The Island, Bridewell, Bristol
as part of MAYFEST
14th – 16th May 2009
We were performing for Mayfest in Bristol as part of a two-pronged Stan’s Cafe attack alongside Home of the Wriggler. While Wriggler was at the Tobacco Factory, the rice was in the city centre at the Bridwell Island. The Bridewell Island houses rehearsal spaces and offices for creative endeavours (and upstairs is the Bristol branch of Laser Quest). One of those creative endeavours is Residence, a collective of Companies and individuals who make theatre and live art, some of whom have had a mention in the Stan blog over the years and 2 of whom had volunteered to don the brown coats with us and count rice.
When we first arrived at the venue the technicians were mopping the floor, trying to clean up the excesses of a wild party that had taken place the night before so the Stan team, dodging the wet patches, set about planning a layout for the show. The cleaning was soon finished and the technicians seamlessly turned their attention to lighting. As soon as the battle with the inflatable globe was won theatrical lights were positioned to capture its best side like a Hollywood starlet ready for her close-up. The rice pouring started in earnest and before we knew it a ‘rice-scape’ was formed taking advantage of the multi-leveled rostra dotted around the place creating terraces of rice reminiscent of the terraced paddies from whence the rice had come (presumably).
The next day the show opened and the people of Bristol peered in through the windows of the ceiling high roller doors that had once opened to allow fire engines to storm through to retrieve Bristol’s cats from Bristol’s trees. A steady stream of punters took breaks from their shopping to come through the show, building to a very healthy turnout over the weekend. One lucky visitor managed to be the only audience member to encounter the best hidden FBI Agents we have ever had in the show (in a very dark cubby-hole under a staircase).
Highlight: Finding the defunct fireman’s pole.
Moved to tears over a pile of rice. That’s remarkable. Thank you!Audience Member
Performers: Chris Dugrenier, Kerrie Reading, Jack Trow
Direction: Craig Stephens
Concept: James Yarker
General Manager: Emily Dawkes
Advisory Producer: Nick Sweeting
Class idea, feeling the exhibitionCharlie
Combining art, theatre and (sometimes shocking) information is very clever.Rosie
Very interesting – to me it seemed to illustrate just how wrong we’ve got it. But now I guess the single grain of rice is the hope of the person who can change things in their own small way. Hope others leave here feeling the same sense of responsibility this has inspired in me.Audience Member