The insects are coming… Full programme for IF: Milton Keynes International Festival 2018

Jun 16, 2018

From 20 to 29 July, IF: Milton Keynes International Festival will transform the physical spaces of Milton Keynes and invite people to see a different side of the citywith 10 days of new outdoor theatre, large and small-scale performance, circus, stand-up comedy, live music, family activities and free events. 
 
For 2018, Festival director Monica Ferguson and creative director Bill Gee have put together a programme of performance exploring migration, identity, community and home, including a number of UK premieres.
 
EVENTS AND INSTALLATIONS 
Sarruga:Insectes
Friday 20 July, Central Milton Keynes 
The Festival is known for the spectacular quality of its opening event. This year, as dusk becomes darkness, Catalan company Sarruga light up the streets with their super-sized Insectes, giant cycle-powered steam-breathing ants, spiders and praying mantises.
Driven by a stirring soundtrack they promenade through the city centre streets towards a firework finale in Campbell Park.
Friday 20 July, 9.45pm with firework finale at 10.30pm (timings approximate)
Central Milton Keynes, starts at intu Milton Keynes (Saxon Gate East side) and finishes in Campbell Park
 
Theater Tol: Life of Tree
Friday 20 to Sunday 29 July, Campbell Park
An installation of large-scale illuminated dresses by Belgian company Theater Tol, Life of Treehonours women who have made a significant contribution to history including Simone de Beauvoir and Florence Nightingale. 
Life of Treeis both memorial and meeting place – under each dress audiences hear music and spoken word, an ode to the inspiring woman the dress represents.
Theater Tol will present a dance performance to accompany the installation on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 July.
Friday 20 to Sunday 29 July, Festival Central, Campbell Park
Installation: Friday 20 to Sunday 29 July
Dance performances: Saturday 28 July, 12.10pm, 1.45pm and 3.20pm and Sunday 29 July, 12.10pm, 1.45pm and 4.10pm
Festival Central, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Free
 
For The Birds
Friday 20 to Monday 23 July & Wednesday 25 to Saturday 28 July, Linford Manor Park
Artists including Mark Anderson, Jony Easterby, Kathy Hinde, Ulf Pedersen and Pippa Taylor explorethe boundaries between raw elemental materials, natural dynamics, sound technology and composition. 
Friday 20 to Monday 23 July and Wednesday 25 to Saturday 28 July
9.15pm, 9.30pm, 9.45pm, 10pm, 10.15pm, 10.30pm, 10.45pm, 11pm
Linford Manor Park, Great Linford, nearest postcode MK14 5AX
Tickets £15, Under 16s £13, Universal Credit concession £10, Family (4 people, max 2 adults) £52
 
NEW COMMISSION 
Bicycle Bell-erocomposed by Craig McLeish
Sunday 22 July, MK Rose, Campbell Park 
Bicycle Bell-erois a new music performance for massed tuned bicycle bells by Milton Keynes-based composer Craig McLeish.
Dozens of cyclists will play on specially-tuned cycle bells created from re-purposed handbells. They cycle along the Redways surrounding Campbell Park, marking the locations and routes with new soundscapes, coming together for a full performance of the new composition at the MK Rose. 
Sunday 22 July, cycling from 2pm, performance at 3pm
Starts and finishes at the MK Rose, Campbell Park MK9 4AJ
Free
 
Back to Back Theatre: The Democratic Set MK
Monday 23 – Wednesday 25 July (filming) Friday 27 July (screening), Central Milton Keynes
The Democratic Set explores the belief that all people are, in principle, equal and should enjoy the same social, political and economic rights and opportunities.
Australia’s Back to Back Theatre, which has an ensemble of learning disabled performers at its creative core, is working with Milton Keynes residents and community groups, including migrant communities, learning disabled adults and homeless people. 
They create an enclosed performance space to film a series of short live performances and video portraits. The space acts as a visual soap box where participants can project their own understanding of democracy, equality and citizenship.
The resulting film offers a unique portrait of its host community.
Filming: Monday 23 to Wednesday 25 July in Queen’s Court, centre:mk MK9 3ES
Screening: Friday 27 July, 7pm in the Vagabond Cinema Dome, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Free
 
THEATRE AND PERFORMANCE
Dries Verhoeven: Phobiarama
20 to 29 July, Campbell Park 
Dutch theatre maker and visual artist Dries Verhoeven invites his audiences on board a political ghost train for an immersive excursion through our angst-fuelling media landscape, so flawlessly exploited by politicians, terrorists, marketers and the spinners of fake news.
Sitting in fairground cars, the audience is broughtface to face with the ever-increasing threats and paranoia engulfing a society obsessed with safety and perfection.
Friday 20 to Monday 23 July and Wednesday 25 to Sunday 29 July
Sessions at 3.30pm, 4.30pm, 5.30pm, 6.30pm, 8.30pm, 9.30pm and 10.30pm
No 10.30pm slot on Friday 20 July
Next to Festival Central, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Tickets £15, Universal Credit concession £10
 
The HandleBards: Romeo and Juliet
Saturday 21 July, Fred Roche Gardens, 406 Silbury Boulevard MK9 2ND
The female crew of The HandleBards arrive in Milton Keynes to present their riotous and funny open-air version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet
Saturday 21 July, 2pm and 6.30pm
Fred Roche Gardens, 406 Silbury Boulevard MK9 2ND
Free but ticketed
 
Schweigman& with Slagwerk Den Haag: For The Time Being
Sunday 23 and Monday 24 July, Milton Keynes Theatre
Dutch artist Boukje Schweigman, artistic director of Utrecht’s Schweigman& creates wordless visual and musical theatre which sharpens the senses. Here she works with percussion group Slagwerk Den Haag to create For The Time Being, a playful experiment with the audience’s experience of time.
This promenade performance is at Milton Keynes Theatre which sees the venue taking part in the Festival for the first time. 
Sunday 22 July, 4pm and 8pm / Monday 23 July, 1.30pm, 4pm and 8pm
Milton Keynes Theatre, 500 Marlborough Gate MK9 3NZ
Tickets £15, Under 16s £13, Universal Credit concession £10, Family (4 people, max 2 adults) £52
 
Thursday 26 – Saturday 28 July, The Stables, Wavendon
Thursday 26 to Saturday 28 July, 8pm
The Stables, Stockwell Lane, Wavendon MK17 8LU
Tickets £27.50
 
CIRCUS SHOWS IN THE CIRCUS HUB, MIDDLETON HALL, CENTRE:MK
For the 10 days of this year’s Festival, Middleton Hall in centre:mk, the Festival’s headline sponsors and Milton Keynes’ Grade II listed shopping centre, will become the location for a specially-built Circus Hub hosting international circus and acrobatic shows, marking 250 years of circus in the UK.
 
Companyìa Vavel Circus: Garbuix 
Friday 20 to Sunday 22 July, Circus Hub, Middleton Hall, centre:mk
Catalan company Vavel’s zany and comic circus show is performed by five women from five different countries. Garbuix is jam-packed with their physical and linguistic tricks, music, game playing, bicycles – and a big white bear. 
Friday 20 to Sunday 22 July, 11am and 3pm each day
Middleton Hall, centre:mk MK9 3EP
£8, Under 16s £7, Universal Credit concession £5, Family (4 people, max 2 adults) £28
 
Sur Mesure: Fillage
Monday 23 & Tuesday 24 July, Circus Hub, Middleton Hall, centre:mk
Belgian company Sur Mesure bring together musicians, instrument manufacturers, woodworkers and circus artists in Fillage, a combination of spectacular trampolining, acrobatics, juggling and specially composed live music.
Monday 23 and Tuesday 24 July, 11am and 3pm each day
Middleton Hall, centre:mk MK9 3EP
£8, Under 16s £7, Universal Credit concession £5, Family (4 people, max 2 adults) £28
 
NoFit State Circus & Motionhouse: Block
Wednesday 25 & Thursday 26 July, Circus Hub, Middleton Hall, centre:mk
Blockis a fusion of dance and circus that pushes the limits of both art forms, using daring physicality and split-second timing.
Twenty oversized blocks, fashioned to resemble giant concrete Jenga blocks, are deconstructed and reformed into an infinite variety of shapes for the performers to play on, move with and explore.
Wednesday 25 July, 11am and 3pm / Thursday 26 July, 10am and 1pm
Middleton Hall, centre:mk MK9 3EP
£8, Under 16s £7, Universal Credit concession £5, Family (4 people, max 2 adults) £28
 
UK PREMIERE 
Groupe Acrobatique de Tanger: Halka 
Friday 27 to Sunday 29 July, Circus Hub, Middleton Hall, centre:mk
This Moroccan collective of 14 acrobats and musicians – the biggest company that the Festival has ever brought to Milton Keynes – offer their perspective on their hometown of Tangier. 
Halka takes its audiences on a journey through bustling market places, cafés and beaches, with a combination of traditional and contemporary acrobatics, tumbling and high-flying human pyramids.
Having previously worked with a number of international male directors, Halka is directed by female company member, Abdeliazide Senhadji. 
Friday 27 to Sunday 29 July, 2.30pm each day
Middleton Hall, centre:mk MK9 3EP
Tickets £16, Under 16s £14, Universal Credit concession £10, Family (4 people, max 2 adults) £56
 
The Circus Hub is also hosting a Free Curiosities Fair featuring The Strange Travel of Mr Tonetand The Strong Lady
 
Tombs Creatius Company: The Strange Travel of Mr Tonet 
Friday 20 – Sunday 29 July, Circus Hub, Middleton Hall, centre:mk
The fantastical life and adventures of Mr Tonet are revealed by solving the puzzles created by the skilled makers of Catalonia’s Tombs Creatius. Crafted from discarded objects and recycled old furniture, ingenious games combine mechanical movement, light and sound. 
Friday 20 to Sunday 29 July, 10am to 5pm (except when a Circus Hub show is on)
Middleton Hall, centre:mk MK9 3EP
Free
 
The Strong Lady 
Friday 27 and Sunday 29 July, Circus Hub, Middleton Hall, centre:mk
A genuine strong woman, Australia’s Betty Brawn performs her classic street theatre show with brute strength and beauty.
Shattering gender clichés with an exhilarating array of stunts, she tears thick books in half with her bare hands, twists solid metal, snaps steel chains and performs the Human Carousel, carrying the weight of two gigantic men.
Friday 27 and Saturday 28 July, 10.30am and 12.30pm / Sunday 29 July, 12.30pm
Middleton Hall, centre:mk MK9 3EP 
Friday 27, Saturday 28 July, Sunday 29 July
Festival Central, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Free
 
OTHER CIRCUS
Casus: Driftwood
Friday 20 and Saturday 21 July, The Speigeltent, Campbell Park
Driftwood is a beautiful and intimate display of choreography, acrobatics, trapeze and aerial stunts. The phenomenal performers of young Australian circus company Casus reveal our innate need for human contact where, in a moment of danger, a grasping hold is survival. 
Friday 20 and Saturday 21 July, 7pm / Sunday 22 July, 2.30pm
The Stables Spiegeltent, Festival Central, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Tickets £21.50, Under 16s £18.50, Universal Credit £14, Family of 4 (max 2 adults) £74
 
The Strong Lady 
The Strong Lady is also at Festival Central in Campbell Park.
Friday 27 July at 6.30pm, Saturday 28 July at 3.50pm, Sunday 29 July at 3.20pm and 5.50pm
Festival Central, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Free
 
CABARET
The Gilded Lili Revue
Friday 27 & Saturday 28 July, The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park 
Ms Lili La Scala, decadent diva of vintage glamour and divine Mistress of Ceremonies, is back with her cabaret reprobates in two rollicking late-night shows, Lili presents her dazzling cabaret spectacular with a variety smorgasbord of international comedy, burlesque, music and more.
With Havana Hurricane, Elliot Mason, Pi the Mime, Scarlett Daggers – and, of course, Lili herself.
Friday 27 and Saturday 28 July, 10pm
The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Tickets £16
Suitable for 16+
 
COMEDY
Mark Watson: This Is Half Way To Being A Show
Sunday 22 July, The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park 
After fending off death on Bear Grylls’ Celebrity Island TV show, Mark Watson returns to what he’s best at – being indoors. This multi-award-winning writer and TV comedy star offers witty food for thought, audience interactions and all sorts of other fun in this work-in-progress show.
Sunday 22 July, 8pm
The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Tickets £17
 
Tom Allen: Absolutely  
Friday 27 July, The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park 
Tom Allen, the sharply dressed, well-spoken, disparagingly camp comedian son of working class Bromley, embarks on his debut solo tour. Allen has honed his unique style of sharp, acerbic wit and riotous storytelling since starting as a stand up at 22, then winning both So You Think You’re Funny in Edinburgh and the BBC New Comedy Awards.
Friday 27 July, 7.30pm
The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Tickets £14
 
CHILDREN AND FAMILY 
Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July, Festival Central, Campbell Park 
Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July, 11am – 1pm and 2pm – 5pm both days
Festival Central, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Free
 
Saturday 21 July & Sunday 22 July: Festival Central, Campbell Park 
series of magical stories to life. Enchanting tales from across the world told with gusto to delight and entertain all ages. Treasure Chest Tales: Stone Soup, Granny Dumpling and The Princess and the Pea. Furry Tales: Three Little Pigs, Goldilocks and Three Billy Goats Gruff.
Saturday 21 July: Treasure Chest Tales
Sunday 22 July: Furry Tales
11am, 12.50pm and 2.40pm both days
Festival Central, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Free
 
Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 July, Festival Central, Campbell Park 
This interactive adaptation of Emily Hughes’ popular book The Little Gardeneris performed inside a greenhouse containing a real garden. Children can meet the little gardener and the garden that means everything to him and help bring his garden to life.
Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July
11:50am, 1.40pm, 3.30pm both days
Festival Central, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Suitable for all, recommended for ages 2 – 6.
Free
 
Monski Mouse: Baby Disco Dance Hall
Saturday 28 July, The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park 
Australian DJ Monski Mouse strikes a balance between anthems for the grown-ups and tracks for the children, combining retro dance tracks and funky nursery rhymes. Part of the dance floor is set up with a soft furnished ‘baby area’ where non-walkers can roll around to the music too. 
Saturday 28 July, 2.30pm
The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Tickets £8, Universal Credit concession £5, Family (4 people, max 2 adults) £28
Free for babies under 6 months
 
Bootworks:The JukeBoxes
Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 July, Festival Central, Campbell Park 
Two beautiful 1950’s Jukeboxes spring to life to re-create classic pop music videos.
In a lip-syncing musical medley, Bootworks’ performers use props, masks and puppets (and terrible wigs!) to animate favourite pop songs past and present.
Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 July
At intervals throughout both days
Festival Central, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Free
 
Comedy Club 4 Kids & Simple Politics: How Does This Politics Thing Work Then?
Sunday 29 July, The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park 
Tatton Spiller (Simple Politics) and Tiernan Douieb (Comedy Club 4 Kids, CBBC’s The Slammer) make sense of politics and make it fun.
The audience may not be able to vote yet but they have opinions and know the world they want to see.
Sunday 29 July, 11.30am Simple Politics: How Does This Politics Thing Work Then?
The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Tickets £6, Universal Credit £5 Unreserved seating
Suitable for ages 7+
 
Comedy Club 4 Kids
The best stand-ups and sketch acts from the international circuit do their thing for an audience of children, creating a proper comedy club – without the rude bits!
Sunday 29 July, 2pm The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Tickets £6, Universal Credit £5 Unreserved seating
Suitable for ages 7+
 
TALKING SHOP: TALKS AND DEBATES
For The Birds 
Sunday 22 July, Festival Central, Campbell Park
For The Birds artists discuss working in Milton Keynes to create a unique night-time experience with Mark Anderson, Jony Easterby, Kathy Hinde and a spokesperson from The Parks Trust.
Sunday 22 July, 11.30am – 12.15pm
Arabian Tent, Festival Central, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Free
 
Brexitarama 
Monday 23 July, Festival Central, Campbell Park
A discussion about international culture in a post-Brexit landscape, the panel will include Dries Verhoeven, creator of Phobiarama,and Alison Woods of NoFit State Circus.
Monday 23 July, 5.45pm – 6.45pm
Arabian Tent, Festival Central, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Free
 
HomeOpen Forum 
Thursday 26 July, Festival Central, Campbell Park
An open discussion about what ‘home’ means in relation to the making of The Democratic Setin Milton Keynes. With Back to Back Theatre, Dr Agnes Czajka, Senior Lecturer in Politics and International Studies at the Open Universityand Richard DeDomenici, artist and film-maker.
Thursday 26 July, 3.30pm – 5.30pm
Arabian Tent, Festival Central, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Free
 
In Conversation:Jenny Sealey MBE 
Sunday 29 July, Festival Central, Campbell Park
Festival Director Monica Ferguson talks with Jenny Sealey, CEO and Artistic Director of Graeae Theatre Company which places D/deaf and disabled actors centre stage and challenges preconceptions.
Sunday 29 July, 11.30am – 12.15pm
Arabian Tent, Festival Central, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Free
 
MUSIC IN THE STABLES SPIEGELTENT
The Stables Spiegeltent, programmed by Alison Young, head of programming and producing at The Stables, has been a hit since its first outing in 2010 and will again provide the best in music, comedy and cabaret throughout the Festival in 2018. 
 
The Puppini Sisters
Friday 20 July, The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park Tickets £27.50
With impeccable retro style, The Puppini Sisters rework modern pop as vintage swing and add zest to timeless classics.
Famed for their gorgeous and immaculate Andrews Sisters-style close harmonies, the Sisters have a legion of fans worldwide, have collaborated with Michael Bublé and have five albums under their waist-clinching belts.
Friday 20 July, 9pm 
The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Tickets £27.50
 
Brother Strut
Saturday 21 July, The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park 
Driven by a love of funk, blues and 1960’s/70’s soul, Brother Strut deliver unparalleled live shows.
Exciting and electric, the band is made up of some of the finest musicians around who have played with iconic artists including Stevie Wonder, Tina Turner and Amy Winehouse.
Saturday 21 July, 9pm
The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Tickets £21
 
Addictive TV: Orchestra of Samples
With special guests Evelyn Glennie & Alejandro de Valera 
Support: Jally Kebba Susso
Monday 23 July, The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park 
Pioneering audio-video remixers and electronic duo Addictive TV have spent six years collaborating with musicians around the world. The Orchestra of Samples features international artists from Brazil, Kazakhstan, Egypt, Senegal, Colombia, Bhutan and across Europe, ingeniously sampled and spliced together to create a digital supergroup who have never met but play together on-screen.
This one-off musical journey without borders will feature world-famous percussionist Dame Evelyn Glennie and guitar virtuoso Alejandro de Valera. 
Monday 23 July, 8pm
The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Tickets £22.50
 
CC Smugglers
Support: Emma McGrath
Tuesday 24 July, The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park 
This six-piece outfit plays great, original music with showmanship and swagger. Echoes of American folk, swing, jazz, country, ragtime and bluegrass combine with contemporary references to hip hop, metal, dubstep, house and dancehall! 
Tuesday 24 July, 7.45pm
The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Tickets £16.50
 
Eliza Carthy & The Wayward Band
Support: The Black Feathers
Wednesday 25 July, The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park 
Eliza Carthy and the twelve-piece Wayward Band champion the vibrancy of today’s traditional music, ‘the last truly underground music scene’, with a big band and big sound.
Wednesday 25 July, 7.45pm
The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Tickets £25
 
Newton Faulkner + Support
Thursday 26 July, The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park 
Last year Newton Faulkner released an astonishing genre-hopping sixth album Hit The Ground Running that is by far the best and boldest of his career. The ultra-long dreadlocks have gone, the guitar is even better and the voice is bigger than ever. 
Thursday 26 July, 7.45pm
The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Tickets £37.50
 
Los Pacaminos featuring Paul Young
Saturday 28 July, The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park 
This cactus sharp, stetson wearing, magnificent six create the perfect cantina setting for a tequila-fuelled party night. 
Fronted by Paul Young, Los Pacaminos play the very best in Tex Mex Border music with an incendiary mix of classics and original material, from The Texas Tornadoes and Ry Cooder to Los Lobos and even Roy Orbison.
Saturday 28 July, 7.45pm
The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Tickets £21
 
Ceilidh Liberation Front
Sunday 29 July, The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park
Virtuoso musicians the Ceilidh Liberation Front combine music, dance and a sprinkling of theatricals, breathing vigour and vitality into the traditional ceilidh, while honouring its roots and traditions with charismatic callers, uplifting tunes and cracking dances.
Sunday 29 July, 7.45pm
The Stables Spiegeltent, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
Tickets £14 
 
THE STABLES SESSIONS: ACOUSTIC STAGE 
Friday 20 – Sunday 29 July: Festival Central, Campbell Park
The Stables Sessions are a chance to hear new sounds and spot emerging talent and unsigned bands throughout the Festival. 
Featured artists: Friday 20 July: Hope in High Water; Hannah’s Yard. Saturday 21 July:Amit Dattani; Elizabeth & Jameson; Hannah Scott; Pete Hemsley; Paolo Morena: Sian Magill; Roses & Pirates. Sunday 22 July:Tracey Browne; Michelle Nadia; Lowly Hounds; Amy Claire & John Bowman; Sweetcornbread; Ethemia. Monday 23 July:Candi’s Dog; Inlak’esh. Tuesday 24 July:The Other Band; Rebecca de Winter. Wednesday 25 July:Anna Hester; Fred’s House. Thursday 26 July: Jinder; Natasha Seale Duo. Friday 27 July:Yvonne Lyon; Amelia Lappert; April Blue. Saturday 28 July:Navaro; Katey Brooks; Tinderbox; The Hallows; Dawn Iverson; Harrison Bond; Chris Fox. Sunday 29 July:Joe Miles; The Blackheart Orchestra; Tom Korni; Manny & The Coloured Sky; James Burrage; Steve Winch & The Inception. 
Acoustic Stage, Festival Central, Campbell Park MK9 4AD
For times, see www.ifmiltonkeynes.org for more information 

Free 

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