Hijinx Unity Festival brings disability arts and inclusive work to Cardiff next week

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The countdown has begun for Hijinx Theatre’s unique line-up of inclusive and disability artists from Wales, the UK, Europe and beyond who will come to perform at the Hijinx Unity Festival in Cardiff from 23 June – 3 July. Once again, Hijinx Unity Festival will form part of Cardiff Festival, a programme of city-wide events and festivals taking place over the summer months.

Photograph of a crowd gathered around in a plaza watching performers at Hijinx Unity Festival

Hijinx Unity Festival returns to Cardiff at the end of June. Photograph © Malwina Matusiewicz

Hijinx Unity Festival brings a fantastic mixture of the best in international inclusive and disability arts. This year includes: crazy circus, roaming theatre, dancers and musicians, walkabout Shakespeare, spooky late-night cabaret, a tequila infused homage to Frida Kahlo and a two-foot tall mouthy puppet called Fred.

Performers from Sweden, Spain, France, Germany, Ethiopia and the UK will perform at the Festival in Cardiff’s vibrant City Centre, at the city’s award winning pub theatre The Other Room and at the iconic Wales Millennium Centre.

Louise Miles-Crust from Wales Millennium Centre commented:

“We are thrilled to be working with Hijinx on this year’s Hijinx Unity Festival. The line-up of UK and international acts visiting the Centre is once again of excellent quality. I’m particularly excited to see the world premiere of Sweden’s Moomsteatern’s atmospheric adaptation of August Strindberg’s A Dream Play as well as the return of Compañía Danza Mobile, bringing their high octane flamenco back to the Centre.”

The festival is created by Welsh theatre company Hijinx to give a high profile platform to stunning work made by disabled and non-disabled artists working together as equals. Through a programme of performing arts, the festival promotes positive images of disability and social inclusion to audiences and has grown to attract over 10,000 visitors a time since its creation in 2008.

Ben Pettitt-Wade, Hijinx’s Artistic Director said:

“Once again I am extremely proud of the programme we have pulled together; we hope there is something for everyone. I’m especially looking forward to our late night programme from 9pm in the National Dance Company of Wales’ Blue Room, because I know the shows from Caroline Bowditch and our collaboration with Told by an Idiot will be fantastic fun, but also we are having a bar installed in the space so you can enjoy the show with a drink at the end of a long day at the festival.”

Festival Highlights

Highlights of the 2016 line-up include a weekend of free performances on The Hayes, Cardiff City Centre on 2-3 July. Much of The Hayes, from Hills Street to Cardiff Central Library, will be transformed into an eye-catching performance space that will see audiences immersed in dance, theatre, comedy and circus acts each day from 11am through to 6pm.

The weekend will include a walkabout production of Romeo & Juliet by Cardiff based Taking Flight Theatre Company; tyre-based zany circus with France’s Zim Zam; German theatre company Blaumeier-Atelier’s hilarious walkabout with The Chambermaids; The UK’s Kazzum dancing with sofa’s in Sprung and Hijinx’s own pop-up theatre shows, the Pods, to name but a few acts.

Wednesday 29 June offers two chances to see a free performance by world-leading, London based Candoco Dance Company performing a new love duet choreographed by Arlene Phillips CBE.

The festival also offers a ticketed programme of performances at Wales Millennium Centre from 29 June – 2 July, where audiences will be treated to a world premiere of Sweden based Moomsteatern’s adaptation of August Strindberg’s A Dream Play; powerful and fun Flamenco with Seville’s Compañía Danza Mobile; Glasgow based Caroline Bowditch’s award winning Falling in love with Frida, based on the life, love and legacy of painter Frida Kahlo, and Hijinx together with world-renowned Told by an Idiot’s late night daring cabaret, Cabaret of Blood.

Following a successful Spring South Wales tour and prior to appearing at the Edinburgh Festival in August, the festival will open with Meet Fred by Hijinx in association with Blind Summit. “Highly entertaining, moving, and brilliantly produced” (Wales Arts Review), Meet Fred is comedy theatre featuring a two-foot tall cloth puppet, who just wants to be part of the real world. It will be shown at The Other Room Theatre from 23 June to 2 July.

Hijinx Unity Festival is made possible thanks to funding from Welsh Assembly Government and Arts Council of Wales, giving audiences the opportunity to enjoy inclusive and disability arts from a large number of UK and international companies.

For the full programme and more information on the Festival including information on accessibility, see here. Tickets are on sale now and are available from Wales Millennium Centre on 02920 636464 and at wmc.org.uk.