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