Line Up announced for the first-ever international FUSE festival

A host of talented artists from the UK and around the world will gather in Kingston this summer for the first ever FUSE International Festival. The festival replaces the International Youth Arts Festival (IYAF) which has taken place every summer since 2009. More than 50 events across film, music, theatre, visual arts and more will take place during the ten days of the new festival which is organized and presented by the charity Creative Youth.

The program includes both productions from young emerging companies and a family work program . This year, the family program will be headlined by Circus Abyssinia’s Tulu (July 7-8) which tells the story of Ethiopian Olympic legend Derartu Tulu through dazzling displays of speed and flight. The family program also includes Cirque du Chennai (July 3), Jellyfish Theater’s The Wagon of Dreams (July 9) and Above Bounds Theater’s The Silly Squirrel (July 10).

A number of events will be presented by international companies or have international participants. These range from sideline theater performances in Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands to a Choir Fest (July 1) where young people from Kenya will digitally join participants performing live in London and contributing projected by a children’s choir in Ukraine. Other musical events will be held at Kingston Marketplace and on The Seven Saxons, a 60ft wide beam narrowboat, located on the River Thames.

The program will also see performances at venues such as The Lamb pub, Woody’s Bar & Kitchen and The Fighting Cocks. This includes a celebration of Bowie and Bowie Ball, marking the 50th anniversary of david bowie launching Ziggy Stardust in the borough in 1972.

The extensive Fringe program includes 28 shows spanning theatre, comedy, dance, spoken word, cabaret and film, all performed by performers under the age of 27. Program highlights include Orange Sky Theater’s Wild Onion (July 2), Chewboy Productions’ Tethered (Winner of Offie and London Pub Theater Award, July 2), The Bobolyne Poets’ Shenanigan’s Wake (July 8 ) and Dillon Dance Presents (July 5), Christian Dart: Bigger than the Christmas Turkey (July 6-7), Jamie Mykaela: DADDY (July 2-3) and Broccan Tyzack-Carlin: Turtle (July 3-4). The best theatre, comedy, digital and children’s shows presented by people under 27 at the Brighton Fringe, selected by young people from Creative Youth, will be brought together in four special events as part of a partnership with Brighton Fringe .

Young artists supported by Creative Youth through their Creative Talent program will be featured throughout the festival. In Max Percy and Friends’ Fringe show This Is Not A Show About Hong Kong (July 7), looks at censorship in Hong Kong. On the program of the exhibition, Eshé Photo presents LABELS: Black Mental Health and Me (July 2-10) and online, Hannah Raymond-Cox presents the installation/digital game This Is Not My Beautiful House (July 2-10) . As part of FUSE Film (July 4), Jordy Deelight will screen Team Spirit on the theme of LGBTQIA participation in football. Additionally, all artists from the Creative Talent Program will be reunited for a special showcase on July 1 at the Rose Theater.

The festival will be accompanied by a series of talks and hands-on skills-based workshops for young artists, taking place online and in person, called So You Wanna Change the Arts.

Speaking about the program, the director of the festival Petra Tauscher said “This festival aims to create connections and the energy created by artistic encounters and exchanges. FUSE International 2022 offers an eclectic program of marginal, children’s and family and digital works covering all forms of art, created by young people under the age of 27. The festival is about supporting young creative talents and creating a springboard for emerging artists to major international fringe festivals and to the industry at large.”

Creative Youth is a charity based in Kingston-upon-Thames that exists to enable young people aged 5-26 to realize their potential through the arts, involving them in innovative, original and ambitious projects. Projects include the Creative Talent program, a youth skills development program and a new AMP Kingston heritage project; Art, music and pop fashion. www.creativeyouthcharity.org

Darcy J. Skinner