Departure Lounge Festival 2018

Thursday 19 - Sunday 22 July 2018

Produced by In Good Company, Departure Lounge Festival is the arts festival for groundbreaking work in the heart of the country. Every corner of Derby Theatre and beyond will be brought to life by extraordinary performances, workshops and discussion. 

We really are reimagining what a theatrical experience can be and are committed to supporting curious minds and artists. There's the regular mix of Edinburgh previews, the best of the East Midlands blended with the UK’s most exciting artists and companies, sharing works-in-progress, performances in cafés and cars, all nighters, immersive and intimate performances and award-winning touring work.

This year we've got corker of a line-up being assembled for our Leadership In The Arts panel discussion on Friday. We are also teaming up with Little Earthquake to host East-Meets-West once again and re-charging our batteries and taking stock on our Sunday workshop day. 

We’ve kept our ticket prices low, as we know artists and audiences aren’t always loaded, so check out our weekender and day passes below. If you just want to pop along to an individual event nothing costs more than a tenner! At Departure Lounge you'll always be In Good Company. 


The Line-Up 

Thursday 19 July

Departure Lounge Festival 2018 - Thursday 

Development - East Meets West: The Human Search Engine, 3pm - 6pm

Do you have a burning question? Need a bit of advice? Come and take part in a peer support session that guarantees to generate rapid answers to your problems and useful suggestions based on your queries. 

Edinburgh Preview - A Self Help Guide To Being In Love With Jeremy Corbyn, 7pm - 8pm 

Following the success of their first music and poetry show, Burning Books, Jess Green and the Mischief Thieves return with a lyrical, powerful and humorous look at modern politics.

East Midlands Work - Vulva La Revolution, 8:30pm - 9:30pm

After their recent lark about on Nottingham Playhouse's main stage, Major Labia present their bloody funneh’ celebration of wonder women of Notts throughout the ages.

Friday 20 July

Departure Lounge Festival 2018 - Friday

Talk - The Future of Arts Leadership Debate, 11am - 12:30pm

Practitioners, artists and audiences are invited to come together for a fascinating and insightful discussion with leaders from a range of inspirational arts organisations in the UK, including Kwame Kwei-Armah, Jenny Sealey and Natalie Ibu. Hosted by theatre critic and journalist Matt Trueman.

Food - Networking Lunch, 12:30pm - 1:30pm

After the the Panel Discussion, this is a free opportunity for programmers and artists to chat while you chow.

Rehearsed Reading - I Dare You, 1:15pm - 1:30pm  

A play reading, written by Tom Powell, directed by Beth Shouler and commissioned by In Good Company, about family, trauma, suitcases of worms and a sofa that has seen everything. 

Highlight - Wrecked, various times from 1pm - 6:30pm

A crashed car, no way out. For this powerful, intense and individual show you will be invited to a written-off vehicle, to experience the aftermath of Sam’s accident.

IGC Commission - User Not Found, 1:45pm or 5:30pm 

User Not Found is about our digital identities after we die. This new play by celebrated site-specific company Dante or Die and pioneering writer Chris Goode is performed in Derby Theatre’s café.

Highlight - The Jukeboxes, 2pm & 5.30pm (intu centre)

Two beautiful 1950’s Jukeboxes sit side-by-side. Watch them spring to life as two performers (hidden inside) re-create classic pop music videos in a lip-syncing musical medley. 

East Midlands Work - REPRESENT: A Women of Colour Showcase, 3:30pm - 5pm

An afternoon celebrating the diverse new work by women of colour. Performances by whatsthebigmistry, Lauren Nicole Whitter, Mia Johnson and Michelle Vacciana.

IGC Commission - Open Wound, 7:30pm - 8:30pm

Departure Lounge's Package Holiday production explores how the heightened gendered, racialized and classed social expectations in the new global context permeate into the most intimate relationships.

Open Mic, 9pm - 11pm

If you have theatre, music, poetry, comedy or more that you would like to present in a relaxed and intimate setting, come along to perform whilst meeting other like-minded artists.

Highlight - I'm Sticking With You, various times

A 15-minute, table-top performance which puts you at the centre. With just a box of characters and some simple instructions, the play delivers an experience of some of the feelings that have been running high in the UK since Brexit. 

Saturday 21 July

Departure Lounge Festival 2018 - Saturday

Workshop - Site Based Theatre Making with Dante or Die, 11am - 12:30pm

A 90-minute introduction to site-based theatre-making for professional theatre-makers or non-professionals with theatre experience

Wrecked, various times from 1pm - 6:30pm

A crashed car, no way out. For this powerful, intense and individual show you will be invited to a written-off vehicle, to experience the aftermath of Sam’s accident.

Brig-Aid -  Marathon Read-A-Thon, 1pm -4pm & 7pm-9pm

Different Artists and Companies will have an hour to reinterpret text from a critically acclaimed play, before the next company takes over

Edinburgh Preview - When Our Molecules Meet Again* Let's Hope They Remember What To Do, 2pm - 3pm

A new show from internationally acclaimed master of lo-fi, off-beat, music-infused solo storytelling, Stuart Bowden.

Edinburgh Preview - Fallen Fruit, 3.30pm

A story of love, breaking free and Europe, from multi-award-winning Two Destination Language, Fallen Fruit foregrounds a unique migrant voice born in communist Bulgaria.

Development - Eat, Meet and Greet, 5pm - 7pm

A chance to chat and connect with key staff from Arts Council England and In Good Company partner venues over food. 

Highlight - The Eulogy of Toby Peach, 7:30pm - 8:30pm

From diagnosis to remission, relapse and treatment; experience a young man’s journey with cancer in this honest, fascinating and inspiring exploration of modern science and the human body.

Highlight - We Are Ian, 9pm -10pm

In Bed With My Brother's new show about their mate Ian and the Acid House scene in 80s/90s Manchester. Using a messy, multimedia mish-mash of clowning, dance and lip-synching - they try and recreate the party.

The After Party, from 10pm

The party continues after the performance of We Are Ian, so stay for more great music, a few drinks and networking.

East Midlands Work - I'm Sticking With You, various times

A 15-minute, table-top performance which puts you at the centre. With just a box of characters and some simple instructions, the play delivers an experience of some of the feelings that have been running high in the UK since Brexit. 

Sunday 22 July

Departure Lounge Festival 2018 - Sunday

Workshop - The Night Shift with LaPelle's Factory, Saturday 21 July 11pm - Sunday 22 July 11am

A 12-hour theatrical lock-in for anyone interested in rapid-response theatre-making and staying up really, really late. Part workshop, part performance-making free-for-all.

Workshop - Killing Time with Stacy Makishi, 11am - 2pm

Do you kill your creative ideas before they’re born? Do you notice that the more time you have, the less you get done? Are you constantly getting in your own way? This workshop can help!

Workshop - Look After Yourself, 3pm - 5pm 

As our festival comes to an end, it’s important to take a moment to improve your sense of wellbeing, restore your energy levels and be kind to yourself with this wellness through movement workshop!

Prices and Passes

Our festival passes couldn’t be better value so we highly recommend picking up a weekend or day pass in order to get the most bang for your buck! Alternatively all events can be booked individually and everything is under £10! 

Festival Pass (Thu – Sun)

£80 (saving £50 per person) 

Full Day Pass (Fri or Sat only)             

£35 (saving £13 per person)        

Book your Festival Pass

Individual Performances & Events                                                        

£9 for full shows
£7 for workshops
£5 for work-in-progress pieces
£5 for open mic
Free for panel discussion, networking lunch and rehearsed reading

Book for individual events by following the links in the line up section above.


Departure Lounge welcomes all customers and we are working hard to make as much of the festival as we can accessible to all - including many events with captioning or BSL options.

Watch the BSL interpreted trailer for the festival below:

Captioned using The Difference Engine:

…Being in Love with Jeremy Corbyn  (Thu 19 July, 7pm)
Vulva La Revolution  (Thu 19 July, 8.30pm)
I’m Sticking with You  (Friday 20 July, 10.30am & 7pm and Saturday 21 July, 11am & 4.30pm)
When Our Molecules Meet Again*  (Saturday 21 July, 2pm)
The Eulogy of Toby Peach  (Saturday 21 July, 7.30pm)
We Are Ian  (Saturday 21 July, 9pm)

BSL interpreted:

Leadership in the Arts Panel Discussion  (Friday 20 July, 11am)
User Not Found  (Friday 20 July, 5.30pm)

Captioned using The Difference Engine AND BSL Interpreted:

I Dare You (Friday 20 July, 1.45pm)
REPRESENT: A Women of Colour Showcase (Friday 20 July, 3.30pm)
Open Wound  (Friday 20 July, 7.30pm)

The Difference Engine is a portable tool which puts access into people’s pockets – sending captions and/or audio description to audience members’ mobile devices (smart phones/tablets) via the Difference Engine app.

Wheelchair Access
All our performance and workshop spaces are accessible and if you are a wheelchair user, a dedicated member of our cabin crew will be able to guide you through our access routes. 

See the full list of Accessible Performances

Explore Departure Lounge

Every summer Derby Theatre is transformed into a vibrant festival hub and this year is no different. Here’s a run-down of what you can find around the theatre during the festival: 

Boarding Gate – Our Festival Box Office

Fuelling Depot - Our ground floor café serving in-flight food day and night 

Departure Gate – our second floor bistro and bar

Garden Stage – one of two festival performance spaces (Main Stage)

Studio Stage –  one of two festival performance spaces 

Rehearsal Bunker – our space for workshops

Customs - our intimate performance space (Lower Foyer)

Derbados – Our outside bar

Artist Hub – Our second floor artist hot desk hub, for those who need to catch up on a few emails in between shows

Festival food