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: Unfamiliar

What is a family? Where does it come from? Can we make our own? Theatre maker Victor Esses (Where to Belong) and visual artist Yorgos Petrou recently made some big plans, and they don’t know if they are ready for them. One is to make a show together, the other is to have a baby… Unfamiliar is a frank autobiographical performance combining text, movement and found objects to explore received and created narratives, legacy and being queer today. What do we need to do to live the life we always wanted?

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: Frida Khalo – Viva La Vida!

Gaël le Cornec paints an explosive on-stage portrait of Latin America’s greatest female painter. Sharp, witty and bursting with colour, this multi award-winning, critically acclaimed play makes its Bristol premiere. Based on fragments of Frida Kahlo’s biography, letters, extracts from her diary and some interviews, this play powerfully recreates the intimate life of a unique woman, an artist who managed to transfer her vibrant culture and her deepest dramas onto the canvas.

WINNER Argus Angel Award of Artistic Excellence, Brighton Festival 2009
WINNER Universal Arts Best Acting Award, Edinburgh Fringe Festival 2008

“Gael Le Cornec’s portrayal is of a virtuoso standard. This performance will haunt you.”
★★★★★ The Scotsman

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: Butch Princesa

Character comedy, dance and Latin beats guide you deep into a surreal, queer, immigrant wonderland. This show is about coming out. As an immigrant whose home is being destroyed, as a pansexual in a Latinx family and as a clown in a world where people are afraid of clowns. Brave, joyful, fiery! A show full of insights into gender boundaries, politics and human magic.

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)

Kneehigh’s The Dancing Frog

Poor Gertrude thinks she’ll never laugh or love again. But then she has a lucky encounter on a lily pad. With a frog. Called George. Suddenly, things are looking bright again! For George isn’t just any frog. He’s a dancing frog. And when Gertrude thrusts this web-footed wonder into the spotlight, he becomes an overnight sensation, the likes of which the world has never seen!

Featuring a team including Old Rope String Band musician and early Kneehigh member Tim Dalling, performer and puppeteer Ailsa Dalling, Cornish performer Jenny Beare, puppeteer extraordinaire Sarah Wright, with puppets created by Lyndie Wright of the Little Angel Theatre, London. Mike Shepherd directs this delightful tale of hope, heart and hip-hoppity adventure based on the classic children’s book by Quentin Blake.

“Kneehigh is as magical as it is powerful. Creating worlds and igniting the imagination of both young and old. Incredibly impressive and important work that I feel so blessed to have seen with my family.”
Kate Winslet

“In true Kneehigh style, the most minimal props set the sceneand just three performers whizzed through space and time, accompanied by the most captivating and charming green frog whose dancing is unrivalled in the puppet world.”
The Bosinver

Image credit: Steve Tanner
Running Time: 1 hour (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)