The first ever Newcastle Improv Festival ran for nine glorious days and nights from 27th July to 4th August 2019. It was a summer of joy!
The festival was hosted by the Suggestibles in celebration of our 15th anniversary year. There were 35 events, made up of improv shows, workshops and activities for adults and for children, featuring national and local artists. The festival hub was Alphabetti Theatre, where most shows took place, and with more happening elsewhere too, at The Cumberland Arms, Seven Stories, The Stand Comedy Club, and Jurys Inn.
We had brilliant headline acts every night. More than 60 performers attracted the crowds. Over 80 participants took-part in workshops, and on-stage. Then there were were 40 filmmakers and 20 actors involved in the 4 Hour Film Challenge. Every hour was was buzzing with electric creativity.
A thousand visitors came! Not only from the Northeast, but from across the UK and Europe too. The vast majority of events sold out.
We had no Arts Council funding. The Suggestibles took the risk ourselves, aided by the enthusiasm and hands-on help from School of Improv's volunteers and friends. The festival proved to be a mega success. The feedback has been amazing!
This year, we've got the dates in the diary, the venues are on board, and we're on the way with wonderful artists, shows, workshops and ideas. We're going to do a crowdfunding campaign this time to help get it going. We're applying for Arts Council Funding again. Hopefully, this time they can't refuse us when they see how brilliant last year was, and the support we have to make it happen this summer.
The long-term aim is to make Newcastle Improv Festival an annual cultural event. Let's just get the this one going first!
Stay tuned for more news here, and Newcastle Improv Festival's Facebook page.