Curated by China Plate

Pulse Festival

Hosted and produced by New Wolsey Theatre

10 days of new and inspiring theatre


Run time: Varies

Age: Varies

Content warnings: See specific show guidance

Two women and a man, dressed in bright wigs, party hats and going out outfits, two of them are sat on chairs, the woman in the middle crouches over a saucepan.

"An essential date on the theatrical calendar"

The Guardian

A man sitting in a car, looking out the window at a wig which he is holding in his hand.

PULSE Festival

PULSE Festival was a part curated, part open application 10-day festival formerly curated by Festival Directors, China Plate, from 2013-2019; and featured the work of over 350 artists and companies. The festival focused on new and innovative approaches, offering a bright and inspiring snapshot of contemporary theatre and performance.

The festival provided a platform for the development and presentation of new work by regional, British and international artists of vision, and aimed to nurture artistic ambition and excellence across a range of art forms. PULSE presented work across a variety of genres, from comedy to dance and everything in between, in various forms from tour ready work to rehearsed readings, and works at an advanced stage of development.

PULSE included two key development initiatives, the Suitcase Prize and Scratch Day.

The Suitcase Prize aimed at encouraging theatre makers to think in an environmentally and economically sustainable way, the work could be a finished piece or work in progress and the only stipulation was that it must be able to travel on public transport in luggage carried by the people taking part in the piece. The Suitcase Prize awarded £1000 to a bold and adventurous idea, with all artists shortlisted for the prize also having the opportunity to present their work-in-progress at the festival.

Scratch Day supported and showcased new works-in-progress of 60-minutes or less from artists exploring new practice and new ideas, providing a vital development platform for works-in-progress.

China Plate is no longer programming Pulse. The format has changed from a 10-day annual festival to a year-round programme of work, to include 3 new programming strands – Summer Break, Autumn Weekender and Off-site.

For more information, please visit the New Wolsey website, or contact the Pulse Team at [email protected]

Photo © The Back Seat of My Car (And Other Safe Places)

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