Hotbed is a platform for new writers and creatives to showcase their work, and for us, the enthralled audience, to discover something wholly new.
2014’s series, Testing! Testing!, features several world premieres, performances from the Young Writers’ Workshop, readings, guest productions, one page plays, foyer events and more. Hotbed also aims to put the audience centre stage, getting us involved through post-show discussions and participatory pieces.
First up on 10 and 11 July is Moon Casting by Lucy Sheerman and Bettina Furnée. Do you think you could embark on a one-year mission into space with your partner? Why not come for an interview and fi nd out? Lie back in the luxurious Space Base Tent and explore the limits of your love… From Thursday until Saturday, couples will be interviewed by poet Lucy and visual artist Bettina who will use the responses for a spoken word performance on Saturday evening (12 July, 5.05pm), which will explore how an intimate record of individual experiences can be translated into a manifesto about our future, the life we want and the love we need. Tickets for the show are £8/£6, though interviews in the Space Base Tent are free to attend and run from 6-8pm Thurs and Fri.
Fans of Lewis Carroll should check out Stuck in the Mud, by Nina Herbosch: a humorous and occasionally disturbing attempt by a 21-year-old graduate to determine her place in the world (10 July, 7pm, and 11 July at 1pm & 9.30pm). Playwright Steve Waters’ debut performance of In A Vulnerable Place takes place on 10 July (8.05pm) and 12 July (7.05pm), and tackles the weighty subjects of climate change, the natural world and the human heart. Enter the world of reggae singer Lorna Gee in Run, which looks at the effects of fame, drug addiction, sexuality and rebellion (11 July, 7pm and 12 July, 1pm).
Or, for a satirical thrill take your seats for He Had Hairy Hands, a comedy-horror from the team behind the critically acclaimed The Boy Who Kicked Pigs. Combining beautiful visuals, original music, a very important pigeon and several di erent coats, He Had Hairy Hands is primed and ready to take you on a dark, tangled journey through an exceptionally awful mystery (11 July, 8.05pm and 12 July, 3.45pm). Tickets £10/13. A comedy workshop is also being run by the group at 11am on the Saturday (£10/£13).
Fury, by contrast, is a play about anger and justice centred around an incident in 2013 in which a man set fire to his best friend’s house during a party. It’s by Isobel Cohen, and shows on Saturday at 12 noon (£3/£4).
A fully-honed production of All Roads Lead to Rome by Chris Dobrowolski brings Hotbed to a close on 13 July (4.20pm). Part investigation into his father’s time as a Polish soldier in the Italian Campaign and part muse on consumerism, All Roads Lead to Rome brings together car mechanics, a road trip, dictators and the fetishisation of possessions in a solo performance using old photos, new film and surprising moving objects (£13/£10).
10-13 July, Cambridge Junction. Tickets are from £3-£13. For the programme and to book, visit the website.