Housemates Festival at Brixton House

Housemates Festival 2023 Brixton House ©The Other Richard

This summer, Brixton House’s Housemates Festival returns, inviting artists to take over the House for three weeks from 4 – 23 July 2023. The festival aims to give a platform to new voices, and to champion often untold stories. Eleven artists have been given the artistic freedom to experiment, play and develop work across various art forms. 

You can expect stories from a generation whose views and values were formed by 1990s culture and the turn of the millennium. The complexities of youth crime and rehabilitation; the Black joy of growing up in South London; intergenerational conversations on radical activism; family love and relationships; and how to survive in the modern world are themes which are explored in these new works.

The collective Em Thane, Megs Kumari and Toni Roberts, continue to look at how families and the conversations that take place, shape how we live our lives in Same, Same, But Different, which invites the audience to think about queerness, identity and stereotypes not just in and of themselves, but in relation to family relationships. It’s an interesting piece which explores the impact of conflict within wider families on the capacity of a couple to survive and how that conflict plays out within their relationship.

USELESS. Photo by Maiten Borges

USELESS, Marisol Spensieri’s new show, uses movement and poetry, to explore society’s obsession with productivity.  This is a non traditional theatre experience which will amuse, intrigue, surprise, occasionally irritate, but ultimately beguile an audience who become part of the performance itself. Interestingly it invites the audience not only to reflect upon the realities of work in advanced capitalism – and the power of social media – but also how they themselves respond in real time to the pressure to conform and comply. Engaging, enjoyable and provocative.

Is The Wifi Good In Hell?

Three plays take us into the world of the South London’s gal-dem (group of girls) and man-dem (group of boys). Tobi King Bakare’s Before I Go delves into the inner voice of one of the man-dem travelling from the living world to limbo, accompanied with live music, verse and prose. DK Fashola’s Is Dat U Yh? follows the gal-dem on a nostalgic trip that celebrates love, culture, and friendship. Toby Clarke’s REP takes a deep dive into the experiences of nine young offenders from different London boroughs. 

Family and the pivotal conversations that take place inside the home are explored with new work from Daniel Ward in Everything I Own, an intimate yet provocative intergenerational conversation between father and son reflecting on the 1981 Brixton uprisings and the BLM movement.

Pepa Duarte’s debut play Eating Myself, situates itself in the warm hub of a Peruvian family kitchen where traditional soup is being prepared alongside a powerful conversation about womanhood, body image and tradition. 

Lyndon Chapman also presents his debut play, Is The WiFi Good In Hell?, which follows the transition from boyhood to adulthood, Margate to London, and the ever-present search for a meaningful connection.

Ruth Hawkins, Head of Programming and Producing said:“The Housemates Festival is our opportunity to open up our space to artists….  allowing them to freely experiment with ideas supported by us. This year we have exciting artists and collectives presenting stories that speak to our audiences in a genuine way, across a variety of artforms and perspectives. Not only will the venue be open to those who want to see work, but those who want to share the space and join the conversation with panels and DJ events.”

Housemates Festival runs 4-23 July in Brixton House, Coldharbour Lane 

Tickets £14. Book 2 shows for £25, or 3 shows for £35. Full festival details 

Housemate Festival Shows 

Is Dat U Yh? by DK Fashola 4 – 8 Jul 2023 

Is The WiFi Good In Hell? by Lyndon Chapman 5 – 8 Jul 2023 

REP by Toby Clarke 6 – 8 Jul 2023

Same, Same, But Different by Em Thane, Megs Kumari and Toni Roberts
11 – 15 Jul 2023

Eating Myself by Pepa Duarte 12 – 15 Jul 2023

USELESS by Marisol Spensieri 13 – 15 Jul 2023

Ticket buyers are required to share a mobile phone number as part of its interactive nature. 

Before I Go by Tobi King Bakare 18 – 22 Jul 2023 

Everything I Own by Daniel Ward 19 – 22 Jul 2023