The Yard announce their first NOW Festival post pandemic, ‘Now23’

Almost a decade on from its launch, and NOW Festival, curated by the Yard has played a pivotal role in shaping our contemporary theatrical landscape, having platformed over 60 artists including Jules Cunningham, Rosana Cade & Ivor MacAskill and FK Alexander. Returning once again from 18th April to 13th May with a refreshing, bold, experimental line up of new works and ideas, NOW 23 arrives with an exciting line-up of Yard commissions and premieres from Marikiscrycrycry, SERAFINE1369, Ira Brand, BULLYACHE, Freddie Wulf and Daniel Oliver & Mazvita.

NOW invites you to find power in ambiguity with Ira Brand, dive into a vertigo-inducing collision of class and queerness created by dance and music duo BULLYACHE, immerse yourself into a bathtub of technicolour dreams with Freddie Wulf, watch as Marikiscrycrycry converges wining, liming and rocking with ultimate bloodshed and move with SERAFINE1369 and their choreographic machine.

Finally, in a first for The Yard, Daniel Oliver & Mazvita will present The Egg Show, born from Mazvita’s work in Yard Young Artists, The Yard’s programme of free theatre making for East London young people.

And the programme continues until the early hours of the morning, The Yard is launching its inaugural in-house night, CLUB NOW, featuring DJs from Pxssy Palace, NiteDykez and Little Gay Brother, regular Yard queer performance party KNICKERBOCKER returns and a brand new night, BOOTYACHE, from NOW 23 artists BULLYACHE.

It’s good to be back.

“It gives us all at The Yard such pleasure to re-launch the NOW Festival. At a time when audiences want and need to see gorgeous new ideas, new stories, new styles, and new sounds, we’re hugely excited by the line-up we have brought together. We asked some phenomenal artists, each with their own distinct practice, to reckon with the past, reflect on the present and create a tomorrow, in the Now. Join in, be there!”

Founder and Artistic Director, Jay Miller

What’s On & When:


Tuesday 18 April – Thursday 20 April, 8pm, Friday 21 April – Saturday 22 April, 9pm

International choreographer, dancer and Forbes ‘30 under 30’ recipient Marikiscrycrycry returns to NOW after two sell-out runs with a fearsome dance horror journey into migration, alienation, belonging, addiction and violence. It’s rock-and-roll, scary, bold, violent, beautiful, sexy and f***** up. Commissioned by The Yard Theatre.​

Daniel Oliver & MazvitaThe Egg Show – April 21-22 7pm & April 23 at 3pm

This is a show about Mazvita, a 10-year-old Yardling who likes to pull her jumper over her head and be an egg. This is also a show about Daniel Oliver, a 41-year-old performance artist, he likes to shout and create a mess. The Egg Show is a show about eggs…. eggs that want to become superstars. Along with their egg pal, Jessica, Daniel and Mazvita weave together stories taking audiences on a gloriously chaotic trip into a yolk-covered world of egg dancing, egg acting and egg singing. Commissioned by The Yard Theatre and supported by The Ragdoll Foundation.

Freddie Wulfwe are all made of stars – May 2-6 7pm

Immersed into a bathtub and equipped with a borescope camera, Freddie Wulf reveals body, plant and water as an ecosystem. We will witness living landscapes up close, constantly in flux, set to an original live score by composer Alicia Jane Turner. A cosmic odyssey and invitation to slow down, speed up and zoom in, embodiment, self-perception, dance, lipsyncing and moving visuals are in the mix alongside Freddie’s distinctive performance style. Commissioned by Fierce and Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts (ACCA). Supported by Jerwood New Work Fund and The Yard Theatre. Funded by Arts Council England and Help Musicians.

Ira BrandCommitment Phobe – May 2-6, 9pm

Commitment Phobe is an exploration of doubt in a world that values certainty. It’s a live, physical and performative experiment, dedicated to what it means to not pick a side in today’s inconsistent society. International performance maker and co-director of Forest Fringe Ira Brand is trying to find strength in uncertainty, discover power in ambiguity, and navigate a time where we’re asked to take a strong, binary, personal and political position on almost everything. By Frascati Producties in coproduction with wpZimmer, C-Takt, Festival Cement, and The Yard Theatre.

SERAFINE1369 (AKA Jamila Johnson-Small) – IV – April 25-28, 8pm

Each minute, on the minute, they move. IV brings together bodies in movement and stillness, in light and in darkness, and a speaking clock, to create a series of tableaux and moments of dancing with complete abandonment. SERAFINE1369 has created a choreographic machine, a work of loose dancing emerging through tight structure, a system of movement and stillness, a meditative play between instinctive rhythms and strict timing. A storm is breaking. Commissioned by The Yard Theatre.


May 9-13, 8pm

In a holding room, participants wait. A pageant is about to begin. There will be no call time, just perpetual purgatory. Blending the myth of Orpheus with the DWP, TOM is a vertigo-inducing pop-culture collision of working class and queer expression. With original live music and dance from BULLYACHE’s Jacob Samuel and Tylor Deyn, BULLYACHE and cast burst into song, fight, f***, live, laugh and love, to dissect the heavy price of being in a world that demands too much. BULLYACHE are currently Barbican Open Lab Artists for 2023 and also residents at seminal London club Fabric. Their poignant, high octane and physically exuberant performances are earning them a strong following in London and beyond. Commissioned by The Yard Theatre and supported by The Abderrahim Crickmay Charitable Settlement.

To find out more about NOW23, visit here…


Written by Theatrefullstop