, that very name has been slapped onto a new festival that heartily embraces the changes that have been foisted upon us by ol’ Johnny Pandemic, by creating a socially distanced space in which you can enjoy a lineup of theatre, comedy, music, improv, magic, and more.
It’s taking place until the end of August in the walled courtyard of the remarkably grand Royal Victoria Patriotic Building just off Wandsworth Common. After having been an orphanage, then a hospital, then an interrogation centre, then a school, then a “playground for rich rockstars”, the space has now had socially distanced seating installed alongside a BBQ, stage, and bar.
Rock up, get your temperature scanned by “one of those weird forehead thingies”, grab a foot-long hot dog or a burrata salad, and sit back as you take in something from their very varied lineup. Here are just a few highlights from the coming weeks:
- The Three Inch Fools Present: A Midsummer Night’s Dream (19th & 20th August) – see the play as performed by just three actors and “far too many musical instruments”.
- Good Ship Comedy (21st August) – see standup from the likes of Sara Pascoe, Jessica Fostekew, Nathan Caton & Ben Van der Velde.
- The Signalman by Charles Dickens (23rd August) – Charles Dickens wrote this ghost story after surviving a train crash. It would be his final completed work.
- A Shoddy Detective and the Art of Deception (23rd August) – When a priceless painting goes missing, a detective is called in to solve the case. But, as per the title, let’s just say the he’s not exactly Hercule Poirot.
- Mischief Movie Night (29th & Sunday 30th August) – It’s an improvised movie, live on stage. You, the audience, suggest a genre, a location , and a title, and the improv comedians will take it from there. There’ll even be rewinds, fast forwards, directors cuts and “a thrilling live score”.
The whole enterprise has been geared around Covid safety, with contactless everything, plenty of deep cleaning, lashings of hand sanitiser, and some “hard stares” if you break the social distancing guidelines.
It is the new normal after all.
NOTE: The New Normal Festival is taking place until August 31st at the Royal Victoria Patriotic Building. You can find out more, and score tickets (pre-booking essential) at their website right HERE.
The New Normal Festival | Le Gothique, Royal Victoria Patriotic Building, Windmill Road, SW18 3SX
And if you like the sound of this…you might like the sound of Comedy On The Terrace over at Ally Pally too.