Mayfest 2018

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Bristol’s unique international festival of contemporary theatre, Mayfest 2018 will bring a broad range of unusual, playful and ambitious work from leading theatre makers from Bristol, the UK and beyond to the city.

Produced by MAYK in partnership with arts organisations from across Bristol, Mayfest 2018 will bring unique pieces of theatre to life in pubs and clubs, community centres and libraries, theatres, galleries, streets and woods. As regular Mayfest fans know, the festival turns the whole city into a playground.

Selected highlights of the 2018 programme are below. For the full list of shows and ticket details, see the official Mayfest website.

Mayfest’s Artistic Directors are Matthew Austin and Kate Yedigaroff.

Contact Gonzo v Bristol (Jacobs Wells Baths)

A dance that’s also a martial art and also a bit like a game? Contact Gonzo will be making their UK debut at Mayfest 2018, bringing their playful and jaw-dropping physical style to Bristol.

Expect something that is both violent, tender, funny and serious at the same time.

Based in Osaka, Japan, Contact Gonzo were founded in 2006 and made their name on YouTube. Contact Gonzo is both their collective name, and the name of the practice developed by Masaru Kakio and Yuya Tsukahara.

Choral Cuisine by Sabrina Shizari (Extract Coffee Roasters)

If music be the food of love…This two course meal will offer ticket holders the chance to create a composition while they dine.

You might find a flute in your fork, percussion on your plate or a choir in your cup. By combining tableware and technology, Sabrina Shizari will help diners translate the act of eating into a symphony of sound.

Choral Cuisine has been created by Sabrina Shirazi a resident of Pervasive Media Studio, with composer Wilf Petherbridge and creative technologists Luke Saxton and Joseph Horton.

Allergy Information: A vegetarian set-menu containing nuts, gluten and dairy.

Complicated Grief by Ridiculusmus (Tobacco Factory Theatres)

Indie theatre legends David Woods and Jon Haynes of Ridiculusmus bring to life the story of two men putting off death in a snail-paced farce.

Having been producing seriously funny theatre for more than 20 years, Ridiculusmus have been to Mayfest before and this latest offering is a slapstick comedy about hanging on, dying and grieving.

Driving and leading as author-actors, David and Jon have established Ridiculusmus as a flagship UK theatre company touring nationally and internationally with works passionately wrought from minimal resources.

You can also catch Give Me Your Love and The Eradication of Schizophrenia in Western Lapland as part of the Ridiculusmus Trilogy at Mayfest 2018.

Drag Queen Story Time (Colston Hall Foyer and Arnolfini)

Inspired by the forever-fabulous Drag Queen Story Hour in the USA, Drag Queen Story Time was created for Bristol Pride 2017 and has carried on entertaining young audiences ever since.

Drag Queen Story Time, presented by the incredibly witty Alyssa Van Delle, sees fairy tales come to life and allows children to see glamorous, positive and unabashedly queer role models.

How (not) To Live in Surburbia by Annie Siddons (Trinity Centre)

Performed by Annie Siddons and Sarah Moore, this show is the hilarious, brutal and poignant story of what happened when single mother, artist and proud Londoner Annie found herself living in suburbia by accident.

As a playwright Annie has worked with Kneehigh, Bristol Old Vic, Shakespeare’s Globe, Glasgow Citizens’ Theatre and many more.

How (Not) to Live in Suburbia tours the UK in Spring/Autumn 2018 and is in development for TV, which lead to Annie making her TV debut on Alan Davies,chat show, As Yet Untitled.

The Killers by Richard Allen (The Regent, Weston-super-Mare)

Sat in The Regent seaside diner in Weston, the headphone-wearing audience will listen and watch as the audio is constructed, eavesdropping on conversations, tracking the flight of a wayward fly and hearing in real time the countdown to an assassination.

The work draws on adaptations of Ernest Hemingway’s The Killers (1927) which tells the story of two assassins as they arrive at a diner, thirty minutes before a killing. The men order two fish suppers and discuss methods of execution.

Tickets for The Killers include a £5 food voucher to redeem at The Regent. Arrive for 7pm to eat, before the show starts at 8pm.


“A mix of work so tasty it makes you want to up sticks and move to Bristol permanently”

The Guardian


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