Bristol’s much-loved festival of contemporary theatre – Mayfest – is back this year with another vibrant programme of some of the best theatre and art around.
Taking place from May 17-27, the annual event takes place in a number of venues across the city, including the Old Vic, Tobacco Factory, Arnolfini and Trinity Arts Centre. Each venue hosts a varied range of productions, some highlights of which are outlined below.
The Tobacco Factory is hosting Mark Bruce’s music-inspired production, ‘Made in Heaven’ (see previous article) as well as Belarus Free Theatre’s ‘Minsk, 2011: A Reply to Kathy Acker’. A company founded in 2005 in Europe’s last surviving dictatorship where theatre is highly censored, many of the company members have served time in prison, lost their jobs, gone into hiding or been exiled. The heart-breaking show that explores the underground world of a city suffering under the weight of oppression.
Also showing are a number of solo performances, from the likes of renowned New York composer and performer John Moran, whose new solo work of music-theatre ‘John Moran: The Con Artist’ showcases his seamless mixture of movement, rhythm and a musical approach to realism; and Trigger’s two solo shows – the first, Hitch, questions the purpose of political protest and the possibility of change, as Kieran Hurley retells the story of his hitch-hike to the G8 summit in Italy in 2009, the second sees Gary McNair question the value of money in his show Crunch.
Alongside the big showstoppers, Mayfest embraces a whole range of inventive work in smaller spaces. Motor Vehicle Sundown is a show for two in a parked car, transporting you forward in time to the final days of the automobile. Garage Band finds a man rediscovering his lost memories by reforming his childhood band. Come to a suburban garage and hear them play – and how about a BBQ in the garden afterwards? Bryonny Kimmings explores the relationship between alcohol and creativity in Seven Day Drunk (more about this here).
The full programme and tickets are available online at www.mayfestbristol.co.uk