Promo: Dash Arts national tour brings a night of Myth, music and Mischief.

National tour brings a night of Myth, Music and Mischief to Dido’s Bar 

Art Reach, the producers of the annual Journeys Festival International, the UK’s first Festival of Sanctuary have teamed up with creators of incredible artistic experiences, Dash Arts to bring an evening of theatre and live music together on 18th and 19th of October to The Y Theatre Leicester.

Set in a night club, teetering on the edge of belonging, Dido’s Bar is a new immersive theatre production which will be performed by a multilingual international ensemble of actor-musicians, bringing to life the classic myth of migration, love, and assimilation, through the eyes of refugees today.

Director Josephine Burton, Artistic Director of Dash said, ‘The ancient myth of Aeneas, a refugee from the war-torn East who travels across the Mediterranean to seek sanctuary and build a new home in Europe, is truly a tale for our time. We are bringing it hurtling into the present – setting the drama in a music club on the edge of town, where the heroes of old are now the great music stars of today, with a little jazz and world music thrown in!”

Audiences can expect an evening of sumptuous music and electrifying storytelling as Dido’s Bar owners Juno and Venus invite you to hear their latest musical discoveries alongside regular favourites. The actors and musicians will greet the audience and invite them to grab a drink from the bar and offer visas, places to stay and work as part of the interactive performance. All the drama within the production take place in and around the live audience in the bar.

Maddie Smart, Executive Artistic Producer for Journeys Festival International explained further, “We’ve been exploring stories of migration at our festival in Leicester since 2013. This summer we celebrated our tenth annual festival in the city and the support was incredible. Partnering with Dash Arts, on this national tour, allows us to highlight these stories in a new way for us. It’s incredibly rewarding to be able to host this national tour in Leicester as it’s the hometown for our festival too.”

The Leicester performances are available for two nights only before touring to venues in Portsmouth and Oxford as the final legs of the national tour.

This takes a new approach for the team behind Journeys Festival International who have delivered a festival style event in Leicester since 2013. Over the years the festival used huge outdoor art exhibitions, film nights, large-scale outdoor theatre, immersive events in galleries and a huge array of live performance to raise awareness of the migration crisis and offer a platform to artists of sanctuary seeking backgrounds.

Dido’s Bar will be a blend of the best elements of the festival and the impressive artistic creativity of the Dash Arts Team, together they’ll ensure that these performances are delivered in an electric atmosphere that will make for a heavenly night out of live entertainment.

Dash Arts (

Dash Arts creates award-winning exceptional artistic experiences that bridge divides across art forms, cultures, languages, and communities. We seek to fuse local and global perspectives, cut through stereotypes and generalisations, and remove international cultural barriers.

Our productions, co-commissioned and co-produced with partners including National Theatre, Sadler’s Wells, Curve Leicester, Edinburgh International Festival, Lincoln Centre Festival and Luminato Festival Canada, have had widely acclaimed major international tours.

We immerse ourselves in a particular part of the world, a question or a theme over an extended period of time to research, create and produce new work, resulting in rich productions, events and participation programmes with international actors, musicians and artists, many of whom are emerging as well as refugee and immigrant artists in the UK.  Previous productions include The Great Middlemarch Mystery, part of this year’s Coventry City of Culture, ground-breaking international music production Lyrical Alliance at the Roundhouse, the double Olivier-award winning Babel and the Indian A Midsummer Night’s Dream, which played sell-out seasons with the RSC in Stratford and at London’s Roundhouse before touring worldwide. 

Art Reach (

We commission bold, ambitious art and festivals that bring people together, deliver activities and authentic experiences that unify audiences and cultures. We empower a range of artistic voices that excite and surprise with fresh energy and new ideas. Together we explore complex pasts, reshape the present and imagine new futures. We celebrate the power of sanctuary, unleash expression and tell extraordinary stories.

Journeys Festival International (

Journeys Festival International curates, presents and commissions a varied programme of work created by artists exploring the refugee experience and global cultures through artistic and creative encounters.

Arts Council England (

Arts Council England is the national development agency for creativity and culture. We have set out our strategic vision in Let’s Create that by 2030 we want England to be a country in which the creativity of each of us is valued and given the chance to flourish and where everyone of us has access to a remarkable range of high-quality cultural experiences. We invest public money from Government and The National Lottery to help support the sector and to deliver this vision.

Following the Covid-19 crisis, the Arts Council developed a £160 million Emergency Response Package, with nearly 90% coming from the National Lottery, for organisations and individuals needing support. We are also one of the bodies administering the Government’s unprecedented £1.96 billion Culture Recovery Funds. Find out more at

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