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  • Whats On

    Calm Down Dear 2022

    Image: Rosie Collins

    Sophie Ellis-Bextor, DIY sperm banks, pole dancing comedians and personal experiences of vaginisimus will all feature in this year’s feminist festival at Camden People’s Theatre. The festival is being curated for the first time by genre-bending female-led performance company Figs In Wigs, who performed at the festival’s first outing back in 2013. This year’s programme spans intimate bathroom-based theatre to the vastness of space, from the past of 500 years of violence against women to a future where all men have become extinct.

    Now in its ninth year, Calm Down, Dear is one of Camden People Theatre’s flagship festivals, showcasing some of the most exciting and innovative work exploring all forms of feminism. Highlights include Curfew, commissioned by CPT, which explores the sad, frightening, funny, and hopeful verbatim experiences of women and non binary people in public spaces at night. Meanwhile, Mummy Vs uncovers the guilt & parenting tropes in modern Britain told through the personal experiences of one unlikely parent. Returning to Calm Down, Dear in film form after being shared at the 2019 festival, Your Pink mixes classical references from Greek mythology and fairytales with the modern world of Instagram, pop music & #MeToo.

    CPT’s acclaimed feminism festival first launched in 2013 with shows including Bridget Christie’s award-winning standup set A Bic for Her and Louise Orwin’s electrifying solo show Pretty Ugly. Revived each year by popular demand, it has since featured electrifying work by Racheal Ofori, Hanna Silva, Charlie Josephine, Ira Brand, Rosana Cade, Milk Presents and more, alongside much-discussed performances including Fuel Theatre’s Phenomenal People and Vanessa Kisuule’s SEXY.

    A drag king dressed in a white boiler suit with a black mullet. They are holding a Lego model of the Apollo 11 rocket. There is a starfield in the background. The text says Max Velocity Takes Space.
    Carla Keen presents

    Max Velocity Takes Up Space

    Tue 24 May at 7.15pm
    Max Velocity is a one-man interactive, intergalactic planetary comedy experience. It may include the following: mullet-based humour, non-mullet-based music, and Max’s unconventional approach to astronaut training.
    Four figures lie on the floor. One is in a yellow star costume. One is dressed in brown with a paper tail. The third has a round, white head-piece on. The last is covered by a box with a blue sign that reads
    CLUNK presents

    @theDISCO

    Tue 24 May at 9pm
    A full moon disco with homemade costumes, ridiculous dances, a loop pedal, flash photography, a surprisingly life-like seagull impression and a big fat middle finger to the patriarchy.
    A red 80s style telephone is placed against a pink silky material backdrop. A white woman's hand with gold nail vanish, has her hand placed on top of the phone, as if she is stroking it.
    Jenny Gaskell presents

    Hopelessly Devoted

    Tue 24 May - Sat 11 Jun
    Inspired by the time Jenny developed a hot and heavy crush on her universal credit consultant, Hopelessly Devoted is a quest to find connection against a backdrop of suspicion, isolation and a pervasive culture of rape.
    A pregnant woman lies nude, head hovering over a box of doughnuts.
    Hannah Ballou presents

    goo:ga

    Tue 24 May - Sat 11 June on demand
    Raunchy feminist comedy from a very pregnant Hannah Ballou, who finds out her baby has much bigger problems than the binary gender paradigm.
    WORK IN PROGRESS
    Black background with painting of a renaissance woman. She has cucumber over her eyes and bleach above her lip.
    tasteinyourmouth presents

    You're Needy (sounds frustrating)

    Tue 24 - Thu 26 May at 2pm, 4pm, 6.30pm & 8.30pm
    The bird's eye view of a broken plate with the word Patriarchy written on it in bold black ink. The background of the image is a deep blue.
    Five handsome but frightened-looking Drag Kings of various different heights, hair colours and skin tones. All their faces are made up using a range of different painted/stuck-on facial hair styles, and masculine contouring. They’re grouped together, stan

    MANdemonium

    Thu 26 May at 7.15pm
    Join The Family Jewels for a disarmingly sexy exploration of gendered power. A drag cabaret set in 3020, MANdemonium charts the heady glory days and spectacular decline of planet Earth’s men.
    Head and shoulders of a white woman dressed all in pink against a pink wall. She is holding up a glass with pink liquid in front of her face so that it is only visible distorted, through the reflection in the glass's domed sides.

    Drink Your Pink: Film Screening

    Thu 26 May at 9pm
    Trapped in a tower in a world of pink, a YouTuber princess does everything she is told: drinks pink, sleeps, wakes up, hair, make-up, makes content, repeats. Until…
    The title GUSH is written on a pink glittery background. There is a pink phallic shaped drop of water next to words such as 'hairy muff'.
    Abby Russell presents

    GUSH

    Fri 27 May at 7.15pm
    The FRONTBUMS dance-collective showcase their latest, most-good, pussy-busting movements! 93% of the population have vaginas and only 6% can dance (1% other). The FRONTBUMS are here to mix things up! Conceptual.
    Two white women wearing sequin jackets are in front of red velvet curtains. One is pulling a funny face, the other is smiling.
    Ruby Portus presents

    Shall we just retire to the lake?

    Fri 27 May at 9pm
    For vous tonight, and only pour you! Two women… One stage… Sparkling dirty sh*t… And why would we care?! Welcome to the cabaret fantastique des deux women…
    WORK IN PROGRESS
    Heather, a white woman with a punk hairstyle and disgruntled face, holds one arm up displaying her muscles, the other holds a blue toy monster who she is breastfeeding. The image is black and white with a green banner above which reads 'Mummy Vs' - like a

    Mummy Vs.

    Sat 28 May - Sun 29 May at 7.15pm
    Who would win in a battle between Instagram and the NHS? Can a working Mum fight off the patriarchy armed only with wine and self belief?

    It Will All End in Tears: Writing Rage with Sticky Fingers Publishing

    Sat 28 May at 3pm
    Discussing texts such as Audre Lorde’s the Uses of Anger, Pilot Press’s A Queer Anthology of Rage, and Johanna Hedva’s Sick Woman Theory, we will think and write through what pisses us off.
    The images shows Lydia stood in a grotty toilet. She is a white woman with curly blonde hair. She is leaning over pulling up her tights and pulling a dead expression to the camera.

    WIP It Real Good #1

    Mon 30 May at 7.15pm
    WIP It Real Good is a jam packed night of work-in-progress performances. From theatre to cabaret, comedy to live art, we have handpicked some of the most interesting artists on the block creating new work that has never yet been seen. Join us for an evening of freshly half-baked delicacies. The outer shells may well be crisp but the interior is definitely still squidgy. Come ready to witness the unfinished.
    Text at the top of the poster is in handwritten pink bubble writing and reads Matilda Wilde in association with Splendid Productions Presents 'I Love You, But F*ck Off'. Mother and Daughter wrestle, metaphorically and literally, with each other.  Undernea

    I Love You, But F*ck Off

    Tue 31 May at 9pm
    Mum and daughter duo attempt to untangle themselves from one another and retrace the events that defined them without ending up in a close spoon or physical fight.
    A woman in clown makeup laughing.
    Elise Gilbert presents

    Bad Jokes about Men

    Tue 31 May - Wed 1 Jun at 7.15pm
    Bad jokes, dad jokes, tragically sad jokes…so why is everyone laughing? In this beautifully chaotic production, Elise journals her way into the realisation that it was not ‘just a joke.’
    Close up of drag queen behind binary code
    Maude presents

    I Don't Know Why I'm Crying

    Wed 1 Jun - Thu 2 Jun at 9pm
    Two absurdist historians follow Ate Bush, a lost drag queen lip syncing through the pandemic-stricken city in a camp satire combining film, sci-fi, and a killer Kate Bush catalogue.
     A grainy, movie style picture of a bench in an outdoor train station at night, with the legs and feet of 2 light skinned humans and 1 dark skinned human as the focus. They are sat next to each-other on the bench, and all have their legs crossed. The dark
    Calico presents

    Curfew

    Thu 2 Jun at 7.15pm
    Curfew is a multi-disciplinary performance piece blending dance, theatre, drag and film, to explore the sad, frightening, funny, and hopeful verbatim experiences of women and non-binary people in public spaces at night.
    This picture depicts two women in medieval monk robes and high vis sunglasses looking at the camera, one is kneeling in the lower part of the frame and the other is behind with her body coming out to the right. They are both holding black crosses. An inte
    Secretariat presents

    HEXENHAMMER

    Fri 3 Jun - Sat 4 Jun at 7.15pm
    1487, Germany. Heinrich and Jacob are monks, bestselling authors and witch-hunters. They're also incels and sometimes they're Jordan B Peterson. HEXENHAMMER. An evil and medieval double-act about monks, misogyny and the manosphere.
    WORK IN PROGRESS
    Black and white photo of performer wearing crown of thorns, holding a pocket bible. Everything overlayed with raindrops.
    Chloe Borthwick presents

    Christ Alive!

    Fri 3 Jun at 9pm
    An unforgettable encounter with the son of God. Neither he nor we know why he is here. What miracles will be bestowed upon this audience? Crazy holy good.
    A white cis-gender woman wearing a bright yellow jacket and black killer heeled boots hangs joyfully from a pole with a stand-up microphone in her hand
    Siân Docksey present

    Siân Docksey: Work-In-Polegress

    Sat 4 Jun at 9pm
    Can pole dancing be funny? Mostly for tax reasons, BBC New Comedy Award nominee Siân Docksey tries to find out.
    A tropical rainforest filled with greenery, with a bright red title in the middle that reads 'SAFARI' and some yellow shading.

    WIP It Real Good #2

    Mon Jun 6 at 7.15pm
    WIP It Real Good is a jam packed night of work-in-progress performances. From theatre to cabaret, comedy to live art, we have handpicked some of the most interesting artists on the block creating new work that has never yet been seen. Join us for an evening of freshly half-baked delicacies. The outer shells may well be crisp but the interior is definitely still squidgy. Come ready to witness the unfinished.
    Two legs with white skin (one with bread dough slowly rising on it), wearing purple sneakers athletic socks,  recline on the floor near us, while in the distance Julia Pond, a white woman with short curly dark hair and fringe, looks over her shoulder hold
    Louise Ashcroft presents

    Bird Hut Sperm Bank

    Tue 7 Jun at 7.15pm
    Louise Ashcroft builds a DIY sperm bank outside her home, using an old bird hut, to reflect on who gets to have kids, who doesn't, and how to reinvent family.
    Paula David presents

    Blood, Sweat and Vaginas

    Tue 7 Jun at 9pm
    Carolann’s awakening is sudden and all consuming. She stumbles out of her super woman bubble to discover her sexuality is fluid, soul music is the language of her soul and menopause has definitely arrived.

    Cheer Up Love (it might never happen) #2

    Wed 8 Jun at 7.15pm
    Cheer Up Love (it might never happen) is an evening of live art and dance about identity, gender, sexuality, rage and revolution. A mini festival within the festival, see a variety of boundary pushing works in one evening. Messy, chaotic and visceral, these avant garde artists are reimagining the way we look at performance. Expect the unexpected.
    The image shows a white woman in her early 20s. She has brown hair and blue eyes. She is wearing a white dress and staring at the camera looking lost and confused. The background of the image is purple and has multicoloured illustrations of dildos printed
    Holly Spillar presents

    HOLE

    Thu 9 Jun at 9pm
    “Hi, I’m HOLE and I’m IMPENETRABLE!” Join HOLE in Holly Spillar’s surreal, musical comedy about vaginismus, NHS gifted dildos and what it means to be whole.
    A brightly coloured cartoon drawing of a female face, with blonde hair, a face coloured with pink, green, yellow and blue. with the title 'past life' on the right hand side in different fonts and colours, pinks, blues, oranges and green. With Camden Peopl

    PAST LIFE

    Thu 9 Jun at 7pm
    Past Life uses multi-sensory storytelling to provoke a dynamic and hard-hitting play which has you laughing and crying and questioning the world we live in. Past Life is a one person show that questions the normalisation of sexual assault in relationships, using soundscapes, projectors, creative captioning and audio descriptive language to create a new and vibrant way of making accessible theatre.
    Two (old) women in headscarves gossip on a bench.

    Heartburn

    Fri 10 - Sat 11 Jun at 7.15pm
    Two women talk about childbirth, sing about violence and dance about menopause. Everywhere they look things are still not equal and maybe they never will be.
    A woman wearing a bright blue jumper is taped to a white wall with bright red tapes. She is speaking into a microphone with an expression between surprise, pain and amusement. We distinguish some words projected on the back wall aking to a museum artwork
    Clout Theatre presents

    A Museum for Dead Instincts

    Fri 10 - Sat 11 Jun at 9pm
    A horny one-woman show about hormones, myths around women’s sexuality and gender biases in scientific research. This work-in-progress dives into the nitty-gritty of such themes as sexual tension & power dynamics.