Ben Osborn – Letters From The Border: Album Launch

and all our love is a pattern of ashes,
a scatter of songs overcome by the silence…

Ben Osborn, the award-winning poet, composer and songwriter, returns to the UK this summer to launch his debut album Letters From The Border at The Wardrobe Theatre.

The result of an extraordinary musical partnership with the head of Nonostar Records – German experimental violinist Alex Stolze – the album was created at the remote Nonostar Studio on the German-Polish border in the summer of 2018. Channelling Leonard Cohen-esque balladry, Ben’s penetrating poetic lyrics are set against ethereal string arrangements, skittering, Bjork-like beats and drifting Erik Satie inspired piano chords. His songs evoke a strange and broken world, at once the stories of Ben’s Eastern-European Jewish ancestry and the struggles faced by migrants and refugees today. Intimate and honest tales explores themes of nostalgia and unspoken family conflicts, and examine the universal experiences of grief and bereavement from a deeply personal perspective.

The album follows a 2017 poetry collection on Bristol’s Moot Press (Murmeln um Schiffland), released as a digital EP of songs on WANDA Portal Records. Ben is already well-known as a composer for theatre and film, and a critically acclaimed librettist and lyricist for classical music including commissions for BBC Radio 3’s concert series, the Bristol Proms and the Spitalfields Music Festival. A Bristol resident for many years, he left for Berlin in 2016 where he runs the Open Music Lab, a free school for refugee and migrant musicians.

How My Light Is Spent

Newport, Wales. Jimmy works in a doughnut shop. Kitty works for an adult chat line. Neither has met the other. Until, one day, this changes. Until, one day, Jimmy begins to vanish off the face of the earth. “Kitty, my hands have disappeared.” How My Light Is Spent is a lyrical, aching, joyous comedy about the unexpected places where love hides itself.

By Alan Harris
Directed by Nikhil Vyas
Designed by Robin Davis
By arrangement with Nick Hern Books

DIRECTORS’ CUTS SEASON 2019

The Directors’ Cuts season is a programme of contemporary theatre presented by the four graduating directors from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and featuring work by acting, design and production students. Now in its thirteenth year and at The Wardrobe Theatre for the third time, the Directors’ Cuts season is firmly established in the Bristol theatre calendar. It has a reputation for showcasing fresh, vibrant and cutting edge theatre work by some of the finest emerging talent in UK theatre. Diverse and highly charged, this is a season of provocative plays which all have an important relevance in today’s society.

“Contemporary drama with extraordinary insightfulness, vivacity and theatrical prowess.”
Jenny Stephens, Artistic Director, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

Poison

We’re…
A man and a woman
Who’ve lost a child
Who first lost a child
And then…each other

A couple torn apart by their son’s death meet at his graveyard. The cemetery is closing; the body must be moved.

Unearthing wounds once silenced, their meeting becomes an exercise in manipulation, a grapple of the past, and a fight for domination.

By Lot Vekemans
Directed by Sara Aniqah Malik
Designed by Oscar Selfridge
By arrangement with Nick Hern Books

DIRECTORS’ CUTS SEASON 2019

The Directors’ Cuts season is a programme of contemporary theatre presented by the four graduating directors from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and featuring work by acting, design and production students. Now in its thirteenth year and at The Wardrobe Theatre for the third time, the Directors’ Cuts season is firmly established in the Bristol theatre calendar. It has a reputation for showcasing fresh, vibrant and cutting edge theatre work by some of the finest emerging talent in UK theatre. Diverse and highly charged, this is a season of provocative plays which all have an important relevance in today’s society.

“Contemporary drama with extraordinary insightfulness, vivacity and theatrical prowess.”
Jenny Stephens, Artistic Director, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

The Greatest of The Greatest

In June 2010 Thommy Berggren and Mikael Persbrandt, icons of Nordic theatre and film, announced that they were collaborating on a masterpiece. Only one week before the show was due to open, they cancelled all the performances. This is the almost-true story of what actually happened when two male creative geniuses met to produce the greatest work of their careers, and failed. Oh, and Thommy and Mikael? They’re played by women.

By Eva Johansson and Louise Löwenberg
Directed by Charissa Martinkauppi
Designed by Alana Ashley

DIRECTORS’ CUTS SEASON 2019

The Directors’ Cuts season is a programme of contemporary theatre presented by the four graduating directors from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and featuring work by acting, design and production students. Now in its thirteenth year and at The Wardrobe Theatre for the third time, the Directors’ Cuts season is firmly established in the Bristol theatre calendar. It has a reputation for showcasing fresh, vibrant and cutting edge theatre work by some of the finest emerging talent in UK theatre. Diverse and highly charged, this is a season of provocative plays which all have an important relevance in today’s society.

“Contemporary drama with extraordinary insightfulness, vivacity and theatrical prowess.”
Jenny Stephens, Artistic Director, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

We Want You To Watch

Pig and Sissy want to eradicate porn forever. This is not an easy thing to do, but they’re trying. They feel they have to. To be clear, they’re not prudes, or conservative, or Catholic. This is not a show about love, or desire, or even sex. This is just about pornography. Kind of.

By Alice Birch & Rashdash
Directed by Claire O’Reilly
Designed by Roisin Martindale

DIRECTORS’ CUTS SEASON 2019

The Directors’ Cuts season is a programme of contemporary theatre presented by the four graduating directors from Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and featuring work by acting, design and production students. Now in its thirteenth year and at The Wardrobe Theatre for the third time, the Directors’ Cuts season is firmly established in the Bristol theatre calendar. It has a reputation for showcasing fresh, vibrant and cutting edge theatre work by some of the finest emerging talent in UK theatre. Diverse and highly charged, this is a season of provocative plays which all have an important relevance in today’s society.

“Contemporary drama with extraordinary insightfulness, vivacity and theatrical prowess.”
Jenny Stephens, Artistic Director, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School

((( On Pa )))

((( On Pa ))) meaning sound wave in Japanese, is the collaboration of Japanese musician and inventor ICHI and contemporary english folk artist Rachael Dadd. Their new performance is a joyful and explorative celebration of sounds from our everyday lives fused with live drawing using an overhead projector. Water, paper and books, ball games, clapping, balloons, bottles and cooking utensils are used alongside voice, steeldrum, xylophone, clarinet, banjo and handcrafted instruments made from found objects. ((( On Pa ))) is an experience to be universally shared and enjoyed by all cultures and all ages and they invite you the audience to become an orchestra with them.

ICHI
“It’s a trip to listen to and watch.”
Don Letts
www.ICHIcreator.com

Rachael Dadd
“Contender for the best of the year lists… brilliantly unusual, unexpected tracks, you never know what she’s going to do next.”
Lauren Laverne
www.rachaeldadd.com

Running Time: 1 hour (no interval)

Kiota

Please come and join us for the exciting launch of KIOTA: A Collective For POC Creatives in Bristol. The launch will showcase people of colour (POC) or BAME creatives from various artistic disciplines in a fantastic afternoon of performance followed by networking opportunities. We are building this supportive space to offer an opportunity to share, learn and network with other POC creatives whether emerging, established or anything in between! So, if that describes you or you simply want to enjoy the variety of wonderful performances, come along!

Line-up TBC

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

The Major Arcana

The Major Arcana is a shared dialogue amongst the collaborators about queerness, inclusion and playfulness in a political climate of adversity, austerity and commercialism. The Major Arcana’s pieces explore the tarot cards’ themes; anxiety, ecology, sexuality, gender, freedom, love.

The host performers, Tom Marshman, and special guest Timberlina (on the 11th Dec) will select one audience member for a tarot reading of their past, present and future cards. Their future card is a bespoke, performed cabaret experience, creating a vivid spectacle for the wider audience.

The Major Arcana lasts for an hour and a half, with readings working in 10 minute cycles, with performances from Corali Dance Company, Impermanence and host performers. The aesthetic of this “game show” varies greatly from raggle-taggle charm to a refined visual spectacle.

Originally devised for Latitude Festival by Impermanence, Tim Redfern and Tom Marshman

“Genius.”
Ruby Wax

Running Time: 90 mins

Ear Trumpet Folk Club: Kit Hawes & Aaron Catlow plus Jacob & Drinkwater

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

Kit Hawes & Aaron Catlow are a Bristol based duo playing acoustic, folk and roots music. The pair have worked with many artists including Seth Lakeman, Afro Celt Sound system, Yola Carter, Mad Dog Mcrea, Sheelanagig and Roni Size to name a few but what unites them is a passion for folk music. They draw on their many influences to created unique arrangements of traditional song and tunes, as well as their own compositions. The live show is a musical journey through Europe and beyond; combining dazzling playing with a fine sense of musicality and showmanship.

Kit Hawes and Aaron Catlow’s debut album The Fox has been received with critical acclaim. It explores the relationship between fiddle, guitar and voice, using the fertile ground of the traditional music of the British Isles as its starting point. The product of decades of musical experience, the track listing combines self penned tunes and folk tales, all intricately arranged and heartfelt.

“Fleet fingered and ingeniously arranged… deserve to be thought of as up there with the best of them.”
Songlines

Jacob & Drinkwater have been called ‘stand out new Folk’ by BBC6 Music with their live show described as ‘intense and spellbinding’ by Folk Radio UK. The duo formed in 2014 playing their first gig together at the iconic Glastonbury Festival.

The 2015 indie release ‘The Burning Low EP’ received national airplay and glowing reviews from such quarters as Radio 2’s Folk Show, BBC 6’s Tom Robinson, Amazing Radio, BBC Introducing, BBC Bristol, FRUK, Fatea, Spiral Earth, Louder Than War and ‘Whispering’ Bob TV.

Singer- songwriter Tobias ben Jacob first received wider acclaim as part of The Roots Union with BBC Folk Award winners Phillip Henry & Hannah Martin (Edgelarks) including playing live for the BBC at Maida Vale Studios and recording in Nashville, Tennessee. He has toured extensively and had several releases including the 2017 album ‘A Polyphonic Life’ Tobias’ songs have been featured in the documentary film ‘Beating The Bomb’ and in forthcoming feature film ‘Tomorrow’ (2018)

Lukas Drinkwater is rightly referred to as ‘one of busiest musicians in the UK.’ In demand as a producer, performer and session player in the worlds of folk and jazz he has featured on many acclaimed albums. Recently he’s been touring with ‘AMA UK Artist of the Year’ Emily Barker, Albert Jones, Ange Hardy, and the Peoples String Foundation. He has also worked with Seth Lakeman, 3 Daft Monkeys, Jim Causley, Lack of Afro, Lucy Ward, Tankus The Henge, Sam Kelly, The Little Unsaid and many more.

The duo’s dynamic and emotionally charged live show with all its energy, musical chemistry and spontaneity has drawn comparisons with the virtuosic pairing of John Martyn and Danny Thompson. Jacob’s sweeping vocals never fail to captivate, delivering many a spine-tingling moment; the fluidity and precision of his finger-picking underpinned by Drinkwater’s nimbly rhythmic double bass; at times sweetly soaring, haunting, percussive and driving, the layers of depth a perfect counterfoil. The added complement of stirring vocal harmonies nicely rounds off the mix.

“Intense and spellbinding.”
Folk Radio UK

Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)

Steamed – A Dickensian Improvised Christmas Tale

BUY TICKETS – AT BRUNEL’S SS GREAT BRITAIN

Hilarious comedy, astonishing drama, endearing orphans, steam ships, steam trains, figgy puddings and perhaps the odd catchy music hall number! This Christmas join Closer Each Day Company aboard Brunel’s SS Great Britain for something festive, Dickensian and entirely improvised, created on the spot from YOUR suggestions!

Closer Each Day Company, creators of Bristol’s cult comedy, Closer Each Day: The Improvised Soap Opera, bring their dynamic and addictive brand of theatre to this new Christmas show, co-produced with The Wardrobe Theatre. Come along for a right old knees up and enjoy improv in the time of cholera!

“Quick-witted, very watchable ensemble, razor-sharp in timing and delivery.”
★★★★ Stage Talk

“Funny, inventive, fast-paced and sparkling. Loved it!”
David Lloyd, BBC Screenwriter

“So consistently gripping it’s incredible to think it’s created off the cuff.”
Visit Bristol

Tickets include a chance to look around Brunel’s SS Great Britain.
There is a full bar available on the night.

Photos: Chelsey Cliff
Running Time: 2 hours (with interval)