Horizon announces its Edinburgh Fringe line up | news

Horizon – Performance Created in England is back with its second showcase at The Fringe, this year focussing on in-person, tour-ready performance works. Horizon is presenting 10 compelling works from 10 exceptional and diverse artists to an international audience. Often radical and genre-defying, many of these artists are new to The Fringe.

Horizon is a performing arts showcase platforming artists from England at the Edinburgh Festivals. It uses a new approach to build deep and sustainable collaborations, celebrating visionary artists and cultural leaders, with a view to significantly rejuvenate the existing ecology of the performance sectors across the UK.

After a successful online showcase in 2021, this is the first year Horizon artists will perform in person in a variety of traditional and non-traditional venues in Edinburgh. This showcase contributes a globally relevant perspective, encouraging reciprocity and dialogue.

The Horizon consortium partners: Battersea Arts Centre, FABRIC, Fierce, GIFT, MAYK and Transform create a new model of support for artists from all backgrounds and regions in England many of whom are restricted from opportunities to show their work at the Fringe because of cost and access issues. The Fringe presents a direct and distinct opportunity for Horizon artists to promote their work for international touring. This showcase enables strong connections between international festivals, producers and presenters.

The consortium selected the ten artists because of the strength and commitment of their practice, and the desire and potential for their work to reach international audiences.

Aidan Moesby explores civic and personal wellbeing through a body of work that is at once playful, questioning and deeply human. I was Naked, Smelling of Rain is an intimate, moving and connecting experience that explores the relationship between the ‘social’ and ‘emotional’ weather to climate change and wellbeing. Rooted in auto-biography but manoeuvring elegantly beyond introspection – this is a heartfelt, life-affirming story-telling experience that connects its narrator with its audience with care, imagination and humour.

Common Wealth make site-specific theatre events that encompass electronic sound, new writing, visual design and verbatim that is often political and contemporary. Conceived by young women from Common Wealth’s Speakers Corner Collective, Peaceophobia challenges the political, social and cultural narratives surrounding young Muslim men. Set in a car park, Peaceophobia is part theatre show, part car rally, part celebration, addressing the hostility and misunderstanding surrounding Islam. Peaceophobia is co-written by acclaimed playwright Zia Ahmed and Bradford Modified Club, in co-production with Fuel.

Dan Daw is an associate director and works in partnership with Sarah-Vyne Vassallo to commission, develop and produce new work by disabled artists. He was a Horizon Residency artist in 2021. In The Dan Daw Show, Dan is joined in an intimate evening of play by performer Christopher Owen. The Dan Daw Show is a peep into the shiny and sweaty push-pull of living with shame while bursting with pride. It’s about care, intimacy and resilience, letting go and reclaiming yourself.

Eve Stainton is a Manchester-born artist interested in the politics of uncodeable queer presence and its intersections with race and class. Dykegeist is a choreographic work with a live sound world conceived and performed by musician Mica Levi. Dykegeist is interested in unravelling and complicating the archetypal narratives assigned to the lesbian predator creature.

Jaz Woodcock-Stewart is an associate artist at Brixton House and works between original devised work and directing plays. Civilisation is a critically acclaimed collaboration between Jaz Woodcock-Stewart and Morgann Runacre-Temple; an experiment in theatrical realism and contemporary dance, it follows a day in the life of a woman following a tragic event.

Malik Nashad Sharpe is an artist working with choreography. Creating primarily underneath the alias Marikiscrycrycry, they create performances that are formal experiments engaged with the construction of atmosphere and affect. He’s Dead is a dark fantasy choreography exploring the question ‘Was Tupac depressed?’ This conceptual group work uses dance, live action and sound to unearth the dehumanisation of marginalised people and the unspoken surrounding Black experience of mental health.

RashDash is an award-winning, female and feminist led theatre company with eleven years of experience in making radical, political, woman-centred theatre across a range of scales and spaces, inside and out. Look At Me Don’t Look At Me features a piano, a synth, two microphones, a shakey egg and fourteen original songs that takes the audience from Lizzie Siddal ‘being discovered’ by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood to her being exhumed by her husband, Dante Rossetti.

Sonia Hughes was a long time collaborator with Quarantine and is currently an associate artist to Festspillene i Nord Norge (Norway). She wrote Jeremy Deller’s Manchester International Festival 2017 opening event, What is the City, but the People? I Am From Reykjavik is Sonia Hughes’ attempt to be a post-racial, global citizen. Sonia says “It’s simple, I arrive. I claim some space in Edinburgh. I build myself a dwelling. I take it down.” Part protest, part sculpture, part ceremony.

Sung Im Her is a choreographer who explores the essence of movements leading to a minimalist, raw style with strict, geometrical choreographies focusing on controversial topics like migration and discrimination. NUTCRUSHER is starkly repetitive and energetic. The show explores sexual objectification and power and questions how we relate to our bodies, how they are presented and re-presented, and how cultural context affects this.

the vacuum cleaner is an artist and activist who makes candid, provocative and playful work. Drawing on his own experience, he works with groups including young people, health professionals and vulnerable adults to challenge how mental health is understood, treated and experienced. For EXPOSURE, he invited 47 Newham health workers into his artist studio and filmed conversations about their experiences of the Covid 19 pandemic. Through film, sound and installation this work focuses on the complexity of each health professional’s experiences and the challenges they faced.

Amy Letman, Creative Director of Transform on behalf of Horizon said: “Horizon is bringing together extraordinary artists and companies with an appetite to interrogate the world today and connect globally, as part of a showcase that prioritises reciprocity, connection and collaboration. It is more vital than ever before that England’s performing arts sector reaches out and connects internationally. Professionals from across the world will be invited to convene in Edinburgh to engage with an exceptional and inclusive programme and to experience a different kind of showcase, that places equity, sustainability and care at the forefront.”

Supported by a community of artists and associates, all performance-makers in the showcase will work collaboratively, be encouraged and connected with international artists and partners in order to exchange ideas. 

Neil Darlison, Director of Theatre, Arts Council England said: “England is home to a range of high-quality, innovative artists eager to share work beyond our borders. We commissioned Horizon through our National Lottery Project Grants programme, and now welcome the second year of this pioneering and ambitious event — in Edinburgh for the first time. By connecting a diverse range of artists with national and international industry professionals, this showcase aims to build long-term, sustainable collaborations that place relevant performers at the centre of an international stage – helping the Arts Council realise its ambitious ten-year strategy Let’s Create.”

Tarek Iskander, Artistic Director of Battersea Arts Centre, said: “We’ve all missed the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and connecting with our international colleagues. It’s a unique opportunity to bring artists and international presenters together to build long-lasting collaborations with access, representation and environmental sustainability at their core. The Horizon team are thrilled to be bringing these great works, performed in person, to the festival this year. What this project brings to England-based artists for the first time is a level playing field, where (thanks to Arts Council England’s generous support) everyone is properly remunerated and supported. The diverse and talented artists we are presenting will explode any pre-conceived ideas about what performance created in England is like.”

Commissioned by Arts Council England, the Horizon showcase is being delivered by a consortium made up of Battersea Arts Centre, FABRIC, Fierce, GIFT, MAYK andTransform.

The consortium partners are working with a number of associate organisations who bring different specialisms and expertise. The Horizon Associates for 2022-3 are Chinese Arts NowTara TheatreThe Cocoa Butter Cluband Unlimited. Horizon has also recruited Artist Leads, these are established independent artists who work internationally to help shape the project and support the presenting artists. The Artist Leads for 2022-3 are Lucy SuggateNatasha Davis and Seeta Patel.  

Horizon Showcase runs from 22 to 28 August at Edinburgh Festival Fringe. For more info visit horizonshowcase.uk