NewsPulse Festival

Pulse Festival’s 2016 Line-up announced

By Glen Pearce

The line-up for Suffolk’s renowned Pulse Festival 2016 has been revealed today [8 May 2016] at a launch at the New Wolsey Theatre in Ipswich.

Now in its 16th year, the festival offers audiences the chance to see new and contemporary work from both established and emerging artists, running at venues across Ipswich from 26 May – 4 June 2016.

This Theatre - Police Cops
This Theatre – Police Cops

Curated by China Plate and Ipswich’s New Wolsey Theatre, the 10-day festival offers a bright and inspiring snapshot of contemporary theatre with artists both local and from further afield.

The festival will include many familiar features, including the fourth year of the Suitcase Prize, aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of touring theatre by showcasing 10 shows that can be toured on public transport. 2015 Suitcase Prize winners, This Theatre Company, will end the day with a full performance of their hit Police Cops that was shared as an early work at last year’s festival before going on to win awards at the Edinburgh Festival.

Pulse also recognises that it is one of a number of festivals on the spring circuit and is teaming up with Bristol’s Mayfest, Cambridge Junction’s Night Watch and Camden People’s Theatre Sprint Festivals to commission Jamal Harewood’s Word, which will receive its first public showing as a work in progress showing during the festival as part of the now well established Scratch Day.

Gecko - Institute

New for 2016 is a themed day for companies who are experimenting with new ways of working. The day will include a work-in-progress showing of a new family show by cabaret star Le Gateau Chocolat and Worklight Theatre’s award-winning show Labels.

Though curated and hosted by the New Wolsey Theatre, the festival also recognises the range of arts organisations in the town, with collaborations fromWe Are Ipswich fellow members Eastern Angles, DanceEast and Gecko taking part in the festival.

Many artists have formed a strong association with Pulse Festival and 2016 sees the return of Caroline Horton, John Osborne, Two Destination Language, Figs In Wigs and Made In China to Ipswich.

Alongside the theatre performances, each day will end with free music in the New Wolsey Theatre bar, creating a chance for non-theatre going audiences to visit the festival and perhaps try something new.

Also announced at the 2016 launch is the opening of three new commissions for Deaf and disabled artists to develop new work to be premiered at Pulse 2017. The commissions will vary according to experience, ambition and projects proposed and are open to application. Applicants close on Friday, 30 September and more details can be found on the Pulse website.

Pulse Festival 2016 runs from 26 May – 4 June 2016

For more information visit


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