The Wardrobe Ensemble’s The Theatre on
the Downs in Bristol announces more shows
The Theatre on the Downs, Breaking Bread, The Downs, Stoke Road, BS9 1FG
Tuesday 10th August – Saturday 2nd October 2021
More shows have been announced to join The Wardrobe Ensemble’s 10th anniversary celebration: The Theatre on the Downs, an ambitious new theatre festival running from August to October. Don’t miss out on this exciting new venue in Bristol and its eclectic and unmissable selection of family and theatre shows that are now on-sale!
Part dance lesson, part party, part performance, part bingo: Carboot Disco Bingo invites audience members to a party game unlike any you’ve played before. Stop Trying to be Fantastic by Molly Naylor is a funny and lyrical spoken-word show about suffering, saviour-complex, self-acceptance, and a magpie who refuses to quit. Sing, dance and cry in the bittersweet gig theatre show, Hero & Leander, Or, I Love You But Everything’s Under Water, as six multi-instrumentalists tell an epic seaside tale through songs encompassing folk, indie, sea shanties and choral music. Jonesy and Single Sex are a frank and powerful double bill presented by Bristol School of Acting first-year students tackling gender roles, toxic masculinity and being a teenager in today’s society.
Kicking off the festival will be world premiere of The Wardrobe Ensemble’s WINNERS. In their own inimitable style, this exciting new show explores capitalism and tracks the shift of labour in the history of food from farming to fast food. Directed by Jesse Jones (Death Drop, West End) and Helena Middleton (Education, Education, Education, West End), WINNERS is a rollicking and fantastical look at manipulation, monopoly and money, capitalism and currency.
This is the perfect festival for all the family with brilliant works by leading children’s companies. Two, Four, Six, Eight is a funny and charming journey into the world of numbers for 3 – 8 year olds and their families by Shoofly Theatre, from Bristol theatre-makers Craig Edwards and Katie Sykes. Deep in the woods on the big oak tree, lives a little squirrel with big ideas; Silly Squirrel is perfect for under-5s. The Great Big Story Mix Up is a live and interactive improvised storytelling show which puts the audience at the centre of the action. Science Adventures: The Power Pickle is a fantastical show that explores the wonders of science for ages 5+. With puppetry, poetry and song, TooRaLooRum explores the importance of imagination and how bravery can come from even the smallest of places.
The Wardrobe Ensemble comments, We are working so hard getting The Theatre on the Downs ready, and making WINNERS, and can’t wait to welcome audiences in. The tent is nearly up and the bar is being built so we are very nearly there – eek! It’s been a wild ride so far and we’re sure that will continue over the next few weeks as we open, but we are loving doing it. Come and see us and have a drink next week!
There are still more opportunities to be part of the programming – for more information, check the website: theatreonthedowns.co.uk.
The Theatre on the Downs is kindly supported by The Wardrobe Theatre, Arts Council England, Backstage Trust and WECA. Ticketing in association with Bristol Old Vic.
Please note, The Wardrobe Ensemble is a producing theatre company, running The Theatre on the Downs; The Wardrobe Theatre is a venue in Old Market. The two organisations are good friends and have produced several shows together including The Great Gatsby and The Seekers Trilogy, but they are separate organisations.
The programme is as follows (with more exciting new shows to be announced!):
by The Wardrobe Ensemble | thewardrobeensemble.com
Tuesday 10th – Saturday 28th August
Tuesday – Saturday, 7.30pm
Thursday 26th August, 3pm
My whole life is about winning. I don’t lose often. I almost never lose. Donald J Trump
Lights, sequins, burgers, hot fries and thick shakes, join us for a fast-food filled theatrical extravaganza. Our boss is a washed-up zombie clown who’s been dying to tell you what life is like for the winners in this world. And then there are the workers, just trying to earn a buck. Strap in for a time travelling thrill ride that rattles through the ages, bursting from the fertile ground beneath our earliest ancestors and crash-landing on the burning carcass of the planet itself. A fantastical look at manipulation, monopoly and money, capitalism and currency, we dare you not to enjoy it.
A brand-new show and return to live performance from the multi-award winning company who brought you Education, Education, Education, 1972: The Future of Sex and RIOT. Supported by Arts Council England.
by Helen Eastman and Alex Silverman | www.bicycleboy.co.uk
Wednesday 11th – Sunday 15th August, 11am and 2pm
Saturday 14 th – Sunday 15th August, 4pm
An outdoor bicycle-powered eco-musical, packed with humour, Bicycle Boy is perfect for children 6- 10 and their families. This engaging, pedal-powered performance is themes of sustainability
Our hero, Sam has 24 hours to clear out his grandad’s old bike workshop; it has been a difficult time and the business has to close. He remembers granddad teaching him to ride – and playing with him, pretending to be superhero Bicycle Boy. It seems grandad may have left Sam a present somewhere in the workshop, and some clues to find it. But there’s no power and Sam needs electricity to unlock the messages. He needs our help. If we can connect up enough bikes and pedal like mad, we can make generate enough power for Sam’s journey (and the show).
Carboot Disco Bingo
by Disco Jazz and Bingo Meg | www.carbootdiscobingo.co.uk
Friday 13th – Saturday 14th August, 9.30pm
Think Donna Summer hosting a party in the gala bingo hall! A game for all ages and abilities, Carboot Disco Bingo is about having fun together in the moment.
Carboot Disco Bingo is a collaboration between Megan Clark-Bagnall and Jasmine Loveys.
Essentially it’s an extravagant game of bingo incorporating fantastic disco dancing. Cross the numbers off your bingo card as we draw them out of the bingo ball machine, learn the disco dance moves for each number through the game, and win yourselves some fabulous prizes out the back of our car boot.
The Star Seekers
by The Wardrobe Ensemble | thewardrobeensemble.com
Wednesday 18th – Saturday 21st August, 3pm
Have you ever dreamt of flying to the moon?
Visiting a space station?
Becoming an astronaut?
Inspired by childhood wonder of the universe, this is a unique theatre experience for children. Passing on awe for the limitless majesty of galaxies, the solar system, shooting stars and planets to the next generation, it also delves into one of greatest unanswered questions of the universe: what do astronauts really have for dinner?!
Last seen at the National Theatre in 2018, this out of this world family show is back! Join The Wardrobe Ensemble and The Wardrobe Theatre on a journey through the stars where you take the steering wheel
Two, Four, Six, Eight
by Shoofly Theatre | twitter.com/shooflytheatre
Wednesday 18th – Sunday 22nd August, 11am
Sunday Matinee, 3pm
Craig has been invited to his best friend’s Birthday Party.
There is an invitation to read, presents to wrap, cakes to buy and a house to find.
Who will explain the rules of Musical Chairs?
Will there be enough balloons?
Using music, toys and far too much wrapping paper, Shoofly Theatre, from Bristol theatre-makers Craig Edwards and Katie Sykes, have created a funny and charming journey into the world of numbers for Nursery, Reception, Year One children and their families.
by WILDERBEAST | twitter.com/wldrbeastheatre
Friday 27th – Sunday 29th August, 11am and 3pm
It is summer time. The sun is shining, the birds are singing and butterflies fill the air. The garden is full of colour and warmth. It’s time to cool down with an ice-cream and a swim. We fill the car with toys and games, a bucket and spade and our favourite picnic. Have you packed the sun cream? We’re going to the beach!
Join WILDERBEAST for this enchanting new summer show for 0-3 year olds, following their hit show Ice Ice Baby. A beautiful 30-minute theatre experience suitable for babes in arms and toddlers, accompanied by carers. Discover the sights, sounds and textures of the beach in a playful sensory exploration.
by FullRogue | fullroguetheatre.com
Tuesday 31st August – Saturday 4th September, 7.30pm
Nell and Oscar meet on a deserted beach in Dorset. It’s 1595…or maybe it’s 1610. Oscar has
returned from his first term at university and Nell is doing f*ck all. They will meet here, again and again, on this beach, for the next 400 years. Stuff will change, as it does with time. They will try to keep up.
Wild Swimming is an interrogation of gender and privilege and a wilfully ignorant history of English Literature. After playing to sold out houses in Bristol and Edinburgh in 2019, and following the cancellation of its international transfer to New York last year, FullRogue bring Wild Swimming back home to Bristol
by Above Bounds | abovebounds.co.uk
Saturday 4th – Sunday 5th September, 11am and 3pm
Deep in the woods on the big oak tree, lives a little squirrel with big ideas. This is Silly Squirrel. Silly Squirrel has never left the tree but longs to explore! So, before the other squirrels are awake, Silly Squirrel conducts a plan to go on their biggest adventure yet! I wonder who they will meet and what they will find out along the way?
Pull up a picnic blanket and join Above Bounds for this playful new story, written in 2020 for the Summer Reading Challenge and now created into a show for 2021, with puppets, gentle interaction and lots of laughs! This is the perfect introduction to theatre for ages 0-7.
Stop Trying to be Fantastic
by Molly Naylor | www.mollynaylor.com
Friday 10th September, 7.30pm
One day, a magpie comes into a little girl’s house by mistake. It decides it likes her. She spends the next twenty-five years trying to get away from it.
Stop Trying to be Fantastic is a story about suffering, saviour-complex, self-acceptance, and a magpie who refuses to quit. From award-winning writer/performer Molly Naylor (Whenever I Get Blown Up I Think Of You, Sky One’s After Hours) comes this lyrical and funny spoken-word show that explores what we owe to each other and what we owe to ourselves.
It’s an anti self-help show… that might actually help.
The Great Big Story Mix Up
by Roustabout Theatre | www.roustabouttheatre.co.uk
Saturday 11th September, 11am and 3pm
Based around fairy tale tropes and characters, and combining art, music and theatre, The Great Big Story Mix Up is led entirely by audience suggestions and interventions. The show involves genuine live interaction between the performers and the audience, who work together to create neverbefore-seen fairy tales before your eyes. It’s perfect for ages 3+ and their families
Hero & Leander, Or, I Love You But Everything’s Under Water
by Jack Dean & Company | www.jackdean.co.uk
Saturday 11th September, 7.30pm
Sing, dance and cry with us in this bittersweet gig theatre show. Six multi-instrumentalists tell an epic seaside tale through songs encompassing folk, indie, sea shanties and choral music. A story of bad rulers, worse weather, and how we keep going when everything is flipping terrible.
Two towns, one rich and one poor, stand separated by a narrow strip of ocean. When the borders close and ships stop sailing between them, two lovers are left stranded on either side. Unphased, Leander takes to swimming across the channel to meet Hero, guided by the light of the lighthouse where she lives. But the jealous and vengeful Hephaestus, carrying an ancient grudge, plots to separate them with a flood like neither town has ever seen. We all know this will probably end badly. But just maybe, this time, it will turn out different…
Science Adventures: The Power Pickle
by Coppice Theatre | www.coppicetheatre.co.uk
Sunday 12th September, 11am and 3pm
Our team are in a right pickle! Professor McGuffin’s ground-breaking Sub-Nuclear Optical Transmitter (S.N.O.T.) has stopped working, and it’s jeopardising the whole mission! Now it’s our job to find a way to power it! Join our intrepid scientists on an adventure like no other… Prepare to travel to the deepest depths, and soar to the highest heights! This fantastical show will explore science with fun and accessible adventure stories.
Beauty & The Beast
by Living Spit | www.livingspit.co.uk
Tuesday 14th – Saturday 18th September, 7.30pm
Saturday 18th September, 3pm
The classic French tale of Beauty and the Beast tells of a bright and beautiful young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. She learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realise the kind heart and soul that lies within.
The enormously popular Living Spit stars Howard Coggins and Stu McLoughlin. Howard is beautiful. There’s no escaping that. But then so is Stu. In fact, Living Spit is widely known as the most physically attractive two-man musical comedy theatre company in the South-West. However, in this tale as old as time one of them will have to portray an ugly, foul-tempered beast. But which one will it be?
From the creators of the Offie award-nominated Six Wives of Henry VIII, the perennial Christmas favourite Living Spit’s Nativity and the “beguiling rib-tickler” (The Times) Living Spit’s Frankenstein The Musical comes a brand-new, monstrously-musical, Disney-defying version of this classic French tale about what it means to be truly beautiful in the 18th century.
Theatre Bristol Assembly: Mistake Boutique
by Theatre Bristol | www.theatrebristol.net
Wednesday 15th September, 10am – 12pm
Join Theatre Bristol’s Artist Support Activist Amy Mason (The Islanders, Mass) as she discusses the many (MANY) mistakes she’s made over her 10-year career for the next Theatre Bristol Assembly.
Amy will be joined by experienced fellow performers to talk falling out with venues, forgetting to do any marketing, and going on tour when you’re 9-months pregnant. This will be a chance to face up to the moments we’d all rather forget, to take stock, build bridges, and share the lessons learned the hard way.
This event will be held as an in person at The Theatre on the Downs on Clifton Downs. He Wardrobe Ensemble are committed to holding a programme of both online and in person events over the next year. There will be four freelancer bursary places available for this event.
TooRaLooRaLum and Other Colourful Tales
by Mismatch Theatre | www.mismatchtheatre.com
Sunday 19th September, 11am and 3pm
Colour has been stolen from Greytown and Lucy wants it back. With the help of a mysterious book, Lucy must step away from the colourless crowd and remind them of what was lost before it’s too late! Will she be brave, will she run, will she find her TooRaLooRaLum?
Follow Mismatch Theatre into an immersive explosion of this topsy-turvy-turbulent world. Combining puppetry, poetry and song, TooRaLooRaLum and Other Colourful Tales is a
wonderfully witty, heart-felt fable, exploring the importance of imagination and how bravery can come from even the smallest of places
Jonesy and Single Sex
A Double Bill from the Bristol School of Acting
Sunday 19th September, 5pm
Jonesy is an underdog story about a boy with asthma. Barred from joining the rugby team, he decides to become a netball maverick. Can he overcome the locker room lads, win the netball squad around and achieve his dream of passing GCSE PE…? Or will his old nemesis asthma ruin the day! A play about gender roles, toxic masculinity and burgeoning misogyny.
In Single Sex, Gregg is a first-class grammar school student, excelling in all things theoretical. But surrounded by a rugby mad father, a Latin master pushing the teachings of Ovid and a sex-obsessed peerage of teenage boys all inhaling pornography like oxygen, he is in danger of being pressured in to ruining his burgeoning relationship with Sophie. This dark comedy is full of the horrors of teenage boy bravado about sex and girls, and the dark edges of pseudo-rape porn. Contains descriptions and scenes with upsetting sexual acts and an age rating of 14+
Closing Night at The Theatre on the Downs
by The Wardrobe Ensemble | thewardrobeensemble.com
Saturday 2 nd October, 7.30pm
A closing party spectacular featuring game show The Wardrobe Ensembwheel of Fortune, along with top secret special guests, free prizes of the highest quality and lots of fun and games. Come celebrate Bristol’s newest theatre venue!