2’s Company - theatre’s tiny festival with huge ideas

A scene from  Il Pixel Rosso's Le Grand Voyage.
A scene from Il Pixel Rosso's Le Grand Voyage.

By Graham Chalmers

Harrogate Theatre’s highly inventive 2’s Company mini festival is always a lot of fun but the imminent arrival of the Tour de France is leading to even more adventurous goings-on than ever.

For example, members of the theatre team are just back from shooting a film as part of the world premiere of an exciting co-production with award-winning multi-sensory showmakers Il Pixel Rosso.

The Tour de France-themed Le Grand Voyage will combine 2’s Company’s two main briefs - audience interaction and an unusual setting.

Specially commissioned for the Yorkshire Festival 2014, the theme of Le Grand Voyage may be cycling but the film aspect features zombies, burlesque dancers, dogs on bikes, priests, kidnappers, a fleet of roller girls and a stunt horse!

Running at Harrogate Theatre on Friday, June 6 and Saturday, June 7, Le Grand Voyage will see audience members offered video goggles, headphones and stationary bikes to send them on the twists and turns of their own Tour de France - virutally speaking.

The show promises to be even more thrilling than Il Pixel Rosso’s last two contributions to 2’s Company.

Last year’s The Great Spavaldos cast participants as one of two daredevil trapeze artists undone by love while 2012’s And the Birds Fell From the Sky involved a white-knuckle car journey with a bunch of tanked-up clowns!

After opening at Harrogate Theatre in June, Le Grand Voyage will go on tour, finishing its journey back at the theatre the same July weekend as the Tour de France circus rolls into Harrogate town centre.

Le Grand Voyage is one of five shows in this year’s 2’s Company mini festival.

Other shows include:

Thursday, June 5: Harrogate Studio Theatre - An Icy Man.

Yorkshire-based writer and theatre-maker Matthew Bellwood and Little Mighty’s story about the cold, an intimate storytelling experience for which the audience gathers around a miniature model of a snowbound village.

Thursday, June 5 to Saturday, June 7: Various locations - Lounge Gigs.

Tom Adams’ tailored comedy and music experiences brought directly to your living room. Book Tom for a gig and he’ll spin tender, funny, uplifting songs to as many people you can fit in your lounge or place of work.

Friday, June 6 and Saturday, June 7: Somewhere in Harrogate Theatre - I Wish I Was Lonely.

Hannah Jane Walker and Chris Thorpe star in a participatory show about contactability in which audience members commit to leaving their phones on. Poems, stories and conversation are used to explore how much of ourselves we’ve given up to the new gods in our pockets.

Saturday, June 7: The roof of Harrogate Theatre - Hurtling.

Greg Wohead’s outdoor performance for one person on the roof of Harrogate Theatre, is for those who truly enjoy something different. Via a cassette player and headphones, participants receive a message from the past, an invitation to remember a previous you, imagine a future you and wonder who that makes you now.

Tickets are available at Harrogate Theatre Box Office on 01423 502116 or book online at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk