FUSE International 2023
FUSE International 2023
Anize Keers finds out what’s in store for Kingston’s popular arts festival
The annual FUSE International Festival, hosted by young people’s charity Creative Youth, kicked off with a programme launch party in Kingston’s Rose Theatre.
Starting on June 30 the festival will run until July 9. The multi-arts festival will showcase talent from the ages 5 to 27 years old, across a programme of events in comedy, music, theatre, dance, cabaret and more.
Director of FUSE International, Petra Tauscher, told us: “I think it is important that FUSE offers a mix of art forms so that everyone can be inspired by the talent of our youths today and their perception of the arts.”
The launch party gave a snippet of the action with performances from two young musicians. Surrey local Xander from Weybridge, and international singer-songwriter Zèra from Montreal, Canada, each performed a mix of covers and original songs.
The event was attended by the Mayor of Kingston, Yogan Yoganathan, who has helped fundraise for the Creative Youth charity this year.
Petra spoke of the global nature of the festival. “This year our programme will really put the ‘international’ in our name.”
There will be performers from Poland, China, the USA, Germany, Western Australia, France, Korea, Argentina, Brazil, Sweden, and more.
She added: “Following Covid travel restrictions, this year we will be able to welcome some amazing talent from Hong Kong.” The festival will feature three performances of WILD (The Musical), a Broadway-style musical set in the jungle (pictured top), performed by an impressive 40-member cast from Hong Kong on July 6 and July 7.
The K-pop UK National Competition will return for the 5th year to the Rose Theatre to close the festival. Fans of K-pop from across the UK will compete to win in categories such as freestyle dance, K-pop dance, K-pop vocal and original choreography.
Creative Youth’s new multi-arts space, FUSEBOX, by the riverside, will host some of the festival events along with other locations including Rose Theatre.
5 Things You Can’t Miss at Fuse International 2023
- FUSE International Opening Night (30 June): Kick off the festival with a thrilling night of music and dance featuring special guest performances from companies AXIOM and Tinderbox Orchestra. Tinderbox Orchestra combines rappers, singers, and traditional orchestra instruments to create a unique and unforgettable musical experience, while AXIOM presents a brand-new a cappella performance that challenges conventions and showcases the power of unaccompanied human voices.
- WILD The Musical (6-7 July): Experience the award-winning Broadway-style musical set in the jungle. Follow the adventures of wildlife poachers Jim and Chad as they stumble upon a wild orchestra. With a stunning 40-member cast from Hong Kong, this powerful musical delivers a message about wildlife preservation through live orchestral music, dance styles like hip-hop and ballet, and more.
- I Was Told (4 July): Don’t miss this humorous and empowering show that combines spoken word with ring juggling. Explore themes of feminism, authenticity, and self-perception as the performer engages the audience in a shared experience filled with reflection and upliftment.
- The Refugee (7 July): Witness a deeply personal and thought-provoking verbatim piece by Harshana Nanthagumar. Through storytelling, Harshana recounts her parents’ escape from war-torn Sri Lanka, exploring the emotional and psychological impacts of war and the bonds between family members.
- KPop UK National Competition (9 July): Join the excitement of the 5th year of the Kpop UK National Competition. Watch finalists from across the UK compete in categories such as Kpop Dance, Kpop Vocal, Freestyle Dance Battle, and Original Choreography. Experience the talent and passion of UK Kpop fans as they showcase their skills on stage and introduce Kpop to a wider audience.
These highlights are just a glimpse of the diverse and inspiring shows and adventures awaiting you at Fuse International 2023. Get ready to immerse yourself in ten days of live performances, creativity, and international talent in Kingston this summer.