Commissions

Since 2011, MAYK has commissioned extraordinary live performance from artists all over the UK. Often working in partnership with other commissioners, the work ranges from site-based work to mid-scale theatre and much of it has since toured internationally.

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UNdersong – verity Standen

Undersong places you at the meeting point between threads of music. Voices weave amongst you and around the space, from a whispered duet to a screaming mob. Nine singers build a vibrant language of a cappella music and movement as they bring to life a series of brand new compositions, which move between tender and expansive.

Co-commissioned with Bristol Ferment and Oval House.

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lookout – andy field

Created in collaboration with local children from Sefton Park Primary School, Lookout is a one-to-one encounter between one adult audience member and one child performer. The conversation they share is a quiet journey through the past, present and future guided by the streets and landmarks laid out before them.

Lookout is an attempt to consider big questions in a small way. Each new version of the piece is unique to the city it is created in and the people who call that place home.

Commissioned by The Arches, caravan, MAYK, Cambridge Junction, Contact and Unicorn Theatre.

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my son & Heir – SEARCH PARTY

My Son & Heir is an anarchic celebration of the everyday heroism of parenthood, set amongst a never-ending mess of plastic, flashing-beeping, bubble-blowing chaos.

Search Party are parents, they have a son born in the same year as ‘Baby Cambridge’, and that’s where the similarities end. My Son & Heir confronts the spectacle of the ‘New Royals’ and their strategic attempts to appear just like us. In a playful examination of the relentlessness of raising children, and the guilt-ridden one-upmanship of mainstream baby culture, Search Party considered what sort of man their son and heir will become.

Search Party performed My Son & Heir in 2014's edition of Mayfest.

A Spring Festivals commission with Pulse, Watch Out and Sprint.

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word – jamal harewood

'They’re pretty special. They give a person the opportunity to express themselves. They can be read. They can be heard. They can be spoken. They allow us to communicate with one another. I was always told; it’s not what you said, but how you said it – is that true?'

As part of its national tour, Word was performed in Mayfest 2016. This interactive theatre piece invited the audience to become either a host or a contestant - in a gameshow that held a magnifying glass up to the words we use daily.

A Spring Festivals commission with Pulse, Watch Out and Sprint.

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three sisters – rashdash

This brand-new perspective on Anton Chekhov's classic Three Sisters asks - What if RashDash were the three sisters, Olga, Masha, and Irena? Along with Bristol Old Vic and Tobacco Factory Theatres, we brought RashDash's reimagined classic to Bristol audiences is 2018 as part of a national tour. Three Sisters won a UK Theatre Award for Best Touring Production in 2018.

A RashDash and Royal Exchange production. Commissioned by Tobacco Factory Theatres, The Yard Theatre, Cambridge Junction, MAYK and Bristol Old Vic.

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salt in the sugar jar – nikesh shukla

This intimate, site-specific performance was first presented in a house in Totterdown, Bristol and followed by a rural tour. Salt in the Sugar Jar, Nikesh Shukla's adaptation of his award-winning autobiographical novella, The Time Machine, invited audiences to prepare, cook, and share food with a funny and bittersweet reflection on memory, family, and grief.

Co-commissioned by MAYK and Theatre Bristol.

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dollywould – sh!t theatre

Following the award-winning sell-out hit Letters to Windsor House – which was named one of Time Out London’s top ten theatre shows of the year – Sh!t Theatre returned with their bold new show. It’s about country legend Dolly Parton, cloning, branding, immortality and death. DollyWould enjoyed a 100% sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, as well as a national tour and a four-week off-West End run.

The 'wonderfully daft' Dollywould was a co-commission with Spring Festivals in 2016 with Pulse, Watch Out and Sprint..

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salt – selina thompson

In February 2016, two artists got on a cargo ship, and retraced one of the routes of the Transatlantic Slave Triangle – from the UK to Ghana to Jamaica, and back. Their memories, their questions and their grief took them along the bottom of the Atlantic and through the figurative realm of an imaginary past.

It was a long journey backwards, in order to go forwards.

Salt is what they brought back.

The multi-award winning Salt has toured internationally, including to venues in Canada and Brazil. We co-commissioned the show with Theatre Bristol and Yorkshire Festival.

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made up – molly naylor & Byron vincent

Using bespoke stories created for the people who ordered them, acclaimed wordsmiths Molly Naylor and Byron Vincent crafted uniquely personal story experiences from a Bristol-wide call out. Throughout Mayfest 2012, the pair visited workplaces, homes, and other locations to deliver a series of stories for, and with, the people of Bristol.

Co-commissioned by MAYK and Theatre Bristol.

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gym party – made in china

A razor sharp and slightly dark exploration of our universal desire to win. Three intrepid contestants compete in a series of games that range from hilariously stupid to uncomfortable, arbitrary, and downright heartbreaking. Chris, Jess and Ira fearlessly do whatever it takes to win – to please you, the audience. They are also eager to share their stories, perspectives and awkward dances in between.

After presenting in Mayfest 2013, Made in China's anarchic, thoughtful, and moving Gym Party undertook a national tour. Gym Party speaks to anyone who frets about the state of the world and how we treat each other - then gets distracted by a dumb celebrity tweet.