Bristol Song Recital Series: Schumann’s Dichterliebe

Baritone Robert-John Edwards and pianist Sara Wilander in Schumann’s Dichterliebe (“the Poet’s Love”), plus other songs by Schubert and Brahms. An unparalleled chance to hear classic music beautifully sung in an intimate acoustic, as part of Bristol’s prestigious Song Recital Series.

Running Time: 90 minutes (with interval)

I Am Echoborg

I Am Echoborg is a funny, thought-provoking show created afresh each time by the audience in conversation with an artificial intelligence. The host sets the audience a challenge; to discover the best possible outcome for the relationship between humans and intelligent machines. But the AI has another agenda. The content, tone and ending of each show are different each time depending on the conversations that unfold.

This is a pioneering use of AI as a tool to offer audiences genuine agency in an experiential exploration of the impacts of automation on what it is to be human. I am Echoborg was devised by award winning writer/director Rik Lander with conversational systems expert Phil D Hall. It was shortlisted for an Innovation in Storytelling Award at the 2018 Future of Storytelling Summit. Funded by the University of the West of England’s Arts, Education and Creative Industries Faculty and its Digital Cultures Research Centre.

“I had tears running down my eyes I was laughing so hard. 10/10, would Echoborg again.”
Audience Reaction

“I was astonished by the emotional effect the conversation had on me.”
Audience Reaction

“We may all end up, within our lifetime, dealing with something like this. We better get ready.”
Audience Reaction

Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

Papaya Fest: Juicy Bits

A groundbreaking collaboration between Bristolian and Latin American theatre-makers. Each handpicked local performer will be paired with an artist from Latin America and together they will experiment online with making exciting new work across continents. Come and be part of something new and watch juicy bits of adventurous international theatre performed live.

Papaya Fest 2019
At the beating heart of Papaya is a unique fusion of Latin American and British culture, so we’ll be bringing together an incredible array of theatre, live music and DJs and mixing it all up into one ferocious fiesta of a weekend.

Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

Papaya Fest: Manuelita

The award-winning hit show returns to Bristol, after sell-out performances across the UK and a triumphant tour of Latin America. Revolutionary, proto-feminist, underground spy and the beating heart of South American liberation, Manuela Saenz died in poverty, all but forgotten by the history books – until now. Blending storytelling, physical theatre, comedy and live music, Tamsin Hurtado Clarke brings this incredible story of love, loss and revolution to life. With live musical accompaniment by acclaimed Chilean guitarist Santiago Jara Astaburuaga, Manuelita promises audiences a heart-stirring and unforgettable theatrical experience.

WINNER Three Weeks Editors’ Award (Top Ten Shows of the Fringe), 2014

“A hilarious, moving, tragic and heart-warming piece of theatre…one not to be missed.”
★★★★★ Three Weeks

“A wonderful, warm performance that will have you leaving on a high.”
★★★★ The Stage

Papaya Fest 2019
At the beating heart of Papaya is a unique fusion of Latin American and British culture, so we’ll be bringing together an incredible array of theatre, live music and DJs and mixing it all up into one ferocious fiesta of a weekend.

Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

Papaya Fest: 100 Years

Tamsin is turning one of the most epic novels of all time into a one woman show. She’s read the book, done the research, and delved deep into her cultural heritage. If she can pull this off, her career will be sorted. Everything will fall into place. Sure, her Venezuelan grandmother had given birth to seven children by her age. But Tamsin is ready to give birth to a masterpiece. A radical re-imagining of Marquez’s landmark novel One Hundred Years of Solitude, told with bold physicality and sharp humour. Award-winning Popelei returns to the stage with this mischievous look at bloodlines, breeding and the weight of inheritance.

Papaya Fest 2019
At the beating heart of Papaya is a unique fusion of Latin American and British culture, so we’ll be bringing together an incredible array of theatre, live music and DJs and mixing it all up into one ferocious fiesta of a weekend.

Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Phil King + Emily Davies

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Regular intimate, sit-down gigs with some of the greatest musicians from around the globe.

As a singer songwriter Phil King has the whole trinity: a beautiful, soulful voice; deft skills at playing the guitar and the capacity to write elegantly worded and powerful songs. His studio album The Wreckage has already caught excellent media attention, with Radio 2’s Bob Harris describing him as “absolutely brilliant” and a “song weaver” and the follow up live album recorded at our very own Wardrobe Theatre captures Phil solo in a magical intimate setting. This show will be promoting a new string of material being released as a set of singles so keep an eye on the socials for updates.

“Absolutely brilliant. He is a song weaver.”
Bob Harris BBC Radio 2

“Stunningly beautiful, The Wreckage should expand his profile considerably.”
Folk Radio UK

Originally from Herefordshire, via a spell in London, Emily Davies now calls Devon her home and it’s here that’s she’s quietly cementing her reputation as a singer-songwriter of the most enchanting variety. Emily is a seasoned performer, crafting spellbinding sets that are undeniably steeped in the magic of the past, while still maintaining a refreshing air of the new. Her songs blend bittersweet folk with a melodic mix of alt-country and a genuine pop sensibility and showcase a voice that’s both breathy, big and soulful too. She is a pure and supremely talented songwriter: spend a little time in her presence and drift away somewhere else entirely.

Running Time: 2 hours (no interval)

Wild Swimming

‘Whoever masters form masters time.’
Glyn Maxwell

‘We are only just starting to be able to make eye contact with the male gaze, and not just call it reality.’
Lucy Prebble, Twitter, 17.11.17

Wild Swimming: a brief and benighted history. Nell and Oscar meet on a deserted beach in Dorset. It’s 1595… or maybe it’s 1610. Oscar has returned from his first term at university and Nell is doing f*ck all. They will meet here, again and again, on this beach… for the next 400 years. Stuff will change. As it does with time. They will try to keep up.

Wild Swimming is a kaleidoscopic exploration of artistic expression and cultural progress. It’s a relentless interrogation of gender and privilege and a willfully ignorant history of English literature. Recipients of the Ronald Duncan Award and Pleasance Pathways Partnership Award, FullRogue are a messy, angry and fearless, Bristol-based theatre company.

Photo credit: Chelsey Cliff
Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

The Sorcerer’s Apprentice

‘This Christmas, whatever you do, don’t forget the magic word…!’

What if you uncovered the secret that your grouchy neighbour is actually a wizard whose house is powered entirely by magic? And what if agreeing to feed their cat while they’re away during the Christmas holidays turned into an adventure that threatens to spiral out of control? Would you know how to cope with a vacuum cleaner that has a mind of its own? And just how do you convince those presents to stay
under the tree!?!

Taking their inspiration from Goethe’s poem, two of Bristol’s leading family theatre makers, Soap Soup Theatre (The Selfish Giant, The Snow Baby, The Pixies’ Scarf) and Open Attic Company (Much Ado About Puffin, Stella & The Starshiners, Mistletoes & Whiney), team up for the first time to make this very special family Christmas show. Combining forces to share their passion for intricate puppetry, hilarious characters and sumptuous design on what could be their most magical offering yet: The Sorcerer’s Apprentice!

Join us for a thrilling story about trying to help out, running before you can walk, biting off more than you can chew and how people you know might not always be quite what they seem!

“A beautiful show that will appeal across generations.”
★★★★ A Spy In The Stalls on Soap Soup Theatre and Tessa Bide Production’s The Selfish Giant

“A tender and enchanting children’s story, featuring a host of loveable characters.”
The Reviews Hub on Soap Soup Theatre’s The Snow Baby

“A very enjoyable and well-executed piece of theatre that charmed us all.”
Weston Super Mum on Soap Soup Theatre’s The Owl & The Pussycat’s Treasury of Nonsense

“A story of beauty, laughter and love that transcends language and age barriers.”
Made In Plymouth on Much Ado About Puffin

Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

Undercover Christmas Club

England. 1647. Celebrating Christmas has been banned by those pesky Puritans. Carols are criminal. Turkey’s taboo. Banquets are banished and stage-plays prohibited. In fact, festivities of any kind are quite frankly forbidden. But we don’t give a figgy pudding.

Here at the Undercover Christmas Club, misrule and mayhem are on the menu. Hidden away from prying eyes, we present a feast of theatrical yuletide treats. Tales abound and songs a-plenty, served with a side of tomfoolery and washed down with a tankard of merriment. Join us under the cover of night as we frolic without fear and revel in rebellion. After all, ‘tis the season to be jolly.

Riddlestick Theatre are dedicated to tickling fancies with weird and wonderful stories and enchanting live music. They are returning to The Wardrobe Theatre after a sell-out run of The Cabinet of Madame Fanny Du Thé, listed in The Guardian’s Best Shows at the Edinburgh Festival 2018.

“Their energy is boundless, the script fiercely intelligent and the original live music bound to stay dancing through your head.”
Guardian on The Cabinet of Madame Fanny Du Thé

“Energetic, rich storytelling seasoned with a generous helping of genuine fun.”
★★★★ A Younger Theatre on The Cabinet of Madame Fanny Du Thé

“Turning tired adults back into curious children, always ready for another unbelievable story.”
★★★★ Theatre Weekly on The Cabinet of Madame Fanny Du Thé

“Through a whirlwind of tall tales and song, Riddlestick Theatre had me hanging onto their every oddity.”
★★★★ EdFringeReview on The Cabinet of Madame Fanny Du Thé

“If it’s entertainment you’re after then this show won’t disappoint.”
★★★★ Stage Talk on The Cabinet of Madame Fanny Du Thé

“Riddlestick Theatre are a riot of fun.”
Weston-Super-Mum on The Cabinet of Madame Fanny Du Thé

“This is creative, imaginative theatre at its very best – and even the greatest cynic will likely be left feeling thoroughly entertained and amused.”
Bristol 24/7 on The Cabinet of Madame Fanny Du Thé

Milk Poetry & Blahblahblah: If Music be the Food of Love…

Poetry and music are soul sisters. So, this December we’re bringing them together a poetic symphony to warm your cockles and your toes.

Grab yourself a mug of mulled wine and a mince pie from the Old Market Assembly bar and let our specially selected line up of musical poets and poetic musicians do their thing.

If music be the food of love, play on!

Milk Poetry selects the finest, freshest poets from the UK and beyond to produce the most nourishing and eclectic spoken word bonanza you could ever hope for!

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)