The ninth Heads Up Festival takes place in Hull from October 12-21, 2017.

The revolutionary festival, produced by E52 in partnership with Battersea Arts Centre, is a heady mix of the most exciting, challenging theatre and performance.

A host of shows head to Hull twice a year as part of BAC’s Collaborative Touring Network, with the programme also including the very best in homegrown talent.

From Motor Theatre’s unflinching look at the myths of modern love with James Fritz’s Ross And Rachel, Vic Llewellyn and Kid Carpet’s anarchic and moving The Castle Builder to Kirsty Harris’ fabulously creative Almost Always Muddy, and an early chance to see E52’s brand new, cutting-edge work Pale Blue Dot, this is a chance to experience some of the most innovative works on the circuit.

The festival starts with a launch event that also celebrates a decade of E52, the award-winning company responsible for Euphoria, As We Forgive Them, Aviatrix, The Whitsun Weddings and An Englishman’s Home.

E52’s Artistic Director Andrew Pearson said: “As ever, we’ve got an extraordinary programme of work on offer that is out-there, quirky, weird, hilarious, moving and massively innovative and inspiring. There’s theatre, live music, film screenings, den-building, puppet making and a talking wild cat in this programme of work. It’s all quite unique.

“For instance, Kid Carpet’s Mega Rockin’ Rock Show is an interactive gig suitable for small kids, big kids and animals, during which the audience is invited to play ping pong, help catch a lost sandwich in space and take part in a grand dance contest. Where else would you get that alongside something as fiercely sharp and tender as Motor’s Ross & Rachel?

“There are productions and workshops for young people, families and adults. We’re very proud of the festival and what we’ve achieved while we’ve been on this journey. We can’t wait for audiences to see what we have in store this season.

“It’s hard to believe that E52 has been producing work for a decade. The launch event will not only allow us to tell people more about what they can enjoy at the festival but also to reflect on the last ten years, during which the city’s theatre scene has changed in such a positive way. We’re proud to have been a part of that shift and hope that lots of people will come and join us to celebrate what we’ve been doing since 2007. And the following night they can see what’s next for us, with a showing of Pale Blue Dot.”

Heads Up Festival takes place twice a year and the tenth festival is already scheduled for March 2018.

For more information about the festival and to book tickets visit

Tickets are available via Hull 2017 at




E52 is a creative producing company based in Hull, UK. The company creates new work and performance pieces in found spaces, public places, abandoned warehouses and unconventional, unloved, disused property. E52 also make work for traditional theatre auditoriums and do not dislike velvet-covered seats. Recent productions include Revolutions, The Whitsun Weddings and The Devil’s Chord.

Collaborative Touring Network

Formed in 2013, The Collaborative Touring Network (CTN) is a partnership between Battersea Arts Centre and eight national partners. Our vision is a nation where everyone has inspiring art and culture on their doorstep.

Over the past four years, the Collaborative Touring Network has produced, presented and promoted diverse events to feed an appetite for culture in communities across the country. Our partners on this project are producing teams based in in Hull, Darlington, Gloucester, Thanet, Torbay, Wigan, Peterborough and Medway.

As a network, we support and develop artists locally and deliver two festivals a year packed with inspiring touring work, home-grown talent, music, workshops & feasts.

Occupying parks, community centres, boxing gyms and nightclubs; the network imagines new contexts for performances that inspire audiences and artists alike. To date we have presented work in over 170 different spaces.

Shows that have toured with CTN previously include Christopher Brett Bailey’s This is How We Die, Theatre Ad Infinitum’s Ballad of the Burning Star, Victoria Melody’s Major Tom, The Paper Cinema’s Odyssey and Touretteshero’s Backstage in Biscuitland.

Shows touring as part of the Spring 2017 season of festivals include: Theatre Ad Infinitum’s multi award-winning Bucket List, Tom Penn and Battersea Arts Centre’s Co-Production Neverland, and Shannon Yee’s Reassembled, Slightly Askew.

“Growing a future model of arts engagement that could flourish all over the country and transform the opportunities available to both artists and audiences.” – The Guardian

“An inspiring project, marrying the best of the subsidised sector with true grassroots innovation and work.” – Exeunt

The Collaborative Touring Network is supported by Arts Council England Strategic Touring Fund, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and Garfield Weston Foundation.

Battersea Arts Centre

Described as ‘Britain’s most influential theatre’ (The Guardian), at the heart of Battersea Arts Centre’s mission is a process called Scratch, that places the artist and audience in a creative dialogue to develop new ideas.

Battersea Arts Centre delivers an extensive programme of activity each year that attracts over 100,000 people, for theatre productions and participatory workshops, weddings, tea dances, community support groups and corporate events.