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Without Walls shows 2022

Once again Hat Fair audiences will be entertained by acts supported by Without Walls – a network of festivals that work with artists to bring Outdoor Arts to UK town and cities. Hat Fair is a partner festival and co-commissions productions that go on to tour nationally and internationally.

This year the Without Walls acts at Hat Fair include:

Award-winning theatre maestro Christopher Green with FeelPlay – a grown-up playground and free 30-minute audio. Christopher makes shows that encourage people to join in, have fun and question the world around them and FeelPlay, which is a satire on the wellness industry, is designed to make you ponder the mental-health services available, while delivering a genuinely feel-good experience.

Hat Fair veterans, Daryl Beeton and Mimbre return with Look Mum, No Hands! – a tender story about two friends who push the boundaries of what is possible, which takes creative advantage of one character being in a wheelchair, creating striking physical imagery. Daryl Beeton Productions is a disabled-led company creating accessible theatre; Mimbre a female-led company, which combines circus and dance to illustrate human connections and promote positive images of women.

Joseph Toonga brings to Hat Fair, Born to Protest – dismantling presumptions about the black male and female figure based on intimidation, danger and isolation and revealing fragility and vulnerability. The cast will perform to a soundscape of hip-hop beats and voice over, creating an intense energy. This is Joseph’s first outdoor piece for his company Just Us Dance Theatre and one third of a hip-hop dance theatre trilogy highlighting black excellence and challenging racial stigma.

Matthew Harrison’s Community Chest is an escape room with a difference, with treasure seeking, puzzle solving and the only way out is for the four teams, locked in separate rooms, to work together! Community Chest is Matthew’s second piece commissioned by Without Walls after his hugely popular The Actual Reality Arcade – a life sized interactive game zone that came to Hat Fair in 2017. The chest has audio description, making it accessible for visually impaired people.

The award-winning Middle Child will present a brand-new musical, There Should be Unicorns about 11-year-old Jasmine who – armed only with a belief in unicorns – takes on bullies, villains and ideas that shape the world, all before tea. Combining hip-hop, dance and theatre, the show is inspired by cast member, Steve Arnott whose Beats Bus project, which allows young people to get involved in break-dancing, MC’ing and DJ’ing, co-wrote the lyrics.

Final Farewell by Tara Theatre is a self-guided audio walk featuring four poignant stories based on real people’s memories and accounts of their loved ones lost during the pandemic. Follow a route through Winchester while listening before gathering with others at the tree installation to reflect on your own memories of loved ones and commemorate their lives. The stories have been crafted by writer, Sudha Bhuchar. Visit the show’s page on our website for instructions on how to take part.

Lives of Clay by The Clay Connection in association with Supple Productions is, in short, classical Indian dance, live ceramics, original music and half a ton of clay! Stories of women from ancient myth and modern life are brought to life through dance. Internationally renowned Bharata Natyam dancer, Vidya Thirunarayan – also a prominent ceramist – dances with clay and throws pots to tell stories full of drama and emotion. This is a vivid theatrical experience.

Finally, Theatre Temoin will present FLOOD – a new outdoor interactive performance with circus, music and acrobatics exploring how our coastline and communities have become ‘seasick’. The company has been working with volunteers, including a school group, to help them design a soundscape, which will accompany the show. During each performance, audience members are given a ‘sound umbrella’ to hold, which project the sounds made, helping to tell the story.