Hotbed – Cambridge fest explores new & emerging talent


A hotbed of new talent is on show at a major Cambridge arts festival taking place over the next four days.

Produced by Menagerie Theatre Company and supported by Cambridge Junction, this year’s Hotbed explores Experiments in New Writing.

Intimate immersive theatre is explored in You, Me and the Spanish Civil War, the current political climate is probed with The Play About Calais), and there is an extraordinary tale of an 18th century French transvestite, Chevailer d’Eon among this year’s offerings.

Hotbed features plays and productions at various stages of evolution: from idea development, first time readings, workshops and scratch performances, to fully fledged productions.

As always, the festival is excited and proud to be curating and supporting work by established writers and companies alongside emerging, young and first-time writers.

Hotbed opens tonight with a full production of Chris Dobrowolski’s Antarctica, an Antarctic adventure story about overcoming hardships and celebrating difference. Hear true tales of carnivorous ducks, Ladybird books and a sledge built out of gold picture frames.

The Human Zoo Theatre Company stages Giant, an explosive, absurd adventure into adulthood with horribly honest clowns and questionable cabaret acts, igniting the stage with Human Zoo’s trademark live music, puppetry and movement.

Work in Progress: Live Playwriting The Play About Calais: Act 1 by Steve Waters sees the writer go to Calais on the eve of the EU referendum to see the situation for himself.

Join him for the first of four nights as he tries to write a play about what he finds. Help is on hand from actors and the audience. All Box Office takings go to Cambridge4Calais.


Friday sees readings and more work in progress plus full productions Stefanie Mueller’s Prelude to a Coat, an intriguing monologue investigating and dissecting the choices we make and how these choices are often provoked by seemingly insignificant events.

Flog by Josie Dale-Jones is here to sell you a drama. Chinese lessons? An operation? Glasses? Three saleswomen are here to flog. But are the prices too low? Or are the goods just too dodgy? Do we need to remember that ‘flog’ also means ‘an arduous struggle’?

Saturday brings a full production of You, Me and The Spanish Civil War by Marina Pallares, an intimate performance about the consequences of the Spanish Civil War in the second half of the twentieth century, and James Fritz hopes to make friends with Ross & Rachel, heartbreaking story of what happens when a couple who were always meant to be together, gets together.

Ed Harris’ Chevalier d’Eon follows one momentous day in the life of Chevalier d’Eon (1728-1810) – a French diplomat, spy, soldier and transvestite. An untrue story based on true events, inspired by the research of Dr Joseph Harris of Royal Holloway – a leading expert in transvestism in early modern French literature.

The festival closes with a full day of readings, new, scratch and full productions including Five Go Mad and then Grow Up and are Not So Mad, But are Still Five by William Males and Eve Beere / Corkscrew Theatre.

Making friends, exam stress, first loves: a new comedy featuring five talented, young actors telling the story of five friends who grow up and grow apart.

For a full list of events, venues and times go to

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