Preview: Ten picks from Sampled – The Junction, Cambridge

Last week I looked at the highlights of the Pulse Fringe Festival. Head up the A14 though next weekend and you’ll find Cambridge’s The Junction awash with new and experimental work as part of their Sampled Festival of Performance.

Taking place across just two days, it’s a more condensed affair than Pulse, however, don’t be fooled by the short time frame. There’s a lot crammed into those two days.

With such an eclectic mix of work, it’s sometimes difficult to describe, however, Producer Kate Madden says this on the event “This year we bring you Camp Sampled; a weekend retreat, celebrating a series of the best new offerings from exceptional performance makers. Opening with seed ideas at JAM, and ending with super sweet variety fun at Art Crush, we invite you to explore the building, limber up, get a spot of pampering and navigate your own festival adventure.”

So with such a wide choice what should you navigate? Perhaps the best option is to just go with the flow, take a hint from the festival’s title and ‘Sample’ as much as possible. As a guide however here are 10 events, in no particular order, that look tantalising:

Andy Field: Zilla!
A three-part disaster movie for the stage. Performed across the weekend, this trilogy of events mixes installation and card cames followed by a performance

Inspector Sands: A Life In 22 Minutes
During last year’s Pulse festival I was lucky enough to catch two performances of this show looking at the semmingly trivial moments that make up our days. One year on it will be fascinating to see how it’s developed

Brian Lobel: Hora
Lobel is one of the weekend’s hosts and for around 30 mins on the Saturday evening will transform the Junction Foyer into an Israeli dance class. Take part or just observe.

Ross Sutherland: Standby For Tape Back-Up
One videotape, episodes of The Fresh Prince Of Bel-Air, Crystal Maze and 20 mins of Jaws. Ross is currently trying to mix these into a poem on memory, death and reruns.

Hannah Jane Walker And Chris Thorpe: The Oh F**K Moment
A round table discussion where brave souls can hold their hands up and admit they messed up. A poetic look at the world of mistakes.

Bryony Kimmings: The Hall of Gratuitous Praise
We all need a pick-me-up at times. After a tiring festival join Festival host Bryony Kimming’s audio tour to revive your spirits.

Hunt & Darton: Pitch And Put
There’s so much happening at Sampled that events even spill out into a bus parked outside the venue. Join in and play pitch and put on an actual bus.

Action Hero: Frontman
A drunken, lip synched version of the best gig you never saw. Loud and raucous , part gig, part performance, this isn’t one for those looking for a quiet Sunday evening.

Hannah Nicklin: A Conversation With My Father
The relationship between father and daughter, an ex-policeman and his protestor offspring. A look into the problems caused when people take ‘sides’

Michael Pinchbeck: The Beginning
Taking a Shakespearian stage direction as a starting point, this is Michael Pinchbeck’s second of a trilogy, a look at what it means to perform for the first time.

The Sampled Festival Of Performance takes place at The Junction, Cambridge on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th May. Full details can be found at

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