Leading new writing festival Hotbed returns to Cambridge Junction

Presented by Fly No Filter, Valoris and the Expansions forms part of the Hotbed Festival at Cambridge Junction.

Presented by Fly No Filter, Valoris and the Expansions forms part of the Hotbed Festival at Cambridge Junction. - Credit: Supplied by Cambridge Junction

An annual theatre festival showcasing the best new writing returns this weekend.

The 20th Hotbed Festival will take place at Cambridge Junction from Friday, July 15 to Sunday, July 17.

Produced by Menagerie Theatre Company in association with Cambridge Junction, it's a festival with authentic storytelling and community at its core.

Hotbed Theatre Festival 2022

Hotbed Theatre Festival 2022 - Credit: Supplied by Cambridge Junction

Over the weekend, the festival will take over the Junction with a combination of works in progress, family shows, verbatim theatre, and career development workshops, featuring exciting new talent from across the UK.

Tickets to all events are available on a 'Pay What You Want' basis.

At the centre of this year's festival is a verbatim piece from Ukraine, created by Bohdan Tokarskyi and Maria Montague.

The Summer Before Everything is a play created from the words of Ukrainians, taking the audience inside the tumultuous 2014 revolution and war.

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The testimonies of three Ukrainians on the ground are extraordinary stories of flight, fight and survival, sounding an unheeded warning of the invasion to come.

All proceeds from ticket sales will go towards supporting humanitarian charities in war-torn Ukraine.

Part of Hotbed Festival, Splinter is about love and memory and what happens when you start to lose both.   

Part of Hotbed Festival, Splinter is about love and memory and what happens when you start to lose both. - Credit: Supplied by Cambridge Junction

As always, the festival provides a platform for never-before-seen pieces and includes a variety of works in progress, including a new play from Menagerie associate Fraser Grace and a script-in-hand reading of Splinter, the latest work from Menagerie Young Writers’ Workshop graduate Martha Loader.

Hotbed features shows from a slew of guest companies in a varied line-up, with a particular emphasis on plays with music.

Time Travelling with the Jazz Queens can be seen at Cambridge Junction on Sunday, July 17 as part of the Hotbed Festival.

Written and performed by Helen McDonald, Time Travelling with the Jazz Queens can be seen at Cambridge Junction on Sunday, July 17 as part of the Hotbed Festival. - Credit: Supplied by Cambridge Junction

Time Travelling with the Jazz Queens is a show taking children and their families on a musical odyssey to meet the greatest jazz divas of the 20th century.

Part of Hotbed Festival, Joshua (and Me) can be seen at Cambridge Junction

Part of Hotbed Festival, Joshua (and Me), written and performed by Rachel Hammond, can be seen at Cambridge Junction - Credit: Supplied by Cambridge Junction

Rachel Hammond’s Joshua (and Me) will use sound to shine a light on the experience of growing up with an autistic sibling.

This is previewing at Hotbed before heading to the Edinburgh Fringe in August.

Hannah Maxwell presents Barbara, a work-in-progress performance.

Hannah Maxwell presents Barbara, a work-in-progress performance. - Credit: Christa Holka

Festival favourite Hannah Maxwell will be exploring her infatuation with France’s 2021 Eurovision song contest entrant in Barbara, while Deirdre Kinahan’s new drama Bloody Yesterday arrives for its UK premiere after receiving rave reviews in Ireland.

The festival also seeks to widen participation in the arts, and features a performance from Castle School, as well as workshops for aspiring writers, directors, producers and theatremakers.

Visit www.junction.co.uk/hotbed-theatre-festival for more on the festival and to book tickets.

For more on award-winning theatre company Menagerie, visit www.menagerie.uk.com

What is the truth but a lie agreed upon, written and performed by Chris Dobrowolski, will feature in the Hotbed Festival

'What is the truth but a lie agreed upon', written and performed by Chris Dobrowolski, will feature in the Hotbed Festival at Cambridge Junction. - Credit: Chris Dobrolowski