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Departure Lounge Festival 2022

14th July 2022 - 16th July 2022

The Midlands' festival for fresh and contemporary theatre 

In Good Company's, Departure Lounge Festival returns from 14-16 July. Every corner of Derby Theatre and beyond will be brought to life by extraordinary performances, workshops and discussion. 

Further performances and workshops are to be announced in the coming weeks. Keep an eye out as these get announced!

The Performance Line Up..

The Endling 

Based on research with environmental organisations, this quirky two hander offers “Incredibly slick execution, clever script and a savagely relevant concept powered by two phenomenal performances” (Artistic Director, Lion & Unicorn), as it explores the interconnectedness of human existence with the lives and deaths of other species. 

Thursday 14 July- 7.30pm

A Beginners Guide To Widowhood

Suria has lost her husband. (She hasn’t misplaced him or anything - he's dead.)

Join her & the kids in Turkey, on what will become "the worst holiday ever." A trip fraught with new challenges: navigating bad advice, sympathetic head tilts... and the 'W' word. 

But the turbulent dynamics of a newly fractured family aren't the kind of baggage you can just stow away neatly in an overhead compartment...

Friday 15 July- 3pm 


This is a show about me, Holly, a dyspraxic living in this neurotypical world. Expect some joy, some frustration, and rather a lot of exaggerated arm movements. You may even find out what dyspraxia actually is, well for me anyway.

Friday 15 July-7.30pm


Making decisions can be difficult. Especially if the decision is to stay alive.

Ambivalence tells the autobiographical story of a woman’s journey as we are invited to hear her unsaid thoughts through pages of her diary.

Friday 15 July- 9pm

This performance will be BSL Interpreted and Captioned 

Bonfire (Work in Progress)

Through pop music, movement & playful storytelling ‘Bonfire’ is a monologue-megamix written by Derby Theatre Associate Artist Simon Marshall on reclaiming queer identity and resisting shame. The piece is inspired by Bernardo’s 2016 ‘Not on the Radar’ report & consultation with Derbyshire LGBT+.

Saturday 16 July- 7.30pm

Scratch Night 

5 Years, Retro Feva and Ace. Three vibrant new peices in an exiting triple bill.

Saturday 16 July- 2pm 

This triple bill will be BSL Interpreted 


Fat Blokes is the cult, award winning, sell out, sort of dance show about trying to fit into a world that says you’re too fat.

Made by five fat friends who have never done this sort of thing before, in collaboration with Lea Anderson, Fat Blokes subjects you to our pent up aggression, love for riot grrrl and our ability to burp on command.

Thursday 14 July - Friday 15 July 

The performance on Friday 15, 7.30pm will be BSL Interpreted and Captioned 

Utopian (t&c's apply)

UTOPIAN (t's&c’s apply) is a surrealistic circus pop-culture queer positive experience. And it’s absolute trash. Joined by their accomplice, Symoné takes you on an expedition inspired by raves and power play, with a big pink pole, 6 inch skates, and gender nonconformity.

Saturday 16 July- 4pm

This performane will be BSL Interpreted and Captioned  

The Cocoa Butter Club

The Cocoa Butter Club presents a one-off Queer Cabaret celebrating everything from neo-burlesque and poetry, to drag, hoops and voguing.

So, lotion up, baby, because as they bring you a night bold enough to have you screaming ‘yaaaaas queen, smell like cocoa butter up in hurr!

Trust the trailblazers of decolonising and moisturising cabaret to be a part of your super summer.

Saturday 16 July- 9pm

This performane will be BSL Interpreted and Captioned  

Free Panel Discussion

Survival, resilience, wellbeing and self-care. An optimistic conversation about using theatre and all the tools we have available to make things better for all.

Friday 15 July-12pm

Free Panel Discussion

This panel discussion will be BSL Interpreted 

The Pervert's Podcast

Milk Presents will land a listening post at Departure Lounge for audiences to enjoy, The Pervert's Podcast, an audio caberet recorded with a live audience at the legendary Royal Vauxhall Tavern, London, produced by She Wants a Dog . Join host leo Skilbeck for onstage glamour and backstage goss relaming the queer history onced considered perverted, with scandalous archival artifacts, expert historians and glittering artists.

The Perverts Podcast features:

George Bourgeois, Jacob Bloomfield, Ginger Johnson, Mizz Kim, E.J Scott, ShayShay, Annie Siddons, Leo Skilbeck and Campbell X. 

Boogie Booth

Boogie Booth is a live performance and dance experience. Visitors will meet our resident Boogie Boothers, Phantom Mercury & Dorothy, experts in the bum wiggle and the shoulder shimmy!  They will take you on a spectacular tour through the world of dance from Jazz, Hip-Hop, to Roma dancing, all within the magical Boogie Booth. 

Friday 15 July  - Satu 16 July (for specific times please click the title above)

Boogie Booth is BSL Intergrated.

The Workshop Line Up.. 

Shooting the Elephant- An Intersectional Approach to Inclusive Narrative 

The moment disabled people step on to a stage or screen they are stitched up. A toxic combination of societal narratives and the very mechanics of story itself lead to a fixation on cliché and simplistic perspectives. Its being going on since the birth of civilization. This workshop will explore deeper intersectional representations for disabled theatre making and how together we can undo the stitch up.

Friday 15 July- 10am 

This workshop will be BSL Interpreted

Making of 'A Beginners Guide to Widowhood'

Join director & facilitator Omar Khan as he hosts an open discussion exploring the process of making A Beginner's Guide to Widowhood, and how we as theatre makers can work towards holding a rehearsal room that promotes openness and collaboration.

 Friday 15 July- 5pm

This workshop will be BSL Interpreted 

Making Theatre Sustainable 

Concerned about the climate crisis? Interested in making theatre which doesn’t damage the planet?

Join Pigfoot – a multi award-winning carbon-neutral theatre company – for a practical workshop for any theatre-maker keen to create theatre about the climate crisis, without a carbon footprint.

Saturday 16 July- 11am

This workshop will be BSL Interpreted 

Producing with Kindness 

Led by Nottingham based freelance Producer Jake Orr, this workshop will explore the relationship between producers and artists and provide tangible steps for how to create a meaningful producer relationship and how you might go about finding the producer of your dreams. 

Friday 15 July - 1.30pm 

This workshop will be BSL Interpreted 

Please Note: Festival Line up is subject to change.

Access Information 

In Good Company and Derby Theatre are committed in ensuring everyone is welcome and can engage in the work we present at this years Departure Lounge. 

Performances and Workshops:

All performances, workshops, including the panel discussion, are BSL interpreted and live captioning will be provided.  Please see our event page for more details.

All events have step free access routes available. As seating for all events is unreserved, please do let us know upon booking if you do require any of these services so spaces can be reserved if required.