Cambridge new writing festival expands across regions

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The Menagerie Theatre Company in Cambridge is to expand its new writing festival, bringing its shows to London, Colchester and Bury St Edmunds this summer.

The Hotbed festival will run at London’s Soho Theatre from July 23 to 27, Colchester’s Mercury Theatre from July 18 to 21 and Theatre Royal Bury St Edmunds from July 16 to 17. Its partner venue, Cambridge Junction, will open the festival from July 11 to 14.

Shows will include a new one-act play from Steve Waters called Why Can’t We Live Together?, a production called How To Begin, which is is a collaboration between writer Hisham Matar and English literature lecturer Devorah Baum, and new piece The Art of Dying, from writer Esther Shanson and biochemistry professor Guy C. Brown.

Patrick Morris, co-artistic director of Menagerie, said: “Hotbed's survival and evolution can be put down to three things: a passionate desire to create excellent theatre in the east of England, attracting attention and participation from people and venues further afield in the process; a firm belief in building partnerships with artists and venues alike as well as sheer bloody-mindedness.”