Ancient Futures

Unlimited Theatre and Upswing present

An Afrofuturism inspired outdoor spectacular blending contemporary circus and storytelling with Sound System culture and West African folklore.

Premieres May 2023 at Brighton Festival before touring to Godiva Festival (Coventry), BD: Festival (Bradford), Stockton International Riverside Festival, Leeds 2023 and Greenwich & Docklands International Festival among others.

Ancient Futures is co-produced by Unlimited Theatre and Upswing. Ancient Futures has been supported by Without Walls and commissioned by LEEDS 2023; Greenwich and Docklands International Festival; Brighton Festival and Stockton International Riverside Festival. Ancient Futures has also been supported by Coventry City Council and Coventry City of Culture Trust. Co-commissioned by City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council for BD:Festival. Creation supported by 101 Outdoor Arts. Supported using public funding by Arts Council England. The R&D for Ancient Futures was supported by a Blueprint R&D Investment Fund.

Both a headline festival experience and a pop up installation Ancient Futures fuses dance, circus, parkour, music and storytelling with design inspired by West African masquerade and Afrofuturism.

Our flamboyant Afrinauts arrive as curious visitors to each festival and through the course of the day, build an encampment where they welcome willing participants to meet them, train with them and witness their unique community. At twilight, audiences are invited to join their spectacular dance party, a ritual to launch us into a new reality that promises to build a more vibrant, positive and inspiring future than we might otherwise be heading towards.

Conceived and directed by J Spooner (Unlimited) and Vicki Dela Amedume (Upswing) in collaboration with Quantum poet Oneness Sankara with new music by grime artist Afrikan Boy.

A cardboard model of a stage with multiple levels and a stack of audio speakers at the top. Plastic models of people surround the stageDraft ‘white card’ design of the set for Ancient Futures by Becky Minto
Photos from Research & Development at 101 Outdoor Arts (Dec 2022)
A company of 6 black and brown skinned humans holding bamboo sticks beat their hands on their chests on a platform Two brown skinned humans balance upside down with their legs in splits

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Led by Core Artist J Spooner in partnership with Upswing’s Artistic Director Dela Victoria Amedume:
A Black woman with long black braids and a white man with curly salt and pepper hair and glasses sit next to each other, smiling broadly. A blue sky with a few clouds.

Upcoming dates for Ancient Futures