The Old Courts presents Digital Fest

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The Old Courts presents Digital Fest – streaming comedy, film, music, and family events
direct to audiences in the comfort and safety of their homes.

Thursday 15 – Sunday 18 April 2021

The April digital fest includes an exclusively curated event for The Old Courts with BBC
Radio 6 Music’s Chris Hawkins who is also a patron of the arts centre. Chris Hawkins will
be in conversation with British Songwriter and broadcaster Tom Robinson. The in
conversation follows a screening of the film White Riot – Rubika Shah’s award-winning
and energising film that charts the story of a vital national protest movement,
when a group of artists joined together to form Rock Against Racism in 1976.

After a tough year in lockdown, audiences will be in much need of a good belly laugh
and what better way than with Britain’s Got Talent Daliso Chaponda who is used to
getting the nation laughing. For more laugh out loud comedy, The Old Courts have
short bite sized Improv comedy sketches The Children of Captain Von Trapp Wish To Say
Goodnight and Caroline Bay from Wigan based Casino Improv!

Music lovers can get involved with Manchester-born singer-songwriter James Holt’s
bandlab workshops or enjoy the sweet sounds of Leigh’s homegrown indie band The
Lottery Winners.

For those fed up with sitting still or for too long in their makeshift home offices, it is time to get up and vogue with Manchester’s dance and movement director Darren Pritchard.
Keep the little ones entertained with family shows that encourage young minds aged 3
to 7 to become Curious Investigators or enjoy Dust – a joyous reminder about just how
playful the world can be.

The mix of film, comedy, music, dance, and family events have an accessible pricing
structure with some events streaming for free and others using a ‘pay what you decide’
ticketing model suitable to all budgets.

White Riot (film) + Q&A with Chris Hawkins and Tom Robinson
As part of the evening on Saturday 17 April from 7.30pm, audiences will be able
to watch an exclusive recorded Q&A with BBC Radio 6 Music’s Chris Hawkins and
Tom Robinson, one of the founders of the movement. This event has been
specially curated for The Old Courts as part of the Digital Fest programme.
Rubika Shah’s award-winning and energising film charts a vital national protest
movement. Rock Against Racism (RAR) was formed in 1976, prompted by ‘music’s
biggest colonialist’ Eric Clapton and his support of racist MP Enoch Powell.
White Riot blends fresh interviews with queasy archive footage to recreate a
hostile environment of anti-immigrant hysteria and National Front marches. As
neo-Nazis recruited the nation’s youth, RAR’s multicultural punk and reggae gigs
provided rallying points for resistance. As co-founder Red Saunders explains: ‘We
peeled away the Union Jack to reveal the swastika’.
The campaign grew from Hoxton fanzine roots to 1978’s huge antifascist carnival
in Victoria Park, featuring X-Ray Spex, Steel Pulse and of course The Clash, whose
rock star charisma and gale-force conviction took RAR’s message to the masses.

Daliso Chaponda
On Friday 16 April from 8pm, audiences can have a laugh with Daliso Chaponda who is
a familiar TV personality best known for his stand up gigs on The Royal Variety
Performance (ITV), Britain’s Got Talent 2017 (ITV), Britain’s Got Talent Champions
2019 (ITV), QI (BBC2), The Apprentice: You’re Fired (BBC2), Good Evening
Britain (ITV), The News Quiz (BBC Radio 4) and The Now Show (BBC Radio 4).
With over 300 million views of his stand up online, Daliso is also the writer, creator, and
host of his Rose d’Or nominated BBC Radio 4 show Citizen of Nowhere that has aired for
two series.
He has performed around the world and at the Edinburgh, Melbourne, Singapore, and
Cape Town comedy festivals. He has also toured the UK twice to sell out audiences and
rave reviews. On the eve of his third tour Apocalypse Not Now, Daliso has created an
exclusive set of his absolute Greatest Hits. This is an online show featuring witty,
intelligent comedy and non-stop laughs.

The Children Of Captain Von Trapp Wish To Say Goodnight

From 9pm on Thursday 15 April Wigan’s Casino Improv are bringing their show to The
Old Courts with a little bout of short form improv before their bedtime. Join others and
virtually shout suggestions at them for this completely improvised games and scenes.
Casino Improv present Caroline Bay: An Improvised Soap Opera

For those who enjoyed the first dose of improv there’s a chance to come back and join
Casino Improv for Caroline Bay on Sunday 18 April from 7.30pm. This is an improvised
Soap opera performed via zoom.


The Lottery Winners

Music lovers missing the scene can watch and hear The Lottery Winners on Saturday 17
April, TIME as part of The Old Courts digital fest long weekend. The Lottery Winners is a
British indie pop band from Leigh, Greater Manchester. The band was formed in 2008 by
Thom Rylance (vocals/guitar), Robert Lally (guitar/vocals), Katie Lloyd (bass/vocals),
and Joe Singleton (drums).

James Holt Songwriting & Bandlab

These zoom workshop taking place on Saturday 17 April 5.30pm and 7:15pm with
singer-songwriter James Holt is perfect for budding musicians who want to have a go at
recording a song and bring their music ideas to life.
Confirmed as a main stage artist for a sold-out Kendal Calling later this year and long
championed by music industry giants, such as legendary producer Brian Eno – James is
a Manchester born, gifted songwriter and multi-instrumentalist.


Beginner’s vogueing workshop with Darren Pritchard

Manchester’s Darren Pritchard is known in the industry for his dance and movement
body or work. His workshop on Saturday 17 April, 4pm is a practical introduction to
Vogue. It takes a playful approach to drawing an association between fashion
portraiture and the hyper-stylised form of dance commonly termed as ‘vogue’ or
‘voguing’. Made popular in mainstream channels by the likes of Madonna (“Strike a
pose!”) and the classic documentary Paris is Burning (1990), voguing is characterised by
model-like poses integrated with angular, linear and rigid arm, leg and body


Curious Investigators (age 4-7)

This is a brand-new LIVE Zoom where families can meet ‘Investigator Toni’, who’s
stuck at home with nowhere to go – but is still determined to discover something
amazing. She needs the help of young inquisitive minds to solve a problem.
Families can enjoy this show on Friday 16 April, 10am, 12pm and 2.30pm from the
comfort of their homes, all they need is a laptop, phone or tablet with Zoom
enabled; a few bits and pieces from the recycling bin; and a helpful adult. It’s
the perfect show for children ages 4-7 who ask a lot of questions!

DUST – A joyous reminder about just how playful the world can be (age 4-9)

On Saturday 17 April at 9am families with young children are invited to take a front row
seat with this digital production of Dust, recorded live at Half Moon Theatre in London.
When Little Titch and her scruffy rucksack arrive at the giant, pink house it is not what
she expected – a blanket of thick grey dust covers everything in sight, and it is wild and
overgrown. Her new home is cold and unwelcoming until she meets Nelly, a
flamboyant and loveable hoarder. Together the pair discover they have more in
common than they first thought, and that friendship can heal hidden wounds.
Written by acclaimed award-winning children’s author Laura Dockrill (Darcy Burdock
book series, Big Bones) Dust uses exquisite poetic language to explore a heartfelt story
about love, loss, identity, and memory. With haunting music by Hugo White of The
Maccabees, this striking and emotional new play is a joyous reminder about just how
playful the world can be.
Dust is a Half Moon and Z-arts co-production: an exciting collaboration by the UK’s
leading small-scale young people’s venue and touring company and Manchester’s
unique and award-winning venue for children and families.
This live-recorded play has closed captioning for d/Deaf and hard of hearing
audiences and is also available with British Sign Language.

Emma Lloyd, Head of Programming said: “This festival was curated to promote the spirit
of The Old Courts as we haven’t let a pandemic stop or slow us down. This long
weekend of events also acts as a teaser to get people excited for our reopening
happening soon!

The Old Courts could not have put this programme of events together without the
support of the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA). We are grateful for all
the support we have received from GMCA, Wigan Council, Arts Council England,
DCMS and the public.”

For more information and to book tickets visit

Sofia Cann – Head of Marketing & Communications at The Old Courts
[email protected] | 07835558000