Tristan Bates Theatre

FIRST 2016 programme launch

17 February 2016

Our FIRST Festival of Solo Performances is back for an explosive fourth year. Check it out and download the brochure here!

FIRST 2016: A Festival of Solo Performances

31 March – 16 April 2016

Browse full programme

Download pdf brochure (1.2mb)

The TBT's acclaimed FIRST Festival of Solo Performances is back! From new writing to physical theatre, cabaret, musicals, verbatim, comedy, poetry, music and mime, the programme packs in over 30 performances across 16 days. The Festival once again features award-winning and acclaimed artists alongside bright new talents, with FIRST 2016 also presenting several headline international shows making their UK and London debuts.

International programme highlights include the UK premiere of New York Drama Desk Best Solo Show Award-nominee GEORGE M. COHAN TONIGHT (31 Mar – 2 Apr), bringing to life the Broadway legend and ‘father of modern musical comedy’; the London premiere of Andy Hinds acclaimed triptych MORNING, AFTERNOON AND EVENING transferring from Belfast’s Lyric Theatre (13-16 Apr); and FIRST favourite and European Festival award-winner Petar Milshovski’s HOPE (7 Apr).

The Festival also champions the huge diversity of solo work from British talents, ranging from deaf comedian Rinkoo Barpaga’s BSL-stand-up AM I FUNNY? (1 & 2 Apr) to Libby Liburd’s extensively researched MUVVAHOOD (11 Apr), a verbatim show about austerity-era single motherhood. Several shows visit FIRST as part of UK tours, including multiple Broadway World Award-winner WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT (4 & 5 Apr), J Fergus Evans’ poetic and musical ROVE (6 & 7 Apr) and Manjeet Mann’s FLYING SOLO (13 & 14 Apr), about running marathons and British Asian identity.

New and experimental works also get first outings, with work-in-progress of David Mercatali’s play EVIL (5 & 12 Apr), first developed at FIRST 2015, and Adelaide Fringe Award-winner Lucy Hopkins’ new show AMBITION (11 Apr). The Festival also features two SCRATCH NIGHTS (4 & 11 April), the return of high-risk solo concept cabaret events BALLS: EVERYTHING YOU ALWAYS WANTED TO DO ON THE STAGE BUT NEVER DARED TRY (9 Apr) alongside SSSHH: SILENT CABARET (10 April).

With tickets from just £5, the Festival also features dozens more world premieres, works-in-progress and visiting shows plus a series of special Actors Centre workshops. All tickets are now on sale and the full programme can be viewed online and in brochures available across London.

TBT Creative Producers Ben Monks & Will Young said: ‘It’s great to welcome FIRST back for a fourth year, having established a vibrant place in the London theatre calendar. We’re particularly thrilled to present several headline international shows making their debuts here, alongside touring productions and premieres of new work that started life in development at previous FIRST Festivals.’

Supported by Arts Council England.