Eastleigh Unwrapped Festival returns to transform town centre
In 2016, #EastleighUnwrapped was a trending topic nationwide and saw over 31,000 people visit Eastleigh on the day according to figures from the Eastleigh Business Improvement District, resulting in a welcome boost to the local economy.
New for this year, the free day of fun for the whole community now forms part of the venue’s Summer Social programme, two whole weeks of performances and activities which throw open the doors and take The Point’s work outside.
What hasn’t changed is the festival’s commitment to bringing some of the UK’s most exciting and innovative artists and companies to Eastleigh, and this year is no exception, featuring a lineup with something for all the family to enjoy.
After things kick off with a bang, literally, from the Batala Portsmouth Samba drummers, this year’s programme features:
- Motionhouse – The world class dance-circus company bring their physically powerful and extraordinary work Captive to the festival, featuring four dancers using incredible skill and instinct to manoeuvre inside a large, metal cage. You will be left on the edge of your seat.
- Paper Birds – Set inside a magical caravan where kettles talk, cupboards open to reveal pop-up worlds and the whole space transforms around the audience, Mobile turns an ordinary-looking vehicle into an extraordinary and deeply moving experience.
- Team Extreme – Watch in awe at the daring tricks performed on BMXs, skateboards and scooters by Team Extreme and there may even be a chance to have a go yourself…
- Lori Hopkins – A one-woman puppet show for the whole family, The Explorer crash lands onto an unusual island, but will she ever get back home?
- Talking Birds – Up to seven people at a time can enter The Oakmobile, a magical micro-theatre in the shape of a gleaming, aluminium acorn which hides a peaceful forest glade inside its walls, complete with the sights, smells and sounds of nature.
- Kazzum – Rapper Arji Manuelpillai is The Merry Maker – bringing joy on his three-wheeled trike as he freestyles with unsuspecting members of the public, spitting bars based on their surroundings, the people they’re with or the food they’re eating.
- Raquel Meseguer & Rebecca Tantony – Starting outside The Point, All the Journeys I Never Took takes just one or two audience members at a time on an audio journey to a car parked on the high street, where this highly immersive, spoken word show begins.
- Pif Paf – Returning to Unwrapped with this brand new show, Seed tells the story of Wilford, a tree-planting anarchist on the run from his arch-enemies, the robot slug police.
- Circo Rum Ba Ba – Two eccentric mustachioed waiters arrive in style on their Bicycle Bistro, lay the table and unleash mayhem with hat juggling, plate spinning and acrobatics. You may even get a cup of tea…
- Glasshouse – The classic boy-meets-girl tale is given a shake-up in Us, which bridges the gap between contemporary dance and street theatre.
- Ceyda Tanc Dance – The Point’s associate artist will be performing an integrated piece featuring professional dancers alongside members of Hampshire Youth Dance and The Point’s Retrospectif companies.
Just like last year, Eastleigh Unwrapped will also feature a ticketed evening performance, as festival regulars Acrojou present Vessel, an athletic fusion of acrobatics and physical theatre performed inside a tiny, wooden boat with the stunning effect of video projected onto water. The performance will take place on The Point’s Dancing Garden stage as the light dims, and tickets will cost £5 or two for £8.
Running from 12pm until 5pm, the festival will also feature live music, the chance to learn circus skills with Top Banana, street magic from The Point’s associate artist Theatre Re and don’t forget to pop into The Sorting Office for their seasonal Open Studios event, where you can browse the work of 16 talented designer-makers based at the former Post Office site.
Visit Eastleigh Unwrapped for more information.