For the majority of the year, the historic market town of Corsham is a perfectly respectable place to live …
But… once a year… for a few strange days in November… the town lets its hair down and indulges in a week of imaginative, odd, delicious and downright decadent artistic delights.
This is the Magic & Mayhem Festival, one of two annual festivals hosted by The Pound arts centre, which runs between the 12 and 17 of November. The festival features theatre, comedy, films, visual arts and workshops, and is a celebration of all things magical, mischievous and macabre.
This year’s highlights include comedian Robin Ince, who will be bringing his latest show ‘Chaos of Delight’, a joyous artist’s manifesto and celebration of the human mind, to The Pound on Thursday 14 November at 8pm. There’s also The Pound’s annual Mayhem Cabaret, a sell-out spectacular, presented this year by the award-winning Goldust productions on Friday 15 November at 9.30pm, with a line-up that includes a knife throwing comedian, a nine foot tall pocket pin-up, an award-winning contortionist and a dancing cow girl … expect the unexpected. To top it all off there’s ‘The Virgin Xtravaganzah!’, Saturday 16 November at 8.30pm, a brand new show from your soon to be favourite drag superstar and holy local Virgin Mary. She’s over 2,000 years old and despite her arthritis, she puts on one HELL of a show!
The Pound will be screening two films during the Magic & Mayhem Festival that’ll be sure to push boundaries and leave the cinema buzzing with discussion. ‘Tucked’ (Cert 15), a raw and tender drama about an 80-year-old drag queen who forms an unlikely friendship with a younger queen, will be screened at 11am & 7.30pm on Tuesday 12 November, while ‘In Fabric’ (Cert 18), a sensuous and surreal story that follows a cursed red dress as it passes from person to person with devastating consequences, is showing on Wednesday 13 November at 9.00pm.
There will also be a wide variety of live theatre throughout the week. For the kids there’s ‘POP!’ by Tiny Light Theatre, a gently interactive first adventure into theatre for 0-3 year olds, on Friday 15 November at 11am & 2pm, or, for children aged 8+, there’s ‘Ghost Stories’ the bewitching new production from The Paper Cinema, in which beguiling pen and ink drawings are magically brought to life before your very eyes, on Saturday 16 November at 6pm. For adults, and children aged 11+, Folio Theatre presents ‘Believe’ on Sunday 17 November at 7.30pm, a terrifying, fascinating and darkly funny tale of a professional sceptic, whose views on the supernatural are challenged while hosting a talk at a local village hall. We will also be screening an encore of the National Theatre production of ‘Fleabag’ starring the incredible Phoebe Waller- Bridge on Wednesday 13 November at 7.30pm.
For more information on the Magic & Mayhem Festival, and full event listings, visit: www.magicandmayhem.org.uk