University’s innovative new season

The ShowRoom at the University of Chichester confirms itself as a place where performers feel free to take risks with the announcement of an innovative new season.

Andy Roberts, administrator at the venue at the University’s Chichester campus, is delighted with a season which brings “the cream of the crop of utterly-contemporary theatre and dance to the region.”

Currently audiences are probably 70:30, 60:40 weighted towards students, but Andy is keen to spread the word that the ShowRoom is for everyone with an interest in distinctive, cutting-edge performance.

“Alongside our performance programme there are also the contemporary arts research seminars which are free to anyone wishing to engage in discussion around contemporary arts practice.”

As for the main programme, among the higlights is 3fall Dance on Thursday, February 9 at 7.30pm - a dance company comprised of 14 third-year dance students from the University.

“This year, the current company will be performing repertoire by choreographers Cai Tomas, Aya Kobayashi and Liz Richards,” Andy said.

“The rehearsal process combined both intensive weeks as well as regular rehearsals over a period of four months, resulting in three very exciting and varied new works inspired by both the choreographer and the dancers themselves. The show also features selected works which were choreographed by promising third-year dance students.”

A show Andy is particularly looking forward to is Bryony Kimmings’ 7 Day Drunk (Wednesday, February 29, 7.30pm).

“Bryony Kimmings is not an alcoholic. But she has always had a rocky relationship with booze. It seems the dark stuff is intrinsically linked to her confidence as an artist as well as blame for most genius and most hideous creations.

“Two parts song-and-dance routine, one part breakdown with a twist of sobering reality, the show follows Bryony as she cracks open her own creative psyche with the help of a film-maker, a team of scientists, carers and an American IT expert.”

The show was created solely from material made during a seven-day experiment, in which Bryony was kept in various states of scientific drunkenness.

Coming up on Thursday, March 1 at 7.30pm is a double bill of Time Piece by Louie Jenkins and Wait by Carrie Whitaker.

Through a series of snapshots exploring embodied memory, moments twisted by time, Time Piece jumps between a Yorkshire childhood, a chance meeting between Virginia Woolf and a cobbler and a crumbling lighthouse. Thanatos (Death) and Eros (Love) share the same stage.

Wait is the beginnings of Lila Dance’s creative research exploring Samuel Beckett’s Waiting For Godot. This scratch performance is a collection of images, aural and physical ideas that will be explored in depth in a six-week creative process in May and June 2012.

Another show Andy picks out is Action Hero’s Frontman on Thursday, March 8 at 7.30pm.

“Poised on the edge of catastrophe, Frontman is a furiously-loud, raucous reproduction of the all the best gigs you never saw. With borrowed ramblings from iconic frontmen, the ghost of Elvis/Dolly/Kurt/Iggy is channelled by a girl in sequins, whilst a techie in rabbit ears refuses to watch the show.

“Backed by an analogue synth and a tambourine, the performance is a defiant, brazen, half-cut version of a faded comeback gig, complete with dry-ice, lip syncs and extreme noise.”

Tickets for all shows on www.cft.org.uk or 01243 781312. More details on showroom@chi.ac.uk or www.theshowroomchichester.co.uk.