Festival of international drama returns to Bristol

PUBLISHED: 20:00 09 May 2018

We Are Lightning are performing at Mayfest. Picture: Pia Johnson

We Are Lightning are performing at Mayfest. Picture: Pia Johnson


Theatre fans can enjoy more than 20 thought-provoking shows during Bristol's Mayfest.

The festival of international theatre is in its 15th year and is renowned for championing new work from artists with distinct voices and poignant messages.

Shows will take place across a variety of venues including churches and nightclubs and artists from Canada, Japan and Australia will collaborate with talented performers and musicians from Bristol.

Mayfest is curated and directed by Bristol-based organisation MAYK, which is led by Kate Yedigaroff and Matthew Austin.

Speaking about this year’s programme, they said: “We are living in a particularly big political, cultural and social moment.

“The work in this year’s festival speaks loudly and subtly about where and who we are, right now.

“It’s so good to be back after a year away, and we can’t wait to share this year’s programme with audiences from all over the UK.”

The festival is described as MAYK’s ‘gift to the people’ filled with things people will love and be challenged by.

Festival highlights include the world premiere of The British Paraorchestra’s new work the Nature Of Why – commissioned by Unlimited – who celebrate and support the work of disabled artists.

Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory and an ensemble of musicians from the acclaimed British Paraorchestra will provide the live score as four extraordinary dancers treat audiences to a beautiful performance.

Contact Gonzo from Japan is performing in the UK for the first time and the exhilarating show is guaranteed to thrill audiences at Jacob’s Wells Baths.

The festival will feature another UK premiere – WE ARE LIGHTNING! – which boasts a cast of nearly 100 including a choir, a brass band and a teen band.

Halifax Nova Scotia’s 2b theatre company will perform Old Stock: A Refugee Live Story during the festival. The show is a dark folk tale woven together with a blistering Klezmer-folk gig.

During Sabrina Shirazi’s Choral Cuisine, diners can create music while enjoying a two-course meal in a coffee roastery.

Film fans can also view Caroline Williams’ interactive video installation made with Syrian film-maker Reem Karssli.

The festival runs from tomorrow (Wednesday) until May 20.

For details on performance times, visit www.mayfestbristol.co.uk

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