Unity Festival 2017
Circus, sleepwalkers and suitcases as Hijinx Unity Festival arrives in North Wales this week
Watch out for the pink suitcases popping up around Caernarfon this week as the town is taken over by a surprisingly different arts festival (28 Jun – 2 July)
Spectacular circus, theatre, dance and music acts will fill Caernarfon Castle, Victoria Dock, the Town Square and Galeri Arts Centre as Hijinx Unity Festival returns for another five days packed with performances. Hosted for the first time this year in Caernarfon in partnership with Galeri, the Festival will showcase outstanding inclusive and disability arts performances from Spain, France, Germany, Belgium and across the UK from 28 June to 2 July.
The Festival is distinctively different in that all of the companies performing at Hijinx Unity Festival feature artists who have physical or learning disabilities. The Festival was created by Welsh theatre company, Hijinx, to raise the profile of disabled and non-disabled artists working together as equals, and to surprise and delight audiences with truly remarkable performances.
Highlights of the 2017 line up include a weekend of free performances in and around Galeri (Sat 1 July) and on The Maes (Sun 2 July) in the centre of Caernarfon. Areas of the town will be transformed into eye-catching performance spaces, with more pop up venues on The Promenâd and in Palas Print bookshop.
Headlining the weekend are dare-devil French circus artists Cirque Inextremiste with a breath-taking balancing act on The Promenâd. Elsewhere in town, they will be joined by German theatre company Blaumeier-Atelier, Seville-based dance company Danza Mobile, and Hijinx’s own pop-up theatre shows ‘The Pods’, to name but a few acts. Pioneers of accessible theatre for children, Taking Flight Theatre Company will bring a nautical feel to Shakespeare’s The Tempest which will be performed all around Victoria Dock.
Join Unity @ Castell Caernarfon on Fri 30 June for four jam-packed hours of inclusive street theatre, flamenco and contemporary dance from Germany, Spain and Great Britain.
The Festival also offers a ticketed programme of performances at Galeri from 28 June – 1 July, including: BoHo, a dystopian musical misadventure produced by Hijinx and Theatr Clwyd; I Belong, raw and un-tamed physical theatre from Belgian company Theater Stap; and a stunning flamenco double-bill from Seville-company Danza Mobile.
HIJINX AND FRANTIC ASSEMBLY COLLABORATION
Another highlight of the free performance programme is physical theatre show, Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger, produced by Hijinx in collaboration withFrantic Assembly (performances 30 June & 1 July in Galeri). Frantic Assembly are the renowned Movement Directors of the Broadway and West End hit show The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. The 20 minute performance features a 20 strong cast of disabled and non-disabled actors, and will be the culmination of a two-week training residency under the tutelage of Frantic Assembly.
ABOUT THE FESTIVAL
Through a high quality programme of performing arts, the Festival promotes positive images of disability and social inclusion to audiences. Since its creation in Cardiff in 2008, it has grown to attract over 20,000 visitors a time from across Wales, the UK and Europe.
15 learning disabled actors from across North Wales, who are trained by Hijinx at their academy in Prestatyn, will be at the centre of a number of Festival performances. They will be joined by fellow Hijinx Academy actors from South and West Wales, for a celebration of inclusion that takes place in Caernarfon for the first time this year.