Bristol Do Festival


21st September - 27th September 2009


Portland Square, St Pauls, Old Fire Station and Bristol Old Vic

A free festival of interactive art, circus, games and street performance is back at St Pauls with the return of The Bristol Do festival. The festival kicks off with an event that aims to get you on your bike, wheeling through the city on a search for questions, and answers.

Rider Spoke
The first event of the Bristol Do festival combines game play, technology and theatre and ties in nicely with Bristol's Cycling City commitment. The game - Rider Spoke - invites you to slip into the saddle and wheel around the city on an adventure into unknown places. The bikes are equipped with hand-held Wi-Fi technology and, after you've found your hiding place and recorded a short message, you have to hop back on your bike and search out the hiding places of others.

Free Festival Weekend
All the free events at the Bristol Do festival take place over the weekend of 26th September - 27th September. The fantastic Balletboyz have a new band of proteges who will be performing Laws of Motion. Or you can take part in the Wonky Games. This year's games include Face on Face off, Human Dressage, Human Catchphrase, Blindfolded Musical Chairs and many more which are all great to play and hilarious to watch.

Surreal Squeals
Elsewhere, there's the Little Box of Horrors, which is exactly what it says it is. The makers of this five-minute peep show invite you to sit in The Box and experience a terrifying nightmare that they say will have you clinging to your seat. For a more gentle but no less eccentric form of entertainment, there's The Galvonium built in 1789 by composer Luigi Galvani. This is possibly one of the most curious musical experiments and has to be seen to be believed.

Hansel and Gretel
Other surreal entertainment includes the tale of Hansel and Gretel, an interactive tale where, with the help of an mp3 player, you pick up pebbles and follow in the footsteps of Hansel and Gretel. There's also award-winning theatre with Sputnik - the first outdoor show by leading disabled company Fittings. It's about a young woman who fuses her body and spirit with a machine.

Carny Ville
There'll also be street bands, a cockney orchestra, puppet shows, interactive theatre, Mela street performance, circus acts and many more shows and activities for the family. And that's just the daytime programme. In the evening there's performances by the brilliant The Invisible Circus who'll be introducing their Carny Ville All the Fun of the Unfair. You're invited to dress up for the occasion and expect the unexpected as the group launch into death-defying aerial feats and all round pandemonium.

Other evening entertainment at the Bristol Do festival includes a show by the multimedia performance company Precarious at St Paul's Church. They'll be performing their new show Anomie, which traces the connections between six characters who all live in the same apartment building but are, as yet, unaware of each others deviant behaviour.

The Ghost of Portland Square
Most of the Bristol Do festival events take place in Portland Square and for the final weekend there's a specially commissioned performance which celebrates the spirituality of this historic area. The Ghost of Portland Square by local artist Nathan Hughes is a mixture of pyrotechnics, street-theatre and sound and projected light. This multisensory show is sure to send a tingle down your spine!

The Bristol Do takes place from 21st September - 27th September 2009. The main programme of free events takes place at Portland Square from 1pm - 6.30pm, 26th September - 27th September 2009. The Ghosts of Portland Square takes place from 7.45pm, 26th September - 27th September 2009.

Rider Spoke, Anomie and Carny Ville are all ticketed. Rider Spoke takes place from 4pm - 7.30pm, 21st September - 27 September 2009. Tickets cost £4 and can be bought from Arnolfini by calling 0117 917 2300.

Anomie takes place at St Paul's Church from 8pm, 25th September 2009. Tickets cost £10/£8 and can be bought from Colston Hall on 0117 922 3686. Carny Ville takes place at The Old Fire Station from 8pm till late, 25th September - 27th September 2009. Tickets cost £15/£12 and can be bought by calling 0117 929 9008.

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Content updated: 24/10/2010 22:57

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