Festival of theatre and more

FEST West 2019 (formerly known as Theatre Fest West) is back from Thursday 14th February to Saturday 2nd March,  bringing some of the south west’s most exciting new theatre to Salis­bury, Corsham and Trow­bridge.

This year film and dance  have been added to the mix with theatre performances. Companies and artists from Bristol, Devon, Som­er­set and Wiltshire will be taking part, and they include local playwright Barney Norris, theatre companies Running Dog and Paines Plough and multi award-winning choreographer James Wilton.

Film screenings include The Levelling – winner of the BFI London Film Festival Filmmaker Bursary Award – about a girl returning to her family home in Somerset after the death of her brother and devastation by the floods of 2014. The Levelling is at The Pound in Corsham on 14th February and at Salisbury Arts Centre on 27th February.

The evening of short films at Salisbury Arts Centre on Wednes­day 20th February includes Needletale by Barney Norris.

On the same night, Barney is involved in the Paines Plough event Come to Where I’m From, joining playwrights Harry Blake, Veronica Dewan and Natasha Marshall in a national project that has invited playwrights to create work about where they’re from.

Theatre performances include a triple bill of performances on Friday 15th February and a double bill on Saturday 2nd March – both in the Salberg Studio at Salisbury Playhouse. The triple bill includes Grow Up and Just Love Chocolate from Poole’s The Shouting Mute, Firebird and Chris White and Poppy Pedder with Kin. The double bill features performances about women’s history including Womans by Scratchworks.

James Wilton Dance performs Leviathan at Salisbury Arts Centre on Thursday 21st February. It’s the story of Ahab, a ships captain hell-bent on capturing the white whale Moby Dick. There’s more dance from the Heather Walrond Company in The Rising, a highly- charged double bill of dance and live music at Salisbury Arts Centre on Saturday 16th February.

Family performances include The Pixie’s Scarf, inspired by Alison Uttely’s story on Monday 18th February (suitable for audiences aged three and older), Lily and the Albatross on Tuesday 19th Febru­ary (ages five plus) and Phoenix and Turtle (ages four plus) on Friday 22nd February.

Wiltshire Creative associate director Jo Newman says: “This is the biggest line-up yet for Fest West. It’s fantastic to be bringing so many brilliant South West artists working across disciplines – dance, music, circus, theatre, film and visual arts – together to share their work as part of a celebration of what’s being made in this region.”

For more information, telephone  01722 320333 or visit the website, www.wiltshirecreative.co.uk.