First Thursdays Festival
Creativity around every corner...
First Thursdays is a monthly festival with events throughout Colchester city centre! The festival celebrates the city’s vibrant and diverse cultural scene, seeing venues thrown open for the community, with fantastic performances, workshops and interactive experiences. Many creatives featured responded to our Creative Commissions Fund where we seek exciting performance, workshop and installations from Colchester and Tendring creatives.
Our next festival is March 7th 2024. The full programme can be found below.
You can reserve your place at one of our events by booking your ticket in advance (most of which are FREE). Or, if there is capacity you can just turn up and enjoy.
What’s On This Month
Arcadia @ The Headgate Theatre
Arcadia explores the hidden electromagnetic soundtrack of Essex’s coastal arcades with a saturated lighting display that transmits audio via light to the audience’s handheld listening device. It’s an installation that brings a sense of wonder, fascination and carnivalesque excitement to audiences.
Colchester Neuronarratives @ Signals
A workshop with local industry professionals (writer/musician) Nix Nugent and (multi-disciplinary artist) Hannah Aria, Colchester’s places and landmarks will be discussed and viewed through YOUR lens.
Decree of Nullity @ Firstsite
A theatre performance set in 1855 about Effie Ruskin who boards a train heading to Scotland. Her husband thought it would just be a three-month separation. However, it ends up being a legal battle, when in a letter he receives their wedding ring, the keys to their home and a citation to court.
Emotional Madness with MaryAnn & Mates @ Colchester Arts Centre
An evening of spoken word and poetry hosted by Mary-Ann Ambrose. A mixture of emotions, a roller coaster of fun and sadness. There will also be a charity raffle in aid of NEXT CHAPTER. Mary-Ann has been working hard to bring together a fantastic selection of prizes so be sure to get yourself a raffle ticket or 2!
First-time Poets @ Firstsite Café
This workshop is specifically designed to welcome people who have not written before, so if you’re new to writing join us to work together on a collaborative poem inspired by the wonderful current exhibitions at Firstsite. If you already write, then bring along a friend who is new to writing!
It’s About Your Son @ Firstsite
“They’re all good boys, until they’re not…” Can two grieving mothers put blame and guilt aside as they attempt to create something positive in the memories of their children together? Colchester based Little Two Theatre Company’s thought-provoking debut show explores the impact of knife crime on individuals, families, and communities.
Makerspace Socials @ Colchester Makerspace
Thinking of becoming a member and want to know more? Already a member and want to catch up with the others? Makerspace Socials are free, include a short introduction, an opportunity to meet our members and associate artists and hear a short show-and-tell from our Maker of the Month.
Modern Tendring Vernacular @ The Minories
Sound artist Stuart Bowditch will gather found and donated sounds from the Tendring District during January and February and use them as source sounds for an improvised, experimental electronic performance.
Mudras, Movement and Mark Making @ Patch
Come along to a culturally enriching and fully entertaining evening of classical Indian Dance and simultaneous Experimental Live Drawing. Presented by creative female duo: dancer Jaymini Bedia and visual artist Mary Pullen Deacon, this event promises unique and entertaining performance with the invitation to participate – dance and draw! Be inspired and let your creativity flow!
Revealing the Mask @ The Headgate Theatre (Studio)
A creative, high energy and inspiring workshop from Vamos Theatre gives participants a thorough grounding in the basics of full mask theatre. Through exercises and shared exploration, the workshop introduces mask characterisation, mask physicality, and techniques such as clocking, stillness and isolation, helping to build confidence and understanding of mask performance.
SENtre Essex SENsory Sounds @ Level Best Enterprises
Join Meggie for this sounds, singing and music session. Bespoke for adults with special educational needs, this session aims to create the right sounds in singing technique. Everyone is welcome, even if you don’t have additional needs, you are bound to have fun and learn a singing technique or two.
The Importance of Being Earnest @ The Mercury Theatre
Widely regarded as one of the greatest comedies ever written, The Importance of Being Earnest zings with contemporary relevance, subversively satirising the snobbery and hypocrisy of extreme wealth and excess.
The Thursday Jam @ Coda
Play an instrument? Fancy channelling your inner rockstar? Turn up and join other musicians in Colchester’s Jam Night!
Free/ Non-ticketed Event
To get yourself in the First Thursdays mood, take a look at our brilliant January photo gallery, taken by Jonathan Dadds.