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It's All Happening at the Criterion

Exotic by Cassandra O'Floresca

Springboard Festival, The Criterion Theatre, Earlsdon, Coventry, from Saturday 25 March to Saturday 1 April.

Preview by Barbara Goulden

Members of the ever-creative Criterion Theatre in Earlsdon, Coventry, are boasting an eight-day festival of drama, poetry, art and live music starting on March 25. There is literally so much to say about the clusters of performances on each of the evenings and more details are being added all the time, that a visit to the Criterion's own website will be worth the extra finger clicking for more details.

What with The Fat Show, Wild Swim, The Pursuits of Pee'er Gynt (don't ask) and the hilarious singer-songwriter Keith Donnelly there will be a lot to chose from. One of the more serious short dramas that will weave in and out throughout the week is entitled Small Hours by the Criterion's own Lucy Kirkwood and Ed Hime. This intense piece aims to highlight the isolation experienced by many new mothers, particularly in the middle of the night. Or during the day for that matter.

Lucy Hayton performing in Wild Swim

The widespread nature of some of the emotions expressed may well offer some comfort – or at least a feeling of solidarity, to those mixing the happiest time of their lives with complete mental exhaustion.

Among the offers on Sunday (March 26) will be Rebellious Sisterhood by Karen Forbes followed by an intriguing production on Monday (March 27) entitled Voices From The Dark. This will be presented by the Criterion's near neighbours who attend Coventry's Resource Centre for the Blind.

Healing and Hope. Emilie Lauren Jones and Mikael Petersson

Whatever the mix of each night this certainly isn't all high-brow serious stuff. As well as Keith Donnelly there will be performances from Coventry based poet Dangermouse#, aka Scott Healy, a couple of productions from members of the theatre's own youth group, a poem called Exotic by Cassandra O'Floresca, a piece called Hattie by Beverley Andrews and dozens more poems and songs by other contributors. Personally, I can't wait for The Rebellious Sisterhood and The Fat Show.

A spokesperson for The Criterion said. “We want to show off our fabulous theatre, as we strive to provide opportunities for emerging artists of all ages and backgrounds, support the creative economy of Coventry and Warwickshire and provide a varied and rich artistic programme to audiences.

“As with everything we do, the Criterion Theatre is committed to producing diverse and inclusive art and serving as a catalyst for community creation. Each night will see two or three acts of contrasting and complimentary genres. It will include drama, new writing, poetry and spoken word, multi-media performances and musical offerings, plus there will be accompanying art exhibitions and installations.”


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