The Benchmark Theatre Company based at YMCA Surbiton will be performing at two major arts festivals in Kingston upon Thames this summer.
First up is the Festival of Stories at the Kingston Rose Theatre, where Benchmark will be hosting a discussion about the importance of verbatim theatre on Saturday 27 June, 7.30pm.
Sharing some of their work about homelessness and other issues close to their hearts, the company will celebrate the importance of giving people a platform for their stories to be heard.
The event is free, however you need to pre-book your ticket.
Also at the International Youth Arts Festival
The Benchmark Theatre Company will return to the Rose Theatre in July, bringing their verbatim theatre to the International Youth Arts Festival on Thursday 9 July at 6pm.
Here they will perform in full their latest play “Try it for a Weekend”, a verbatim play which shares true accounts of people who have experienced homelessness. This is an insightful, difficult and outspoken piece, aimed at challenging and inviting its audience to discuss the issues it brings to life.
The play will be followed by a workshop about verbatim theatre, hosted by members of the company. Tickets are £8 (£5 concessions), plus a £1.60 transaction fee.
Clare Fry, Support Worker at YMCA LSW and a founding member of the Benchmark Theatre Company, said:
“All the members of Benchmark are thrilled to be performing at both the Festival of Stories and the International Youth Arts Festival this year. These are both fantastic festivals that celebrate the arts and it is a real honour to be included. I hope everyone takes a look at the programmes for both festivals as they really shouldn’t be missed!”
New play with Refugee Action Kingston
In the run up to summer, Benchmark Theatre Company has also been working on a new play which they have written in partnership with volunteers at Kingston Refugee Action.
The partnership between Southborough High School and YMCA LSW dates back to December 2013, when the YMCA organised a PSHE day at the school, discussing topics such as homelessness with the students. In 2014, Benchmark and Year 10 drama students from the school collaborated on the play #yblost which premiered at YMCA Surbiton.