Skip to main content
A Magazine for Sheffield

Wrought Festival

Wrought Festival will happen from 15 to 17 April at The Hide, Scotland Street. The basis of Wrought is one-to-one and micro-audience performances, a fascinating idea which can only really be appreciated by being a part of it all. Produced by Erin Revell and Moe Shoji, the festival takes to Sheffield for the second time this year to showcase emerging artists in this field. We spoke to Erin to find out more. Where did the idea come from? Way back in 2011, we studied one-to-one as part of our Masters and we were introduced to a range of innovative, intimidating, captivating pieces created to be experienced by one person at a time. We thought it was an exciting form to play with but we were sceptical. Then we went to a one-to-one festival in London and everything changed. I went speed dating, got pushed out of a window on a platform so I could see the sky, and performed an audio play in silence with a stranger. It was engaging and thrilling in a way that traditional theatre often isn’t. The performances asked you to focus on simple, everyday moments, small interactions between strangers. It made the ordinary extraordinary and present. What makes this event like no other? One-to-one is rare. As a business model, it’s questionable, and so to make it work you have to rely on sponsors who really understand the impact that can be achieved through one-to-one. The focus is on quality and definitely not quantity. It’s possible that over a weekend only 15 people can see one artist’s work, but the experience they will have had could stay with them forever. Now, nationally, there is nothing like Wrought. How has the festival developed since its debut in 2014? Wrought in 2014 was a success, in that we had some brilliant artists and it introduced something new to the art scene of Sheffield. By the Sunday we had sold out through word of mouth. Since then we’ve been refining our Emerging Artists Scheme, which now offers a range of workshops with established artists and a network of scratch events and feedback sessions. The aim is that it’s truly a developmental process for the artists. We’ve expanded the festival to include micro-audience performance. This keeps the intimacy of Wrought, but also enables a slightly larger audience to experience the work. Have you had any similar events going on in between? We’ve been running workshops and scratch events in Sheffield for the last 18 months to introduce artists and audiences to one-to-one. We intended to hold the second Wrought in October 2015, but we didn’t get the funding we applied for and so made the difficult decision to postpone it, as it wouldn't be the festival we wanted it to be if we couldn't fairly pay the artists. So we put together a crowdfunding campaign where our investors pre-reserved their ticket. This meant that if people invested they were building their own festival. We had a great response and we’re really grateful to all our crowdfunders. How can people get involved? If you want to volunteer - we offer a great volunteer package which includes training, an exclusive t-shirt, the chance to experience one-to-one performance and fabulous food - email us at wrought.sheffield[at]gmail[dot]com. Tickets go on sale through our website on 26 March for crowdfunders and 1 April for everyone else. As I’m sure you can imagine, the tickets are limited, so it’s a good idea to purchase them early. One ticket costs less than £10 and buys you three one-to-one experiences over a two-hour period. Micro-audience performances are ticketed separately, but can also be bought via our website. Photo by Gwilym Lawrence )
by Tasha Franek (she/her)

Next from Headsup

Stay Safe, Stay Sheffield

Sheffield may be the safest big city in the UK, but the death of a young woman after leaving a nightclub last November highlighted the…

More Headsup

Next article in issue 97

More Music

More Music