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Review: Hatch launch night of MAPS 2012 festival

Posted on - 25th April, 2012 - 5:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Arts, Events, Preston Guild, Reviews
FallenWall Arts

Two FallenWall Arts, the organisation behind MAPS Festival, actors in their production of Romeo is Dead

On Monday evening, the Adelphi bar on Fylde Street, Preston, played host to Hatch, launch night for MAPS 2012 festival and a three hour preview event featuring contemporary performances from emerging and established artists.

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MAPS 2012 is a contemporary arts festival organised by FallenWall Arts which is set to take place on 8th September, coinciding with Preston Guild week. It will be the first of its kind in the city, and it is hoped that the festival will promote the practice of contemporary performance to a wider audience whilst developing the city’s cultural profile on a regional and national scale. Open to all, they are accepting submissions of music, photography, video, performance, and more besides, and it is completely free to participate.

As well as the launch night for MAPS 2012, organisers of Hatch described it as an ‘opportunity for artists to preview, test and resurrect work’. It was self-evident that Hatch was a preview event, as it was still somewhat rough around the edges. There was little fluidity between performances, with the audience waiting a few minutes at a time for the next act, and performers were not introduced, leading to some confusion as to when the acts were beginning. Neither was there any correlation between the actual running order and the leaflets/programmes present on the tables. The MAPS team certainly embraced innovation, however, as the entire evening was being broadcast live on their homepage, via webcam.

The performances were a mixed bag, both in terms of variety and quality. In the running were a number of monologues, video pieces, an interpretive dance, and a musician. It was encouraging to see that not only seasoned professionals were involved, but many young newcomers, most of whom were university students. Whilst some of these amateur submissions were lacking in finesse or production values, each artist had a unique story to tell, often giving the audience an intimate or personal perspective to consider.

Speaking of the audience, they too played their part, receiving all of the performances with warmth and good humour. There were, of course, a few raucous individuals at the back (perhaps one of the perils of being in close proximity to the bar), but their outbursts too were still received with good feeling.

This may not have been a polished performance, but for all its flaws, Hatch accomplished exactly what it set out to achieve – giving local performers a platform for their work, and telling us all to take notice. This was an evening full of promise, and will no doubt be finely tuned for MAPS 2012 come September.

Anyone wishing to keep up to date with MAPS 2012, or get involved in the project, can visit their website at www.maps2012.com, or follow @Maps_Festival on Twitter.

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