Tag Archives: theatre

A Haunted Existence at The Island, Bristol

A Haunted Existence

“The judge said it was appalling that a town like Taunton should exhibit as many cases of homosexual crime ….The answer was not that the population of Taunton is more debased than other groups of the community, but that once vice got established it spread like a pestilence and unless held in check, threatened to spread indefinitely” – News of the World 1954

Join Pervasive Media Studio resident Tom Marshman in a special performance at The Island blending creative technology, music and projection as he retraces the forgotten true story of a young local man who was arrested for gross indecency.

In the early 1950s 17-year-old Geoffrey Patrick Williamson was on the Exeter to Bristol train when he approached a plain clothed railway officer. This brief encounter was deemed inappropriate and Williamson was arrested: on questioning, Williamson revealed the names of 17 men he had had sex with, beginning a domino effect of arrests, prison, aversion therapy and suicide.

A Haunted Existence highlights the turmoil, stigma and heartbreak of this experience by weaving together history and hearsay to tell the story of Britain’s very recent, shameful past.

Join us before the performance from 18:45 to explore the old police cells at The Island with installations (curated by Tom and historian Jeanie Sinclair through workshops with young people) that respond to the themes of the show and wider LGBTQ history. The performance will then begin at 19:45.

“One of the most immersive and exciting performances of queer history you’re likely to find” Bristol 247
On Kings Cross (REMIX)

With original music by Kid Carpet
Written and Performed by Tom Marshman
Produced by Jo Kimber
Film and Projection by Paul Samuel White with support from Leon Trimble

A Haunted Existence is a co-production with The Island. Supported by Watershed, Strike a Light, Tobacco Factory Theatres, Performance Space, Coombe Farm Studios, Dartington Hall Trust and funded by Arts Council of England and Heritage Lottery fund with additional support from Bristol Old Vic Literary Department.

D A I M O N I C at The Island, Bristol

DAY – TO – D A I M O N I C

Come and experience the DAIMONIC side of the human condition.
Forbidden by society…
Behind the locked doors of your subconscious…
Beneath the floorboards of day-to-day experience…
Below the trapdoor…

DAY – TO – D A I M O N I C is an immersive, transgressive and playful experience. Step inside a surreal dreamscape, exploring the clash between our primal subconscious and the rational repression of civilised tradition. It reanimates history, shaking off the venerated dust and revealing the raw irrational force of unbridled human nature. Visceral, exciting, bizarre and ironic – we explore the moment caught between fulfilment and repression, between impulse and logic. An unconscious moment repeated over and over, day-to day, trapped in a cyclical struggle.

The daimonic is described as a primal driving force that comes out of our essential human nature. It has been deep within the human psyche from the time that Homo Sapiens first began settling in groups and forming their own societies. Throughout the rise and fall of civilisations, across thousands of generations, human nature has remained more or less the same. We still have the same needs, desires, faults, and societal problems. The daimonic is a biological, psychological and spiritual drive which compels us to fulfil every part of our universal human nature and fully experience life in all its mystery.

During humanity’s time on Earth the societies we have formed have taken many different shapes and forms. They have all had their strengths and weaknesses in respect to allowing our core humanity to flourish. The customs and morals of society set out the way we live our life. We are taught from birth a rational framework of how we should experience life, and what our purpose is. However, this rigid logical version of existence is only an ideology, a pragmatic fiction.

Many people in society feel detached and unsatisfied with the lives they find themselves in. A large number of people struggle with personal identity, and even depression. Is this linked to society disrupting the natural development of our innate human nature? Strictly defined societal constructs, such as the 9-5 working routine and even the notion of marriage, suffocate our experience of life.

Sexuality within society is a typical example of how our essential experiences are restricted by narrow ideology. The heavily romanticised conventional Hollywood version of love and sexuality is idolised around the world. However, this simplistic impossible ideal completely represses our raw sexuality.

DAY – TO – D A I M O N I C explores the idea that we are missing out on true experience due to the societies we find ourselves in. It playfully investigates the irony that our true irrational subconscious selves have been repressed day-to-day for generations. Consider the life of your great-grandmother: women in the 19th century had the same human urges that drive us all, but were not free to experience and develop themselves fully. We are still struggling to come to terms with our own nature: we are passionate creatures, motivated and driven by primitive, irrational forces operating just below the surface of civilisation and rationality.

The Island Gallery

28TH AND 29TH JUNE 2018




Not for the faint-hearted…
Don’t bring your Mum!!

Join the Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1854286987950347/

Another News Story at The Island, Bristol

Another News Story – Exclusive Bristol Screening

Another News Story takes a fresh view on the European refugee crisis. The film opens in 2015 Greece as refugees arrive on the idyllic island of Lesbos and follows refugees into Hungary and Croatia and across Europe to a hoped-for sanctuary. The film chronicles a journey beset by physical deprivation and danger, bureaucratic and political obstacles and thousands of miles of uncertainty. As the refugees wind their way across Europe they are accompanied by a pack of fellow travellers – reporters, camera-operaters, producers and news vans. As he too travels alongside the refugees debut British director, Orban Wallace, turns the camera in a new direction: the world’s 24-hour news gatherers in pursuit of the breaking story.

Amongst the backdrop of countless reports and documentaries covering the refugee crisis, Another News Story is unique in the way that it analyses the role of journalism itself. It is a thought-provoking and ethical investigation of how the Western world interacts with such horrific “stories”, tackling issues surrounding complacency, exploitation and the aesthetics of the medium.

Selected for 20 International Film Festivals.

Another News Story has recently premiered in London and this is an exclusive opportunity to see this innovative and groundbreaking documentary in Bristol.

For more information, please go to www.anothernewsstory.com

25% of proceeds donated in aid of European refugee crisis.
There will be a small bar to help raise money for the cause so please bring cash!

available from Bristol Ticket Shop:


7.30 pm

The Island
Gallery Space
1st Floor
Bridewell Street

Poetry of the Inner Idiot(s): Theatre Clown Workshop

Poetry of the Inner Idiot(s): Theatre Clown Workshop

This workshop is inspired by the teachings of Jacques Lecoq and invites participants to explore the parameters of one’s own comic persona(s) through theatrical clowning. Theatrical clowning is character-oriented and explores the dynamics of the clown’s reactions to the world which rejects them, exacerbating their perpetual failure. Regardless of the failure and bafflement, however, the clown never gives up – they are too naive to comprehend adversity. Through a number of physical improvisation exercises participants will explore the state of clown and will engage with a range of clownesque scenarios, exploring a variety of statuses, emotions, relationships with other clown-characters as well as the audience.

This workshop specifically appeals to those who have attended BPTP clowning workshops previously, but new-comers are very welcome, too.

Prices: £45 (full) £35 (conc) £30 (returners)
Bookings and info: igne.workshops@gmail.com

For more information about Bristol Physical Theatre Project please visitwww.bptp.live

About the facilitator:

Igne is Bristol-based theatre-maker and founder of Bristol Physical Theatre Project. She trained at L’Ecole Internationale de Theatre Jacques Lecoq in Paris and also holds a BA in Drama at UWE in Bristol. Whilst in Paris, Igne has also had an opportunity to train with Peter Brook (International Centre for Theatre Research) and Nina Dipla (Tanztheatre Wuppertal Pina Bausch). After completing her two – year course at Lecoq, Igne continued her research at Istituto Nazionale del Dramma Antico (INDA) in Syracuse, Italy, where she also worked as a visiting movement teacher for the undergraduate actors’ course (2013-2014). As a performer and theatre-maker Igne has collaborated with The Missing Pieces (Hamilton House, Bristol Old Vic), The Edible Theatre (Bristol Old Vic, Theatre Uncut), The Mechanical Animal Coorporation (The Paintworks, Bristol Old Vic, Edinburgh Fringe), Panevezio Dramos Teatras (Lithuania), O&O Ensemble (The Wardrobe, The Lyric Theatre, Theatre N16 Balham, The Shoebox Theatre, Exeter Phoenix)

Sheatre at SPACE, Bristol


In honour of the suffrage centenary, Tea-Powered Theatre is celebrating the work of female and non-male writers. In association with dramaturg Amy Bethan Evans we present Sheatre. A new writing scratch event, with plays all by non-male writers with entirely non-male casts.
While there is much more work by non-males than there used to be, women and non-males still lack the confidence to submit to call-outs so if that’s you, we hope you’ll feel welcome here.
Eight playwrights will have had their work dramaturged by Amy and a cast of actors before the play or extract is read for you and discussed publicly over Cream Tea.
Tea-Powered Theatre will be rehearse reading(script in hand) four plays/extracts a day over the weekend so come each day to see something different.
19th and 20th of May Doors 5:45pm Show 6pm
SPACE, 6 West Street, Old Market, Bristol, BS2 0BH
Entry only
Entry and Tea
Includes unlimited tea served during intervals
Entry and Cream Tea
Includes unlimited tea and a single serving of scone, jam and cream. lactose and gluten-free alternatives available
Weekend Entry
Entry to both days of the Sheatre
Weekend Entry and Tea
Entry and unlimited tea at both days of the event
Weekend Entry and Cream Tea
Includes unlimited tea and a single serving of scone, jam and cream on both days of Sheatre. Lactose and gluten-free alternatives available
In the dark, Bristol

In The Dark Behind Bars

In the Island’s old police cells, under lock and key, we pay tribute to podcasting’s most popular topic.

A communal, lights-out listening event celebrating the best in audio storytelling from around the world. Join us for an evening of crime and punishment, and a chance to explore this amazing space – original early 20th century cells deep beneath Bristol’s streets.

So wrap up warm and enter our audio jail. You’ll be subjected to tales of transgression that reflect the very darkest of the human soul as well as stories of mercy and redemption.

Cops and robbers, jailbirds and screws, all are welcome…

…and maybe someone will mention Serial.

WHEN Wednesday 18th April, Doors 7.30pm for 8pm start

WHERE  The Old Police Cells, The Island, Nelson Street, Bristol, BS1 2LE (Accessibility: Sorry, no wheelchair access, one steep staircase)

DRINKS Yes – a little bar behind bars

TICKETS  £5 in advance (and on the door if we don’t sell out first!) – TICKETS NOW SOLD OUT but email bristol(at)inthedarkradio.org to go on the wait list

Hamlet at The Vestibules, Bristol

Pomana – Hamlet

Hamlet-Pomana is a ‘dinner’: a meeting of artists from different disciplines – motivated by the same creative impulse – the Hamlet text.

We are looking at Hamlet from a multi-focal point of view, trying the ‘re-write’ elements of the masterpiece into a multi-disciplinary interface (de-constructed textual-theatrical, performative, visual, auditory and tactile – through objects and shapes).

Ice Road at Jacob Wells Baths, Bristol

Ice Road

Leningrad. 1942.

The siege has begun…

Book Now

“You are a cockroach, Tati. You will survive the hunger, the cold, fever and this war.”

In the wreckage of an old apartment block, four orphans are compelled to join forces to survive the murderous Leningrad blockade. Through a cruel winter, enemy shelling and gnawing hunger, Leah, Zoya, Tati and Kub fantasise of escape on the only road out of the city – the ice road.

Every night, whilst the city freezes and the bombs rain down, Leah mysteriously leaves the others for several hours. She will not tell them where she goes and they daren’t ask – the food she brings back is the only thing keeping them alive.

But then as winter bites hard, the youngest, Kub goes missing…

Harnessing Russian folklore and historical witness accounts, Ice Road fuses performance, creative technology, original music, film and aroma to tell the story of the children war leaves behind.

Jacob’s Wells Baths, Jacob’s Wells Road, Bristol, BS8 1DZ

Mon 2 – Wed 4 Oct 2017, 6.30pm

Fri 6 Oct – Sun 19 Nov:
£18.50/£16.50 concs
Mon – Sat, 6.30pm & 8.30pm
Sun 19 Nov, 6.30pm & 8.30pm

How to book

Watershed Box Office 0117 927 5100
Raucous web page:
Direct booking link: https://uk.patronbase.com/_Watershed2/Productions/11XT/Performances

Image credit: Paul Blakemore

Ice Road extra information.

Performance, SPACE, Bristol

Back Scratcher Night Scratch #2

Back Scratcher/Night Scratch is a scratch event for contemporary performance, dance and live art. It invites individuals, or groups of any size present their work in early stage. We welcome all of you come to join us to celebrate and nourish those seeds of art.


The child who said no

Alice Smith

‘The child who said no’ is the third play in the Dark Fairytale trilogy which is autobiographical. The first show ‘Swingerella’s Dark Fairytale’ explored living and escaping from domestic abuse, touring the UK in 2015 and being Sunday Times recommended at Edfringe. The show then toured to Berlin and India where it hit the tabloid headlines for ‘indecency charges.’ The second play Alice in the Wilderness explored Alice Smith’s subsequent homelessness and a spiral of addiction post trauma. This third shows deals with recovery.

Artist Bio

Alice Smith aka Swingerella is a controversial performance artist and activist whose work has lead to her being threatened with arrest in India for ‘indecency’ then body shamed in the tabloids on her return to UK last May. She has recently moved from Birmingham and continues to write, perform and travel globally as a campaigner for the elimination of violence against women – moving into the political arena in 2017 with Goddesse Education.


How I Stay In UK Legally?

Howl Yuan

Howl’s visa will expire at this September, and he still want to stay after that. Normally, people like Howl will go to consultant, but Howl, as a performance maker, he like to turn this issue into a performance…

How I Can Stay UK Legally? is an autobiographical performance aim to provide an alternative voice of migration matters in more real way, this performance start with Howl’s story extend to the issue of migration system, ethic, motivation and adaption.

Artist Bio

Howl Yuan, or Cheng-Po Yuan, is a UK-based, Taiwanese artist. His interests across cultural identity, mobility, humans and the surrounding they live in. His work spans on performance, object, text, video and photograph, which has been presented in Taiwan and the UK. Howl aim to create the dialectic space between him and audience during the performance, experiencing and participating from different perspectives.

Tickets available:  https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/back-scratcher-night-scratch-2-tickets-34686688820

RSVP: https://www.facebook.com/events/1271734546273279/

Photo by Łukasz Kubicki, Back Scratcher/ Night Scratch


The Right to Remain Silent, The Island, Bristol

The Right Not to Remain Silent

Your experience of the police – in your words.

What is your experience of the police? Your stories, in your words.

Taken from a range of interviews with the public in Bristol, this piece of work was created using the exact words and stories of members of the public.

Combining intimate revelations and striking physicality the Year 2 Acting students will be retelling lived experiences in all their detail, the good, the bad and the ugly.

Tickets may be bought on the door or for presales please go to:


Wednesday 17 th Thursday 18 th and Friday 19 th May.

7pm and 8.30pm nightly.