Mayfest 2013 Programme Announcement #1

Posted on February 25, 2013

Oh hello there.

In a tweet last week we promised you the first of a series of programme announcements for this year’s festival programme.  Well, that’s exactly what we’re going to give you.

We’ve announced our 2013 programme with Arnolfini and part of our programme with Bristol Old Vic (more to follow).  You can view and most importantly book for all of the following shows now.

All these shows will be on our website very soon, along with our lovely 2013 festival branding, but in the meantime, you can view all of these shows on venue websites – links to times, dates and booking info below.

Bristol Old Vic


We welcome back Clod Ensemble, who were part of the very first Mayfest programme back in 2003, with their brand new show Zero, playing in Bristol Old Vic’s beautiful refurbished auditorium on 24 and 25 May. Featuring a cast of twenty and a live score, Clod Ensemble’s work is beautifully crafted dance-theatre.

24-25 May, 7.30pm, Bristol Old Vic Theatre. Tickets: £15


Beowulf – A Thousand Years of Baggage

We return to Old Market’s Trinity Centre following last year’s sell out hit The Strange Undoing of Prudencia Hart with this exhilarating song-play based on the 9th century epic poem (image above). Direct from New York City, the Herald Angel Award-winning Beowulf – A Thousand Years of Baggage harks back to the raw and rousing style of storytelling in the old Scandinavian mead halls, turning the stage into a cacophonous swirl of original music combining Weillian cabaret, 40s jazz harmony, punk, electronica and Romantic Lieder.  We recommend advance booking for this show.

Joyfully raucous and silly… brings out the power and the colour of the legend

The New Yorker

17-19 May, 7.30pm. Trinity Centre, Old Market. Tickets: £13/£11



Kieran Hurley returns to Mayfest following last year’s brilliant Hitch. BEATS is a coming-of-age story exploring rebellion, apathy and the irresistible power of gathered youth. With techno. Lots of techno.

There is intense skill in Hurley’s storytelling… by the end you’d follow him anywhere

The Observer

17-19 May, 8pm. Bristol Old Vic Studio. Tickets: £12/£8



In a virtuoso performance which was a sell-out hit at the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe, Valentijn Dhaenens pays tribute to 2,500 years of oration. Using fragments of well-known and lesser known speeches, he shows that the tricks of the trade have hardly changed. He who picks his words well can turn the weakest argument into the strongest.  We saw Bigmouth at Summerhall in last year’s Edinburgh Fringe and knew immediately that we had to bring the show to Bristol.

Brilliant… a fascinating experience

Lyn Gardner, Guardian

24-26 May, 8pm. Bristol Old Vic Studio. Tickets: £12/£8


Total Football

Ridiculusmus are Mayfest veterans, having been part of the 2003 and 2008 programmes. We welcoming their new show Total Football, described as more Beckett than Beckham. Picking over football systems, political wrangling and changing room banter, Ridiculusmus use their trademark dry, daft humour to try and solve the big questions of life – immortality, happiness and why England always lose.

You don’t need to give a fig about football to enjoy this inventive, hectic 70 minute piece… this slice of the absurd has a real lightness of touch

The Evening Standard

21-22 May, 8pm. Bristol Old Vic Studio. Tickets: £12/£8



All That Is Wrong

We welcome back Ontroerend Goed, who Mayfest regulars will remember from 2009’s The Smile Off Your Face, and 2010’s Internal.  All That Is Wrong, presented in collaboration with Arnolfini, looks at the world from the point of view of a bored and lonely eighteen year old called Koba Ryckewaert. Koba knows that all sorts of things are wrong with the world, including herself. She resorts to resolving these wrongs the best way she knows how, without a computer, without a family, without a lover. Fixing things on her own terms.

21-22 May, 7.30pm. Arnolfini. Tickets: £12/£9


The Forest and the Field

Chris Goode (The Adventures of Wound Man and Shirley, 2009, and Open House, 2012) returns to Mayfest with his new show The Forest and the Field. The show asks us to consider what happens when we meet in a theatre space. Using live demonstrations and video clips, and drawing on a wealth of examples from Shakespeare to O.J. Simpson via John Berger and Bruce Lee, The Forest & the Field creates a space for reflecting on theatre, from inside the moment of its happening.

A theatre-maker of infinite talent and infinite compassion

The Guardian

24-25 May, 7.30pm. Arnolfini. Tickets: £10/£7


The Oh Fuck Moment

In this Fringe First winning show, poet Hannah Jane Walker and Chris Thorpe examine the poetic guts of mistakes in a bundle of words and strip lighting. Screwing up is the truest, funniest, most terrifying moment you can experience. You will make a mistake, maybe you’ll learn from it. The oh fuck moment is a conversation around a desk for brave souls to hold their hands up and admit they screwed up, or for people to laugh at us because we did.

A brilliant celebration of our mistakes and evolutionary reflexes

Lyn Gardner, The Guardian ****

21-23 May, 7.30pm. Arnolfini. Tickets: £10/£7

…and that’s just the start.  We’ll be announcing more here in the coming days and weeks.  Keep it here.