Drag On

Drag On celebrates drag’s power to move beyond gender, and imagines the monstrous possibility of traversing species. By embracing our innermost fantasies, what can we reveal about being present and queer in the modern world? In 2018, as the repercussions of human dominance on earth become increasingly apocalyptic, James Morgan’s reptilian alter ego asks: aren’t we better off as monsters than as humans?

Assisted by a set of multi-sided gaming dice, James shares witty and thought-provoking stories about his life, dragons, and the future – interspersed with dance, video projection and virtuosic lip syncing to Nicki Minaj, Marilyn Manson and Cher.

“Drag On subverts ideals of drag, beauty and fantasy, ultimately presenting an innovative exploration of contemporary obsessions that pull at the edges of drag as performance, and as an art form. Laugh-out-loud funny, thoughtful and fresh!”
Andrew Ellerby, Director of ‘And What?’ Queer Arts Festival

“The costumes and make-up are phenomenal… he’s gone for gold in terms of Dragon Wings and glitz, which have an undeniable WOW-factor.”
LGBTQ Arts

“Morgan handles speech, poetry, mime, movement and both subtle and anarchic humour without a flicker of inhibition.”
Resolution!

“Moves like a creature you have never seen before, and will probably never see again… I wanted to sing out loud with this
wonderful, majestic ‘beastly’ dragon.”
South East Dance

Booby’s Bay

‘I go by the law of nature. As long as all these houses are empty and ketchup at Stein’s Fish ‘n’ Chips costs £1.25, I’ll be a freethinking freewheeling holiday home breaking hobo. The Beast of Booby’s Bay.’

Above a secluded cove in Cornwall, Huck, a former fisherman, is squatting in an empty second home. The holiday season is fast approaching, the sharks are coming, but he refuses to budge. As Booby’s Bay fills up for the annual surfing competition, Huck wants to shake things up, even if no one is listening. He’s got media connections and intends to make a political stand.

Inspired by the housing crisis and the reality of life on the North Cornish coast, Booby’s Bay is a passionate, comic fable about the lengths one man will man go to have his voice heard.

Booby’s Bay is Henry Darke’s first full-length play. It is directed by Chris White and following its run at The The Wardrobe Theatre there will be performances in a holiday home in Cornwall.

“Just tremendous… passionately handling a range of heartfelt relationships.”
Telegraph on Darke’s BAFTA shortlisted short-film, Big Mouth

“Genuinely affecting… an excellent piece.”
★★★★★ Eye For Film on Darke’s Channel 4 episode, Hooked

Playwright Henry Darke trained on the Royal Court Theatre Young Writers’ Programme and his one-act play Highfliers was selected for The Royal Court Theatre Young Playwrights Season. He was selected for ‘The Royal Court 50’ Most Promising Playwrights in the UK by the Drum Theatre, Plymouth, and is currently writing his second and third full-length plays, Chippy, set in Padstow; and Service, set in London. Booby’s Bay initially appeared in Vibrant – A Festival of Finborough Playwrights, and was subsequently developed by Bristol Old Vic through their ‘Open Sessions’ scheme, supporting the most talented voices from the South West. His award-winning short film Big Mouth won Encounters Film Festival and was shortlisted for a BAFTA. He also directed Channel 4 Coming Up episode Hooked. He is a member of the BBC Writersroom Dramaroom 2017.

Supported by Bristol Old Vic and The Ronald Duncan Foundation

Poll Function

Two old school friends return to suburbia to wreak havoc on childhood dreams and a system they believed would bring them future opportunity. Confined within a car for most of the journey, old secrets are aired out and open questions are asked about who they have become since leaving the suburbs. Speeding through girls, grades and badgers, they fight, spit, cry and kill but still find it hard to accept their feelings are only human.

Blending unfaltering dialogue and physical expression with a booming backseat soundscape, Poll Function is a hilarious and empathic exploration of youthful hedonism and social responsibility in 2017.

“If I could watch this again and again and again I would.”
★★★★★ Broadway Baby

“This is a triumph.”
★★★★ LondonTheatre1

“Shewring has created a tender portrayal of young male friendship that has the maturity and insight to bother representing those often ignored and making their views valid, their humour funny and their lives matter.”
Exeunt Magazine

“It’s always encouraging when a small start-up theatre company in one of our main regional centres, hits the ground performing to the highest standard.”
StageTalk Magazine

Fireside Tales with Granddad

Cuddle up around the campfire as Granddad recalls a daring escape from a hungry shark. Tuck into a marshmallow or two as he attempts to make a new set of underpants for a giant. And watch as the shadows between the trees unravel a tale of greedy goblins, grumpy trolls, sneaky princes and a very unusual princess.

“Fantastic interaction with the audience, quizzing the children with brilliant conversation throughout. All audience left with a smile asking when Granddad would be back.”
The Pound, Corsham

“We came to see your production today and were blown away by it!”
Audience member

“I went to see the show with my son and we were totally entertained. Granddad’s movements, words, voice were exquisitely done, thank you for putting the show on!”
Audience member

“Wonderful puppets, props and staging combined with an enthusiastic audience to make a delightful family show.”
Animations Online

(2pm only on Saturday 10th)

Lego Beach

A freak storm has exposed a containership of LEGO® to the power of the sea, scattering millions of multicoloured building blocks into the ocean…

Business is slow in the sleepy seaside town of Bevill, where a handful of locals shuffle through their lives, living one day to the next. Not a single visitor has been spotted in weeks. Bevill’s luck seems to have run out; but better times are racing towards its beaches in the form of tiny coloured plastic blocks.

As the tide changes, an influx of tourists and LEGO® enthusiasts pour into the town, in search of their very own piece of the unnatural disaster. But amongst the jubilation, current are shifting – waves hide secrets, and a shadowier story is unfurled beneath the murky waters as Bevill’s residents start to lose their grip on what is truly important…

Using original, onstage live music, sea shanties, beautiful physical theatre and puppetry, INKBLOC ensemble create a colourful world with a distinctly darker undercurrent.

“Surprising, poignant, funny and impressive – all while ultimately serving up a rather damning reflection on human greed… contemporary, colourful, creative and brilliant, this performance packs hell of a punch.”
Bristol 24/7

“It’s highly stylised – poetic, rhythmic and choreographed to perfection.”
Visit Bristol

“A great mix of humour, original music and crafted storytelling.”
Weston Super Mum

Five Encounters On A Site Called Craigslist

Sam is anxious about the way he gets to know people. About the way he self-sabotages his attempts to communicate and reach out to those around him. Sam wants this to be a chance for you to get to know him.

‘Would someone like to join me up onstage?’

Five Encounters On A Site Called Craigslist is a show performed by one person. One person who needs an audience to tell his story. It’s a show that, in exploring this one person’s self-sabotaged attempts to know those around him, considers the extent to which a group of people in a darkened room can ever get to know each other.

Winner: Total Theatre Award ‘Emerging Artist’ 2017

“A moving and bittersweet experience.”
Lyn Gardner, Guardian

“A beautiful piece, the kind of theatre that is visionary, purposive and unpretentious.”
★★★★★ Three Weeks

YESYESNONO is a new, Manchester-based company concerned with exploring the potential of theatre as a democratic space. A space where real experiences are expressed through unreal means. A space in which conventional artistic hierarchies are challenged and audience and artist work together to better understand our world.

Help!

Viki jumps into a bush. She isn’t coping. Welcome to her sequin-encrusted world. Rats wear capes, butters race and you’re invited to dance in the disco of dirty secrets. Help! is about falling apart, pulling yourself together and being surprised by what you’re left with. It is for anyone who’s ever struggled.


Winner of Best Actress and Best Original Show nominee at Reading Fringe Festival

“Browne’s endearingly comic piece cleverly uses metaphor to point up the importance of asking for help”
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

“Browne writes and performs with a grace and honesty.”
★★★★ Broadway Baby

“A brave and refreshing production.”
★★★★ To Do List

“One woman in a leotard bringing attention to that big silver elephant in the room.”
Bristol 24/7

“Truly uplifting, something which brings humanity in all its vulnerability to the fore and offers a real and tangible sense of hope.”
Express & Echo

A Bristol Old Vic Ferment Scratch Commission

Adventure Bureau

Come on a rollercoaster journey of storytelling with Katie Storer and Simon Panrucker, as they bring you a totally improvised story complete with an improvised soundtrack and songs. The audience decides what elements go into its bursting melting pot, but who knows what will come out!?

“We’ve not laughed so much in ages!”
Audience Reaction

“We all loved it! It was so refreshing to take the children to something that was so fun and engaging.”
Audience Reaction

“Adventure Bureau will go very far!”
Hull Children’s Literature Festival

Katie Storer is a performer, writer, facilitator, and director. She performs regularly as a clown, fool and storyteller. Her stories take the audience on bizarre and magical journeys using ludicrous physicality and rambunctious characters to end up in places that no-one would ever have expected! When she’s not spinning ridiculous yarns, she is found in the rehearsal room with young people leading workshops and creating shows for companies such as the Bristol Old Vic and Travelling Light Theatre Company.

Simon Panrucker is a comedian, musician and filmmaker. For the past four years, Simon has worked as a composer writing music and songs for Cartoon Network’s hit show Clarence as well as for other shorts produced by Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, and Titmouse Inc. In his personal work, he performs high-octane comedy shows fusing original music, improvisation, physical theatre and tongue in cheek fun for everyone. Simon has previously been commissioned to write music for BBC Radio 4’s Word of Mouth and Channel 4’s Mashed.

Photos by Jerome Whittingham

Treehouse of Horror: Closer Each Day Halloween Special

Closer Each Day: The Improvised Soap Opera is the world’s longest improvised narrative having run at The Wardrobe Theatre fortnightly for over 6 years and over 125 episodes.

The show is a live, spontaneous and unique theatrical experience performed fortnightly by Closer Each Day Company and co-produced by The Wardrobe Theatre. Think Twin Peaks meets League of Gentlemen via Eastenders; a soap opera packed with drama, comedy, romance and farce – hilarious and uplifting and the cult hit of Bristol.

“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 (Doctors, Eastenders)

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

“Crackling wit… Its unscripted nature gives it a raw, exciting edge missing from rehearsed theatre.”
Bristol 24/7

“I left with aching cheeks from uncontrollable laughter induced by the cast’s impressive, and always comical, ability to improvise.”
Inter:Mission Bristol

Labels

Charting a childhood in 90’s Devon, shifting political landscapes and global refugee crisis, Joe Sellman-Leava uses comedy, storytelling and spoken word. Using humour and honesty, Labels offers a human story from multicultural Britain. Expect paper planes, racist romances and lots of sticky labels!

The show is touring internationally after an award-winning run at Edinburgh Festival Fringe and has evolved during touring, responding to rapidly changing events such as a worsening refugee crisis, the EU referendum and the election of Donald Trump.

Winner: Scotsman Fringe First Award 2015
Winner: Holden Street Theatres Edinburgh Award 2015
Winner: Best Theatre, Adelaide Fringe 2016
Winner: Peace Foundation Award 2016
Winner: People’s Choice Award, Vault Festival 2017

“Powerful, important and funny.”
Emma Thompson

“Terrific and really thoughtful.”
Lyn Gardner, The Guardian

★★★★★ British Theatre Guide
★★★★★ Broadway Baby
★★★★★ Three Weeks
★★★★★ Everything Theatre
★★★★★ The Upcoming
★★★★★ My Theatre Mates
★★★★★ Edinburgh Evening News
★★★★★ Sunday Mail
★★★★★ Perth Now