It’s been a whomper of a year for us at MAYK. As we all swap emails and spreadsheets for mince pies and mulled wine, we thought it’d be nice to take a look back at the year
We celebrated our fifteenth festival with 120 international, national and local artists, 7 premieres (including two home-grown beauties, Undersong by Verity Standen and The Nature of Why by the British Paraorchestra, both of which will continue to tour), hundreds of participants and thousands of audience members. For eleven days in May, Mayfest 2018 electrified the whole of Bristol, from the Cathedral, to The Cube. We’re already pulling together plans for 2020 – keep it here.
Touring amazing international performance across England
In 2018 we reaffirmed our mission to bring excellent international theatre to audiences in Bristol and beyond. Our successful bid to Arts Council England's Strategic Touring Fund enabled us to present and tour three international participatory arts projects, following their UK premieres at Mayfest. Contact Gonzo, Theatre Replacement's Town Choir and We Are Lightning by Joseph O'Farrell (JOF) and Sam Halmarack toured to Gloucester, Weston-super-Mare and Folkestone connecting visionary artists with new audiences.
Three Sisters, by RashDash, after Chekov
In June, we worked with Tobacco Factory Theatres and Bristol Old Vic to bring Royal Exchange Associate Artists RashDash back to Bristol, with their exhilarating reimagined perspective on Chekov's Three Sisters. Described as a 'fizzily provocative romp that crackles with punk rock energy' by Time Out, RashDash reconceptualised this classic with new feminist dynamism. They also won the UK Theatre Award for Best Touring Production, and was in Bristol 247’s top three theatre shows of 2018.
SESSION by Still House
Still House's collaboration with Steppaz Performing Arts Academy and Empire Sounds, SESSION, kicked up a storm at LIFT, The Station in Bristol, and the National Theatre River Stage. Part-gig, part-social, part-dance party, SESSION welcomed anyone and everyone to celebrate community, youth, and belonging with a barnstorming battle cry. SESSION was one of Bristol247’s top three dance shows of 2018. It will tour again in 2019.
“beyond impressive.” ★★★★★ To Do List London
We Are F*cked by Jo Bannon
Together with Unlimited, we worked with Jo Bannon to create her new electric performance work, We Are F*cked, exploring desire, sexuality and neoliberalism.
Arnolfini hosted the premiere before performances at Unlimited Festival at Southbank Centre. This work will continue to tour in 2019.
Looking ahead to 2019
In spring 2019, Caroline Williams and Reem Karssli’s Now Is The Time To Say Nothing will tour the UK, starting with performances at Bristol Old Vic in February. We’ll also be touring SESSION, We Are F*cked next year, and there’s still lots to be announced.
REMEMBERING JANE AND BRIAN
This year we said goodbye to two brilliant people, Jane Sallis and Brian Davis of Firebird Theatre. We along with so many people have been touched by their humour and warmth and profoundly moved by their firm belief in the power of theatre to change lives. We miss them.
“Imagine a bird of fire, like gold, like sun, blazing, burning. Imagine a Firebird, that speaks of power, tells of hope, a light in the dark, a spark of imagination, and the beginning of another story” – from A Spark and a Beating Heart by Firebird Theatre, 2017