Waterfront Theatre Festival

by Jessica Holliland
Drake's Drummers Theatre Company based in Plymouth, Cal Moffat, Pelham (Plum) Grosvenor-Stevenson, and Adam Toon.

Drake’s Drummers Theatre Company: Cal Moffat, Pelham (Plum) Grosvenor-Stevenson, and Adam Toon.

Over the last few years Plymouth has really come in to its own and has become a hotbed of theatrical activity. With regular citywide events such as Plymouth Fringe, Outpost Theatre Festival, and Bard in the Yard, as well as national touring shows, live comedy theatre, Plymouth now boasts more independent theatres and producers than ever before. This year we add another fabulous weeklong foray to the list of exciting events in the city. The Waterfront Theatre Festival will run from the 21st – 27th August and will be situated in the spectacular Lion’s Den just a few steps from the waves of the Plymouth Sound. This week long festival has been in the planning for two years and is organized by local theatre group Drakes Drummers; it is scheduled to be the first of many!

Speaking to Plum, one member of Drakes Drummers, about what inspired the Waterfront Theatre Festival he explains that the group are really committed to helping the theatre scene in Plymouth grow, and that part of that is to draw attention to and use some of the great spaces we have in the city. The Lions Den is a tiny amphitheatre; perfect for a performance, hidden way down on the hoe it is a stunning side effect of Plymouth’s old disused outdoor pools. The backdrop for the shows will be the horizon line of the Plymouth Sound, as the actors perform a mere 2 meters from the edge. Plum jokes that the group is fairly confident this is the closest to the ocean you’ll ever watch theatre it is the only theatre show you’ll ever attend where there’s a compulsory lifeguard on duty.

Thunder Whales poster. Red Cape Black Cape

Thunder Whales: Red Cape Black Cape

Waterfront Theatre Festival Poster

Bubblicious Rave Review photo credit Kate Denkinson 2017

As well as curating and planning the event, Drakes Drummers will present two of their own shows including national sell out show, Shakespeare’s Avengers Assembleth: Age of Oberon, which is a fast-paced comedy featuring fairies, Romans and a whole host of madness. The group is passionate about bringing amazing talent to the city, as well as giving local companies a chance to perform so as well as their own works; they have planned a jam-packed programme of theatre, poetry and performance for you to choose from. Red Cape Black Cape is a young London based company who has received huge praise for their performances at both Edinburgh and London Fringe festivals and will be presenting THUNDER-WHALES – a black comedy with fins, about fame, freedom, and Free Willy. North South Theatre come to the festival from beautiful Cornwall to share with us a heartwarming comedic tale set during the first years of the Great War. Local poet Anna Fletcher who has been published nationally and internationally, will host a poetry evening. And last but by no means least, Plymouth Playwriters association bring Plymouth Plymouth, which is the second in a trilogy of plays themed around the Mayflower crossing. The first – ‘Hoe Down’ – was performed last year as part of the Plymouth Fringe Festival and the Trilogy will be performed in its entirety during the 2020 Mayflower commemorations. As an added extra they will also host Drama in a day, a workshop to teach you the skills you need to write a mini-play before you have the chance to watch it being performed in the Lions Den itself.

If you would like to be one of the first to experience this unique theatrical venture then tickets are available through the Barbican Theatre online or at the box office, and as the tickets are an absolute bargain at less than £10 you have no excuse not to.