There’s a concert orchestra, trapped in a city during a military coup. As violence erupts, with pitched battles breaking out around them, the orchestra becomes separated – lost – hoping and trying to find their way back to each other.

The composer is left to tell the story.

With an intricate, fractured narrative and haunting soundtrack, The Bullet and The Bass Trombone is a modern hymn to people and places now lost. The story comes together from the smallest of pieces, like a mosaic: a whistling bird in the jungle; an antique harp used for target practice; a gunfight on an airport runway; a murder in a forest of music stands.

It’s a fugue of voices, memories and sounds, played concertostyle by a lone performer trying to make sense of the chaos.

Written and performed by Timothy X Atack
Directed by Tanuja Amarasuriya
Original Lighting Design by Aaron J Dootson


Sleepdogs is a collaboration between writer/composer Timothy X Atack and producer/director Tanuja Amarasuriya.  Previous theatre work includes The Morpeth Carol, Astronaut and Buzzard.  They work with stories and prompts to the imagination across theatre, film, sound and online. Their work is characterised by imaginative storytelling and detailed, integrated sound design.


The Bullet and the Bass Trombone is available for touring, contact Matthew for more details.

funders & supporters

A Bristol Old Vic Ferment commission. Produced by MAYK. Developed with support from Parabola Arts Centre, Live Theatre, The Empty Space and Forest Fringe. Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

BUY the CD & programme

The Bullet and the Bass Trombone CD

We worked with Sleepdogs to produce a beautifully packaged EP and programme for The Bullet and the Bass Trombone.

The EP contains three specially mixed tracks using music and sound from the show, and also includes an original text by Sleepdogs about both the EP and the making of the show.

The Bullet and the Bass Trombone EPs are available to buy for just £4 + postage and packing.

Add To Cart

listen to the sounds of the show



The sounds of this town’s streets, wildlife, nightlife, vehicles, venues, homes, musicians and offices are looped, sieved, filtered, warped and stretched to make new, beautiful and perturbing music.


Originally created for Theaster Gates’ Bristol Sanctum in 2015, Circadial is a place-specific,
live improvised sound performance. Each version of Circadial is unique and created specially
for each location Sleepdogs play. They make local field recordings over the days and nights preceding
the show; then cut these recordings up, and transform them into beats, tones and echoes they
can play live as an improvised, shifting music performance made entirely from the sounds of
the town they’re in.

Circadial is about the rhythms and polyphony of a place; the way that sound can locate you
in time and geography. There’s so much noise in the world that we naturally tune out the
tones and frequencies we don’t need to hear. But when you take time to really listen, you can
often feel the landscape reshaping around you in an almost physical way. Circadial invites
the audience to think about and reimagine their hometown through a new way of hearing it.
The music that emerges is sometimes perturbing, often beautiful, always surprising.

Sleepdogs have used these techniques of digitally manipulating field recordings as the basis of music
composition in lots of their theatre work, but this is the first project where they’ve put location
and process at the centre of the performance.

Each version of Circadial is unique and created specially for each location they play.


For further information about booking and presenting Circadial, please contact Kate.

Sleepdogs originally made Circadial for Theaster Gates’ Sanctum, at Bristol’s Temple Church.

Forthcoming presentations

Previous presentations

Circadial (Bristol) 1-4: Sanctum at Bristol Temple Church
Circadial (Bristol) 5: Bristol Old Vic, as part of Ferment
Circadial (Bristol) 6: The Station, as part of Mayfest
Circadial (Bristol) 7: The Wardrobe Theatre, as part of Mayfest
Circadial (Bristol Old Vic Studio RIP remix) 8: Bristol Old Vic Studio
Circadial (London) 9-10: at the National Theatre, River Stage as part of the Mayfest takeover weekend



>> Incoming, deep travel
>> Estimated 600 souls
>> Estimated 600 souls lost in 81 minutes

There is a Dark Land in the depths of space. Ships are drawn to it like moths to a flame, where they are consumed, destroyed. A lighthouse orbits the Dark Land. Teller Ghent is the keeper – one woman alone on Lighthouse 5. But the lighthouse is dying. Teller’s only company is a sentient computer with a taste for the poetic… and a host of terrible visions from the end of the universe.

Teller is afraid. She thinks she might be losing. But she is never, never giving up.

Dark Land Light House is a visual and visceral sci-fi horror – 2001: A Space Odyssey, spliced with the ancient unspeakable terrors of HP Lovecraft, with all-enveloping sound and music inspired by Ben Frost and Richard Skelton.

Cast includes: Laura Dannequin, Derek Frood, Jessica Macdonald

Written by Timothy X Atack
Directed by Tanuja Amarasuriya
Original Music and Sound by North Sea Navigator & Timothy X Atack
Production Design by Rosanna Vize
Lighting Design by Ben Pacey
Projection & Video Design by Rod Maclachlan
Production Manager: Chris Swain
Production Photography: Paul Blakemore

Dark Land Light House premiered at Bristol Old Vic in April 2016

about sleepdogs

Sleepdogs is a collaboration between director/producer Tanuja Amarasuriya and writer/composer Timothy X Atack. They make theatre, film, audio and digital work characterised by surprising storytelling and detailed sound design. They are wilfully interdisciplinary in their process and are interested in the splicing of traditions, scenic routes not yet taken, stories that haven’t been told quite that way before, familiar emotions made complex again.


If you are interested in presenting Dark Land Light House, please contact Matthew.

Photos: Paul Blakemore

funders & partners

Produced by MAYK. A Jerwood Charitable Foundation and Bristol Old Vic Ferment commission. Developed with support from Bristol University Drama Department. Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.

Demostage is an informal, temporary space for new ideas. Open to people who make creative projects of any kind (think theatre, music, games, sound, whatever), the event encourages collaboration, sharing and critical discourse. Presenters show what they've been working on. Audiences ask questions and give feedback. It's not a scratch night. It's an informal event in a bar, inspired by software developers who meet up, drink and demo the programs they're working on. Everyone welcome.

Demostage is a concept created by Dustin Harvey's Secret Theatre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. Dustin very kindly open-sourced the idea for us and we debuted Demostage Bristol at Mayfest 2016.  You can find out more about Secret Theatre here:

Exposure is the beginning of an investigation into how we look, how we are looked at and if we can ever really be seen. This intimate one to one performance is a tender and tentative look into autobiography, asking how fully we can reveal ourselves – to ourselves, to another, with another.

It comes out of a tentative enquiry Jo is making into autobiography and into how she looks and appears in the world, this is informed by her relationship to the fact that she has albinism. Albinism, a condition which affects her pigmentation and also her sight, affects both how she physically sees and experiences the world and how she is seen and perceived.

“Simple, beautiful, evocative – authentic!”
— Audience Member

about Jo bannon

Jo Bannon is a UK based artist making live art and performance. Jo has presented work in the UK and Europe and is an associate artist with In Between Time and founder member of Residence. Created by Jo Bannon. Developed with the support of Rules and Regs and South Hill Park. Further development is supported by Bristol Ferment, Dartington Space with the support of the Dartington Hall Trust, In Between Time,The Basement, Residence, RWA, Arnolfini, & BAC. Funded by Arts Council England.

At the core of Jo’s work is a fascination with human exchange and the hope and futility which this endeavour entails. Her work explores how our physical bodies experience the world around us and how this sensory experience of living can only be conveyed in a faltering rudimentary language which continually fails to express how we see the world to each other. Jo’s practice explores how live performance and encounters might be used as a strategy against this. As a result her work often manifests as intimate encounters designed for one person or small audiences alongside staged theatre work and installations.


MAYK are working with Jo on future touring of Exposure. If you would like further information or to book the show, contact Matthew.

The Killers is a live binaural sound work intended for diners/Americana cafes/Little Chefs. Sat in the diner, the audience wear headphones and watch as the audio is constructed; eavesdropping on conversations; tracking the flight of a wayward fly; hearing in real time the countdown to an assassination. 

The work draws on adaptations of Ernest Hemingway's The Killers (1927) which tells the story of two assassins as they arrive at a diner, thirty minutes before a killing. The men order two fish suppers and discuss methods of execution: a radio plays Cyndi Lauper over and over again in the kitchen; inexplicable deliveries of novelty objects are made to the tables; a diner band tunes up in the corner; the half-hour counts down.

The Killers is a quiet speculation on how the vinyl booths, coffee counters and cherry pie of British diners carry approximations of American culture, and what happens when you get off the train at the seaside and reach the end of the line.

The Killers will premiere at Mayfest 2018 at The Regent, Weston super-Mare . 


Richard Allen makes performance works with theatrical props, stage hardware, novelty items, instruments and machines, that play with how narratives and animations are formed between objects and spectators. He has presented work at the National Review of Live Art (Glasgow), Chapter Arts Centre (Cardiff) and Kunstverein am Rosa–Luxemburg–Platz (Berlin). You might remember Richard from 2012's  Garage Band, and as one of MAYK’S  SENSE  commissions in 2013.   

In 2018, we worked with The British Paraorchestra on The Nature of Why, a new dance work with a score by Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory. It was commissioned by Unlimited and premiered at Mayfest 2018 before touring to the Southbank Centre in London as part of the Unlimited Festival. It is now touring nationally and internationally.

The Nature of Why merges dance and live music into an epic performance that brims with emotion and physical beauty. The show features a cinematic live-score from Goldfrapp’s Will Gregory, an ensemble of musicians from the British Paraorchestra and four extraordinary dancers.

The British Paraorchestra is the world's first large-scale professional ensemble of disabled musicians, a boundary-breaking outfit that is unlike any orchestra you've seen or heard. Their mission is to perform phenomenal music that captivates an audience, pushing the artform and proving beyond a doubt that disability is no barrier to talent.

The joy created by the remarkable company is second only to the joy felt by those lucky enough to see The Nature of Why. This isn’t simply a performance you simply see or hear. It’s one you feel.
— Bristol 24/7

This world premiere takes inspiration from the unconventional curiosity of Nobel prize-winning theoretical physicist Richard Feynman, and his search for meaning in the world around us. The Nature of Why promises to be an up-close-and-personal dance experience like no other.


The Nature of Why is choreographed by Caroline Bowditch (Adventures of Snigel, Falling In Love With Frida), conducted by Charles Hazlewood, with direction by Caroline Bowditch and Charles Hazlewood.

Commissioned and supported by Unlimited, celebrating the work of disabled artists, with funding from Arts Council England.

The Nature of Why is supported by Stavros Niarchos Foundation.

Additional support from We the Curious.

Produced by The Paraorchestra and Friends, and Mayk.

Now Is The Time To Say Nothing is an interactive video installation exploring the role of screens in observing global conflict. It is a provocation against armchair passivity.

Through rare on the ground footage it follows the real story of Syrian artist Reem Karssli as she captures her daily experience of being housebound during the early years of the Syrian conflict. We see what emerges when she is contacted by a group of teenagers from the UK who want to see beyond the footage they’ve watched on their TVs. Together they co-author an experience which attempts to connect a UK audience to the human story behind the news.

Created over four years, following Reem into an exile which forced her to leave her camera behind, Now Is The Time To Say Nothing is an intimate exploration of what it means to stay connected to each other and of what happens when war and the need for survival gets in the way.

Its just over three hours since I’ve seen it, and I’d be surprised if in 3 years I’ve fully understood what it’s done to me.
— Tim X Atack

Lead artists: Caroline Williams and Reem Karssli
Sound Artist: Tom Parkinson
Video Artist: Christina Hardinge
Associate Sound Design: Lewis Gibson
Production Manager: Andrew Crofts

Young Vic young people: Yiga Cowie, Denneil Dunbar, Femi Fuwad Adenola, Sohaila Ferrier, Edward Garlick, Riona Millar, Ernesto Reyes Fox, Monty Taylor and Alice Tyrrell

Originally produced by Young Vic Taking Part

Original creative team May Abdalla (video) and Keir Vine (sound)

Now Is The Time To Say Nothing was reworked for Mayfest 2018 and ran from 10-20 May at Arnolfini. 

Now Is The Time To Say Nothing is available for touring. If you are interested in booking the work please contact Kate

Night. We find a space in the margins of the city in which to gather: to start an ad hoc ceremony, to stamp our feet and shake our limbs, to dance in the face of an ending.

Of Riders and Running Horses is a stirring and visceral new dance event by Still House created as a communal animation of urban spaces. A group of female dancers and a live band conjure a new kind of old dance, an insistent rhythm, a joyful step into what it means to move together.

The music is a rider and we are running horses.

The stars are out. Dancing under the open sky makes a felt difference. It moves itself differently. And these age-old sediments no longer stick to my bones, melting in the blood. Michael Klien

“Of Riders and Running Horses goes in cycles: a soloist starts, then others join in. They fizz off into their own thing, then come back together. It’s about leading and following, about movements building. Canham’s choreography is a cultural collage: quoting from Balinese shamans and Scottish dancing, New Zealand rituals and American jive. It ends with an invitation and, on top of a car park, on a warm May evening, in the middle of Bristol, 100 people jump in and dance.”
— Whats On Stage
“Dan Canham and Laura Dannequin’s superb choreography beautifully accentuates the fluidity of a dancer’s body, the wave of motion passing up from the feet into the trunk and out through the arms and hands … The final ensemble piece is an irresistible fanfare, with the dancers galloping round the edges of the space like horses charging round a circus ring. And finally the dancers grab people out of the audience and soon everyone’s dancing in a spontaneous rave, till we’re all feeling warm again, inside and out.”
— Bristol 247


forthcoming performances

There are currently no forthcoming performances of Of Riders and Running Horses. Check back soon.

funders & supporters

Of Riders and Running Horses is produced by MAYK, commissioned by Dance Umbrella, Pavilion Dance South West and Theatre Bristol. Supported using public funding through Arts Council England. Research and Development was supported by the Jerwood Choreographic Research Project, with funds from The Jerwood Charitable Foundation, Appetite, Birmingham Hippodrome, Dance Umbrella, DanceEast, DanceXchange, Greenwich Dance, Greenwich + Docklands International Festival, Independent Dance, Pavilion Dance South West, and The Place. Additional research and development support from Bristol Old Vic Ferment and Trinity Community Arts.



2016 Tbilisi, GeorgiaTbilisi International Festival of Theatre; London, National Theatre, Mayfest River Stage; GlasgowMerchant City Festival; WinchesterHat Fair; Prague, Czech RepublicTanec Praha; Ostrava, Czech RepublicTanec Praha; Pilsen, Czech RepublicTanec Praha; EastleighThe Point; SalisburySalisbury International Arts Festival; BristolMayfest; BrightonBrighton festival/caravan; GloucesterStrike a light; CardiffBristish Dance Edition

2015 London, Dance Umbrella/LIFT; BirminghamFierce/mac/Birmingham Weekender; Cambridge, Cambridge Junction; Bassano Del Grappa, Bmotion festival; BournemouthPDSW; BristolMayfest

Located somewhere between a theatre show and a stadium pop concert, Sam Halmarack & The Miserablites are the bombastic pioneers of interactive stadium pop. Get ready for handclapping anthems and electro music to move and inspire. With songs, stories and a little help from you we will all come together to offer a unique take on what it means to be redeemed by music. A lightning-fast journey from the depths of failure to collective euphoria in the space of just a few songs.

Singing is believing. Join in the feeling.

“Sam Halmarack’s vulnerable little gem of a show drips with courage, comedy and open-handed honesty. A hero in the making”
— Venue Magazine

Sam Halmarack and the Miserablites premiered at Mayfest 2011, following development through Bristol Ferment. It has since begun to tour nationally to considerable acclaim, and we are working with Sam to develop new relationships for presenting this unique & irrepressible piece in both theatre and music contexts.

about sam halmarack

Sam Halmarack is a musician, theatre-maker and sound-designer. Alongside collaborations with artists including Tom Wainwright, Bodies in Flight, Tom Marshman, Duncan Speakman, Dearheart Ensemble and the Engage programme with Bath Theatre Royal, Sam also toured extensively with his band The Master Chaynjis and was one half of Chew Magna, an electro-pop duo. In 2012, he joined forces with Stuart Bowden and the inimitable Bryony Kimmings for A DIY Nativity at Cambridge’s Junction. Sam is a member of Residence, an artist led organisation creating space for artists to make performance, live art and theatre in Bristol.


Sam Halmarack and the Miserablites is available for touring. Please contact Kate for further information. And if you’d like to come and see it, keep it here for details of future performances.

Photo: Farrows Creative

forthcoming performances


Tonight we come together, to look each other in the eye and dance.
We have time on our side and we’re making a space to call our own.

Made in collaboration with an extraordinary group of young performers SESSION is a battle cry and a love song, celebrating community, youth and belonging.

In this explosive outdoor gathering Still House join forces with Tottenham’s Steppaz Performing Arts Academy and North London’s Afrobeats powerhouse, Empire Sounds to create an exhilarating night of dance and live music where everyone is welcome.

Soaring up above the streets of the city, this visceral performance is part-gig, part-social, and part-dance party as it moves across hip-hop, contemporary folk and afrobeats vocabularies to create a new movement completely owned by its makers.

“The complex choreography, unstoppable spirit and commitment of these young performers is beyond impressive.” ★★★★★
— To Do List London

A work by Still House, Steppaz, Empire Sounds
Direction - Dan Canham
Choreography and staging - Odilia Egyiawan, Abena Noel, Dan Canham
Associate consultant & guidance - Laura Dannequin
Performed by - Steppaz Elites and Mini-Elites
Music - Empire Sounds - Josh Donkor, Mike Akrofi, Desty Engele, Aaron Donkor
Company stage manager: Tanya Williams-Griffith
Steppaz CEO - Stacey McKnight
Production Manager - Mekel Edwards (on tour)
Produced by MAYK and LIFT

Co-commissioned by LIFT, Attenborough Centre for Creative Arts, Bristol Old Vic Ferment & Pavillion Dance South West.

Produced by MAYK. SESSION is a LIFT Tottenham Original co-commissioned with Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Bristol Old Vic Ferment, Pavillion Dance South West and Théâtre National de Bretagne. Tour produced by MAYK in association with LIFT.

SESSION is available for touring. Contact kate for more info.


thank you

The show's Crowdfunder was generously supported by: Jeremy Taylor, Helen Edwards, Kaite O’Reilly, Catherine Morgenstern, Joe Alessi, Stephanie McMann, Louise Tanoto, Thomas Dannequin, Flora Wellesley Wesley, Felix Hayes, Amanda Jones, Ruth Holdsworth, Isabelle Cressy, Ella Knight, Jessica Macdonald, Beth Powlesland, Phillip Zarrilli, Tanuja Amarasuriya, Craig Leo, James Wellesley Wesley, Liz King, Michael Vale, Ali Robertson, Victoria John, Peggy and Michel Dannequin, John Leader, Wendy Sherlock, Will Dickie, Charlotte Spencer, klhall90, Polly Davis, Tilly Webber, Jonathan Harper, Jennifer Bell, Claire Skelcey, Emma Rice, Tim Atack, Donna Martin, Emma Gladstone, Jason Darnell, Carrie Rhys-Davies, Lilith Wozniak, Lucy Tuck, Sarah Jane Murray, Carla Mendonca, Dom Lawton, Ruth Hecht, Jean Goubert, Seth Honnor, Olivia Winteringham, Fliss Cook, Parkey, Kate Bassett, Hannah Nicholls, Matthew Austin, Rachel Cartwright and a massive thank you to all of our anonymous supporters – you know who you are!

past performances

Brighton Festival - May 2019
Surf The Wave Dance Showcase, Poole - May 2019
LIFT 2018, Bernie Grant Arts Centre – June 2018
The Station, Bristol – July 2018
National Theatre River Stage – August 2018

Thought Residencies

Welcome to the Thought Residencies. Here you will find artists willing to share their thoughts, ideas, feelings in short samples.

Thought Residencies offer a brief holiday from the mantle of your own thoughts and give you the opportunity to unwind over a brief  interlude with some of our most interesting performance creators.

Each month, we invite an artist to join us in our thought-space. In turn, we invite you to listen to their thoughts. It is completely free and digitally intimate.

If you would like to respond to the thoughts please feel free to write to us at or comment directly onto the Souncloud file.

MAYK’s Thought Residences are presented in collaboration with Canada's SpiderWebShow, who created the original concept.


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.

Verity Standen creates unique sound worlds, using intricate vocal techniques and rich harmony. She has established a reputation around the UK and internationally for her innovative approach to music-making, exploring myriad ways audiences can experience the voice. 

“A visceral and life-affirming experience”
— Bristol 247
“Feels like the most immediate, visceral experience of music as human expression possible… like an antenna to heaven.” ★★★★★
— TimeOut on Verity Standen's HUG

Commissioned by MAYK and Bristol Old Vic/Ferment. Supported using public funds by Arts Council England. The show’s development was supported by Complicite, Shoreditch Town Hall and The Point, Eastleigh.

Undersong is available for touring. Please contact for more information

Soft flesh contends with hard metal as vibrating bodies and hysterical voices attempt to unseat the hidden interior of anxiety, desire, daily exertion, sexuality and relentless penetration. 

Three women are working hard, using their bodies and voices, an assortment of utilitarian domestic objects and a striking choreography of subtle shaking and relentless labour to produce moments of operatic melodrama and brooding states of dissent, quake and eruption.

This striking yet subtle, accumulative work asks the question ‘what is the role or necessity of pain in personal and social change? And who pays the price?’ It is both ecstatic and excruciating, euphoric and unforgiving. It’s also quite sexy. 

We Are Fucked is both a resistance to, and a succumbing to, the difficulty. Uncovering the hard work it sometimes takes to live in a world which is not designed for you. Through our labour we work to complicate and celebrate the nutty, uncomfortable but ultimately heroic efforts of people finding ways to unseat this way of living, and break apart the structures we live in.

We Are Fucked premiered at Arnolfini in Bristol, and was presented at Southbank Centre’s Unlimited Festival 2018. It will tour in 2019.

If you would like to find out more about We Are Fucked, drop Matthew a line.

Jo Bannon is a UK artist making live art and performance. She has presented work in the UK, Europe, South America and Australia including The Barbican, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Arnolfini, Itau Cultural Brazil, Battersea Arts Centre, PAD Mainz and the National Theatre. She is a founder member of artist collective Residence.

For We Are F*cked Jo Bannon is joined by Rosana Cade and Louise Ahl.

Commissioned and supported by Unlimited, celebrating the work of disabled artists, with funding from Arts Council England. Additional support from Residence, Access2Arts and Arnolfini. Produced by MAYK.

You are invited to the final requiem for the last music joint left in town. Acclaimed Australian artist Joseph O’Farrell (JOF) and Sam Halmarack combine theatre with the fist-pumping euphoria and power ballads of a stadium gig, in WE ARE LIGHTNING!, a darkly comical work that reflects on the importance of communal spaces where people can come together and express themselves.

Your venue is transformed into a music venue on the brink of closure. A teen band, a brass band, a community choir and ageing rockers join JOF’s drums and Sam’s guitar to mark and protest its demise, leading audiences through a strange ceremony and heartfelt celebration of how music shapes the lives of the people who play it.

Join us for our last chance to come together and be saved by music.

“Whole Lotta Love for the spirit of live music.
— The Age
“Spirited and defiant.”
— Melbourne Arts

WE ARE LIGHTNING! is available for touring. If you’d like to find out more, contact Kate


Dublin Fringe Festival, 19th - 21st September