Pulse Festival – this is a festival you may or may not have heard of. Though it is more likely that you haven’t heard of it.

So to put it simply, Pulse Festival is an annual theatre festival (that’s in it’s 16th year!) that takes place in Ipswich (Suffolk, UK) at The New Wolsey Theatre. It lasts 10 days, in which this year it runs from the 26th of May to the 4th of June, and claims it will fill you with “inspiring theatre to fill your brain, bust your belly, shake your faith, and soothe your soul”.

Though in other words, it’s contemporary (or ‘fringe’) theatre; which includes finished shows, works which are still in development, and some work from returning artists and performers.

Examples of the types of shows that take place are;

Suitcase Prize Day (which is in it’s fourth year) – a day of performances which are available to be toured on public transport via a suitcase, and with a prize for the most environmentally and economically sustainable piece of work.

Scratch Day, where you get a sneak peak at some early work, and be part of the feedback that can enable the performers to refine and develop their work – with the expectation that you’ll get to see some of the finished work at a later date.

They also have a family day, with a show suitable for all and focus on local and regional talent, with other local companies involved like We Are Ipswich, Eastern Angles, DanceEast and Gecko, as well as the works of that from further afield. There’s bound to be something for everyone, as the shows cover a variety of themes and styles!

I was lucky enough to experience the festival for the first time, by attending two very different shows. Which were “Fossils” and “Women’s Hour”, and I reviewed both…

For day 5 of Pulse I took myself along to see “Fossils” at The New Wolsey Studio which was presented by Bucket Club.

This was the first preview of this new piece, but the company’s second visit to Pulse, after their award winning “Lorraine & Alan” in 2015.

I was sold on this show, because the short tagline I saw simply said “a personal research into the Loch Ness monster”… which left me intrigued.

You can read the rest here on Grapevine Live.

“Women’s Hour” is presented by Sh!t Theatre, and was showcased at The New Wolsey Studio on day 6 of Pulse.

It’s proved itself popular, as it’s been commissioned by Camden People’s Theatre, won the Three Weeks Editors Choice award (2015) and has been on tour.

It’s described simply as “a cabaret piece about what happens when women are given an hour a day to think about being a woman”….

Again, the rest can be read on Grapevine Live, right here.