It’s nearly upon us… This weekend, prepare your senses – they are about to be ambushed. Since announcing the their new festival Night Watch, curators Daniel Pitt and Phoebe Monk have been drip-feeding us tantalizing information over at Junction HQ, and here at Slate we’ve been content to let the press campaign take it’s course. As the witching hour approaches, we thought perhaps it’s time for a little summary, yes? Yes.
So from the top: remember festivals? Grass, tents, all that stuff? Forget them. Now is the winter of their discontent, for there’s a new game in town and it’s happening right on our doorstep. Night Watch is an all-new festival of live art, music, performance and more besides (there’s even football). It’s running non-stop for 24 hours, and it’s looking bloody marvelous. Dip in and out, stay up all night, or just stay as long as you like. All your cultural needs will be catered for under one roof, and you will be fed, watered
and bathed too should you wish. Okay, bathed is a lie – but if you wish, there will be places to rest your head.
Each show is compèred by GETINTHEBACKOFTHEVAN, London- and Essex-based performers whose innovative ideas break convention at every turn. After many of the festivities are over, breakfast will be served at 8am by Lemonade and Laughing Gas (pictured). The duo curate immersive experiences designed to make your senses pop, and this time round they’ll be serving an ode to Sunday mornings, kids TV and nostalgia. Perfect. Breakfast is included as part of the admission cost.
The full line-up has been published over at the aforementioned HQ, but for those who don’t know where to start, what follows is the briefest of previous of what’s in store:
At 2pm – Figs in Wigs present: We, Object
We, Object is an absurdist amalgamation of visual puns, wordplay and amateur dancing that deals with objects, objectification and objection. It begins with a slide show and ends with a dance routine, while the middle is a somewhat embarrassing interlude involving tiny props – though it seems unclear what is meant by that. It’s probably for the best if we leave it up to your imagination… Figs in Wigs are five women placing themselves in the spotlight, using comedy to highlight what objectification means (and perhaps what it doesn’t).
At 9.30pm – Christopher Brett Bailey presents: This is How We Die
One for the poets, prophets and philosophers among you, Made in China collaborator Christopher Brett Bailey presents a sprawling odyssey of nightmarish prose laced with black humour. At points savage, surreal and hypnotically compelling, This is How We Die blends spoken word and storytelling into a dizzying, Burroughs-worthy meditation upon a world aware of its finite existence. According to the press release, it is a blood-soaked love letter to the depraved, depressed and the death-obsessed… We’re sure it’s not that frightening. In fact it sounds rather good.
At 11pm – Football!
So apparently something called the World Cup is on..? News to me. But if you’re both a fan of durational, experimental performance art AND watching men kick a ball around a big field, this is your chance not to miss the action. What you get here that you won’t at home is live commentators in the building – Richard Dedomenici and Kim Noble (pictured) will be narrating the match for the duration. If you’re like me and feel a bit like this, then playing simultaneously will be Mouth, a 3-piece alt-rock group playing crowd-sourced, randomly sequenced composition decided by you, the audience.
At 2am – Ann Live Young presents: Us
Ann Live Young, who possibly has the most gloriously lo-fi website you could imagine, performs Us, a provocative new show mining folk traditions of the ’60s and ’70s while paying home to shows like Sonny & Cher, Hee Haw and The Flip Wilson Show. Young takes the saccharine sweet, family friendly tone of such entertainment and runs with it, exploiting the medium for all it’s worth and saturating the audience with an overkill of nice, campy ‘folk’ tunes and forced banter.
Literally, this is only the briefest preview of the sheer variety on offer across Night Watch. There will also be music presented by SHINDIG – you can see previews for the acts performing here and here.
It’s looking to be possibly one of the most original, intense and diverse events that Cambridge has seen in some time. Don’t miss out – make your way down to The Junction on Saturday 14th / Sunday 15th and catch as much culture as you can. It’s going to be phenomenal.
For full details and to buy tickets, click here for more info.