This year’s Warwick Student Arts Festival is shaping up to be the most varied and vibrant yet. The four day event, which will be held from the 25th–28th June (Friday week nine to Monday week ten) will see student performances taking place in a range of venues on central campus, from the Arts Centre Studio, to two tents and a fully kitted out stage on Tocil Field.
WSAF takes up the lion’s share of the Union’s new Six Days of Summer programme and provides an opportunity to wind down after the Graduation Ball on Thursday night (hello hangover!) and gear up for the Summer Party on Tuesday, which features headliners including Bombay Bicycle Club, Chicane and The Courteeners. The Boar has had a sneaky peak at the WSAF programme and is delighted to find it jam-packed with everything from a piñata-making workshop (olé!) to a production of Harold Pinter’s The Lovely.
Other highlights include a poledancing showcase, a photography exhibition entitled ‘Fragility’, the much loved MTW revue and a Top B warm up in the Piazza featuring student DJs from Smack nights EVE and Dog and Pony. Kat Hardy, Head of Events, spoke to the Boar about what’s in store. She said: “It’s been brilliant to get so many cool submissions for the festival this year. It shows just how much good stuff there is out there that we don’t always get to see. This is the perfect opportunity to give it the attention it deserves. There is a really good mix of new stuff, like the workshops and the community events and old favourites like the finale concert. It’s going to be an amazing four days, I can’t wait.”
The ‘community events’ Hardy mentions are part of a new initiative seeking to integrate Warwick Students with the residents of Coventry and Warwickshire. Funday Sunday, on the 27th June, is a family orientated day of programmes and performances with two notable innovations; the ‘Raise Your Voice’ choir contest for local schools and youth groups, and the ‘WSAF Young Artist’ Award Ceremony, honouring entrants to a 2D Art, Creative Writing and Photography competition which has been developed in conjunction with the Mead Gallery’s exhibition ‘Journey’s into the Disregarded’.
Aside from all the artistic action, the site itself sounds as though it’s going to be a real treat – we hear whispers of sofas, a bathtub, hay bales and more bunting than you can shake a stick at. It all sounds as though it couldn’t be further from those long days and nights spent on the fifth floor of the library. Coordinators Ben Canning and Natasha Lewis-Smith, both English and Theatre finalists, recently told us what they were most looking forward to about the upcoming festival.
Ben said: “We’re going for something really different this year. We want the festival to be fun and open with a great buzz. I’m looking forward to seeing the site come together and also to the Top B warm up, I’ll definitely be having a drink and a dance at that point! I’d say one of the best things about WSAF this year is that it’s right in the middle of some huge events like the Graduation Ball, Sports Ball and Summer Party. It’s nice to see stuff that is entirely student run alongside bigger Union events.”
Natasha said: “I’m really excited about seeing a lot of the student theatre at the festival. There is a good range of year and subject groups being represented on the production teams, and a nice variety in terms of the performances themselves – everything from Woyzeck to Oh, What A Lovely War! There are also some really good student written bits on the programme, like Cardboard Metropolis which is always encouraging. Aside from theatre, I’m also really excited about stuff like the Tree of Lost and Found – look out for it, it sounds really cool’. As a part of the design team, I can guarantee an array of exciting and unique details that will give the festival a unique flair, such as shards of mirror hanging from the trees and baths full of jelly.
The festival website, designed by Seb Dangerfield, captures WSAF’s fun and playful spirit (did you spot the reference to the ash cloud?) and has more information about ways to get involved. Check it out at www.wsaf.co.uk or email firstname.lastname@example.org.